If you’re like most small-business owners, you’re notoriously overworked and understaffed. It’s understandable - you’re trying to get a venture off the ground, and you’re mostly bootstrapping the process. You’re not alone in this! Many small business owners start the same way. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to ensure you’re not taking on more than you can chew, or that you're finding people to handle the things that you can’t or won’t. This is where outsourcing comes in. Here’s what you need to know about how (and when) to outsource:
There are dozens of benefits of outsourcing. Before we discuss those, though, let’s talk about what outsourcing is: outsourcing is the practice of contracting out business functions and processes to a third-party provider. The benefits of outsourcing can be massive. They include but aren’t limited to cost savings, efficiency gains, and an increased competitive advantage. Outsourcing may also allow you to increase your reach and connect with a larger variety of audiences and customers. The drawbacks of outsourcing, though, are a loss of control and the ownership of a product by someone else. There may also be issues with confidentiality and security as well as service delivery, which may fall behind the time frame or be below expectation.
In an ideal world, you’d get to spend your workday using your best skills to complete the things you’re best at. From there, you’d delegate the other things out to other people, who could then use their best skills to handle those things and improve upon them. While that may not happen all the time, there are some ways you can start creating that lifestyle for yourself right now. To that end, here are seven things you should outsource immediately:
Imagine how much time you’d save if you never had to schedule appointments, logistics, or reservations for yourself. A virtual assistant can handle these things for you, freeing up plenty of time and energy for you to focus on other, more important things. There are dozens of services available to do this, but you’ll have the best luck if you hire a designated firm to do it for you. Not only is this service more reliable, but it’ll go further toward supporting your overall goals and helping you reach your objectives.
Few things affect your output and timeliness more than answering phone calls. Talk about an ongoing interruption! Fortunately, you can get around this by outsourcing your phone calls. While a traditional VA might not answer your phone, a real receptionist will. If there’s room in your company’s budget, consider hiring someone whose dedicated job is to answer phones for your office. This will ease the burden of your call load, lessen interruption, and allow you to address phone calls and messages when you decide you’re ready to do so.
Whether you’re on a mission to create a database of information or find sources for an ongoing post or content push, research is one thing that’s notoriously easy to outsource. Online services like Upwork and Fiverr are great places to find research assistants who can help you handle your information and find more of it. These assistants may also be able to help you compile information into an easily accessible format that makes it more usable for your team. If you’re going to hire someone to do your research for you, be sure to agree on a delivery protocol and a method to keep track of the progress.
Not a graphic designer? Spending time trying to learn to be inefficient and more troublesome than anything else. With this in mind, consider hiring out your graphic design efforts. Online platforms are great places to find these specialists, or you can hire a dedicated marketing firm that can handle your digital marketing efforts for you. Once you’ve hired someone to help you with this, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy all the beautiful design materials that you didn’t have to work on.
If you’re interrupting your workday by running senseless errands to drop documents and pick things up, you can start outsourcing this task. This is a great option for a receptionist or assistant to do and can go a long way toward creating more uninterrupted workdays for you. As soon as you start outsourcing these things, you’ll see how much more time you have in your day.
If there’s shopping you need to do for your office, that you can’t do online, consider outsourcing it to someone on your team. This falls into the same category as in-person tasks but will go a long way toward keeping you on task and ensuring that you have what you need, all the time.
Writing is one of the most common things companies outsource. And for a good reason. It takes a great deal of time and can be quite difficult to do. With this in mind, consider finding a company or individual who can help you handle your writing efforts and create content for our company. There are dozens of talented freelancers out there who will be happy to help you do this. Whatever you do, be sure to check the quality of the freelancer’s work before you dive in.
Social media, when you do it well, is very time-consuming. With this in mind, consider outsourcing your social media efforts to someone who specializes in the field. Not only will this make the process of acing your social media interaction more manageable than ever before, but it will also be a great way to expand your reach and enjoy the social-media process more than ever before.
If you’re looking for a way to free up time and enjoy the process of running your business more, outsourcing is your best friend. By outsourcing your in-person errands or your social media, you can go a long way toward creating something that is long-lasting, efficient, simple, streamlined, and good for yourself and your company. Need help with outsourcing? Contact our team today to start your project!
Kendall Backus is a former bartender, SEO professional, and the Founder of ROI On Tap. Kendall previously helped over 400+ businesses gain first-page rankings before transitioning to the Online Marketing Agency space. He has since gone on to increase customers and leads for local businesses by 10x with the same tactics he uses to grow his own digital agency. Kendall started ROI On Tap to help business owners market their businesses online during which they can focus on their passions.