If you own a small business, there will come a time when outsourcing shifts from a matter of convenience to a necessity. Whatever stage you’re at in your business, it pays to outsource. Think of it like an investment–put money into outsourcing now, and reap the long term rewards of escalated growth for your business.
Today I’m sharing, in no particular order, 7 tasks to outsource as a small business owner.
Having a blog on your website is not essential, but highly recommended. If you’re not sure what a blog can do for your business, I wrote about it in depth here. The majority of my daily website traffic comes from my blog. An active blog gives you and your business authority, recognition, and a voice. Note that I used the word “active.” If your posts are outdated or highly inconsistent, you can actually create a bad impression on your audience.
Blogging can take up a lot of time and energy. Even if you enjoy writing and are talented at it, it’s not a major priority on your to-do list (unless, of course, you’re a full-time blogger.) Therefore, consider outsourcing some or all of your blog posts. Take the time to find a skilled writer with a solid portfolio who is able to embody your brand voice. Even better, find someone who specializes in SEO. The higher cost of premium talent will pay off in the long term.
2. Social media
If you have a business, then you need to be active on social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or a combination of the above, your social media presence is essential for building your brand in today’s technological age. Creating an account is easy. Creating content, posting regularly, and engaging with your ideal customers eats up a lot of time. Plus, there’s the added frustration of figuring out strategies to “beat” the ever-changing algorithms.
Take the stress out of social media and reap the benefits by outsourcing to a freelance social media manager. Most offer multiple service packages, so if you’re worried about ROI (return on investment), you can always start small and add on services as your business grows.
3. Web design and maintenance
Clearly I’m a little biased with this one–but I firmly believe that every business can benefit from investing in a professional website. I know it’s tempting to go it yourself with so many popular DIY platforms available. However, even with a drag-and-drop template, you run the risk of creating a site that screams “amateur” to your audience. And that will not do your business any favors!
The other big factor to consider is time. An experienced professional can likely design and build your site in at least half the time it would take you do it yourself. If your site needs regular updates, I also recommend you outsource site maintenance. In short, working with a pro will save you a lot of time, gray hairs, and frantic debugging sessions.
4. Accounting and taxes
When you transition from a regular job to running your own gig, accounting, budgeting, and taxes suddenly become a lot more… interesting. And confusing, scary, and overwhelming–at least that was my experience. Accounting software, such as Quickbooks and Wave, are an enormous help. Nonetheless, you will definitely want to outsource certain, if not all, accounting tasks to a CPA (certified public accountant.)
Not only are CPA’s equipped to handle the complexities of small business accounting, they will also ensure you don’t underpay your taxes, which can result in some nasty penalties. Plus, the money they’ll save you by maximizing your deductions could make up for the cost of hiring them, and then some.
Admin refers to all the necessary but often tedious and time-consuming tasks of running a business. These can include managing your inbox, scheduling appointments, minor website updates, sending out newsletters, database entry, making and answering calls, etc. There’s no reason not to outsource at least some of your administrative duties to a virtual assistant (VA), especially they are taking up more than a third of your time.
There are many affordable and highly competent VA’s all over the world. And many that aren’t. Take the time to find one who’s a good fit for you and your brand. Freeing yourself of mundane administrative tasks may just spark a renewed passion for your business.
6. Customer support
If you sell products, whether physical or digital, customer support is an essential task for your business. As your business and order volume grow, this may be one of the first tasks to consider outsourcing. Customer experience is everything. Happy customers lead to returning customers and five star reviews. Also, don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing. If you can wow your customers with a stellar customer support system, you’ll develop a positive relationship with them that’s worth writing home about.
If your business operates internationally, consider outsourcing to multiple VA’s or customer support specialists in different time zones. Having a 24/7 support team will help ensure all inquiries are addressed promptly.
7. SEM and SEO
Search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) are two tasks that are worth outsourcing because of their enormous potential to escalate your business. If you’re not familiar with these terms, they are essentially two ways of increasing your website’s search engine visibility. SEM involves paid ads, whereas SEO is organic. SEM is more likely to produce fast results, whereas SEO can take months to take effect but has a longer lasting impact.
It’s not necessary to invest in both. They are not so complex that you can’t figure them out on your own, however they do require a lot of research and trial and error. Spare yourself many hours and much frustration, and outsource one or both of these tasks to an experienced freelancer.
If you need assistance with branding or web design, I’m just one quick email away. I would love to free up some of your time so you can focus on the tasks that matter most for your business.