Small businesses have to leverage every asset they have to move quickly from the conceptualizing stage into a sustainable business model.
We know that the number of people employed by startup firms has risen dramatically since 2010, and more and more people are interested in working with small businesses to help facilitate growth.
Those helping hands can be a great asset, but when every second counts, overhead and payroll costs can crush productivity and make it more difficult to produce those minimum viable products needed in today’s market.
There are several tasks that founders and management need to ensure are passed off to the right people, and the right people for the job may not always be in the office building. If you’re trying to keep focused on the task at hand, consider these four employment tasks worth outsourcing.
Unless your business is specifically in the marketing field, hiring extra marketers and managers can be a big cost. If you’re not already familiar with the ever-changing digital marketing landscape, you might find your night and weekends devoted to an aspect of business you never considered.
Marketing firms can take the burden off of you and make sure your products get the exposure they need to succeed. These firms can range from businesses that produce advertisements and consultation to agencies that provide content designed to help your business appear when relevant topics are sought after.
In either case, marketing is a factor that can make or break a business that has yet to reach its intended audience. So go ahead and focus in on the product while the experts manage the exposure for you. Provided you’ve made a product worth selling; the marketers will make sure buyers are lining up in stores.
2. Web Design
Web design often goes hand in hand with marketing to facilitate outreach and exposure to online audiences. Your brand needs instantaneous recognition and staying quality with your early adopters, and the right website can help solidify that need.
While it can be tempting to produce your own website, especially when working in SaaS and other virtual products, its best to let those well-versed in search engine optimization (SEO) and graphic design take the reins on this one.
Marketing companies and firms will usually work alongside web development companies to produce a website that works best for the content you’ll be uploading to it. In some cases, these companies are the same entity. In either case, the less time you’re spending delving into analytics and turnover, the better.
This is often the biggest outsourcing need for growing companies.
With newer startups and businesses, perhaps taking on the challenge of marketing and web design doesn’t pose a problem. Small businesses focused on these topics are quick to use their branding as evidence for their skills and tenacity to help others. After all—why outsource the product you hope to sell to others?
While that scenario is certainly viable for some companies, at the end of the day, the bills still need to be paid. Management will need to go over the difficult task of tracking time sheets, hours, money in, money out, and paying the appropriate venues for overhead.
This administrative work is often the worst aspect of any small business owner. Instead of spending long hours with the development team planning out projects and overseeing developments, you’ll be situated in front of the laptop and sending email after email—spreadsheet after spreadsheet.
Human resources, administrative tasks, and associated work can all be outsourced at a rate far cheaper then you might expect. Personal employer organizations (PEOs) manage the finances of organizations so that leadership can lead instead of email.
What is a PEO, exactly? There are several types of PEOs—but the best PEO service will provide consultation, streamline workflow, and find room to improve and train employees to keep everyone on task. It also helps to look for personal employer organizations that have a history of working with your industry, as they’ll likely be familiar with the nuances of your field.
The initial hesitance can be understandable when outsourcing such a vital part of the company. However, if you consider the cost with the annual salary of an HR manager, you may find that the service more than pays for itself.
While money will come in and out, there is one resource that all small business owners need to be fiercely protective of—and that’s time. Keep your leadership on the workshop floor for as long as possible, and leave the payroll up to others more experienced.
4. Email & Organization
Finally, there is the issue of emails, digital storage, file systems, and other inundating tasks that can drag down any entrepreneur.
In a typical business, this is where the assistant would come in. There are an estimated 4 million assistants in the American job market, and each can help your business handle inquiries and the normal day-to-day contacts that need to be maintained.
Before checking for qualified candidates, however, it might just be simpler (and cheaper) to go for a freelance assistant.
Freelance workers are predicted to encompass an estimated 40% of the workforce, and virtual office assistants can be found by the thousands on freelance job sites. It has never been easier to hire an assistant and clear up your work schedule without ever adding another full-time employee to payroll.
There are several stipulations to hiring a virtual assistant. Vetting people across the world can be a difficult and intimidating task. Likewise, job insecurity means that you can lose your assistant just as quickly as they can lose you.
Still, the pervasive nature of assistants in business shows just how valuable an assistant can be to workflow. The rise of contingent workers is also an indication of industry trends that tend to work towards the favor of small businesses. Much like with PEO services, going virtual and outsourcing may end up being cheaper than going the traditional route.
Regardless of your approach, you can see that outsourcing several employee tasks can simplify a daily workflow and allow you to hire experts as opposed to generalists. Outsource what you can, leverage time wisely, and use every moment possible to formulate and develop your small business.
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