Time Lost is Money Lost: 9 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 addictive 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 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 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.
When you hire an outsourcing company to handle appointment scheduling, they can essentially become an extra member of your sales force. They have been educated in the art of customer service and product promotion for the benefit of their clients.
In addition to promoting your current products and services, you can also give your outsourced agents the task of promoting any new products or services you may have.
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.
You can repost a short blurb, video, infographic, meme, or comic if you think it has potential. The ability to interact with customers via content based on their preferences has opened the door to “free” advertising.
When presented with something useful, interesting, or entertaining, they react positively. They respond favorably, spreading the word about your company to thousands via likes, shares, retweets, and reblogs.
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.
Data entry jobs could be anything like:
- Transcribing handwritten documents
- Claims data entry
- Product data entry
- Filling in MS Excel sheets for back-office accounting
- Survey data entry
- Raw data conversion and data input
- Document management services
- Image data entry
- Invoice data entry
- Offline data entry service like forms processing
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 or Edgar 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.
In addition to relieving your staff of monotonous tasks, outsourcing data entry streamlines it with standardized processes, from your side or through the expertise of your freelancer/team.
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.
Some writing tasks you can outsource include:
- Social media captions
- Product descriptions.
- Email copy.
- Ad copy.
- Blog posts.
- Site page content.
- Landing page content.
- Sales page.
Having quality content is paramount. 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!
You know your business best. But once you cement your message and your audience, it’s time to let it go and placed in the hands of specialists for ad creation, content production, and social media posting.
Here are some examples of what can be included in a digital marketing strategy:
Your digital marketing strategy’s components should be shaped by the specific goals you’ve set for your campaign. Outsourcing advertising takes a lot of the guesswork out, especially when it comes to analytics, and gives you results faster.
7. Accounting and Finance
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the global market for Finance and Accounting Outsourcing is expected to grow from its 2022 estimate of $43.1 billion to a new peak of $53.4 billion in 2026.
At the moment, this makes up 24.5% of the total market for Finance and Accounting Outsourcing according to a Research and Markets report.
If a company doesn’t have an accountant on staff, it’s in its best interest to hire an outside firm to handle its financial transactions.
The process of keeping accurate books and filing taxes in accordance with federal, state, and local guidelines can be time-consuming.
Errors in this process could have serious financial consequences for your company. Bookkeeping, tax preparation, and payroll processing are all commonly outsourced now.
8. Human Resources
Timekeeping, payroll processing, and leave administration are three of the easiest and most productive HR responsibilities to delegate.
Outsourcing payroll can help you cut costs and avoid legal trouble with state and federal governments.
Paying employees on time and accurately is one thing; doing so tax-compliantly is another. Small business owners can struggle with tax laws. Outsourcing payroll can prevent serious problems.
In recent years, HR outsourcing has become increasingly popular, with 31% of businesses outsourcing to firms with over 5,000 employees and 10% with over 20,000.
According to HR outsourcing data by TrueList, the most common services provided by businesses are consulting, administration of benefits, time tracking, insurance services, and performance management
9. IT Management
IT outsourcing saves money and boosts business efficiency. You’ve probably experienced what one day of a non-responsive website can spell for your bottom lines. If you haven’t yet, then don’t court disaster.
Outsource your IT and get web developers and designers to analyze your existing sites and cloud for weaknesses and any suspicious activity and ensure that it does not compromise security or disrupt your operations.
They will also check that the most recent versions of your applications are compatible with your existing infrastructure before releasing any updates.
With business now completely in the cloud and using digital services like digital wallets, you need IT management.
- Software and hardware development
- Database upgrades and management
- Website maintenance and development
- System integration
- Strategy direction
- Customer support and service
It is common practice for businesses to outsource companies to handle certain tasks. The advantages of outsourcing range from financial savings and productivity boosts to a possible increase in a company’s ability to compete.
Outsourcing can help you foster creativity, shake up your industry, and gain access to cutting-edge expertise as your company expands, all of which can help you rethink your company’s place in the marketplace.
Innovate, grow, and stand out from the competition with the help of outsourcing.
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.