5 Key Areas Small Business Owners Should Outsource
Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to be mindful of their most valuable resource: time. Yes, money will help you extend your runway, but time is something that is always being spent, with or without your consent. You can outsource certain tasks to minimize operating costs and keep your business competitive.
So, how do you get more time to run your business and achieve your goals? The answer is delegating to trusted staff and advisors that can leverage their experience to deliver results.
Let’s take a closer look at five areas where you can delegate responsibility and free up your time so that you can effectively lead your startup.
1. Content Development for Marketing and Sales Purposes
Consumers are looking for ways to learn about the products and services they consider. They want to make an informed buying decision. 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase.
What will your future customer find when they google your brand, your products or your team?
But developing content can take precious hours out of your week. Thankfully, there are companies like PaperCheap.co.uk that will write content for you. Their staff of skilled writers can create content based on the education level of your target audience.
Between blog articles, social media posts and landing pages, there’s never been a time where content was more important. Don’t get bogged down trying to produce content on your own.
2. Computer and IT Technical Support
One expense that many entrepreneurs forget to take into account is tech support for the hardware and software that they use to run their business. If you wait until there’s a problem, finding support can be far too expensive.
But, smart business owners enter into contracts with trusted tech support vendors. Most corporate IT contracts include on-site support within one business day of a remote diagnosis. This means that your device will be back up and running within 24 hours during the work week. And you won’t have to wait around for FedEx or UPS to ship your device between your office and the service center.
3. Website Design and SEO
Where will potential customers go to learn about your products and services? According to a 2016 study, 38% of shoppers start on Amazon. 35% start on a search engine, and 21% head directly to a retailer’s website.
73% of shoppers are leveraging the search capabilities of Amazon and Google/Bing/Yahoo to find the products they want to buy. Your website and Amazon product listing need to be bulletproof if you want customers to find you.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is the art of ensuring your content shows up in the search results when customers search for the products you sell. Your website plays a huge role in providing a home for the content you produce.
Stay away from drag-and-drop, do-it-yourself website builders. Instead, go to a trusted online marketing firm or web designer. Study their portfolio of prior projects. Do they build confidence? Would you buy from their current / past clients’ websites?
4. Accounting and Tax Preparation
The vast majority of entrepreneurs are not accountants. The U.S. tax code is incredibly complex. The types of things that you can write off on your taxes as a business owner are extensive. But, the list is constantly changing.
The last thing you need to be hit with is an IRS audit. Depending on how your business is structured, you may be more or less likely to face an audit. For example, 2.3% of individuals that claimed business losses in association with a business that generated more than $100,000 in gross revenue were subject to an IRS audit in 2014.
According to the same research, LLCs face the lowest chance of being audited, as long as their assets are less than $10 million.
But keeping up with the daily, weekly, monthly and annual expenses can be a nightmare. Accounting for everything in a way that would help fend off an audit of your business is a HUGE time suck. Instead of doing it yourself, go with an outside specialist.
5. Leverage Scalable Freelance Workforces
Hiring freelancers on oDesk, as well as other gig economy platforms, is a great way to trim your annual expenses. Freelancers only work when you need them. The rest of the time they work for their other clients – which gives them additional experience and takes them off of your expense sheet.
There are hundreds of thousands of freelancers around the world. This global workforce can help you achieve strategic business objectives without the traditional expense of hiring teams of experts. And you can leverage cheaper labor pools overseas, depending on the technical expertise required to complete your projects.
In summary, when entrepreneurs outsource their time-eaters to certified professionals, they can better focus on the aspects of their company that will benefit most from their attention. Most successful leaders will tell you that finding ways to declutter their calendar and free up their time allows them to better manage the macro aspects of their business.