Small business owners shouldn’t try to do everything themselves and it’s expensive to hire internal help. Thankfully, there are some functions that can easily be outsourced.
Editor鈥檚 Note: This post was submitted by guest blogger, Kristin Savage. Enjoy!
What鈥檚聽 one of your聽 goals as the owner of a small business?
Probably, concentrating on operational growth and increasing your business鈥檚 efficiency without spending too many resources.
At the same time, you might feel the need to control all the operations to make sure that your small business is running smoothly. In other words, you feel like Jack-of-all-trades, forced to be a master at everything. But do you have to do that?
Of course, you might already be considering expanding your staff and assign a person or a team to do a certain task, even if you鈥檙e not sure you have the budget right now. Luckily, with various outsourcing opportunities today, you don鈥檛 have to sacrifice the resources you could be spending on the growth of your small business.
How Common is Outsourcing Among Small Businesses?
Today, you can outsource almost any small business function to freelancers or different agencies, which many small business owners take advantage of.
The statistics by Clutch, 52% of small business owners started outsourcing. Their report shows that:
- 24% of them managed to increase the efficiency of their small business
- 18% of owners chose to outsource certain functions to get expert help
According to Clutch, businesses that have more than 50 employees,聽are less likely to resort to outsourcing. Meanwhile, small businesses can thrive on outsourcing, as it is a rather cost-effective way to get the job done and help your business run smoothly.
So, which small business functions can you outsource?
Let鈥檚 take a look.
- Accounting and Bookkeeping
Doing taxes and preparing invoices is quite time-consuming, and if you don鈥檛 have an in-house team to do that for you, outsourcing this task can save you a lot of time.
Apart from obvious reasons like lower employee costs and high flexibility, there are two main reasons to outsource accounting and bookkeeping:
A) Fraud prevention
In 2018, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners discovered that small businesses with fewer than 100 employees suffered a median loss of $200,000 due to fraud crimes committed by their own employees or leadership.
These businesses usually don鈥檛 have the budget to hire a controller or a Chief Financial Officer to track these operations.
As you outsource accounting and bookkeeping, it will save you money to hire one person, who won鈥檛 have to oversee the entire department, but will control their work and elaborate fraud prevention mechanisms.
B) Task automation
It costs a lot to hire an accountant. But to run a cost-effective accounting department, you also need to invest in accounting software. This can add an extra $100 – $1000 per user per month. The people you outsource your accounting and bookkeeping to already have access to this software.
Indeed, it can be hard to trust someone else with your money. If this is your case, make sure that there鈥檚 one person in your staff who can control these operations so you can concentrate on the growth of your small business.
- Customer Support
No matter how small your business is, there are no excuses for you not to have a customer service support system in place. However, having in-house customer support can cost you a lot, from recruitment expenses to customer service software, the money adds up quickly.
How can outsourcing customer support help small businesses?
Depending on your product or service, you might only need one person splitting their time between customer service and their other duties. Or you many need up to a dozen people pulling their weight in the customer service department as your business grows.
Neither is ideal as you’re either taking employees away from other aspects of their job to handle customer service inquiries or you’re spending a lot of money on an in-house customer service team. Many small businesses have found that outsourcing their customer service calls to a professional call center is the ideal solution.
Such agencies also often do bilingual customer support, which makes your customer service more flexible. They also offer an option of the 24-hour customer support, which gives you a competitive advantage. Small businesses can use a call center to supplement their in-house customer service efforts or hand them over altogether.
- IT Services
Today, running even a small business is impossible without having an IT department.
However, an in-house IT department can be quite expensive, considering that one Computer Network Support Technician costs around $42,000 a year on average. In addition to this, consider all the maintenance costs. That鈥檚 a lot for a small business to handle.
How can you benefit from outsourcing IT services?
Apart from cutting down on recruitment and maintenance expenses, there are a few other benefits you鈥檒l get from outsourcing IT services:
- Ongoing IT support. Some outsourcing agencies offer ’round-the-clock IT management, which is a great perk if you鈥檙e running a small business in e-commerce when a sudden malfunction of your servers in the middle of the night can damage your business.
- Improved cybersecurity. To prevent your business from hacker attacks, you can single out and outsource security testing and monitoring to a separate remote team to make sure that your customers can continue buying your products or using your service safely.
When outsourcing IT services, make sure that the agency or the freelancer you鈥檙e hiring have the proper certifications, like Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) in addition to experience in the field.
- Content Marketing
Today, it鈥檚 hard to get your business noticed without producing content. Content is the internet鈥檚 most valuable currency, and you need to take advantage of it if you want to grow your small business.
In theory, it seems easy 鈥 you come up with a few content ideas and you make them happen. In reality, however, each content type requires thorough planning.
For instance, when it comes to running a blog, you not only have to come up with blog post ideas but also work on SEO and outreach to increase the visibility of your content.
What benefits do you get from outsourcing content marketing?
For starters, you鈥檒l make it easier for your small marketing department to function since you鈥檒l be taking a huge chunk of work from their shoulders.
But apart from that, outsourcing content marketing also allows you to:
- Produce more content. If you only rely on your in-house marketing team, you should understand that there鈥檚 a clear limit to how much content they can create. But while other people are busy creating content for you, your marketing team can scale their efforts and concentrate on controlling the process and ensuring its quality.
- Experiment with different content types. You can have your remote team produce different types of content and run A/B tests to see, which one will work best for your small business.
- Product clean, high-quality content. When you hire someone to create content for you, high quality and performance are not out of the question. Writing companies, like TrustMyPaper, GrabMyEssay, and TopEssayWriting, which businesses often outsource content creation, even have a quality assurance policy and work closely with their clients鈥 marketing teams to produce high-quality content.
- Get a source of fresh ideas. If you鈥檙e new to content marketing, it might be hard for you to come up with a strategy right away. But if you outsource this task to professionals, they will help you study your marketing potential and elaborate a detailed content marketing strategy with some unique content ideas.
No matter how well you may know your product, it can be difficult to put on your marketing hat and get into the heads of your potential customers. Outsourcing is a great idea in this case, allowing you to concentrate on other business functions, while professional marketers do this job for you.
Over to You
As you can see, you can outsource almost any small business function without losing performance.
You can start with outsourcing accounting and IT services, as these functions are needed for your small business to run smoothly, and then try outsourcing customer support and content marketing as your small business keeps growing.
Worried about losing control?聽 If you鈥檙e worried about your control and quality of their work, you can assign a person from your staff for each of these functions and rest assured knowing that there is a person you can trust who聽is responsible for overseeing the quality of these operations.
bio: Kristin Savage is a professional writer, a blogger with聽 聽BestEssay Education and a contributing at Supreme Dissertations. She has a degree in Marketing and has been working as a freelance specialist in digital marketing聽 to help different companies run campaigns and promote their products.