Could outsourcing aid UK small businesses?

Many small and medium sized enterprise leaders in the UK are still carrying out tasks beyond their listed job roles rather than outsourcing them, according to new research.


The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) suggests that opting to use insurance brokers, recruiters or specialists in certain areas could be beneficial in the long term.


The survey, conducted by Populus, revealed that a quarter of leaders are wasting time searching for insurance while 26% need to deal with IT issues.


Both of these issues cost the SME an average of 52 hours a year which is time that could be better spent on managing more effectively and drumming up business.


Expense claims and general administration were also found to be highly time consuming – small businesses were found to dedicate 28% of their time processing claims and 27% to procuring office supplies.


In the case of the latter, this amounted to 33 hours per year in lost time, even though it was not listed as part of a core job description.


A total of 60 hours a year was also spent on human resources, which although essential, could be carried out by other individuals to free up time.


When the figures from the study were extrapolated across the 5.2 million small businesses found in the UK, the survey suggests that 624,000 hours are wasted every single week on non-business critical tasks.


Back office tasks could potentially slow small businesses as it is time that could be spent growing business and creating income.


These aspects are key to the longevity of firms and SMEs have opportunities to free up time by outsourcing.


Although this carries a cost, it provides far more time to focus on growing a firm, meaning the benefits could outweigh the costs in the long term.


Specialist services should also have in-depth knowledge of their respective markets, allowing them to find the best deals for the businesses using them.


Failing to outsource and poor time management could be restricting growth or even placing a firm under financial pressure.


Restructuring how a business is run is one option to alter this situation, as is outsourcing some of the non-core aspects of work.


By Phil Smith


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