5 Tasks Entrepreneurs Are Better Off Outsourcing
Being an entrepreneur means there’s always more work to do, and not enough time to do it. That’s why the most successful business owners delegate certain tasks to freelance contractors who specialize in providing valuable time-saving services for a fee.
In today’s Internet-fueled service economy, it’s easier and more convenient than ever to hire people to perform fee-for-service jobs on a one-time or ongoing basis. Here are five jobs you should consider outsourcing to experts, and some resources for finding qualified professionals.
1. Accounting and taxes.
Frankly, no successful business owner should have to do his or her own taxes. It gets more complicated and time-consuming staying on top of your expenses the bigger your business becomes. Hire a reputable person to keep your books in order, help you grow your business, and give you sage advice. A Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) will organize your finances and help you figure out what parts of your business bring in the most and least income. Word-of-mouth is always the best way to find a qualified CPA or you can contact your state accounting society.
2. Writing and social media.
When you need website verbiage, high-quality blog posts, newsletter articles, marketing materials (like brochures and ad copy), case studies or whitepaper reports, a professional writer can produce it for you. Many writers can also provide content for your social media profiles to get your message out through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites. This guide to hiring freelance writers explains your main options.
3. Graphic design and web development.
Whether you want a more attractive website, a brand-defining logo or eye-catching print materials, a professional graphic designer will help your business look its best. Whatever your goals, there’s a graphic designer with the talent, aesthetic sensibilities, and visual skills to fulfill your vision and enhance your company brand. Many also offer web development, which will make your website function technically. Check out this basic guide to hiring freelance graphic designers and web developers.
4. Administrative assistance.
If you dread sifting through your overflowing email inbox every day, a virtual administrative assistant (VA) may be just what you need to streamline that frustrating process and keep you from being inundated by a constant stream of messages. In addition to consolidating and prioritizing your correspondence, VAs can do other secretarial and clerical tasks such as scheduling appointments and making travel plans. You can find a qualified VA who’ll save you time and help you stay organized at the International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA) or upwork.com.
5. Web research.
Prospecting for new business and keeping up with the latest developments in your industry can be time consuming and daunting. A web researcher can research information you, whether it’s gathering information and statistics for an upcoming presentation or looking up the names of companies and contacts for a leads list. They can also organize this material in a form that’s easy to use and read. You can find a plethora of web researchers at elance.com.
Before you waste your time on another project, consider hiring freelance contractors to take care of both routine and higher-level business tasks. This will make your to-do list shorter and free you up to focus on the things you’re best at and that generate the most income for your business.
Jacqueline Whitmore is an etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach in Palm Beach, Fla. She is the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals (St. Martin's Press, 2011) and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work (St. Martin's Press, 2005).