Time Lost is Money Lost: 5 Business Elements You Should Outsource NOW
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Your “office” could consist of one desk and a laptop. Sometimes you could even bring your laptop to bed. Delicious. Stick with your core skills and your core aims. Outsourcing gives you time to concentrate on what you’re good at instead!
Outsourcing can be addicting once you’ve found great freelancers. You unburden yourself and you also share the wealth by letting experts do what they are good at.
Some business elements are even better outsourced than done internally, like marketing, where you and your team are too close to the project to have an objective viewpoint.
You created a product or launched a service. Great! But business doesn’t stop there. Suddenly you’re swamped with jargon both familiar and unfamiliar, like tax planning, digital marketing, social media strategies, copywriting, public and customer relations, etc.
Having an office of staff and being the big boss is attractive, a dream for many, but impractical: an office means rent and supplies, and let’s not forget the interview process.
Time lost there. And money. Unless you hire someone you’re willing to send to classes to learn what they should do, experts cost a lot to lure and keep in-house.
Outsourcing solves all that. You strike oil. You get experts without losing time and money on hiring and keeping staff in an office.
A couple of essentials, like accounting and marketing, aren’t new to outsourcing. They’ve been freelancing before freelancing and outsourcing gained a foothold worldwide.
Most entrepreneurs, unless they come from this particular background, don’t attempt to do their own books. Hire it out: tax planning, tax reporting, payroll (if you have staff), etc. Finding a good accountant/accounting firm saves money down the road through great tax and accounting advice.
For marketing, third party individuals or firms can bring a fresh point of view and an expertise not easily available in-house. Consulting with a marketing expert can even help you map a strategy where a freelancer can help out.
The rule of thumb: if it’s not your core expertise, if it’s not your business’s core service, outsource it.
Are you still wasting time and energy on something you should outsource instead?
1. Scheduling and correspondence
Businesses, small and big, startup or off-the-ground, are too busy for meetings. That is, too busy to set them up and handle email. Many entrepreneurs find themselves impatient and raring to do something else other than this. So hire a virtual assistant to save time and sanity! Having a VA to organize meetings and emails has freed up many a self-made executive’s mind for bigger things.
Tip: Emails are more effective than phone calls when it comes to communication. You no longer need on-site ‘fielders’ for phone calls. Switch to email, where both parties have plenty of room to lay everything down. But you don’t want to be long-winded. VAs are experts in succinct emails.
2. Customer engagement or PR
Name a brand, any brand, and chances are, this brand has either a blog, a Facebook, a Youtube, a Twitter, a character mascot, a website with customer support, or all of the above!
Gone are the days when all you need to do is tell people what you’re selling and why it’s better than its competitors. Now you also have to court your customers beyond the product and service your provide.
Content is king (more on this in our blog soon), whatever form it takes. It can be a short blurb, a video, an infographic, a meme or comic you repost from somewhere. Advertising is now ‘free’, so to speak: all you need to do is engage your customers through content streamlined especially for them. They sense this–when you give them something valuable, something informative or fun–and they respond well. They Like it, they Share it, Retweet it, Reblog it, until your business is in the consciousness of several thousand people.
Don’t agonise over making these. Outsource them. Online marketing experts know how to enhance SEO, Google Adwords, and different social platforms for your gain. Let them create and get them out.
That is already its own very effective form of marketing!
3. Data entry
The only reason data entry isn’t no.1 or no.2 as well is because data entry is sometimes easy to automate. However, data entry is one of those non-revenue generating tasks many entrepreneurs neglect to their regret. So rather than neglecting it or losing valuable time over it, keep on top of it and outsource your data entry needs.
Spreadsheets for inventories, logs, paperwork you need on file, etc. Did you just wince just reading this sentence? Outsource it! (USource it!)
If it deals with service sites like WordPress for your blogs or Hootsuite for your social media, you need an expert so nothing gets bungled up and you don’t have to take the time to learn them.
4. Project management
Are you on a specific campaign right now? For example, are you aiming to increase your site membership? Or perhaps you want to increase your Facebook page participation? Maybe your product catalog needs product descriptions and more engaging images, or perhaps you already have them but you have a gigantic load of proofreading and data entry to do?
Outsource each project, rather than micromanaging, and before you know it, every bit of it is done and you haven’t been sidetracked.
Sometimes projects are one-off and completed, and sometimes they’re ongoing and permanent, like monitoring alerts, blogs and news so that you’re on top of what’s going on in your niche. That’s why you need to outsource.
Unless this field is one of your core skills, stop writing. Technical writers, copywriters, proofreaders and editors–they know what’s tired and cliche and what would make you stand out instead. You might not know it, but you might be copying what everyone else is doing.
It bears to repeat this: content is king. Blog articles are powerful in making you noticed. Commission a book and it can make you stand out among your competitors, a tool you can use to easily close deals with people who read it!
But hey, if you like writing, take it!
That’s what outsourcing is for–for anything you don’t like doing. Outsourcing by itself is an investment as much as the results (videos, a blog with a good number of views, graphics, etc). You get your ROI instantly: time and money.
When you outsource, you’re essentially buying time and saving money at the same time. Mind-boggling, and exciting. Grow your business rather than growing kidney stones at the mere thought of your emails and spreadsheets.