How to: Protect Your Business with Outsourcing
In today’s uncertain economic climate, it can be hard to predict what the future holds for even a fairly successful business. How many times have you heard a story where a business has been doing well, has chosen to expand, and then failed because they over-extended themselves by buying a new office, or taking on too many staff.
Outsourcing can help to prevent those problems.
It’s true that there are some areas of business where having on-site staff is a better decision, but there are other areas such as ecommerce fulfillment, customer service, and mailing fulfillment where enlisting outside help just makes sense. Why spend a lot of money on space, equipment, and full time employees when you can’t guarantee that you will even need those facilities in a few month’s time?
Many small businesses are making use of ecommerce fulfillment on an as-needed basis. They handle their mailing fulfilment in house most of the time, but rely on outsourcing companies during periods of peak demand. This sort of arrangement works well, and allows small business owners to retain control and flexibility, whilst still offering their customers steady and reliable service.
Outsourcing Does Not Mean Sacrificing Your Identity
One common concern when it comes to outsourcing is whether or not you can retain control over the key elements of your brand. The good news is that modern ecommerce fulfillment services do offer white label mailing fulfillment options which make it almost impossible for buyers to tell that you outsource your packing and delivery.
With these premium services, you can include your own invoices, packing slips, and packaging labels. There will be no mention of the outsourcing company unless you choose to allow it.
Some ecommerce fulfilment outsourcing providers offer extra services as options, for example, in addition to mailing fulfillment they may also offer to handle customer support, or returns. Naturally, if you can have one company handle shipping and returns this can save a lot of time and money, but you will need to make sure that you agree your returns policy in advance with the company.
How Outsourcing Can Save You Money
Outsourcing works on economies of scale. If you choose to outsource on an as-needed basis, you will be able to pay only for what you use – but the price per package will be higher. If you are able to predict demand fairly reliably, then you might save by buying in bulk – on a monthly basis, for example.
Both of these options will save you a lot of money compared to renting your own facilities and buying your own equipment.
Outsourcing allows you the flexibility to try working with new products, experiment with marketing, and respond to changing levels of demand. Mobility and agility are some of the biggest assets of small companies, so why not capitalize on this, rather than sacrifice that mobility by trying to do everything in-house and risking overextending your company in such a vital stage of its growth?
This article was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of Hallmark Consumer Services. Crispin runs a small part time business from home and currently prefers to outsource services rather than hire staff.