Wearing multiple hats is no easy job for anyone, but it comes with the territory of managing your own business, or starting up your, well, start-up. Time management skills become essential, but the fact remains: There’s only so much you (or a small team) can do in 24 hours in the day.
Fortunately, there are multiple cost-effective solutions to entrepreneurs’ lack of time and energy when attempting to manage the roles of sales, marketing, management, HR and accounting all at once. And because no two start-ups or small business teams are the same, it’s important to assess your current situation before choosing which duties to outsource. Ask yourself these questions before diving into freelance websites and price quotes:
- Which roles or tasks am I (or one of my team members) am fully capable of doing?
- Outside of those directly required of the position, are there other possible strengths that I or members of my team possess that may help to lower outsourcing costs?
If your office manager is also social media-savvy, perhaps it’s time to leverage that skill to promote your business online. If you’re good with numbers, maybe outsourcing other tasks not related to payroll or accounting—like marketing or PR—would be more beneficial in the long run. Find the top tasks to consider outsourcing below.
1. Blogging / content marketing
“Instead of busying yourself with mundane tasks that others can do, you could better invest your time in growing your business,” according to WebHostingSecretRevealed, which suggested that startup blogging was the No. 1 task worth outsourcing. This goes for social media too, an equally beneficial marketing tool worth the return on investment.
Why? Because entrepreneurs and SBO’s lack time, and it’s the one ingredient required to nurture and grow a content marketing blog, a long-term investment that’s essential for business growth. “A blog can be a platform for connecting and communicating with potential customers, investors, and influencers, building your brand, and boosting your website’s SEO.”
2. Website / Graphic design or online branding
There’s never a second chance to make a first impression, especially on the internet. If your website or online brand presence is in need of a facelift, these duties may be best left to the experts; that is, unless you or an employee has enough experience in design and organizational development to meet your business’s needs. Keep in mind, this role must also be well-versed in best practices for B2B and B2c websites, SEO techniques, marketing trends and analysis, and writing concisely and conversationally for target audiences on the web.
“It gets more complicated and time-consuming staying on top of your expenses the bigger your business becomes,” according to Entrepreneur, which advises business owners to ask for word-of-mouth recommendations when it comes to hiring tax professionals or to contact your state accounting society.
4. Administrative / HR
For administrative work that can bog down business owners, however, Entrepreneur suggests sites like Upwork or the International Virtual Assistants Association to scour for potential individuals who might be able to assist.
5. Research and other miscellaneous tasks
Whether you’re looking for someone to write your web copy, design a presentation, conduct market research, create a logo or any other infrequent task, it might be time to start making a list of specific needs and deciding on a budget, and begin to scout for outsource partners.
Websites like outsource.com and elance.com offer services that help businesses or entrepreneurs find freelancers, and vice versa, and most offers or pay rates are displayed so there’s no need to “haggle” over pricing. The downfall is that it’s hard to gauge whether this individual is an ideal “fit” for your business’s task at hand, and will be able to grasp your brand’s identity and goals in order to complete a project which can meet or exceed expectations.
(Photo via Kyle Pearce/Flickr, Creative Commons)