Small business owners have a lot going on, and sometimes, needed tasks are left incomplete. You don’t have enough time, people, or resources to finish everything during the day or the week. Small businesses can take a cue from large companies by outsourcing some of their daily and repetitive work.
Outsourcing is usually associated with cost-saving, but it’s much more. It primarily involves handing tasks to someone who understands them well, like accounting. It also helps you invest your time in the primary aspects of your business instead of working on tasks that someone with that expertise could better handle. Letting someone else take them lets you focus on your core business and better serve your customers.
If you find yourself thinking, “If I had more time,” or “I don’t have the time,” outsourcing may be the answer to this problem.
When should you consider outsourcing?
The Small Business Administration reports that over one-third of US small businesses outsource at least some of their functions. Before proceeding, you’ll need to assess the pros and cons of outsourcing for your small business. Is your small business suffering because of one of these reasons?
- If you discover you’re overwhelmed and don’t have time to finish everything
- If you don’t have the skills and expertise to handle something
- If your business is growing and you cannot keep up with everything
- Your business is subject to seasonal or market fluctuations, and you need to scale up and down accordingly
Handing off a particular function or task for your business to an outside party with the expertise to handle them more efficiently gets them completed. You’ll save thousands of hours trying to figure things out yourself and use that time to focus on your business. The money spent on outsourcing should return as ROI (return on investment) and increased sales and revenue.
Outsourcing enables you to accomplish more while entrusting crucial tasks and processes to skilled professionals without expanding your permanent workforce. Finding outsourced professionals online broadens the pool of candidates from your local area to nationwide or worldwide. You’ll have a better chance of finding the right person for each job you want to outsource.
Working with outsourced professionals helps you better manage expenses, enhance productivity, and allocate resources for you and your team to concentrate on the most valuable activities for the business.
What tasks can you outsource?
You can easily outsource many repetitive “back-office” tasks to others who can handle them, such as:
- Administrative tasks
- Customer Service
- Human Resources
- IT Management
- Shipping & Logistics, such as a 3PL (“third-party logistics”) firm that handles shipment collectively
Working with one or more outsourced professionals can take the burden of “business” off your shoulders. You may even have time to pick up morning coffee for your team, knowing that the “big task” you had to do is in good hands.
For instance, a small e-commerce company may outsource its IT functions, customer service, accounting/bookkeeping, and administrative work. This frees up time to manage other tasks in-house, such as content creation and social media management.
Remember that you are not outsourcing the entire business, just those tasks and functions that an expert can better handle. Outsourcing essential tasks can help increase efficiency, handle costs, and free up more time and resources for you and your team to focus on your business and customers.
Where to find people for outsourcing
An online search will yield a range of specialized companies that can handle your outsourcing needs. You can choose one or more of the companies and platforms that work to help small businesses with these functions. Decide what you need help with the most before signing up and hiring someone. These are just some companies and websites where you can find professionals to assist with outsourcing for your small business.
The world’s #1 platform for freelance work, Upwork boasts skilled professionals from a wide variety of skills and professions, including:
- Admin and customer support
- Data entry specialists
- Engineering and architecture
- Finance and Accounting
- Graphic designer
- Legal services
- SEO expert
- Social media manager
- Tax Preparation
- Virtual assistants
- WordPress developer
Once you post your job or project, you will receive proposals from Upwork’s vetted service providers. Discuss your company’s needs with each one to find the right person for each outsourced task. It is up to you who you choose to work with, and you can hire more than one provider if necessary. Providers work either hourly rates or project-based fixed-price fees. Sign up with a free client account to get started.
This rival to Upwork began as a marketplace for people covering tasks for $5. Fiverr has since evolved into a similar talent marketplace and job platform for freelance professionals. Unlike Upwork, everything is project-based pricing. Business owners can outsource tasks such as:
- “End-to-End Projects” that allow ordering everything from beginning to end in a single order
- Digital Marketing
- Fiverr Logo Maker
- Graphics & Design
- Music & Audio
- Programming & Tech
- Video & Animation
- Writing & Translation
Fiverr also offers a three-tier set of Business Solutions:
- Fiverr Pro
- Fiverr Certified
- Fiverr Enterprise
Each one has various levels of service for different business needs.
Fully Booked VA
This website offers training to virtual assistants and has a service for anyone to find and hire a trained VA when they need one. These VAs range from $20 to $40 per hour for those with specialized skill sets like social media management.
This company offers payroll, HR, and other related services such as health and wellness benefit administration, time and attendance, onboarding, compliance, and retirement for any size business. Since 1971, Paychex has helped companies handle their payroll and HR functions. From a one-person company to companies with 1,000+ employees, Paychex’s all-in-one tech system, “Paychex Flex,” includes all the functionality any company may need. They offer 24/7 support by phone, chat, or email. You can choose exactly what services you need.
If cost is a consideration, or you’d like 24/7 customer service for your business, offshore outsourcing is also available. India and The Philippines are two of the most popular countries for outsourcing many small business functions by companies such as:
Small businesses can easily hire customer service representatives and virtual assistants from offshore services for less than hiring domestic workers. Other services such as graphic and web design, IT support, digital marketing, and even engineering and architecture are available from offshore providers at a fraction of the cost of domestic.
Is a VoIP System in your future?
Finally, outsourcing tasks may require changes to your telephony, including adding extensions, recording calls, call reporting, and free international calling for a global workforce. Contact Press8 Telecom today to discuss upgrading your small business phone system to a new, flexible VoIP system for less money than a traditionally hosted PBX system. Talk to us, and we’ll give you a free quote on the system that works for your company.