There is a freelancer for almost every industry in the world. In this country alone, they make up about one-third of the workforce and that number is expected to increase to more than 50% in the next ten years. There are dozens of platforms online to help you find these workers. All it takes to find the right person for the job is a few clicks of your computer mouse. As an entrepreneur, you likely want to try to do everything. But with this horde of independent contractors all looking for work, why not focus your time and talents on your skill set? Which of course, is growing your business.
Delegation is part of the process of owning a business and growing it. You can’t scale if you’re trying to do everything yourself. Here are 6 things that small businesses can and should outsource to make their lives easier.
1. Accounting and Payroll
Taxes, invoices, and time sheets, oh my! Does this sound like a good time to you?
It shouldn’t. Because it isn’t a good time. You’re a busy person trying to get a startup off the ground and you’re going to try to do the accounting and payroll work yourself? Don’t be silly. There is only so much work one person can handle.
Accounting firms are really good at what they do. They know about tax laws, write-offs, and all sorts of ways around red tape. Sure, they’re going to cost you some cash. But in the end, they’ll end up saving you a ton of money and you’ll be thankful you made this move early on in the game.
2. Web Design and Development
Websites are a big deal. You can’t really open or operate a business without one. This is the digital age. If it doesn’t exist on the internet, it might as well not exist at all.
And if you’ve been doing your research, you probably know you can make a WordPress site with relative ease. You pick a host, a theme, and then you just create some content. Easy, peazy, right?
Not so much. If you’re taking your new company seriously, you want the best website you can buy. Luckily for you, finding a freelance WordPress developer who is out there building really nice websites at a reasonable rate can be relatively easy. You just need to know where to find them.
Writing blog posts can be fun. But do you really want to spend your Friday and Saturday nights sitting in your office and racking your brain trying to think of headlines?
Proper outsourcing is all about delegating your weaknesses. Unless you’ve done a lot of writing in the past, know a ton about keyword research, and know how to properly do internal and external linking, you might want to leave it to a pro.
Finding a content writer is likely one of the easiest contractors to find. Sites like Problogger and Blogging Pro have job boards that are specialized. They are just for clients who are looking for writers. And writers know about them. In fact, most pro writers check these boards daily. Problogger and Blogging Pro aren’t the only ones around, but they’re definitely two of the most popular. I recommend giving them a shot. You’ll probably have a writer working for you in less than a week.
Scheduling your own meetings and appointments isn’t just a hassle. These are the kind of tedious tasks that can make or break a new company.
Before you try to do some hiring, check out sites like Upwork, where you can find a Virtual Assistant. No more dealing with an assistant who isn’t getting the work done. These folks only get paid for time spent actually working. Expect to pay about $15-$20 per hour, but the bright side is that you don’t have to cover any benefits.
Some Virtual Assistants are so good you will wonder why you’re not having to pay them more. Interview your candidate just like you would a normal employee and find the person who’s right for your business. Ask for a portfolio and references and try to get a feel if they are actually interested in what your company is doing.
Digital marketing agencies are all over the place. You probably never realized just how many are in your area until you started your company.
The reason they’re so abundant is no one wants to know about marketing. It’s one of the hardest parts of any business, not just new or small ones. Trying to do this all on your own, especially if you don’t have any experience, can cost you tens of thousands of dollars a year in lost revenue.
A great agency will be able to handle your email promotion, your social media, as well as your SEO.
Some even offer content packages.
Before you make a decision, you definitely want to spend some time vetting and researching agencies. Scammers pretending to be legitimate marketing agencies is a real problem. Start with tapping into your personal and professional networks to see if anyone has any recommendations. Then go online to look at reviews to help narrow down your list.
More than half of all companies outsource their IT. The reason for this is based around cost. It’s way more effective to outsource your IT because many firms can scale as your company grows. The cost of hiring IT professionals for a startup is usually going to be higher than it’s worth.
But you do need someone to watch over you like an angel. This is what IT firms are all about. They help protect you from hackers and will help deal with technical difficulties.
I know this feels overwhelming. It was probably not too long ago that you were developing your app or prototype late at night in your basement while your family slept soundly. You worked into the wee hours of the morning and then had to go to a day job with hardly any sleep.
If you can make it through that phase, you can make it through anything. But you shouldn’t try to do it alone.
Hire the best and brightest people you have ever met, but outsource the tasks that are outside of your skill set. In the end, you will save money, have fewer headaches and stress, and have a small army of independent contracts that will have your back when you need them.