A plethora of tips for growing your business exists out there: lists of tips, the dos and don’ts of every aspect of the business from credit control to marketing. But what holds them all together and where is value truly derived? When you started this business it was easy: or rather, it wasn’t easy, it just became necessary to learn as quickly as possible. It looked straightforward, at least. Areas you couldn’t handle you either ignored (usually marketing!) or assigned to someone very focussed on that one function, e.g. accounts. You tried to focus on why you had set up your business in the first place – your core skill and the function that brings in the money, only to find that you were being distracted by things such as your need for a CRM, your need to set up meetings, book travel, get your proposals looking top notch, researching a prospect’s industry and preparing spreadsheets for your accountant and decide on which software tools night improve your company’s efficiency and store its data effectively and usefully. Not only that, but everyone was telling you that you needed to be “all over” Social Media, and yet you haven’t a clue, plus is this REALLY the best use of your time?
So you may have considered outsourcing. Outsourcing is typically a decision based just on cost-saving, and of course on time-saving, but businesses also need partners who can innovate and increase efficiency across some of their non-core processes.
Smart-sourcing is more strategic and brings more to the table than just cost- and time-saving. It brings (or should bring) a faster, better and more effective way of doing things. It’s about effective partnering to lower risk and to increase quality. As a business, you should be focussed on your core competencies - understanding these is essential if you are to identify where you should focus energy and resources. It is also key to understanding and accepting those that detract from or dilute your resources.
At Amellior we have been providing smart-sourcing to a wide range of clients for more than nine years. We are a group of people who, between them, have many years of valuable experience in helping start-ups, small businesses, SMEs and bigger businesses not just with core operations, but in understanding areas of their businesses that they may not have had sight of. The services we provide are never “off-the-shelf” and often link seemingly non-connected areas of the business. We typically act as part of our clients’ teams and work seamlessly with them, bringing insight from other industries and ways of working, and always increasing efficiency. We recognise how important trust, value, business insight and pro-activity are to businesses of all sizes and how they help them perform well and grow.
When considering how a business – or outsourced individual – can help you with areas of the business that are either simply not working, or are not working at their optimum, consider just how that value will be delivered, how pro-active they are likely to be, and whether the functions they are set to perform will become just a silo-ed part of a business that should function cohesively and at its best. This is, of course, best avoided. Smart-sourcing is the way forward, and we’re pleased to be playing a role in it.
Louise O'Hara, June 2016