Even the most adept small business entrepreneurs cannot expect to excel in every facet of commercial operations. In fact, the ingredient setting apart enduring, successful businesses may indeed be their leaders’ ability to effectively partner and delegate, for maximum effect.
Among the many strategies for harnessing the power of top talent, outsourcing provides access to proven performers, without some of the downsides of completing tasks in house. Though it may seem counterintuitive, adding an outsourcing expense, prudent moves contracting services can save money and help you focus on the efforts required to grow and improve your business.
Recent findings by OnPay indicate human resources and payroll alone may require 40 hours of your time each month. If you’re like many new entrepreneurs, you may have opted to take on these responsibilities yourself. While it’s possible you’ll enjoy temporary success managing the burden, you’ll eventually burn out, or at least lose focus on other important aspects of your business.
When you reach your limit administering widespread professional responsibilities, or exhaust your resources, getting everything done; outsourcing provides an effective alternative to tackling it all on your own. In the cases of HR and payroll, for example, your best two options for managing the responsibilities may come down to hiring an entire department to complete the tasks, or outsourcing to an agency capable of meeting your needs . Presented with the two alternatives, budding businesses with other spending priorities often accept outsourcing as a realistic, cost-effective solution.
Bring the Benefits of Outsourcing to Your Small Business
An Inc. article recently explored small business outsourcing, suggesting ways forward-looking small business entrepreneurs should view and utilize outsourcing in their own endeavors. According to the piece, almost everything small businesses need can be outsourced in 2019, so the strategy is worth a look.
A comprehensive assessment of your operational strengths and weaknesses can help you decide when it’s best to work in house, and when it makes more sense to outsource. After evaluating your company, consider outsourcing the following commercial needs.
Creative Content – Everyone’s an author in the information age, and numerus non-professionals also claim design expertise. Unfortunately for many deluded small business owners, writing, generating artwork, producing videos and other creative output is not an in-house strength. In fact, well-meaning business operators committed to contributing creative content may be doing themselves a disservice.
Although it may save you a few dollars up front, skimping on creative work isn’t a viable savings strategy. On the contrary, the typical return on investment (ROI) for creative spending is high, so money earmarked for proficient providers is money well spent. Amateur creative output simply doesn’t make the splash your small business needs; using professionally produced material raises the odds of growing a bigger, better business.
Consulting niche sites can help you find affordable content. The market is competitive, so you may be able to choose from design suites priced as low as a few hundred dollars, and contract insightful blog content for around one-hundred dollars per post.
Everyday Responsibilities – In addition to desirable, high-profile duties, monotonous, mundane work is a reality for most organizations. Why outsource rewarding business activities when you may be able to offload some of the routine tasks you’d rather not spend time completing? According to Inc. contributor, Gene Hammett, no one within your organization should spend time completing tasks that are below his or her level of expertise.
Assigning tedious tasks to an employee with a specialized skill set is not a good use of resources. Rather than burden top talent with ordinary, routine, responsibilities, strive to automate the tasks whenever possible, and outsource the rest. Saddling team members with repetitive work diminishes the employees’ value, preventing them from growing in ways that could benefit your business.
Given the opportunity, staff members will excel, but not until you break the chains that bind them. Data entry, scheduling, billing and some customer service functions can be effectively outsourced to free your in-house talent for higher-level jobs, maximizing their skill sets. In his Inc. article, Hammett suggests delegating such tasks to a competent college student for under $25 an hour, or turning to sites such as Somebody 2 Hire and Priority VA. He also advises using the potential for permanent future employment to lure candidates.
Expertise You Don’t Possess – Your primary focus operating a small business should be core competencies. No one knows your specialized niche better than you do, so it’s important to stay focused on the elements of your business in which you’re expertly qualified.
Part-time advisors and consultants may not break the bank, and even C-level responsibilities can be outsourced – though you’ll want to vet candidates very closely, due to the nature of their job responsibilities. If you’re unsure what to look for in outside help, consult other business leaders with outsourcing experience, and seek checklists and other resources to help you make outsourcing decisions.
Areas in Which You Struggle – Outsourcing your strengths doesn’t make sense. A comprehensive assessment can help you determine the work that should be held in house and which tasks are well-suited for outsourcing. Whether it’s content marketing or HR management, reviewing your company is bound to illuminate areas in which you regularly fall short. Outsourcing helps fill the voids where you struggle most.
One strategy put forth by Hammett is basing outsourcing decisions on the answers to two vital questions. Is it possible to hire internal staff for less than the cost of an outsourced agency? Do you know an individual capable of doing the job as well as an outsourced partner? If you can’t honestly answer yes to both questions, outsourcing may provide the preferred approach.
In order to maintain control of every aspect of their commercial ventures, driven entrepreneurs famously take on a wide range of professional responsibilities. Though attention to detail and thorough coverage are essential in business, managing everything in house isn’t always the most prudent path to success. In many cases, outsourcing provides advantages you can’t generate with internal staff.