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5 External Resources Every Business Should Have Lined Up

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Your business is a well-oiled machine and you hire the personnel you need for any eventuality. Even if the previous sentence clearly defines your business, there are times outside resources that pay bigger dividends and make more sense than relying on your own employees. Below are five businesses you should align with your own. Even if you don't use them all the time, have them in reserve so when the moment is right, help is no more than a phone call away.

1. Court Reporting Service

If you aren't an attorney, the idea of hiring court reporters Portland may seem unnecessary, but you'd be wrong. Think about the last time you asked someone to take minutes at a meeting. Even the best trained personal assistants seldom know shorthand any longer. Minutes come out with only a high-level overview, important points are missed, or mistakes are made and the information is inaccurate.

 

When it comes to board meetings, shareholder meetings or contract negotiations, if you want a completely accurate transcript for your records, hiring a court reporting service is the way to go. Cover yourself legally. Hiring an outside service guarantees that the reporter is neutral, transcribing only what was said without trying to spin the information or leaving out details that don't support a particular view. 

 

Beyond the legal benefits to a court reporting service, its services increase your communication capabilities. Maintain a record of events that can then be translated for employees in different locations worldwide or add subtitles to a recording for the hearing impaired. Everyday events like workshops, seminars and video conferences become tools to engage your employees and become more inclusive.

2. Training Professional

When thinking about inclusivity, think about your training program. Some of your training has to be done in-house. You have a certain way of doing things and business standards that new employees have to learn from existing employees and documentation. However, as you expand you will need training available in different languages or training for differently-abled employees. Your HR department can't be ready for everything so hiring outside training professionals makes sense.

 

Hiring outside trainers also allows you to offer your employees growth opportunities. Your internal training likely doesn't have the capacity to teach programming, project management, or other subjects that will allow your employees to grow into your future leaders. Investing in their learning keeps employees engaged and positive about the company because they know they are valued. Provide external training and combine it with internal opportunities to keep the best of your employees.

3. Business Attorney

No matter how good your employees are, and even if you have in-house counsel, you need to have a relationship with and access to outside general counsel. If you're a smaller business you likely don't have an attorney on staff. Working with a legal firm allows you to focus on your core business while it takes care of contract review, hiring issues, even the legal issues around providing benefits, like ERISA compliance. 

 

For a larger business with in-house counsel, having outside counsel allows your attorney to focus where you need him. Lawyers are usually specialists, so if you have a lawyer who focuses on real estate law, your intellectual property issues are better dealt with by a firm with IP experience. Hiring a larger firm will allow you to have one point of contact no matter how diverse the issues with which you are dealing.

4. Recruitment Agency

Like a training professional, a recruiting specialist is helpful when you need your HR team to focus elsewhere. Much of your team's time is taken up with internal matters like benefits and promotions. Leaving recruiting in-house is slow and ineffectual. Even if you leave the actual hiring and onboarding to your HR team, you'll find the best candidates by hiring an outside recruiting specialist. It's an employees' market, so finding the best candidates is not as simple as posting a job description online.

 

Working with a recruitment agency that works in your field means they've already got a pool of candidates so you'll only have the most highly qualified candidates sent on to you for interviews. Not only will you get the most qualified candidates, but you'll also meet them sooner. Hiring an agency means they are devoted to finding you candidates full-time and already have access to those who fit your needs. 

 

Especially if you are a small business a recruiter keeps you looking professional. Unless you have a background in HR you may not know how to do background checks, check references or even conduct an effective interview. Outsourcing some or all of these tasks presents your best face to potential candidates while also protecting you from fast-talkers with shady pasts. 

 

Then there's the fact that recruiting specialists usually offer guarantees on retaining your new hires. Training new hires is expensive. It's estimated that replacing an employee costs about a third of the annual salary for that employee. Reducing turnover reduces those costs. When a recruiting agency guarantees that the employee will stay at least six months or replace them without a fee, you protect your own interests. 

5. IT Specialist

Finally, work with an external IT company. Having someone on staff who can troubleshoot connectivity issues and make sure your VPN and firewall are up to date is great but by hiring a company that specializes in IT you'll get a package most businesses can't afford on their own. You'll get access to the best equipment and programs at a much lower price than it would cost to invest in them on your own. Repairs and maintenance are all taken care of, as well. 

 

Then there's the marketing aspect of IT. If you don't have a dedicated marketing department, you may spend all of your business hours trying to build and maintain your website, update your social media accounts and do research and social listening on your competitors. With today's digital market you can't neglect these important ways to connect with customers but even with small business apps that help you meet your obligations, your digital presence is a full-time job for at least one person and more likely for a whole team.

 

Outsourcing to an IT company ensures that the job is done and done professionally. There are no missteps while you and your team learn to manage your socials. Instead, your website is professional from the moment it goes live. You'll never have to blame the "intern" for insensitive or inflammatory tweets. Sometimes, as a business owner, you're too close to your products and services, taking any negative feedback personally. Outsourcing means you can step away from the front lines, allowing your IT to give you valuable feedback that can improve your business and ignore comments that don't add value. 

 

Adding value is what outsourcing these five roles is all about. As much as your company takes care of business, these businesses can take care of you, allowing you to further focus your resources on providing the best products and services along with superior customer service. Create a business culture of inclusivity, dependability, professionalism and leadership. Show you value your employees, work to your strengths and have a commitment to your core offerings that will draw quality employees and customers.

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