The prospect of building a business from scratch can be a daunting one, especially after the recent challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding its potential return. However, it is a great time to start thinking about taking your place in the market, as it has many openings as a result of the failure of so many companies during the recent lockdowns. 

 

You may have a business plan in the making, with a clear USP and the knowledge and confidence you need to take the plunge into the world of entrepreneurship, but there will always be significant challenges will along the way, even for those with previous experience. So what do these challenges look like? There are many different aspects to setting up a business, from sourcing premises and planning products, to production and delivery, but one of the most import aspects to get right from the outset is staffing. 

 

Not only will staffing be one of your most significant expenses as a business owner but careful selection of your initial team could spell the difference between success and failure in that all important first chapter of business. You might be feeling optimistic about how well your business is going to do in its first few months, but it’s important to be realistic. Every business takes time to get its feet off the ground. Furthermore, if you do have limited experience of running a business it can be difficult to know what kind of qualities to look for in new employees.

 

Luckily, there’s now a simple answer to the dilemma of inexperience and the importance of strong staffing for new business owners…outsourcing. But what is outsourcing?

 

Outsourcing is fast becoming the saviour of business, especially in the current climate where everything is so unpredictable. In fact, in 2019, the global outsourcing market amounted to 92.5 billion U.S. dollars, showing just how popular it has become. But what exactly is it? Companies that specialise in certain operations, such as customer service, exist to lend a hand to businesses in need. For example, Cymphony, a communications specialist, could provide additional customer service representatives at particularly busy times, to help meet unusual levels of demand.

 

Notably, businesses outsource in order to take on new members of staff on a temporary basis. This flexibility allows you to benefit from some extra pairs of hands on an ‘as and when’ basis, without the hefty price tag of new, full-time members of staff. Furthermore you get to skip the complex HR responsibilities of new in-house hires. Flexibility when you’re just starting out in business is more important than at any other time, as you need to be able to move with the new knowledge you gain during the initial growth stages. 

 

It’s the perfect solution to the age old dilemma of fluctuating business busyness. Usually, you’d lose money paying unnecessary staff during quiet periods, so that they are there when it’s busy. On the flip side you’d struggle through busy periods, missing leads because you couldn’t afford permanent members of staff. Now, you get the best of both worlds thanks to being able to outsource on a temporary basis, and it’s a crucially important tool to include in your initial business plan. Now, more than ever, it’s going to be difficult to predict demand.

 

Now that you have an understanding of what outsourcing is, it’s time to look at which functions of your business you would realistically be able to outsource. Here are some ideas on the kind of roles that can be outsourced to third parties…

 

Virtual Personal Assistant

 

I bet this one sounds particularly appealing to those just starting out in business. You can now hire a virtual personal assistant on a temporary basis, to help you get on top of your workload. The estimated number of people using digital assistants worldwide is projected to reach 1.8 billion by 2021.  The beauty of virtual personal assistants, as opposed to standard personal assistants, is that they are remote. This makes them extremely flexible and accessible. You can hire a virtual personal assistant 24/7 if you need to!

 

By choosing a top notch company like Cymphony to outsource to, you can ensure that your additional staff are trained to perfection. This, in turn, makes your life even easier as it requires minimal effort to incorporate them into your business. 

 

So what do virtual personal assistants do? They often help with day to day administrative tasks such as diary management, typing, and call handling. These tasks are necessary but take up a lot of time that could be dedicated to more valuable aspects of business management. When you’re setting up a business, help like this can be priceless.

 

Call Handlers

 

This is one of the most popular operations that businesses outsource. An over-run customer service department can spell disaster, as it is the main interface through which leads arrive. Leads are growth opportunities for your business and should never be missed, so understaffed phone lines are something to be avoided at all costs.

 

Luckily, when you notice a busy period on the way, you can quickly outsource and take on new staff. This way, nothing is missed and when things settle down you can release the staff and the expenditure. Outsourcing your call handling to somewhere like Cymphony when needed, has the added benefit of maintaining a strong customer service reputation.

 

This is key to the success of any business, as it helps you to nurture existing customer relationships and increases the chances of your business name being spread through word of mouth. 61% of consumers say that they have stopped transacting with a business after a poor service experience. Don’t become part of this statistic! 

 

 

Live Chat

 

If you’ve never heard the term ‘live chat’, it’s time to become accustomed. Live chat is the most recent development in customer service interfaces, and its popularity is huge. It consists of a chat box which pops up on your website, inviting visitors to type any questions they might have. It’s hugely convenient thanks to ease of access. Many prefer it as it is a less intense experience than a phone call, yet far more efficient than an email as responses are instantaneous. 

 

In fact, it has been proven that 79% of consumers prefer live chats because they offer instant responses. It’s a great feature to include on your site, and helps to attract new leads as well as maintain healthy, existing client relationships. And, of course, it can be outsourced! If you struggle to provide the quick responses that live chat is famous for, you can easily outsource to trained staff such as those at Cymphony. They will help you to stay on top of conversations, make the most of incoming leads, and enhance your customer service standards.

 

As you can see, there are so many operations that can be outsourced, and so many benefits to doing so. Every business aims to meet demand and make the most of incoming leads, but it’s easier said than done. This is especially the case when setting up a business as you’re dealing with the unknown. Outsourcing gives you a fantastic head start, with the flexibility to mould your business as it grows.

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