Outsourcing Ideas for Your Retail Business

computer, typingHowever small your enterprise, there will be an opportunity to outsource one or more tasks for more efficient operations.

From a freelancer working from home who has a personal assistant to deal with all their administration, to a large start-up that outsources its manufacturing, there are advantages to delegating some of your functions to people and businesses that specialize in those areas.

If you are wondering how outsourcing will save you time and money, or you haven’t considered outsourcing as an option yet, it’s worth looking at how you can make the best use of this model to increase your productivity.

Manufacturing and supply chain

This is likely to be the most obvious choice if your company is involved in product sales. It’s well-known that there are considerable cost-savings to be made in contracting manufacturing companies or sourcing products from countries in the Far East, Eastern Europe and South America.

Unless your business is based on the concept of home produced or locally sourced products, then looking overseas for your supplies makes good sense. You can approach this in several different ways:

  • Find a supplier that already manufactures the kinds of products you wish to sell. This is a suitable option if you want to sell a selection of goods or have standard products personalized to your specifications. You simply look through the online catalog of the supplier, select the products you require, and arrange for any text or graphics you wish to have added to your products. They can then be shipped to you or your distributor for retail sale.
  • Find a business that will make your original products for you.

    If you have a business based on a product that you have designed or developed yourself, you will need to have it specially made for you.

    There are many overseas businesses that will manufacture bespoke products, and they are often able to assist with tweaking and improving designs. You may need to visit your supplier to ensure they have a sound understanding of what you want to be made, and to discuss costings and production rates, but for many products, it’s possible to conduct all these discussions using video link, live chat, and email.

  • Set up an offshoot of your own company overseas. You may not have realized, but there are financial incentives available for businesses setting up their manufacturing arm in overseas countries. For example, in Mexico, the Immex program offers favorable rates and conditions to foreign businesses wishing to set up their factories there. This is a slightly different outsourcing model, in that you will be associated in some form with the manufacturing side rather than having it undertaken by an entirely separate firm. However, in practice, it will work in much the same way as you will be entrusting the running of the facility to onsite managers and staff.

Manufacturing isn’t the only way to use outsourcing for improved productivity. You can apply the same principle of saving time and money to any aspect of your business, for instance, marketing, bookkeeping and accounting, personnel management, facilities maintenance; in fact, any task that could be completed more cost-effectively by someone other than yourself.

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