One of the few ways many small business owners are able to grow their businesses is through outsourcing. With many small business owners working 60 to 80 hours per week, outsourcing can free up a lot of time and energy so that the business owner can concentrate on working ON their business, and not IN their business.
My accounting and payroll firms free up a lot of the time and effort that small business owners would have to spend doing these tasks, and it allows them to focus their efforts on what is productive. Within my firm, we have gone the same route with many of our processes – particularly our information technology infrastructure.
The issue of outsourcing for our firm was one of necessity. If we were going to grow our practice, we had to have more productive hours in a day. The odds of us petitioning to lengthen the amount of hours in a day to a number greater than 24 was highly unlikely. What we had to do was to free up hours that were being wasted so that we could use those as productive hours. One of the key areas that we found was information technology.
Our firm chose to implement cloud computing throughout. The only thing we are responsible for at our firm is maintaining our desktops – which is easy with no external software to mess them up. All of our software is hosted on remote servers in secure facilities, and the best part is that we have access to every file within the firm from any place we can login with our laptops. We even offer Quickbooks hosting to our clients where they get secure logins to their hosted application and file. This is a huge advantage to both us and the client because it eliminates the headaches of having to coordinate getting our accountants copy of the file since we are both working off an up-to-date data source.
Now that we have outsourced this function, I do not know if we could possibly go back to the old way of doing things. This saves us so much time and worry. We never have to load software, schedule backups or worry about the server crashing. It all happens automatically.
While every business model is a little different, it is something that any small business should at least evaluate – especially if the owner is short on time resources and is not “good with computers.”