Today’s guest post is brought to you by Josh McAllister. He is a freelance writer and independent business consultant. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family. You can reach him on Twitter @josh8mcallister
Many entrepreneurs want to minimize overhead as much as possible and to accomplish this, they may try to tackle every task that needs to be completed. While entrepreneurs are typically very talented individuals, most are not a jack-of-all-trades. Even those very few individuals who have the skills and expertise to tackle most tasks successfully may not have the time to do so efficiently. The American Psychological Association indicates that multitasking can actually result in a 40 percent decline in productivity.
Outsourcing specific tasks to talented experts can help you to free up more time to focus on money-making activities relates to your operations. While you may spend some money hiring freelancers or contractors, you may enjoy a higher net profit as a result because of your own wise use of time.
Furthermore, outsourcing allows you to take advantage of the highly skilled insight and efforts of true industry experts. Remember that hiring subcontractors rather than full-time employees can help you to keep overhead low. This is because you do not have to pay subcontractors benefits like health insurance or deal with payroll taxes and other related expenses. These are some of the most common tasks many entrepreneurs should consider outsourcing.
Accounting and financial management tasks are critical to the success of your business, but it can take a lot of time to keep your books updated regularly. You simply cannot afford to neglect this important task. After all, you cannot possibly make sound financial decisions for your business if you do not know where you stand financially at all times.
A professional bookkeeper can complete these critical tasks more efficiently and accurately, freeing up your valuable time to work on other important tasks. As your operation grows in size and complexity, having a skilled and experienced bookkeeper becomes even more critical.
Calculating and processing payroll regularly can be time-consuming and stressful, and it comes with legal rules and regulations that you are required to follow. These federal, state and local tax laws can change periodically, and it is up to you to understand and comply with these laws.
Calculating payroll can take hours of your time each week, and a simple mistake may lead to a tax audit and substantial fines. This is an area that you simply cannot afford to make a mistake in. With this in mind, it makes sense to outsource this task to a skilled third party.
Your marketing efforts are directly linked to your sales numbers and overall profitability. You must successfully market your goods or services in a cost-effective way to remain on budget, but you must also actively maintain existing relationships and reach new customers.
Many entrepreneurs who keep marketing efforts in-house fail to follow through on marketing with consistency. They also struggle to produce amazing results. Outsourcing your social media marketing and content marketing efforts, for example, to a skilled professional may help you to improve your conversion rate and ultimately generate more revenue each year.
4. Customer Support
Depending on the type of business you run, you may find yourself dealing with customer support issues frequently. This can be a drain on your time or on other employees’ time.
While it is critical for you to keep existing customers happy with excellent customer service, your skilled in-house team also needs to actively recruit new customers.
If you choose to outsource your customer support needs to a third party, choose the company with care. Hiring a professional team that operates around the clock and that can provide dedicated service to your valued existing customers can benefit your company substantially.
With a very small business, administrative tasks may be relatively easy to keep up with. However, as your company grows in size, simple tasks such as answering phones and managing appointments can begin to take up a significant amount of your valuable time each day.
A virtual assistant can be hired to tend to these tasks, and he or she may also help with invoicing, collections, email management, database activities, direct mail campaigns, and more. While this can free up your own time, it can also make your company seem more professional and established to your business clients and partners.
6. IT Support
Technology is critical to most businesses, but it also is constantly evolving. You may not be able to afford to have your computers go down for long hours at a time, but you also may not be able to afford to hire an in-house IT expert to keep up with repairs, maintenance, and upgrades to your system.
Hiring a local consultant or contractor makes sense, and you can also save additional money by using an infrastructure as a service model. With this type of plan, your technological equipment and related systems are outsourced. Remember to choose a local IT contractor who can respond quickly, and look for a professional with experience handling cyber security issues for the best results.
The image that you portray to customers and clients is affected by your design efforts. Everything from the photos you add to a brochure to the images in a blog, email campaign and more can affect your company’s brand and image.
Some entrepreneurs will use advanced design software programs with great results, but it can take time and effort to learn how to use these. Paying a skilled professional to do this work for you can help you enjoy fabulous results while also staying updated with the latest trends. Because you cannot afford to fall behind in the design of your marketing materials, e-commerce site and more, hiring a contractor makes sense.
Entrepreneurs today may be competing in a more advanced and complex marketplace, but they also have access to an exceptional range of outsourcing services. Not every task should be outsourced, so it is up to the entrepreneur to review the options and to make wise decisions that are best for the company. Ideally, you will outsource tasks that your own team is not well-equipped to handle. However, you should always weigh the pros and cons of hiring a contractor versus in-house employees.