You’re proud of running your own independent business, but even the most enterprising business owners need to outsource. Not only does outsourcing to experts in creative, financial or other fields result in a better quality end-product, this frees up time and resources you could put back into your company.
Here are four things every small business should outsource:
1. Content & Inbound Marketing
Gone are the days of simply putting up a sign on a brick-and-mortar storefront to attract passersby. Now small businesses must compete for them through online and mobile marketing, which are more effective ways for companies to get seen by customers than traditional marketing like signs and direct mail.
Why invest in inbound marketing instead of traditional marketing? The Content Marketing Institute notes that content marketing - by having customers find brands themselves and engage with them willingly - cuts costs by 62 percent compared to traditional marketing.
With more people searching for businesses using their mobile device or a search engine, businesses should outsource their content creation and marketing to improve their company’s chances of being found by their customers. Half of people who performed a local search using their smartphone visited a nearby store within a day, according to HubSpot. The study suggests potential customers are ready to buy or at least find out more information to make a buying decision when they perform that search. But they need to be aware of your brand to take those final steps.
The cost savings of content marketing are likely to go down if small business owners inexperienced with the strategies of this dynamic form of marketing try it themselves.
Having had years of practice working with inbound marketing techniques, content marketers know how and when to apply the right strategies via a custom plan for your business.
Content and inbound marketing services to outsource:
Search engine optimization
Local/mobile search optimization
Content creation (main website pages, blogs, emails, etc.)
Social media advertising
2. Web Design
You want to be in total control of how you present your business to the world with your website acting as the face of your brand. However, web design is another service to outsource to ensure you attract customers immediately and keep them coming back for more.
Web design is no doubt time-consuming, but throw in other wasted resources like manpower, guides/books or other DIY solutions and you’ll likely spend more than you save. WordPress Developer Bill Erickson warns it takes 14 weeks from start to finish to build a website. Can you afford to devote three and a half months to web design and potentially have to pause other critical business functions?
There are both stylistic and technical components to web design and experts in this service can work with you to balance all these elements and meet your business needs. Finally, it helps to have an outside opinion of how to successfully put your business out there for the world to see.
Web design services to outsource:
Designing and wireframing website look
Hosting for website
Troubleshooting tech issues
3. Photography and Video Production
A visually-striking image is powerful for generating revenue for businesses so why risk having amateur pictures that fall flat? Not only is photography and video equipment expensive - with camera lenses costing hundreds or thousands of dollars each - there are other costs to consider like editing software.
The free image editing tools that are built into your computer won’t cut it. These are fine if you’re making a family slideshow, not when you’re seriously promoting your business.
In addition to the equipment and tools they already come with, professional photographers have a detailed eye for capturing images that will enhance the subject’s appeal and reflect your brand message at the same time.
Photography and video production services to outsource:
4. Accounting and Payroll
Outsourcing a complicated task like business accounting is a necessity for most owners.
A study by Wasp Barcode Technologies found 71 percent of small companies outsourced tax preparation services while 50 percent outsourced payroll. Just 14 percent said they left bookkeeping to an outside service, which could be a mistake for owners who are less knowledgeable about accounting and reporting requirements.
In the same study, about 1 in 3 participants said they had challenges with managing paperwork and 28 percent highlighted issues with closing the books each month. These problems could delay employee pay or miss financial inaccuracies. With financial regulations to also think about, hiring an accounting professional ensures staying away from legal trouble.
Accounting and payroll services to outsource:
Overseeing cash flow
Accounts receivables and collections
By outsourcing these services, small business owners spend more time growing their company instead of being frustrated with tasks best left to more experienced professionals.