Owning a travel or tourism business can be a lot of work. Many independent agents find they can’t do everything alone and start seeing the need to outsource.
Even if you have a substantial team, there may be specific jobs that expert third parties could handle better. Delegating tasks to others can be scary at first, but it frees you up to focus on what you do best. The speed with which specialists deliver solutions for your company results in a more significant profit.
The COVID-19 crisis made it clear that businesses need to plan and prepare for the unexpected. Third-party experts can help you do so and keep your company out of danger in changing times.
You may wonder if outsourcing is a wise financial decision. One way to determine this is by comparing the cost with the value of your time.
How much do you charge a client per hour? If you can pay someone else less than that to do the job for you, it’s likely a good investment, says travel agent Ashley Metesh-McCoy.
There are several different sectors of your company that can benefit from outsourcing. We explain five of them below.
When you’re just starting your travel business, you’ll likely take care of reservations and customer support yourself. As your company grows and hires more employees, you may consider investing in call center software.
Outsourcing your helpdesk services is also a viable option. Doing so can allow you to accommodate more customers and give them better service. It can also help reduce the number of mistakes.
Some call centers are open 24/7, and many provide service in multiple languages. You’ll undoubtedly end up with more business if clients can call at any hour of the day. Expanding your travel company to other countries will also go more smoothly with a multilingual call center.
In some cases, you can handle your website and other IT tasks with an in-house team. However, as your business grows, you may find it’s more beneficial to outsource. There are several reasons you might choose third-party services.
Hiring your own IT team can be expensive. If you need specialized services, it can be challenging to find the right professionals at an affordable price. Cost is one main reason companies choose to outsource these jobs.
Reducing the amount you spend on technology services frees up funds you could use to expand and improve your business.
You likely have a site that needs hosting and maintenance. Your company probably also uses several types of hardware and software. There may be user logins and other details like password management.
Outsourcing these tasks can enable you to keep everything running smoothly for a lower price. By working with a data management company, you have access to experts who can guide you in all aspects of IT.
Your business will be able to do much more in terms of technology. Having a third-party service take care of your needs will help you stay ahead of the competition.
Using an internal team to take care of IT has inherent risks. If your employees don’t know how to protect against the latest cyber threats, you can lose critical information and compromise client security. Data breaches can be expensive and cause customers to lose faith in your platform’s safety.
When you’re sure your server and information are safe, you can focus on other tasks. In the long run, this enables you to provide better service to your clients.
A third-party IT company can also help you use facts to improve your business. The information you have about customer choices, markets, and internal operations can be a powerful tool for improving your business strategy. Using a data analysis solution, you can understand what gets you the best results and make decisions accordingly.
Digital marketing is now the norm, as much of the world turns first to the internet for information. However, more traditional advertising is still essential, too.
Is your team prepared to perform all the tasks related to digital and offline marketing internally? If you’re not sure, outsourcing may be the right choice.
Managing online marketing tasks can be complicated and time-consuming. You need to generate content for your site, understand SEO optimization, and regularly post on social media.
Outsourcing your digital marketing can give you access to the latest technology and tools. It’s generally more cost-effective to hire a third party to manage these tasks instead of training an in-house team.
A company that specializes in digital marketing can bring new perspectives and insights. Experts in this field can help you understand the latest trends and what’s working for other businesses.
Effective online marketing can help attract customers. With a broader client base, your travel company will make more money.
Before internet use became widespread, businesses relied solely on traditional marketing, including printed media, billboards, radio, and television. Now, companies face the challenge of integrating various types of advertising.
Did you know you can use digital means to track the effectiveness of out-of-home (OOH) advertising? Smartphones and apps make this possible. Business cards containing QR codes are another way to coordinate printed marketing materials with online information.
You want your travel business to get noticed, so it makes sense to use as many methods as possible. If you need help with traditional marketing and linking it to technology, you may want to outsource this aspect of your company, as well.
A third-party firm can guide you in building a strategy that works for you. It can help you implement your plan through both digital and traditional advertising.
HR can be a very complex topic for companies. Small and medium-sized businesses often don’t have the necessary resources to hire sufficient staff to do an excellent job in this area.
Fortunately, there are a few choices for outsourcing human resources. Software-based services are one option.
You can also hire consultants to advise your business regarding HR issues. Both options can help save money while avoiding costly mistakes.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is an outstanding solution for specific outsourced services like applicant tracking and employee training. There are also more comprehensive packages available.
These bundles typically include extras like multiple recordkeeping and reporting options. More extensive programs often have mobile apps for users. They may also integrate with your benefits package.
While software packages can do a lot for you, they can’t advise you on what benefits to offer nor how to design internal compliance systems. You’ll need an HR expert for that.
Consulting firms offer many types of assistance related to human resources. They can provide compliance specialists and employee benefits. Some even have brokerage services.
An experienced third party can help you attract the employees you need. You may even choose to partner with a firm that can take full control of your company’s HR. Be sure to decide based on an analysis of your business needs and what you can afford.
Accounting and Payroll
Although payroll technically comes under the umbrella of human resources, it’s also closely related to accounting. Let’s look at the options your business has for outsourcing aspects that involve lots of calculations.
Finance and accounting processes were some of the first that companies began delegating to third parties. They included payroll and accounts payable and receivable. This trend in outsourcing has continually grown in recent years.
Streamlining your F&A procedures always has benefits. Improving in this area tends to lead to more exact information on which to base decisions. It can also save you money as you identify exactly how funds are entering and leaving your company.
Some specialized firms now offer more complex services, too. These companies may provide budget planning, audits, and forecasts. They have expertise regarding the most recent technologies in this area.
Outsourcing your payroll has several specific benefits:
- Everyone gets paid on time, even if you’re away from the office.
- You don’t have to worry about calculating payroll taxes because an expert is doing it for you.
- Your company can avoid fines and penalties that may arise from being unaware of changes in the law.
Here are some of the tasks you may choose to outsource through software or a service:
- Payroll records
- Creating paychecks using amounts, deductions, and withholding
- Calculating wage and tax reports like W-2 and 1099-MISC forms
- Sending paychecks using direct deposit
- Submitting payroll reports to state and federal governments
- Paying and reporting unemployment taxes
- Processing deductions like pensions or health plans
The Bottom Line
Outsourcing can be an excellent way to reduce costs and improve the quality of your work. Travel businesses can benefit from outsourcing call centers and IT services.
Marketing and human resources are other areas that can improve with input from third parties. Consider streamlining your accounting and payroll through outsourcing, too. All of these strategies can help your travel business make the best use of resources and maximize profit.
Ashley Lipman is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion for providing knowledge to readers worldwide on topics closest to her heart – all things digital. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches touching the digital sphere.