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21 January 2018 You are not logged in. Login now.

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SFS News

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Juggling too many tasks? – Try Outsourcing!

outsourcing for small businessesWithin a few weeks of starting a business you are likely to face many new challenges. There are responsibilities you may not have considered or may have planned to deal with at a later date. Before long these jobs have to be tackled and trying to complete them yourself may be a false economy in the long run.
Many business owners, entrepreneurs and business advisors will recommend that you focus on your strengths. Whilst you may be tempted to save money by learning every aspect of running a company there are many tasks that can be easily outsourced without costing too much money.

Payroll


Whether a sole trader, partnership or limited company you may need to pay yourself and/or staff a salary. HMRC has pages of advice, CD’s, and fact sheets to help you get started. In addition there are many software packages to buy off the shelf or online. Alternatively you could let a professional payroll service take care of this each week or month. For just a few pounds per month you can let a payroll bureau take care of payslips, P45’s, P60’s, changes to tax codes and recording absence and holidays.

Bookkeeping


Many small businesses start off by recording sales and receipts in simple spreadsheets. There are also numerous software or cloud based solutions and accounting packages. Another option many new businesses choose is to do nothing other than stuff receipts in a box. We certainly don't recommend the later option.

Finding a local bookkeeper may make your life easier and save you money by avoiding penalties for late filing and reducing your accountants bill. A good bookkeeper will visit your office or simply collect your paperwork and leave you to run your business. Most small businesses should only need a bookkeeper for a few hours each month and fees range from £15 to £25 per hour (2013 rates).

Accounting


We often hear from business owners that intend to produce their own accounts and file their own tax return. The reality is that company accounts need to be submitted in a suitable format including statutory statements. Your full accounts need to be filed with HMRC along with the corporation tax return and calculations. A good accountant will take care of this for you and remove a lot of the stress and hassle of doing it yourself.

IT and Web Development


Creating an informative website, registering your domain name and emailing customers is often an essential element of your business communications. Whether starting an ecommerce site or simply building a few web pages about your business you may find that outsourcing this is money well spent.

Whilst there are many free website platforms like wordpress, drupal, joomla etc. You will still need some knowledge on installing sites, creating a database and building websites. You should also consider how professional your site should look to your customers. The website development market is very competitive. Many small website developement companies provide start up websites for just a few hundred pounds.

HR Management


If your business has grown it may now have employees. Employment legislation is a minefield that would deter many small businesses from recruiting staff. We would never suggest that you look for an HR firm to handle all of your employment responsibilities but there are occasions when they could be useful. Common reasons small businesses outsource HR include drafting employment contracts, dispute resolution, redundancy, and disciplinary matters.

Virtual Assistants


virtual assistants for small businessesNeed a mail shot sending out to prospective customers? Keep missing important phone calls whilst working? Struggling to find time to send invoices, research new customers or contact existing clients regarding work? There are many reasons you may need a virtual assistant. You can hire a virtual assistant for just a few hours without any of the hassle of employing staff.

Whether to outsource or not?


You started your business to provide goods or services to your customer base. Whilst you can probably turn your hand to most tasks you should consider what activities would be best placed in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing. Do you really want to spend hours on your accounts or days learning how to write html for your website? If the saving to your wallet is minimal but the time wasted could be better spent meeting customers or selling your services or products then you probably have your answer.