— November 15, 2017
You can’t do everything yourself, so stop trying.
It’s been a long but rewarding week. Your business is doing very well and sales have exceeded projections by a comfortable margin. Your sales staff is all smiles as the day comes to a close, and you tell them to have a great weekend. They’ve totally earned it. As well as things have been going lately, you should be looking forward to enjoying a relaxing weekend, too. But you’re not. There’s one major problem…
You have to work tomorrow.
There are things that still need to be done. Deadlines are approaching. Payroll is due, and your employees are counting on you. You can’t let them down. You need to update your website to tell customers about a big upcoming sale. It can’t wait. And you also need to catch up on the bookkeeping. You’ve been focused like a laser on maximizing revenue and have neglected to record the transactions.
Such is life as a small business owner, right? Sixty-hour work weeks. Few days off. Married to your business.
Not so fast.
There’s no reason why you can’t be a successful business owner and also have a life. In fact, you can free up a lot of time by outsourcing many common business tasks for much less than you may think. A simple internet search easily turns up many freelancers eager to do just about anything for very little money. Small businesses can realize substantial savings on wages and benefits by outsourcing tasks instead of hiring additional employees.
The following are nine common tasks you can easily outsource to save both money and time:
Payroll services take all of the aggravation out of paying your employees. Once you get set up with a payroll service, you tell them how many hours each employee worked in a particular period, and they take care of the rest for you. No more headaches trying to calculate wages, withholding, and deductions. No more confusion over employment tax filings. And most importantly, fewer payroll errors.
Keeping up with the financial books can be confusing, complicated, and time-consuming. By using a bookkeeping service, you can leave this tedious task to professionals who specialize in debits, credits, balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and other accounting matters. Many bookkeeping services employ experienced staff who are certified bookkeepers. They often also have specialized training and certification in a variety of common bookkeeping systems.
Your online presence is critical. And if your website looks like a student project, your customers won’t take you seriously. And that means lost sales. Yes, it’s possible to create your own website, and many people do. But if you want a website that will knock the socks off of everyone who sees it, hire a freelance website designer to make sure the job is done right.
Many small businesses need custom artistic designs created to use in advertisements, on their websites, for company logos, letterhead, and for other purposes. Unless you have a great deal of artistic ability, this is one thing you definitely want to leave to a pro. A graphic designer can create a custom design that can really make your business stand out. Amateur designs are usually obvious, and that can drive business away.
Most people think they can write. Nearly everyone has a book idea he or she plans on writing someday. But like artists, musicians, and other creatives, good writers are not born. It takes many years of practice to perfect their craft. A good copywriter can use the psychology of persuasion to draw customers in — to convince them that the products or services you offer are the best ones for their needs and desires. If you need website content, a sales letter, or other written material for your business, let a professional do the writing for you to make sure your business is portrayed in the best possible light.
Do you sometimes wish you had an administrative assistant but don’t think you have enough work to keep one busy? If you think your business is too small for an administrative assistant, think again. It’s now possible to hire what’s known as a virtual assistant — an administrative assistant who works remotely — that you communicate with primarily through email, telephone, or Skype. With virtual assistants, you only pay for the actual time they spend working on your projects.
The computers we rely on for so many business tasks sometimes get cranky. They occasionally crash, freeze, get viruses, or mysteriously slow down. When these things happen, it’s time to call an IT professional. But you don’t want to just call a computer technician when things stop working. It’s also a good idea to let a pro handle setting up any complicated systems, like local area networks. Making sure your computer systems are properly configured can do a lot to keep problems from materializing.
Any type of repetitive data entry work is something you should definitely consider outsourcing. There are more productive ways to utilize your time.
Social Media Marketing
If you don’t have a strong social media presence, you’re really missing out on a great way to market your business by connecting with current and future customers. But it takes time to make all of those posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and others. This is something you can easily outsource. A social media marketer can take care of all of your posts, respond to comments and questions, and make you look great online.
Outsource to Get Your Life Back
Your time is valuable. Why spend it on things that can be easily and inexpensively outsourced? Outsourcing gives you the ability to get your weekends back, reduce your workload, and keep your sanity as a small business owner. Most importantly, outsourcing allows you to have a life.