By Tina Angell, Owner Cybertary.com Roseville/Granite Bay Office

 “I have learned to do so much with so little, I am able to do everything with nothing.”

~Anonymous

 When a business is facing challenging times, as is the case for many right now, they inevitably have to deal with difficult realities.  They may not be able to hire as many resources as they would like, or worse, they may have to downsize the workforce they already have.  Either way, they have to do more with less.  So how does a business survive when they must deal with shrinking budgets and employees?  Here are some strategies.

 First let’s look at the scenario where a business is in a relatively good financial position today, but is worried about the near term future or growing too fast.  In this case, “outsourcing” or hiring temporary help may be the best solution.  Subcontractors by nature are flexible and can be hired relatively quickly and let go equally as fast (assuming the contract allows this).  It is much easier to downsize your contract staff and keep your employees should the business require a quick downshift in its resources.  If communicated properly, this also improves morale for the employees because they know that there is a buffer that will help preserve their own jobs.

 The “temporary help” model also works well for the situation where a company has to find ways to cut costs.  In this case, most companies must downsize their labor force because employees are often the biggest expense.  When you add up the salary, benefits, and employer taxes, the cost savings are significant.  With subcontractors, you usually pay an upfront hourly rate and can scale the amount of hours to make the work affordable for your business. 

 Another strategy to consider is taking advantage of the advances in technology.  Look at your organization and decide if all the functions you have in-house today are really necessary.  If a particular area, for example bookkeeping, isn’t needed on a daily basis, but on an ad hoc basis, it might make sense to utilize an outsourced hourly service, rather than keep a full or part-time employee which entails all of the costs mentioned above.

 In challenging times, businesses need to think creatively and build models that can adapt to changing environments without causing organization upheaval or employee morale issues.  By strategically using outsourcing, a company can build a strong model that will take them through the ebbs and flows of the world around them.

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