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If you run a business that employs staff, then you will know how much this impacts your company finances. From paying their monthly salary to sick pay and holiday pay, the real-world cost of employees to a business is huge. Along with the financial side, they also have an operational cost in terms of needing desk space and all the necessary tools provided to work.

All this has led many businesses in the UK to consider outsourcing work instead to a contractor or freelancer. Many sectors have gone this route – the UK engineering sector, for example, saw a two-thirds rise in five years as of 2017 in the number of contractors used.

Why has this outsourcing of work become so popular, and is it worth trying yourself?

Outsourcing has many benefits 

When it comes to what outsourcing work can bring to your business, there are some very good reasons to do it. The below are some of the most important ones to know:

  • Reduced costs – compared to employing a salaried, full-time member of staff or team, outsourcing to contractors or freelancers is much cheaper. To begin with, you only pay them to do a set job over an agreed period rather than paying them to sit around waiting for work to come in. In addition, you do not have to get involved with sick pay or holiday pay either, which will bring your HR costs right down. This is not to mention the money you save on not needing to find them office space, buy them equipment, etc.
  • Expert help on hand – another great reason to outsource is that you always get expert help in the required area. This means that the job gets done quicker and to a higher standard than with someone who is not an expert doing it. After all, if you have a complicated accounting task that you are not au fait with, it makes sense to contract someone else to do it who is.
  • Business flexibility – for many businesses, one of the main reasons to outsource work is that it enables them to take on projects. This dynamic approach to business ensures that you do not lose out on important contracts or jobs. The construction sector is a great example of this, where contractors are used if the salaried staff are all tied up on other projects.

What about payroll? 

One question that you might be worried about is the work around paying any contractors to whom you may outsource work. While this can be tricky, there are some fine contractor accountant services around to help. These companies work with you to handle the payroll aspect of any outsourcing you have done, so you do not have to worry about it.

Is outsourcing work right for you? 

The original question of this article was if outsourcing work is really worth it. Although you have to look at your own business needs first, for many the answer is a clear yes. The ability to access expert help but without any of the costs or setup of salaried employees makes it a viable business approach for many companies in the UK.


Andy McGowan
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