Overhead can overtake small businesses in a hurry. But too many business owners impede their revenue growth doing everything just to save a few bucks.
Strategic outsourcing solves this dilemma.
Many entrepreneurs reject outsourcing because of the extra cost. However, they fail to calculate the value of opportunities lost because they sank too much time into energy-sapping tasks best left to others. Simply put, they save money but they do not make money.
As an example, I could put together my own PowerPoint presentations if I chose to do so. But I would spend twice as long as as an extremely proficient designer, and in the end, it would look half as good.
If I did it myself, I might save $50 in outsourcing fees. But it would cost me two hours of my workweek, two hours I could spend figuring out how to raise 10, 20 or even 100 times that amount in revenue.
So in the spirit of creating more time in your day to grow your business, here are five key outsourcing opportunities for small businesspeople:
This may seem obvious, but it is too critical to leave off the list. Not only is accounting time consuming, it is also more and more of a specialty trade (especially in highly regulated states such as California). Accountants know the rules and can keep you out of trouble. They are highly efficient because they do this stuff every day.
Rule number one: Find a good bookkeeper for day-to-day accounting, a great payroll company to handle paychecks and withholdings and an even better CPA for tax accounting.
Separate from the accounting function is your relationship with an actual human being at your local bank. Most banks today have small-business specialists who can help you with cash flow, loans, grants, lines of credit and more. You need money to run a business. Your small business banker can help.
This includes website art, logos, letterhead, etc. Everyone thinks they can do their own design work, and they can, but very few can do it well. You can find incredibly talented designers on eLance.com who can handle all of your artwork needs for a very small amount. I had an entire PowerPoint deck built for a major presentation. It cost me $35 and it was stellar.
4. Social media
I am all for reaching out on Facebook and Twitter, but doing so takes time. Trust me, there is a college kid in a marketing class out there that would love some part-time work strategically posting, responding to posts and articles, finding connected people to link to, etc. Don’t let your inner control freak get in the way -- outsource this crucial element.
If your business requires a great deal of written material, find someone who specializes in word crafting and editing. Spend your time coming up with great content. Leave it to someone else to pore over your documents and ensure accuracy. A second set of skilled eyes will catch and improve things that you will miss.
Do what you do best and outsource the rest.