SWAGs and SHABs - Why Managed Outsourcing Is the Future for Small Business

16-August-2012 17:59
in Start Up Business Advice
by Admin

In a recent survey carried out in the US, it was found that the number one challenge facing small business owners was juggling multiple roles, more difficult even than making a consistent profit.   More than half of small business owners surveyed have a minimum of five different roles that they fulfill in their small business each week.  The number two challenge was lack of time.

If the small business owners I come into contact with each day are to be believed, things are just as bad in the UK, if not worse.  Indeed, a survey carried out by Simply Business in this country proved this to be true and detailed the coping strategy employed by almost all small business owners.  The survey showed that more than two-thirds of small business owners rely on partners for practical, unpaid support.

  • 48 percent of spouses help partners when they should be doing their own job
  • 52 percent of small business owners would not be able to run the business without spousal support

Entrepreneurs may be the backbone of the UK economy, but new research reveals the equally vital role being played by their partners - with the wives, girlfriends, husbands, and boyfriends of almost two thirds (64 per cent) of small business owners reliant upon partners for unpaid practical support, such as admin,  accounts and customer liaison.

Coined ‘SWAGs’ (start-up wives and girlfriends), and ‘SHABs’ (start-up husbands and boyfriends), these unsung heroes work an average of 6.5 hours per week for their partner’s business, with a significant 14 percent working more than 20 hours, equating to almost half the hours of an average full-time position.  The majority of SWAGs and SHABs (67 percent) do so while holding down a full-time job and almost half (48 per cent) admitted helping when they should be at work themselves.

Top reasons for needing this support include to save time (46%), money (47%) or lend additional expertise (32%) and over half of respondents (52 percent) admitted they would not be able to run their business without it.

An additional one in three said they would be forced to hire an additional employee if they didn’t have their partner to help.   The good news for these hard-pressed small business owners and their long-suffering partners and spouses is that there is an emerging trend in the modern business environment that provides some hope that there might just be a cost-effective way to find some more heads for all those hats they have to wear.

UK businesses increased their spending on freelancers by 134% in the last year, according to research figures , making UK businesses the second largest employers of freelancers in the world.  Outsourcing is now an integral part of modern business and plays an essential role in gaining a competitive advantage.

The potential benefits of outsourcing are many and well documented.

Potential Benefits of Outsourcing

  • No costly monthly salaries.  Instead, you only pay for the results produced.
  • No Holiday or sickness pay. If your freelancer or contractor does not work, they cannot charge you.
  • No worries about your provider being late due to traffic or car problems.
  • You have the chance to quality check all work before accepting it as complete.
  • Freelancers and contractors work harder because they rely on your satisfaction and payment to make a living.
  • Freelancers and contractors understand small businesses as they are effectively small businesses themselves and generally treat you as a client as they would hope to be treated if the roles where reversed.
  • It helps you reduce your carbon footprint by cutting down on the amount of staff you need to commute to your place of business every day.
  • It also helps you cut down on paperwork and stationery costs as well
  • Providers are well disciplined and work very well of their own initiative, so no need to pay for extra employees to monitor or manage them.

Properly managed outsourcing can deliver remarkable business benefits, and can provide you with the freedom as the small business owner to do that one thing that you know if you could just focus on consistently would propel you and your small business to the top of your industry, which would, in turn, make a quantum difference to the financial success of your small business.  You might even be able to give your partner the day off!

Our managed outsourcing service benefits your business because

  • We understand what it takes to get projects planned and finished
  • We recognize skilled talent and can spot a fake a mile away
  • We can describe every project in great detail, so things get done right the first time.
  • We can spot potential legal problems, like copyright violations.
  • We can efficiently run a project team that includes freelancers
  • We make sure every project is on time, on budget, and of high quality
  • We can tell you when you’re asking for unnecessary tasks

Do your business as well as your partner a favour and ask about our business advisory services today.  


[2] http://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/about-us/press-releases/startup-wifes-and-girlfriends/