In our previous post, What is Outsourcing? How Does it Apply to a Montessori School?, we defined what outsourcing looks like in a Montessori school. We also listed the pros and cons of this common business practice to help you decide if outsourcing is right for your school.
In this follow-up post, we’ll dive deeper into how outsourcing can actually help your staff become more efficient and your school more visible for marketing purposes. However, one of the biggest benefits of outsourcing is the financial aspect. By contracting with a service provider, you can actually save more money than you would if you hired a staff member to do the same job for you.
Scratching your head because you’re unsure of how outsourcing can actually save you money? Still don’t know if you can afford to outsource? Keep on reading. Below, I’ll explain the top reasons why you can afford to outsource. Let’s get started.
The Main Reasons to Outsource
Here’s why you should outsource your school’s essential services, such as accounting, human resources, marketing, administrative tasks, and communication.
Outsourcing is More Affordable
On one hand, you can contract with a service provider. On the other hand, you can hire someone to do it on a permanent basis. In the long run, which one do you think is more expensive?
That’s right— the new hire is more expensive. You’ll need to pay this individual a living wage to perform the service.
However, service providers are structured in a way that allows them to charge less for the same services rendered. This is because you don’t need to pay the service provider for wasted hours like you would an on-staff employee. When not needed, the idle employee may simply sit at his or her desk, staring longingly at the clock, and waiting for his or her shift to end.
When you outsource, you pay the service provider for the actual service rendered, not for the person to be “on call” when the service is needed (which is what you do with an on-staff employee).
Outsourcing Provides a Reliable Service
Employees are not always reliable. What happens to the quality of your service when your administrative assistant calls in sick for three days (or weeks) in a row? You may feel bad for Amy, but the job still must get done.
When you outsource, these responsibilities are always covered. You don’t need to worry about the inevitable discontinuation of service that would happen if Amy called in sick. Your tasks are always performed on time through the service provider. Even if they also experience an “Amy called in sick” scenario, you’ll never need to know about it because reputable service providers always have backups to prevent disaster.
Outsourcing Makes It Easier to Maintain an Office Without More Staff
Piggybacking off of that last point, when you outsource, you don’t need to hire. Hooray. That’s a relief. The interview process is long and arduous. Finding a person who can fit into your already-formed team can be challenging. Plus, it often takes months to properly train a new staff member.
In one fell swoop, outsourcing gets rid of those staffing headaches and frees you up to do what you love: Educate.
Outsourcing Makes Hiring Easier
However, if you truly want to hire a new staff member, outsourcing can help you then, too. If you have a service provider to do the job while you’re in the interview stage, you can take your time to ensure that you’re hiring the right person. When you already have a competent service handling the workload, there’s no need to rush.
Outsourcing Helps You Improve Your Service Offerings
Sometimes you have no clue how to tackle a task. If you outsource, you get the benefit of the task being done for you. However, if you’re so inclined, you can also learn how to do it, too. The service provider may also teach you and your staff how to do it.
Outsourcing Evens the Playing Field
You can use outsourcing to perform like the bigger schools in your area.
Whether you’re the new school on the block or you’ve been around for a few years, it can be difficult for to directly compete with larger schools that have the budget to hire more staff. Outsourcing fixes that problem. You can outsource to provide those same services with the same (or usually even better) level of expert knowledge.
For example, you can outsource your marketing needs to a service provider. The provider can set up a Facebook ad campaign that directly competes with bigger schools in your area, even if you don’t have a big ad budget.
Outsourcing Creates Increased Efficiency
Outsourcing allows you to hire the best. By working with a company that has literally made it its business to specialize in a specific task, you’ll get the job done faster and better.
Outsourcing can be Started Right Away
If you need help right away, you can outsource right away. Your other alternative is a lot slower: Hire and then train someone to do it. But, with hiring, you’ll wait weeks (more like months) before you can actually get the job done.
Outsourcing eliminates the need to wait. You can start working with a team right away who understands what you need and will deliver.
Outsourcing Improves Team Dynamics
Let’s face it: The more people you hire on staff, the less resources you have to maintain everyone’s needs. This is especially true for smaller businesses, such as schools, who exist on very limited resources. From a human resources perspective, it can be challenging to get to know an ever-growing group of staff members. It’s also challenging to respond on cue to your staff’s individual and group needs.
Outsourcing allows you to keep your team small, which often means a better allocation of resources.
Outsourcing Allows You to Focus on What You Do Best
As I mentioned earlier, outsourcing allows you to focus on what you (and your staff) do best. You don’t need to bog yourself down with learning the ins and outs of marketing, for example. You can work with a service provider who specializes in that for you. With outsourcing, you and your staff free to tackle their core responsibilities. This allows you to provide better and more consistent service to your prospective and enrolled families.
Outsourcing Doesn’t Require Restructuring Your School’s IT
Internet technology (IT) can be a big investment and an even bigger headache for any school. But you can’t exist without the Internet these days. In order to compete with other schools in your area, you’ll need to have the expected systems in place, such as a website, a reliable scheduling system, and a parent and communications system. If you’re trying to do it yourself (which includes hiring someone for an on-staff position), the task can be daunting… and expensive.
Two of the best reasons to outsource IT are: 1) Sophisticated IT is necessary these days, and 2) You can work with a third-party company to provide all of these needs on budget, on time, and without your intervention.
When you outsource, the service provide is also likely to have the latest, and most efficient, software to fit your needs.
While outsourcing isn’t free, it’s definitely more affordable than the alternative: Providing inferior services to your enrolled families. Use outsourcing to get your time and sanity back while also producing a professional and rewarding experience for everyone you work with— including your parents, students, and staff.