Running a business involves a lot of work, and many of the jobs that eat up your day are things that are peripheral to the actual niche of your business. If you’re spending more time on paperwork, invoicing and payroll than you are on the task of making money, then perhaps it’s time to consider outsourcing those parts of your business. Consider how much time the following tasks eat up on a weekly basis:
1. Invoicing: Calculating, printing and sending invoices, and then chasing for payment if it is late can be a time consuming job. There are many companies that will handle it for you, for a percentage of each invoice. If you have a lot of invoices to handle then outsourcing could be good value for money.
2. Accounting: If you aren’t a qualified accountant, then it makes sense to let someone else handle the books for you. A good accountant can often save you money in the long term, by greatly reducing the amount of tax you pay.
3. Document storage: The amount of paperwork that the average business ends up saddled with can be spectacular. Outsourcing your document storage is a good way to stay organized and free up a lot of office space.
4. Payroll: If you have more than a handful of employees, payroll can eat up a lot of time each month.
5. Marketing: Don’t underestimate the importance of a sound marketing strategy. Investing in marketing is a good way to grow your business, and should pay for itself many times over.
6. Order fulfilment: If you have a high volume of orders to cope with, then you may save money by outsourcing packing and delivery to a specialist company.
7. Human resources: How much of your time is taken up managing schedules, holidays, new hires, and departing employees? If you don’t have a big enough office to justify a full time HR person, then perhaps outsourcing could benefit you.
8. Customer service: Instead of tying up specialist employees by having them do double-duty on the phone, consider letting them focus on their jobs, while using remote workers to manage live chat, email support, and other contact lines.
9. Web services: You run a small business because you’re an expert in your trade. If that trade is not web development or something else IT related, then you probably don’t want to be stressing about website errors or server crashes. Let a dedicated IT company handle those.
10. Training: There is sometimes an overlap between the best teachers and the best “do-ers” but not always. If your star employee doesn’t have the time, inclination, or ability to train junior team members, why not send those new starters on a training course instead. Yes, it will cost you more up-front, but in the long term you’ll end up with happier and more productive employees because of it.
Outsourcing isn’t always the best option. If your company is still doing things on a small scale you might want to keep those things in-house, but there are times when it does work out cheaper and more efficient to let a specialist take over. The key to success is identifying those times.