Today, I’m celebrating outsourcing. Outsourcing is a terrific way for small and mid-sized businesses to make the most of the resources they have. All too often entrepreneurs think they have to do everything themselves – and maybe they can, but at what cost?
The risk you run when you try to do everything yourself or with just a few staff members is losing your core focus (and possibly your mind!). If the small business owner has to manage marketing, payroll, customer service, sales, bookkeeping, administrative tasks, and all of the other little mundane details of keeping a business up and running, who is left to focus on the direction the business is going? Who has an eye on industry trends? Who is thinking about what the business needs to do to continue to grow or meet customer needs and expectations?
These “big-picture” functions are traditionally the responsibility of the entrepreneur/business owner, but if that person is getting bogged down in the details and day-to-day management of the business, he or she will simply run out of time, do everything less well, and probably experience burn out. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), people who multitask experience a 40% drop in productivity! Even the simplest projects take longer to complete and stress levels skyrocket. This can create a domino effect where it just becomes harder and harder to keep the business going.
Outsourcing can help by delegating routine tasks and functions to people or businesses who are not employees of the business. This leaves the business’ employees and decision-makers free to focus on the core or strategic functions of the business, exactly where their expertise is best utilized.
5 Functions That Can Be Outsourced
These days just about anything can be outsourced. You’ll find temp workers and agencies, freelancers, and consultants for just about any need. The best way to go about choosing what to outsource is to start with:
- Functions or tasks for which you do not have internal staff or expertise.
- Functions or tasks that you do not enjoy.
- Functions or tasks that you aren’t good at or that you struggle to complete.
If there is something you hate doing, find someone else to do it! Chances are they’ll do it better than you and you’ll enjoy the stress relief that comes with off-loading a dreaded task. Here’s a look at 5 commonly outsourced functions:
- Bookkeeping and Payroll. Bookkeeping and payroll are two of the oldest forms of outsourcing. Even the biggest companies are outsourcing these functions because it’s simply easier and cheaper to have professionals balance the books, ensure tax compliance, and make sure paychecks are printed on time. Take your pick of large and small financial services providers; there’s no shortage to choose from.
- Social Media Marketing. Content Marketing. Email Marketing. There are so many marketing avenues to explore and it all takes time. Rather than spend your time on content planning, creation, and distribution hire someone else to do it. You’ll have your pick of agencies and freelancers to help you manage this task with nothing required of you but a few conversations.
- Sales Calls. Did you even know you could hire people to make your sales calls? Yep. Some people are naturals at making conversation and connections and use those inherent skills to help businesses follow-up on leads. They don’t have to have a lot of in-depth knowledge of your business. Many sales calls are really just follow-ups and appointment setting.
- Lead Generation. Finding leads and converting them into customers takes a tremendous amount of time that you likely don’t have. There are businesses that can help you do this and there are tools that can help automate the process. While lead generation is part marketing and part sales, we’ve kept it separate from those two outsourced functions because it is a distinct skillset. However, it’s not unusual for find agencies that offer both marketing and lead generation.
- Office Functions. Basic office tasks like answering emails, sending mail, managing schedules, etc. can all be managed with a temp worker, a part-time employee or consultant or even a virtual assistant. Find someone who loves keeping things organized and allow yourself to rely on them to keep you
What Can You Outsource?
If you routinely feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day, absolutely dread performing certain necessary business functions, or struggle to perform them, you need to take a look at outsourcing. It will save you time. It will help you maintain your sanity. It probably costs less than you expect and the returns are well worth it.
Start small and build your outsourced functions as your business grows and you become more comfortable with the idea. Contact The Marketing Shop for help getting started. We have several tools to help busy entrepreneurs get the support they need to be a success such as our free Facebook group, The Wealthy Entrepreneur, which is a part-networking, part support group that connects entrepreneurs with one another.
We are also offering an exclusive 12-week program entitled, Jumpstart Your Revenue in 90 Days, which is full of proven strategies that help businesses increase their revenue.
Finally, we have several different content marketing resources from strategy sessions to content creation to social media and email marketing.
Visit the links to learn more about these programs and services or contact us to discuss your specific needs in person. We can help you figure out where to go from here!