When you hear someone talking about outsourcing, you probably immediately think about those annoying call centres based overseas. But there is much more to outsourcing than a call centre.

Recently I was told about a great piece of business advice:

Most people worry about what they’re not good at. Don’t. Concentrate on what you are good at. You can outsource what you’re not good at.

I agree. Indeed that is exactly the maxim I adopted when I established the Tax Advice Network last year. As a result I have no staff at all. I have outsourced the telephone switchboard and all other support services are on a pay as you go contract basis.

As professional advisers many of us are used to the idea of contracting for specific ad-hoc support services. When we need regular help though we can (as I have done) outsource this by engaging a third party to provide the services for and on behalf of our business. This can be a particularly cost effective approach for smaller businesses that should not feel obliged to take on staff when outside contractors or outsourcing is a viable alternative.

In this context I am very pleased with the company to whom I have outsourced my telephone answering service and would happily pass on their details to anyone who is interested in doing the same thing. It is exceptionally cost effective and ensures I never miss a call. I used to think that everyone would leave a message if my phone goes to voicemail. Statistically however this is the exception rather than the norm.