If you own or run a small-to-medium business (SMB), then you need to do whatever you can to survive and thrive. Any way that you can save on time or money will help you reach your goals. One of the best ways you can do this is through outsourcing. Hiring other companies and individuals to help with certain business needs can provide a wealth of benefits to your company.
Why Outsourcing Is Valuable
An SMB needs to keep as lean as possible. If your overhead is too high, you will struggle to keep yourself afloat. That means unnecessary costs can be very damaging. Having full-time people on staff to handle certain tasks may not be the most efficient use of your resources. With outsourcing, you can make sure to pay only for the time that is needed.
On top of that, scaling can be hard for SMBs. If you find quick growth, recruiting, hiring, and training can slow your momentum and leave you bogged down until the new hires are up to speed. With outsourcing, you can have experts working for you the entire time, and you can scale up as needed without slowing down.
Business Components to Outsource
There are certain common business tasks that are ready-made for outsourcing. They require knowledge and skill that you may not already have on your team. They include:
Bookkeeping and Accounting: Accounting practices are relatively constant across business types and industries. You can hire virtual bookkeeping services that will make sure your financial data is accurate and up to date. You won’t have to have a permanent accountant on staff, as they can be very expensive to hire. Outsourced bookkeeping services will also make sure that you are compliant with all laws and regulations related to your business.
Marketing: Marketing is not as simple as creating a logo and a tagline and putting them out into the world. You need to be able to analyze data, develop strategies, design graphics and images, and create content. Outsourcing these aspects of your business will ensure that you have marketing expertise on your side so that you can keep up with the competition. With SMBs, marketing is often left by the wayside as workloads pile up and responsibilities mount. By hiring someone else, you can be free to work on your business in other ways while the experts work on getting more people to your website or into your brick-and-mortar location.
Website and Social Media: Another important business task that can often be neglected is the website. If it’s got some information and a link to make purchases then you can just leave it alone, right? Wrong. Updating your website and creating fresh content will make it more attractive to visitors and provide you with SEO benefits. A neglected website that is out of date will look badly on your brand and will not inspire confidence in the consumer.
The same goes with your social media. Make sure that you have regular posts, and that there is someone responding to audience comments and reviews. Your marketing service is the best option to provide this function since they will have service and writing skills to make your brand look its best at all times.
Things to Consider When Outsourcing
As you can see, there are many ways that you can use outsourcing to help your SMB thrive. However, there are some things you need to consider when making the choice to outsource. You cannot just outsource everything, since you may find yourself running out of budget.
For one, take stock of your business and identify its strengths and weaknesses. If you have someone on your staff who is a great writer but is working on data entry, then you may be able to shift them to working on the website with some training and outsource your data work. Your team may be already handling some business processes very well, and outsourcing may not be necessary. Or, they are handling it well, but their skills could be useful elsewhere. After you’ve assessed your business, you can then make smarter and more effective choices about where you invest your outsourcing budget.
Make sure that you do as much research as possible before hiring an outside source to help you. Outsourcing comes with some risk attached since your brand will be relying on 3rd parties to help reach your goals. Make sure to check out online reviews, talk to others who have used outsourcing services, and ask a lot of questions. You want an outsourcer to be a true partner and to share in your vision.
One of the amazing things about our digital age is that outsourcing is easier than ever. You can find experts at just about anything, and with them, your SMB can even compete with the big guys. Large corporations can hire entire departments for all of their business needs, but by being lean and outsourcing strategically, you can keep up and thrive.