Small business owners are typically very limited in the amount of time they have to handle certain responsibilities and tasks. And without an endless supply of money to hire full-time employees, it’s not always clear how to address these areas of the business. But if you watch what others are doing, you’ll discover that strategic outsourcing is often the secret to success.
The Power of Outsourcing
Most small businesses should be doing more outsourcing. It offers numerous benefits with minimal risk (assuming you follow the appropriate steps in finding, vetting, and onboarding skilled partners) and a tremendous amount of upside.
For starters, it’s a cost-effective investment that allows you to build a lean business with fatter profit margins, especially in industries that require a massive infusion of capital to expand.
“The overhead costs of some operations are extremely high, but you might want to offer them to satisfy customers, expand your business model, or compete in the marketplace,” entrepreneur James Bucki writes. “Outsourcing can be a good option if the cost of expanding to handle those operations yourself is too expensive, would take too long to take effect, or would create inefficiencies in your business model.”
There’s also a degree of focus involved. By outsourcing tasks that are outside of your company’s wheelhouse, you can zero in on the core responsibilities and maximize your competitive advantage.
5 Tasks SBOs Should Outsource
Not all tasks are good candidates for outsourcing. However, there are those few tasks that are well-suited for offloading onto someone else’s plate. Let’s focus on those:
Technical tasks that require significant experience and/or time are ideal candidates for outsourcing. SEO fits both of these criteria, so it’s something that every small business should at least consider handing off to an SEO consultant
The key when outsourcing SEO is to find the right consultant. This means someone with experience and a thorough understanding of the difference between black hat, gray hat, and white hat SEO tactics. A failure to hire a white hat SEO consultant could result in more harm than good.
Accounting and Payroll
Most small businesses hire tax professionals to handle all of their tax preparation work prior to the deadline. However, you’d be wise to consider outsourcing accounting and payroll year-round.
“Don’t wait for tax season before hiring a bookkeeper to do your accounting and tax preparation,” SmallBusiness.ng advises. “Outsource this service and enjoy the benefits right now. You can outsource bookkeeping and other financial services like accounts payable, accounts receivable, and invoicing to a financial consultant.”
The great thing about outsourcing these tasks is that you can see the immediate ROI. You’ll almost certainly save more money than you spend. This means you’re basically getting outsourced accounting services at no cost to you.
You might be a decent writer, but copywriting and direct response marketing is a whole different animal. If you aren’t trained in copywriting, your results will suffer. Plus, it’s very time consuming and resource-intensive.
Freelance copywriters are easy to find. The secret is to find someone who is not only a talented writer, but who is also reliable and trustworthy.
Good customer support is the lifeblood of many businesses. The problem is that it’s also a very time-intensive endeavor. And the bigger your business grows, the more requests, complaints, and issues you’ll field. By outsourcing to a company that specializes in customer service, you can provide the support your customers need without dramatically increasing your overhead.
Administrative tasks are typically well-suited for outsourcing. They tend to be easily learned and highly repetitive. Thus, you don’t have to hold someone’s hand or worry about quality. It’s a matter of teaching someone how to do it, and then asking them to repeat the same task over and over again on an ongoing basis.
Grow Your Biz the Lean Way
Growing a business is an intensive process, but it doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive or exceptionally costly. The key is to grow in a lean manner, which means differentiating between the tasks you need to handle on your own and the tasks that are ideal for outsourcing.
Jenna Cyprus is a freelance writer from Renton, WA who is particularly interested in travel, nature, and parenting. Follow her on Twitter.
Outsourcing tasks stock photo by Song_about_summer/Shutterstock