Want to lower costs whilst simultaneously growing your business?
Outsourcing may be the answer!
Due to the ability to work from virtually anywhere in the world, outsourcing has never been easier. From virtual assistants to graphic designers to bookkeepers – whatever it is that your business needs, you can outsource it.
If you are running a startup or small business, you know that any reduction in overhead is a win. Outsourcing can free up your time whilst saving you some serious cash in comparison to the cost of running a full in-house team.
Take a close look at your weaknesses. Examine your processes, your team and your day-to-day tasks: Is there any area you and your team struggle with in particular? Consider outsourcing these areas. By now you will know that the path to success is not through wearing all hats yourself in your business; often this will simply stall the growth of the business.
In order to focus on growth, you need to delegate. Now, the chances are you are going to struggle with that concept initially, so why not begin slowly? Build up trust in the power of outsourcing and begin by contracting a virtual assistant for admin support or a bookkeeper, starting with a short-term project and go from there.
In terms of managing your first outsourcee, there are a few things to be aware of:
You will need a contract to ensure everything agreed is written down, including payment terms. You will want a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in place if you are sharing proprietary information or want to claim ownership to any content that is created.
Setting out expectations for your working relationship from the offset should be a priority. Provide outsourced staff with the bigger picture to help them become fully invested in your project for optimal results. Try not to be working across impossible time zones or language barriers.
Make use of Google Sheets and Time Doctor (time-tracking software) to get a real time picture of what is being achieved for your money.
Jump on Skype and catch up regularly. Just because the employee is not located in the same office as you does not mean the relationship should be neglected. The human touch can work wonders for developing good relationships, which eventually will lead to even better results.
Once you have established a good management system, take a look at the following areas that can be outsourced easily. Remember to outsource tasks that are critical to your operations, and not a vital component of your strategy.
Content marketing is valuable free information that shows your business is an expert in its field. It is designed to educate without being an in-your-face sales pitch. The objective is to generate leads, but at the same time it provides legitimacy to what you are selling, which can improve your chances of closing a sale.
It is time-consuming to produce and distribute content. Logically, many small businesses look to outsource content creation to save money whilst generating leads and nurturing relationships with prospects and clients.
It is highly advisable to outsource your payroll. Due to the countless regulations and tax laws, one wrong step could trigger a costly tax audit. Outsourcing payroll saves you the stress and time required to stay up to date with ever changing regulations and the cost of a full time accountant.
The virtual assistant (VA) employment market is booming, which is great news for your business. Many experienced EAs are now choosing the flexibility of working as a VA. Hiring a VA can relieve you of the small, tedious everyday tasks you are not particularly good at. Find someone with an organised mind and let them handle your diary and administration and watch your productivity flourish.
One monthly newsletter blast to your entire network is not going to cut it! When looking to outsource help with email marketing, look for someone who is able to help you generate engaging content for different segments in your database depending on where they are in the sales cycle, analyse the engagement and steadily improve based on the analysis.
… the key takeaways
- Outsource the tasks that are critical to your operations, and not a vital component of your strategy, such as bookkeeping, admin support, email marketing and payroll.
- Focus on the areas you or your team struggle with daily and outsource those first.
- Maintain a human relationship and clear job description to ensure a successful outsourcee.
- Start small with a short-term contract and progress from there.
If you think it is time for your business to start reaping the benefits of outsourcing, take a look at freelancer.com or upwork.com and start growing your business the smart way.