Thinking Outside of the Box – The Rationale for Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a comparatively recent concept. However, it is one that has literally ‘caught on’ very quickly. We now see outsourcing in a variety of different business formats.

We also see outsourcing opportunities arising for both small and large business organizations, as well as many different levels of government.

By way of a definition for outsourcing, we might think of ‘farming out’ a task or even sub-contracting tasks to a third party. The reasons for entering into a form of outsourcing are numerous and range from the basic financial implications of not having to do something yourself, to the opportunity of finding expertise beyond one’s own resources.

For small business owners outsourcing can be a tremendous advantage during their start-up period. The advantages can definitely span the financial and expertise areas. With an outsourcing approach you usually ‘buy’ just what you need. This might translate into buying ‘bookkeeping’ services for just one or two days a week. Going in a more traditional direction, an entrepreneur might be faced with employing a bookkeeper on a full time basis only to find that perhaps the individual was somewhat under-employed in the early stages of the business.

While a bookkeeper represents one area of staffing that can be outsourced, there are in fact numerous such areas. For a business owner it might be possible to outsource virtually all of their needs. This is made possible through the innovation of other entrepreneurs recognizing the need and filling the gap with the provision of temporary employees.

In the staffing area there are, in fact, very few situations that cannot be filled through outsourcing – from factory workers through to senior level financial executives.

One of the major components of getting any business energized is to ensure that you have a solid business plan and solid finance program in place. In todays’ environment the latter item is not always as easy as just making a visit to your local bank. Business owners need to be creative when their preferred financier says no.

Gone are the days when being rejected by your bank meant that your business would stall and maybe even fail.

In the financial marketplace today there are a number of solid options that can generate working capital to fuel business growth. It’s all about thinking outside of the box. One of the interesting facts about companies that provide outsourced staff and services is that a large percentage are franchise organizations. This represents some added value for both existing entrepreneurs looking for services and would-be entrepreneurs looking to enter the world of self-employment and business ownership.

A franchise is by definition a business that has a solid and proven system as its core. It is a business that has been tried and tested usually over a period of many years. It is a business that can easily be replicated to form a franchisee opportunity. Therefore when you engage the services of a franchise organization as part of your outsourcing agenda you know that you are
getting a tried and tested business that will enable you to grow and provide you with a high comfort level in the personnel or services provided.

For individuals entering the world of self employment the options are legion. Where to start is often a major hurdle for potential entrepreneurs. How to develop a plan, how to pull all of the start-up components together. Often the task proves too much for potential business owners, and their venture never sees the light of day.

Franchising on the one hand comes with a ready-made plan, a proven track record and a support system. This takes way all of the initial fear and ‘hard work’ that a conventional start-up operation might have.

While franchising offers great getting started support, it also brings an enormous range of options to the table. Most would be business owners have an idea of the type of business they want to be involved with. Therefore, if you are looking for a specific type of business, there is a very strong likelihood that such a business exists as an established franchise model.

Franchising is also a ‘think outside of the box’ situation for many people, as they do not realize just how substantial the marketplace is in the franchise world, and likewise they fail to realize how diverse the industry is in term of industries and services that are covered. If we think about our own daily actions, we frequent more and more franchises every day from gas stations to coffee shops and from automotive operations to financial services. Whether you are looking to outsource some of your company needs or whether you are looking for your next
career, franchising represents an option to explore outside of the conventional box.

David Banfield is President of The Interface Financial Group, a position that he has held for over 20 years. He has been instrumental in starting Interface as a franchise opportunity and building it to its current international status. Prior to his involvement with Interface, he worked extensively in the banking, credit and factoring financial service areas.

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