What to outsource as a small business owner ?

   DO IT?                         DELAY IT?            DELEGATE  IT ?            DON’T DO IT?

Small businesses can save money and free up internal resources by outsourcing certain business functions. Here are five main functions to consider — and a few extra ideas you may want to think about.

Ask any small business owner to share their most significant business challenge, and the answer will likely be along the lines of, “I don’t have enough time to .”

Small business owners are masters at using every spare minute of their time. But they aren’t experts at knowing when to shut off their minds, shut down their laptops, or let go of tasks that don’t need their personal touch or could benefit from an expert’s touch.

Business owners are repeatedly advised to tackle their challenges by delegating and outsourcing. These two methods allow small business owners to remove tasks from their to-do lists while still ensuring they are completed.

Delegating is generally the easier of the two approaches. Finding someone to take over tasks that are holding the business owner back is usually not too difficult. However, business owners may hesitate to relinquish control over certain aspects of their business. Nonetheless, most owners will admit that they are not experts in every aspect of their business.

Outsourcing is a more complex process. The term can have various connotations depending on industry standards, previous experience, and company messaging. While outsourcing is not inherently negative, it is crucial to ensure that the right functions are outsourced to the right people, companies, or organizations. Specifically, consider activities that are easily outsourced by small businesses and can be competently handled by others.

What business functions can be outsourced?

 

In essence, outsourced functions should involve a specific skill set that can be sourced externally and are not the core functions of the business.

For instance, if a small business provides marketing services, outsourcing marketing may not be desirable, but supplementary assistance could be considered. Conversely, for an accounting firm, outsourcing marketing functions could prove advantageous and contribute to business growth.

Here are several examples of outsourced business services to contemplate.

Accounting

 

Small businesses frequently choose to outsource accounting functions. If you lack financial expertise, it’s difficult to acquire while managing a business. Furthermore, let’s face it, do you genuinely want to handle your finances? Any business has processes, compliance standards, tax implications, and numbers to crunch to ensure smooth operations.

Moreover, if the person handling the financial matters of the business rushes through the process, lacks knowledge or resources, there is plenty of room for costly human error. Outsourcing accounting and bookkeeping can improve efficiency and result in long-term cost savings.

Administration

 

Business owners are often visionaries, and as a result, may not excel in the smaller administrative tasks necessary to bring their big ideas to fruition. Outsourcing these functions to a virtual assistant (VA) is an excellent option and increasingly common. Thanks to technology and platforms that enable the hiring of these workers, demand for VAs has grown, and many possess specialized skill sets and excel in their roles.

VAs can manage a range of tasks, from scheduling appointments to creating social media posts. Fees for these services vary, ranging from $10/hour to $75/hour depending on the individual’s skills and responsibilities. Investing in a virtual assistant can help businesses stay organized and allow owners to focus on core business activities.

Sales

 

Creating and implementing a successful sales process, including lead generation, sales funnels, and closing deals, demands a specific skill set. Sales firms or experienced professionals excel in making effective sales calls and sealing deals. If a business lacks the necessary personnel or expertise to establish a sales workflow and secure sales, outsourcing this function can delegate these tasks to capable professionals.

Marketing

 

While word-of-mouth is typically the initial approach to marketing a small business, its effectiveness will eventually plateau, signaling the need to shift focus to growth-oriented marketing strategies. Outsourcing marketing functions for a small business may involve engaging an outside firm to create and execute a professional, strategic marketing plan. Agencies can manage all aspects of the process, from conceptualization and design to execution and measurement.

Moreover, these firms are often instrumental in providing an outsider’s perspective, leveraging their expertise and knowledge to generate innovative ideas or approaches that work best for the business.

IT Systems

 

IT is a highly specialized function, and as such, it is one of the most commonly outsourced aspects of a business. Given the vast array of knowledge required, including integration, security, and troubleshooting, most providers offer customized solutions to help your business thrive.

Small businesses can explore IT outsourcing options such as partnering with a managed service provider to handle all aspects of their IT management, or working with a company that offers on-demand services to assist with routine maintenance or address urgent issues.


Effective outsourcing = efficiency

 

Access to specialized expertise

 Outsourcing allows a business to access specialized skills and expertise that may not be available in-house. This can help to improve the quality of work and reduce errors, leading to improved efficiency.

Cost savings

Outsourcing certain functions can be more cost-effective than hiring and training in-house staff. Outsourcing providers can often provide the same level of service at a lower cost due to economies of scale.

Focus on core business functions

 Outsourcing non-core functions allows businesses to focus on their core competencies and strategic goals. By letting outside experts handle non-core tasks, a business can dedicate more time and resources to its core functions, improving overall efficiency.

Scalability

Outsourcing allows a business to scale up or down as needed. This can help to improve efficiency by ensuring that resources are allocated effectively and that the business is not over or under-staffed.

Lacking Inhouse Expertise 

It is important to have awareness of your strengths, challenges, and limitations. It’s perfectly acceptable to seek out a professional’s help for tasks that they can handle much more efficiently and effectively than you can do on your own. By doing this, you can reduce the time you spend trying to figure things out and instead focus on your strengths and doing what you do best.

Tight Budgets

If you’re truly unable to afford outsourcing, it may not be the appropriate time for it. Different functions come with varying costs, but ultimately, outsourcing is an investment. If you believe outsourcing is the optimal choice, but the return on investment isn’t enough to justify the cost presently, it’s wise to keep it on your list and revisit it when the timing is more appropriate.

How to Outsource for small businesses

 
Platforms including: Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer are all great options to find and hire talented freelancers for all budgets.  The one we use ourselves and probably one of the most popular today is Fiverr or Fiverr Pro. The reason this a decent option is as follow: 
 

 

FIVE Reasons to Use Fiverr

  1. Wide Range of Services: Fiverr offers a vast array of services that cater to a variety of industries and niches, making it easy to find the right freelancer for your project.

  2. Affordable Prices: Fiverr is known for its affordable pricing, with many services starting at just $5. However, the platform also offers more expensive services for those who require more complex and specialized work.

  3. Quality Freelancers: Fiverr has a strict vetting process for freelancers, ensuring that only qualified and experienced professionals are allowed to offer their services on the platform.

  4. User-Friendly Interface: Fiverr’s user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate, allowing users to quickly find what they need and place orders with ease.

  5. Safe and Secure: Fiverr provides a safe and secure platform for both buyers and sellers, with features like escrow payments and dispute resolution to ensure that both parties are protected.