What is the biggest struggle in any small business? Are you wearing too many hats? Yep, just what I thought. When you are a small business owner you immediately take on 10-14 jobs all at once, so it stands to reason that you might not do them all well. Sometimes, we all feel like “I AM THE BUSINESS!” But it is dangerous for a growing business to operate this way for too long. You will surely fail to maintain the business over time, not to mention you can lose your family and your sanity too, working yourself to death.
As small business owners we cannot do everything, so it’s time to consider what non-core activities you might be able to outsource. This will help you stop doing things you hate doing (and are probably not that good at) and it will free up your time to focus on the things you are really good at like selling and closing more deals. It is smart to leverage the talents of others rather than trying to do it all by yourself. After all, your time is your most valuable asset in your small business. Here are the top five tasks to outsource in your small business.
Outsource Your Bookkeeping: Bookkeeping is the #1 task in small business that owners routinely neglect and struggle with managing in their operations. Do not let this happen to your small business. By the 15th of the month, you need to know how well your business did last month so you can make any adjustments. By outsourcing your basic accounting services to a seasoned bookkeeper, you will have the ability to use updated financial information to run your small business. A bookkeeper can do your accounting work a lot faster and more accurately than you can, and it is affordable. Ask your tax preparer or another entrepreneur for a referral to the right provider. Stop getting your accounting done for the year at tax time; outsource your bookkeeping services today.
Outsource Your Payroll: Unless you run an accounting firm, you should not be doing your own payroll. Listen, you can get in trouble faster with the IRS for not paying your payroll taxes properly than not paying personal income taxes. If you hire an outsourcing company to do your payroll, then you can rest assured that you and your staff will have no issue when income tax season rolls around at the beginning of each year. If you do the payroll in-house, then you need to stay on the top of rules for federal, state and local tax laws that often change. The fees to outsource payroll are not very expensive, so do yourself a favor, let a payroll service handle the deductions for withholding, social security, unemployment, and worker’s compensation. You can’t afford to make a mistake.
Outsource Your Social Media Marketing: There are plenty of solopreneur marketing consultants and social media marketing agencies that can handle developing your social media strategy, content development and social promotion for your company. When you perform these tasks in-house, you often fail to retain the consistency of doing them. Leverage the services of a 1099 consultant to handle this for you. I am pretty sure, if you hire the right person or firm, and give them a specific niche focus and strong message about your product or service, your marketing efforts will flourish over time. Just remember that social media is a long term strategy, so be prepared to invest 12-24 months to achieve your goals.
Outsource Your Administrative Support: Do you often feel like you wish you had another pair of hands to help you in your small business? Utilizing virtual assistants is a cost effective way to get routine tasks handled in a business You can use a virtual assistant for maintaining your personal schedule, database, preparing mailings, email newsletters, copy editing, blog maintenance, booking travel arrangements, invoicing, collections, voicemail & email management. You can even leverage a niche focused virtual assistant to do bookkeeping and receipt management. I have used Twitter and LinkedIn to search for qualified virtual assistants to support my small business.
Outsource Your Marketing Efforts: Marketing is the fuel of a small business. Your marketing efforts tie directly to your sales results. So if you are too busy working the business you already have to focus on closing the next sale, you need some help. Outsource your marketing efforts to a consultant or public relations specialist for your small business. Some marketing people will help you develop downloadable content for your website, conduct email marketing campaigns, some will focus on reaching out to LinkedIn contacts; they can handle direct inquiries or pitch you for speaking opportunities. They can also develop media pitches and monitor HARO for media opportunities.
Stop making yourself crazy trying to do all this stuff by yourself in your small business. If you outsource two or three of these functions, the consultant will pay for itself in no time. Do your research, check their references and ask for referrals from fellow small business owners before hiring anyone. Once you start outsourcing a few non-critical tasks in your small business, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to do it.
Outsource Key Showing Subcontracting And Freelance courtesy of Stuart Miles / www.freedigitalphotos.net
What tasks do you outsource in your small business?