Micromanaging often seems to go hand in hand with running a small business. But inevitably, as organizations grow, it becomes clear that even the most diligent and efficient owner can’t do everything. This is one of the many reasons outsourcing, where a business gets a product or service from a third party rather than handling it themselves, has become so enormously popular. Not only does outsourcing of some of the non-core business functions save time, but it can also significantly lower costs, increase efficiency and can give businesses access to an expertise pool that would be expensive to hire and retain. Whatever stage you’re at as an operation, there are functions of your business you should always look to outsource. Here are some of them.
Businesses cannot function without accounting. You need to track and record invoices and payments (both incoming and outgoing) and taxes must be paid accurately and on time. Keeping tabs on your finances is time-consuming, and it is never a simple matter, especially if you are growing. There are a maze of regulations and requirements to contend with, and these practices often change. It is very easy to make mistakes, and errors can wind up being very costly. If an audit is triggered, this can mean your profits are destroyed by a flood of back taxes and penalties. Accounting is best left to experts. In these digital times, accounting is one of the first tasks a small business should outsource.
Human Resources can be a minefield for small businesses. It’s a wide-ranging term covering all sorts of business functions – hiring, firing, training, time keeping, payroll, benefits and ongoing employee management. Much like accounting, there are many regulations and obligations that must be adhered to, with stiff penalties possible where mistakes are made. Outsourcing your HR has many benefits. Finding talent to recruit can be a long process – getting an expert to do this can get the right candidates in front of you. Payroll can become a smooth process instead of a monthly hassle while ensuring accuracy – and that the right amount of tax is paid! Leave can be managed closely so you don’t end up giving your staff 40 days off instead of 25.
All businesses need to market themselves to retain their existing customers as well as finding new ones. To succeed in this digital era, you need a professional website, and you need to understand how to select, buy and execute the correct marketing channels. Although there is a science to it, in marketing nothing is ever a sure thing. Getting it right is an art, and one that takes a major time commitment on an ongoing basis. Hiring a marketing agency will take the stress of creating your message and putting it in the right place. They’ll help you with your strategy, your ad design and schedule all those pesky social media posts too! They can also build you the great, content-rich site you need (together with the SEO to get it up the search engine rankings) to give your business the digital shop window it needs. You’ll also want to know how to start a blog.
No matter what size the organization, nothing bogs small business owners down like our old friend admin. Scheduling meetings, managing diaries, fielding questions and staying on top of your inbox can be fiendishly difficult. Simple stuff, but time-consuming as heck. Fortunately, technology has made it possible to take all these tasks and hand them over to virtual assistants. VAs are becoming more and more commonplace and can be used to handle all manner of jobs that need doing but you don’t have the time for. No matter what’s required, you can find a VA with the skills you need that can work at a time that suits you. It can be a very cost-effective way of freeing you up to concentrate on growing your business.
Hiring The Team You Need, When You Need It
Today, the business world requires more flexibility than ever before. There have never been more opportunities, but competition has never been fiercer. When such opportunities arise, businesses need to scale quickly, but get the skill sets they need too. Hiring new employees or appointing individual contractors can be expensive, and a huge drain on time and resources. That is why so many companies turn to team as a service (taas) providers. With TAAS, you hire a remote team of highly skilled professionals. These are used to scale your company as rapidly and when you need it. After you’ve briefed the provider on your business and your needs, you can then use them as and when you want, on whatever sized tasks are required. You and your in-house team can then concentrate on core functions while keeping control over everything. Without doubt, it’s a new level of collaborative and flexible business thinking.