Get The Most From Your Outsourcing With The Help Of A Part-Time Chief Financial Officer
…make your company look bigger than it really is
“ The worry I have with outsourcing is that I can’t see how 3rd party providers will ever care as much about my business as my own in-house staff ”
Outsourcing is nearly always cheaper, more efficient, more effective and more flexible than hiring in-house staff. So why are business owners so reluctant to outsource?
Most entrepreneurs are at pains to develop a team which shares a common sense of purpose and direction. The more ‘in tune’ your team is the more likely your business will succeed.
So the big fear with outsourcing is that you are invariably detached from the people who you feel you need to be close to, which raises concerns about developing a strong cultural fit between your outsource suppliers and your own organisation.
You may be concerned about a loss of control if your staff are not working in the same physical location as you and find it easier to instruct people who are in close proximity. From a pragmatic point of view, not being able to see and talk to your team means you feel that you are less in control and lack the visibility to spot potential problems and take decisive action.
You may be worried too about the track record of your chosen outsourced provider. Will they maintain the high standards you insist on and deliver quality within the deadlines you prescribe?
Another common concern is around costs: will the prices you are quoted by your provider be set in stone or as the relationship develops will a number of hidden costs emerge (license fees, annual renewal fees, maintenance fees etc)?
How reliable will your outsourced provider be? How do you know that your confidential information, company data and other assets will be safe in their hands?
What will happen if things go wrong with your provider? Are they happy to share a detailed contingency plan with you so that you can feel assured that you will not be hung out to dry in the event that a serious problem arises?
What level of importance does your provider attach to compliance? How can be sure that laws and regulations will be strictly adhered to and that you will not be held liable for infringements?
It is important to ensure that you have a well thought through, strategic approach to outsourcing. A part-time chief financial officer can help to get the right plan in place, ensuring many of the issues outlined above can be overcome and the benefits of outsourcing outweighing the concerns.
You can avoid many of the issues related to hiring and training in-house staff and build a much more agile, flexible and cost efficient business as long as you adopt the right approach. In fact,enlisting the services of an experienced part-time chief financial officer from The CFO Centre is one example of how outsourcing can add value, increase efficiency and maximize opportunities
You want your outsource suppliers to possess all the benefits of a high quality, reliable in-house team but without any of the drawbacks. There are never any firm guarantees of success but the right approach can prevent major headaches and save you a lot of money.
The real ‘trick’ with outsourcing is preparation. By understanding in real detail what your requirements are and by spending sufficient time during the selection process to ensure that you find suppliers which share your values and will truly add value to your business (rather than becoming an expensive risk) it will usually follow that you will be build a highly effective outsourced team.
When our part-time chief financial officers help clients with their outsourcing strategy, the process includes:
- Evaluating your company’s current and future requirements
- Discussing a company-wide strategy/protocol for taking on outsourced providers
- Investigating specific outsourced providers (starting with our national network of trusted providers) with proven track records
- Evaluating providers’ core competencies to ensure we find the right match
- Discussing cost implications in detail and uncover any hidden costs before contracting the supplier
- Interviewing providers and ensure they will be a good cultural fit
- Ensuring that the provider will be able to deliver the service on time and to the right standard
- Challenging providers as regards their data security and integrity
- Requesting from providers that they share their contingency plans in the event of serious problems arising
- Evaluating providers’ training programs and ability to support your business in the event of staff sickness or absence
- Discussing providers’ compliance policies to ensure that they will take on the responsibility (where appropriate) to adhere to laws and regulatory requirements
Benefits To The CEO, MD and Senior Team
Cost saving, particularly in today’s economic climate, is a key driver for entrepreneurs and often the number one factor which leads to outsourcing.
There are no requirements to provide outsourced suppliers with employee benefits and you don’t need to spend money on office space to accommodate them.
In most cases you have greater flexibility over costs: instead of having to pay a regular monthly salary you often have the ability to increase or decrease hours according to business demands which means you can operate a leaner, more efficient business and use the savings to drive growth. Your training costs will also be dramatically reduced as these are usually borne by your provider.
One of the other big advantages of using certain outsourcers is the perception it creates to your customers. Smaller companies can often be made to look much larger by taking on outsourced providers which deliver a range of services which would not be possible using an in-house team. This means that smaller companies are able to compete with larger companies as well as react quickly to new trends in the market by finding quality providers who can deliver a high quality service.