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Is it time for my business to start outsourcing?

Running your own business can be rewarding, but also a lot of hard work. You’ll often find yourself wearing multiple hats, including sales, marketing, IT, office manager, accounts, human resources and more. But is spreading your time across all these different areas effective, or is it just taking your attention away from other important tasks, which could make your business fall short of meeting its full potential?

To help, one popular path for businesses to consider is outsourcing. Keep reading to find out more about what this involves, how to tell whether it’s the right route for your business, as well as how to get started:

Should my business outsource work?

There are several advantages to working on your own, but there are also limits to how far you can stretch yourself. If you’re struggling to get everything done, are getting bogged down in the day-to-day running of your business, or are stuck with mundane, repetitive tasks, don’t be afraid to look for help. Outsourcing gives you the opportunity to hand responsibility of certain tasks over to someone else. Not only can this help to improve your work/life balance, it can also give you more time to focus on top-level planning and development, where you can help your business stay successful and grow.

Although your first instinct may be to hire someone to help, taking on a new employee is a big step. It may not be something you want to do straight away as a new business, especially due to the financial responsibility required. Outsourcing is therefore an alternative to consider. It is less risky and can provide you with some much-needed flexibility. This is because contractors can increase or decrease their level of support depending on your workload, peaks and troughs in the market and budgets.

Is now the right time for my business to start outsourcing?

There is no right or wrong time to start outsourcing. However, if you feel like you never have enough hours in the day to even do the basics and are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, now could be the perfect time to start outsourcing a few tasks.

If you’ve also reached a point in your business where you want to take it to the next level, but just don’t have the time to manage the process, this could be another sign that now is the right time to consider outsourcing.

What work should I outsource?

Start by making a list of all the tasks you do each day, however big or small. Next, think about which tasks you don’t really add value to, take up most of your time, are unenjoyable, or that you don’t have the skillset for. These are the kinds of tasks you could consider outsourcing. Ideally, you should only be working on tasks that you can add value to and that only you can do.

Not sure where to start? Here are 10 tasks that are often outsourced by businesses:

  1. Social media management
  2. Website content update
  3. Monthly newsletter creation
  4. Administrative work
  5. Data entry
  6. Report creation
  7. Client invoicing
  8. Customer support
  9. Payroll
  10. Recruitment

It can be daunting taking this first step and so instead of just leaping in, start small. Try outsourcing 1 or 2 small tasks first, to test out your contractors. Then, if you’re happy with them, build upon the work from there, factoring in your workload and available budget.

How can I find the right contractor for the work?

It can be difficult relinquishing control of tasks to someone else. However, it becomes easier if you find someone who you can trust and rely on. This will make the process go a lot smoother and will be a weight off your mind.

Firstly, you could consider going to established businesses, such as a marketing agency or an accountancy firm in your local area. However, an increasingly popular option for businesses is to look for contractors/individuals via sites such as Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, Upwork and Fiverr.

Has your business outsourced any work, or are you considering it for the future? Let us know your experiences below, or tweet us @BusinessZone.


Author Bio

Elizabeth Harmon is a writer for Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. She discusses various subjects, including business, careers and online marketing. She is a Social Media Consultant with a number of years’ experience in the field. She has worked with a growing list of clients around the world, helping to build successful social media strategies, create effective content and much more. You can follow her on Twitter @Liz_Harmon or see more of her blogs here.

Article source: http://www.businesszone.co.uk/community/blogs/elizabethharmon/is-it-time-for-my-business-to-start-outsourcing

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