As soon as I hear the word 'outsource' my thoughts split; in one direction I think opportunity, creation, efficiency and financial savings. I think of the really interesting podcast on the Joe Rogan Experience with Tim Ferriss discussing his '4 hour week' book and project. Accepting the moral and potential exploitation points, he balanced and justified outsourcing most of his work to people all over the world, freeing his time to do achieve goals and maximise his day. Tim inspired me to reduce my travel and stress related to work by focusing on my passions and working out how to get paid for them.

In business it is now more commonplace to see entire departments being outsourced; HR, Facilities Management, IT, Legal, Marketing and Social Media. Every cloud has a silver lining and another cliche is true; as they say, "reality bites" and like many people when I hear the term, my mind shifts and recalls the frustration, anger, time and money wasted with many awful experiences with call centres in the UK and abroad. The multitude of annoying phone calls from well-intentioned young people who feel this is all they can do (and in some cases, not their fault but it is) with their working day. The companies are up to date with their tech and legalese; the number may pop up as a local number or a mobile, and the caller cleverly slips in "we understand you may have been in an accident". I am polite with the polite ones, I ask them to remove me from their list and I then add the number to my reject list. I may not be rich but I would prefer to make my money making customers happy not angry. Some people like outsourcing when it helps them or their friends in employment or benefits, but if the opposite was true and they had lost their jobs due to their position being outsourced, then the bad publicity that follows, lingers.

We all outsource at home; our domestic chores, our gardening, our babysitting, our vehicle maintenance. As in business, in each of these we do some research, we agree the conditions of the deal, we take a risk; we invest our energy, time and money, our faith and trust that the people we hand over over beloved things to, will take care and respect our investment. While the financial crisis in 2008 brought much despair and ruin to many innocent citizens and businesses, the industry of outsourcing saw a huge rise. As government by austerity continues to cripple Europeans, we will see more opportunities to outsource and as such, a continuing rise in the number of people taking the leap to start up on their own.

The Reasons

  • To save us money: Why not pay someone to do something for less than it would cost you?
  • Save time: Why spend time on something that keeps you away from getting new business?
  • Customer satisfaction: You can't be the best at everything so optimise your chances of success by using others
  • We may not have the best skills for the job: If you can't do it, save time and money and get someone who can do the best job for the best price?
  • Focus our attention: By streamlining the business decisions, each team member can do what they do best and not be bogged down by other tasks
  • We can't be bothered: To do the mundane, for example the books or the HR administration
  • Rent don't buy: Avoiding NI, holiday and sick pay enables you to source the talent you need for when you need it
  • Free up resources: Why have a kitchen and coffee machine if your team can work from home?

The Risks

  • Customer service can suffer: After years of enduring "Your call is important to us, please hold and a representative will be with you shortly", a real time issue for many companies is their social media being used as a channel to vent. Leave this to a 3rd party and you may find yourself with issues escalating rather than improving
  • Communication delays: Let's say you have something you are really happy or unhappy about and you need to get the word out. Your agency may take longer due to the agreement for approval, as well as the risk of human error, absence or sickness
  • Industrial espionage: Yes your agency could help you achieve greatness, but that works both ways. Can you be sure that they won't use their knowledge of your business to win favour with your competitors?
  • Putting profit before power: If you take on too many outside influences, not only do you run the risk of spoiling the pool of expertise that makes your business unique. Taking on friends or family because they are local and cheaper may not be the great idea you thought it was over that drink, especially if they lose focus
  • Hidden costs: If you have to let someone or a team go, this can have a powerful effect on team morale, their loyalty to you and the business as well as their overall productivity

The Rewards

  • True teamwork: You can have partners that go out of their way to understand you, your business and your targets. If possible they will have toured your business and spoken with your most loyal clients
  • Increased passion: A team passionate about where the company is heading and why you are doing what you do
  • Improved expertise: By drawing on experts in each field you maximise opportunities for your business and are able to handle client's questions and objections with ease
  • More flexibility: With staffing and man-management. Your service provider is responsible for managing the workers, so you save costs and can select the best people to manage your core
  • The most obvious: Improve your bottom line and stream line your cash flow
  • Increased productivity and efficiency: You can be more successful and well prepared for challenges in the marketplace

At TNBA we help our clients reduce their costs and increase their productivity in a number of ways:

· Lead Generation: After our workshop with you; using unique data mining software and social business development tools, we create lead opportunities to qualify and where relevant, convert to a meeting with you

· Email and Tele-Marketing: We pride ourselves on our approach to creating the high quality and relevant e-mail copy we will produce for you at each phase of our sector targeting strategy. Each prospect identified during our research phase will receive communication from us either through the social channels or via email. This is important as the conversations we have on the telephone are often initiated on the back of the analytics our email campaign will produce

· Twitter and Blog Content: We do have and take the time to create interesting, thought and action provoking blog content for your website. We suggest news articles and other content relevant to your campaign, that we believe would benefit you to ‘comment’ on. We‘ll also keep your Twitter feed active and relevant and engage/follow any companies we agree are relevant

Please feel free to say hello to us below and comment; should you wish to find out more about how we can help you.