Saturday, 31 October 2009

Why 'DIY' When You Can Outsource?

I am slightly alarmed at the proliferation of so-called DIY solutions for small businesses.

A quick look at the internet sees people offering DIY solutions for
- accounting
- search engine optimisation
- promotional materials
- PR
- web design
- market research
- creating a brand
- ‘any marketing material’!!
- payroll
- health and safety
- employment law
- company formation
- business planning
- legal solutions
- IT networking
- ISO9000 and so on

I bang on about business owners being control freaks, never letting go... the main thing holding the business back is the owner/manager–director. There is no way that any person could deliver a half-decent result from trying to do almost any of these DIY solutions. You cannot do it yourself! You cannot be an expert in that many fields. And why would you want to?

You should be doing what you are best at. You should be employing the people who are best at function x to do function x. I would not want to look at a DIY manual to consider whether to perform my own heart surgery; I would not look at a DIY solution to figure out how to do my accounts. There are other people far better equipped to do these things.

Anyone who has seen the IKEA shelves I once attempted to put up will understand where I am coming from – reading instructions is not my strong point!

It feels like a no-brainer to outsource most of your non-core operations. Neither I nor my people have the time to be 100% bang up-to-date on payroll legislation and its application, the latest google algorithms, top tax techniques etc. That is why we employ/outsource experts to do the job.

The expert outsourcer can be local; they are an expert in their field, they bring years of their experience to your business but you only pay for the skill as and when you need it. No full-time Finance or HR Director, just an FD or HR Director when you really need one.

On the cost side this is incredibly effective; on the benefit side you get heavy-weight/blue-chip assistance for your less than blue chip business.

Here are a couple of examples of businesses I have recently met who are ‘doing what it says on the tin...’

James Benson – The FD Centre

Sue Tumelty – HR Dept

Peter Prater – QTAC Payroll Systems

Anthony Sherry – Chorus IT

Jason Flintner – Flint Design

(And of course I must add Paul Jobin - The Directors' Centre)

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