Final Word from Jennifer Huckeba

Jennifer gives a new perspective on outsourcing, suggesting that you do what you do best and consider outsourcing the rest.


As I reflect on the last 12 months, a few things about Your Business Source (YBS) dealers come to mind. First of all, YBS dealers are loyal, and our YBS programme membership continues to grow because they believe in it. Secondly, YBS dealers understand the importance of collaboration and just how much more leverage a group can have compared to that of an individual. Most importantly, YBS dealers are ready to embrace the changes that this ever-changing marketplace commands and have the drive to do what it takes to come out on top.

Our YBS dealers want to compete better, faster and more efficiently, and are determined to lower their overhead costs and increase profitability. We get that and we’re ready to help them find the next step that’s right for their business. After all, they are our future and we’re here to help them achieve success.

Accomplishing more with less isn’t easy – no one knows that better than independent dealers. So how can they thrive in a marketplace where closures and acquisitions continue to reduce the number of office products resellers? Many small and medium-sized business owners believe that one way to succeed in a difficult environment is through outsourcing.

Outsourcing opportunities
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Just seeing the term ‘outsourcing’ may foster some negative feelings for many. It certainly did for me at first. However, when I did a little digging, I found that the research painted a very different – and much brighter – picture than I had expected.

In an article for’s Small Business Forum, Gene Marks, small business expert, said: “Too many people are trying to do too many things. The smartest ones I know have recognised their own limitations and [turned to] others so that they could focus on what they do best.”

According to Gregg Landers of professional services company CBIZ, outsourcing can successfully be done in three areas of a business: executive positions requiring advanced general skill levels, such as a part-time CFO; employees responsible for highly repetitive tasks, such as accountancy and payroll; and workers that have specialised knowledge which could include IT support.

Outsourcing daily office tasks increases efficiency and gives business owners more time to focus on generating income, but research cautions that just because something can be outsourced, doesn’t mean that it should. According to, it is essential for business owners to determine their strengths and values prior to choosing which tasks to farm out. Failure to recognise the core competencies of the business and keep them in-house is likely to diminish or eliminate that company’s differentiation in the marketplace.

Added agility
Research shows that outsourcing, when done correctly, provides a way for business owners to improve efficiency and increase expertise without adding headcount. Businesses that outsource may be more agile to scale up or down quickly as the economy or workload changes, which is why some small businesses see outsourcing as a solution for staying below the 50-employee threshold of the Affordable Care Act.

During his presentation at the 2014 Advantage Business Conference (see our ABC Review), Gene Marks emphasised to YBS dealership owners how outsourcing can help them to control costs, expand their businesses and focus on what they do best. The next year is sure to bring many more changes in the OP marketplace, but with a strong industry partner and solid outsourcing strategy, the future looks bright for YBS dealers.