Starting a small business is often a one-man operation, but just because you’re small doesn’t mean that you don’t need help or that your public presentation should be less than professional. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of hiring employees, training them, tracking their hours and doing payroll, you don’t have to do it all yourself. Outsourcing allows you to focus on growing your business while the backend is taken off your shoulders. Here are the top five office jobs you should be outsourcing.
1. Answering the Phones
If you think you get spam calls now, wait until you deal with the volume of spam and cold sales calls you will receive as a business. Unless you’re willing to devote the majority of your time to answer the phone you’re better off hiring a virtual receptionist. Phone answering services have come a long way from an after-hours operator that took a message and called it a day. You can find bilingual services that provide around-the-clock service. Receptionists still take messages, but they also triage calls, patching through important calls to your cell phone, and taking basic orders.
2. Business Research
Whether you are doing market research or looking for the next technological tools that will give your business an edge over the competition, you’ll quickly find that effective research can takes days or even weeks out of your busy schedule. Often, small businesses simply walk away from important research because of its time-consuming nature. Don’t let your limited time limit your business opportunities. Outsource your business research to companies like Elance and Freelancer to find the data you need to effectively make decisions.
You already know that you should be working with a business accountant but that doesn’t take the majority of day-to-day accounting tasks off your hands. Instead of hiring a bookkeeper try outsourcing this job. When you use Software-as-a-Service accounting software your outsourced team will be able to access your files from any location.
Business bookkeeping is a full-time job. If you aren’t ready to hire a full-time employee using a service frees up your time for other projects. Also, keep in mind that you cannot afford to skimp on your accounting. If you don’t really know double-entry bookkeeping or understand how to set up payroll, hiring this job out just makes sense.
4. Presentation Preparation
From Google Slides to applications like Prezi, there are amazing, free resources out there for creating eye-catching presentations, but no matter which one you choose, actually designing an effective presentation takes education and time. You can certainly watch a bunch of YouTube training videos on slide transitions, but again, is this an effective use of your time? Instead, hire someone who is a subject matter expert. Your sales and marketing presentations will never look half-baked or homemade when you’re working with an outsourced professional.
Finally, outsource your marketing. This is an area where having a professional can mean the difference between getting by and rapid success. Learning how to navigate SEO, social media advertising and how to make your own posts and videos, are all things you should be slowly learning, but if it isn’t your forte yet, outsource your marketing to someone who already has all the tools in their toolbox. Give your business the best chance from the start with an effective marketing campaign.
Outsourcing these five roles means saving the cost of five full-time employees and giving yourself time to focus on the parts of the business where you excel. Even after you have become a larger operation you may find that the convenience of outsourcing is a plus no matter what size your business.