As a small to medium sized business owner, it can be bewildering to know what you should be tackling yourself and what tasks and responsibilities you should consider outsourcing. This is actually a very important decision – outsourcing at least some of the daily (or weekly/ monthly/ annual) duties involved in your operation can free you up and leave you more time to focus on your core business.
Entrepreneurs who are running their own SMEs are required to be modern day “Renaissance (Wo)Men,” juggling dozens of balls at once and still expected to deliver products and services at a high level of quality on time, every time.
On a day to day basis you might find yourself:
- balancing a cheque book
- entering information into complicated payroll software
- attending myriad planning meetings
- scouring an online recruitment website
- writing a business blog
- posting photos on your company’s Instagram page
- scheduling an interview with a prospective employee
- heading to the stationery shop to buy a ream of paper
- even plunging a toilet!
All of these tasks, while integral to your daily operations, are taking you away from the things that you do best – running your business and putting out an excellent product and providing fantastic service.
If any of this sounds familiar, you need to start thinking about outsourcing. After all, you wouldn’t hesitate to delegate tasks to your employees, would you? Outsourcing is just another form of delegation, and smart business people are experts at delegation.
Here are some of the tasks and responsibilities that you should consider outsourcing as soon as possible.
- Social Media – Every savvy business person knows the importance of utilising social media in order to connect with their clientele, advertise their products and stay in touch with others in their industry. That said, social media expertise is in its infancy, and the average person is not capable of creating a comprehensive and effective social media strategy, let alone spending the heaps of time required for its implementation. Outsource your social media duties and you will not only see a huge boost in your success, you will save a lot of precious time.
- Blogging – Related to social media, blogging is key if you want to increase your search engine rankings (i.e. appear higher on the results list when someone Googles search terms relevant to your company). Successful SEO (search engine optimisation) is much more than posting your thoughts and ideas; SEO blogging is a science, and a skilled writer will know how to help you achieve results you never dreamed of and increase your sales. You can find excellent business bloggers and article writers on sites such as People Per Hour.
- Payroll – Payroll duties are another very sensible thing to be outsourcing – payroll software programs are notoriously finicky and complex, and you want to ensure your team is paid on time, accurately and without complication. Outsourcing your payroll duties will save you hours of time each week and give you the peace of mind that your employees are paid correctly. Another bonus? When tax time comes around, you can rest assured that your payroll paperwork is in order.
- Bookkeeping – If you are like most entrepreneurs, you probably dread the myriad bookkeeping tasks that are required in order to run a successful business. Keeping track of paperwork, receipts, forms and more can be exhausting and irritating – and it can take you away from your core tasks. This is one that is definitely better outsourced – a bookkeeper can lift a huge weight off of your shoulders and keep you organised and on the right side of the law.
- Recruitment – Depending on the position that you are seeking to fill, the recruitment process can be exhausting and time consuming – not to mention fraught with uncertainty and confusion. Hiring is an art, and a skilled recruiter will be able to help you land the employees of your dreams. While recruiters come with a sometimes hefty cost, they do often increase your chances of staff retention, saving you a lot more money in the long run.
- Buying stationery, cleaning supplies and snacks – We now live in a world where you can buy nearly anything online, and loads of new companies are popping up whose entire business model involves helping individuals fulfill their simplest needs. Need snacks for the office? Head to Graze and get healthy snacks delivered. Cleaning supplies? No problem, you can have those delivered within one business day. The same goes for stationery, office furniture and pretty much anything else your heart – and your business – desires. Do not waste your time in queues or wandering aisles! Outsource this asap.
- Odd jobs and repairs – Leaky tap in the office loo? Door squeaking unbearably whenever it swings open? Framed photos sitting woefully unhung? These small tasks and odd jobs add up, and finally getting around to them will take you away from your more important duties. Thankfully, the sharing economy is alive and well, and you can find skilled handymen online at TaskRabbit, Handy and from other similar apps.
- IT Support – If you are struggling to set up and maintain functioning, consistently up to date hardware and software, consider outsourcing your IT support. Many different levels of support are available, and with various subscription plans you can have a third party IT company supply you with computers, printers and scanners. More importantly, they will be available 24/7 in order to answer urgent queries, fix problems and make sure that the technological side of your business is running smoothly at all times.
- Delivery – If you are still attempting to hand deliver packages, important documents and products to your suppliers and clients, you urgently need to look into outsourcing delivery. Countless companies exist who will take the stress of time consuming deliveries off of your plate and ensure that your items get where they need to go on time.