You quit your job. You ventured out on your own. You took control of your financial freedom and launched your own business. You now have all the power… and all of the responsibility! While wearing many hats can be a thing of pride, at some point your head is going to start to feel a bit heavy. If you want to take away some of the pressure, consider embracing the concept of outsourcing.

What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing a task doesn’t mean something isn’t important; it simply means that:

  1. Someone else can do it better than you

or

  1. Your valuable time would be wasted on that task

Some tasks shouldn’t be placed in the hands of others, but there are some aspects of your business that are best done by other skilled professionals. Sometimes this can mean hiring someone (full or part time) to join your team, it might mean signing a contract with a freelancer, or it could be that you hire a separate company to tackle these tasks.

6 Tasks Every Small Business Owner Should Outsource

1. Graphic Design

Graphic tools such as Photoshop, Canva, and PicMonkey have laymen everywhere feeling empowered enough to tackle their own graphic design. It’s always great to learn a new skill and be engaged with your business, but it is not a great idea if you are not already artistically inclined and have a technical understanding of graphic design. A common trend is that we see clients send us an infographic or promotional flyer that they spent HOURS designing themselves, only to realize they created it in the wrong size, dimensions, or resolution, rendering it completely useless. Or they made a typo but cannot go back to correct it because they saved the document in an uneditable format. Then of course there are also the downright ugly, awful, and amatuer designs created by a non-artistic business owner that should never see the light of day.

Graphic design is a job that is grounded in years of practice and experience, investment in the right tools, and of course a gorgeous dash of talent. Using a professional artist to create your company’s visual content will immediately improve the look and reputation of your brand.

2. Social Media Scheduling

Are you a master wordsmith? Or perhaps you have already secured the services of a marketing and copywriting team to create content for your social media accounts? Sometimes business owners think they can save a little cash by paying content creation but then uploading the content to social media themselves. They take the time to learn the native scheduling platforms, after wasting time posting content live each day. But then notice that their posts look “odd,” so they spend a few hours on blogs and forums figuring out how to properly format their preview images for each platform. They soon realize what a tedious task this is and then proceed to waste even more time trying to research ways to do it more efficiently. So they research, test, purchase, and learn a premium scheduling tool. And no sooner than they master a new technique or scheduling tool, Facebook or Twitter changes something and the business owner has to start the learning curve all over again.

And all the while, they have been actively neglecting their core business operations. Surely this would better left to a social media manager whose job it is to stay on top of algorithm and API changes with the big social networks and to always know how to make posts appears beautifully. Unless you want to swerve off into a career in social media management, leave those details to the experts.

3. Bookkeeping

How much profit did your business generate last week? It’s okay if you don’t have that dollar amount memorized, but that number should be already sitting somewhere calculated and ready for you to reference it. It is impossible to make wise business decisions if you don’t know where your venture stands financially. Your bookkeeper can help you design a filing system for your receipts, setup software to track your expenses, and help you hunt down ageing invoices before they your clients turn into ghosts. If you are already the type to stay on top of your ledger, a bookkeeper or accountant can be there to make sure you don’t miss any filing deadlines or, even worse, miss out on any well deserved tax deductions. Government tax codes are notoriously intricate. It is incredibly easy, and often costly, to make a mistake with your taxes. Remove some of that guesswork by adding a qualified and competent bookkeeper to your team.

4. Website Management

Okay you already relented and hired a great team to build you a great website. It was done on time, under budget, and your customers are thrilled. Now what? Depending on what your site does for your business, it will need to be maintained:

  • Your careful marketing efforts will need to be synchronized with your website.
  • Information about your location, services, team, and contact info must be kept current.
  • Regularly scheduled data backups, scheduled virus scans, and strategic software upgrades all need to be executed.

An abandoned website is at best a waste of opportunity and at worst it can quickly turn into a hacked website. Each day that your website is down are hours and hours that you aren’t generating revenue and that your online reputation is now in the hands of some insidious characters. Taking the proper precautions up front and placing someone in charge of your website’s well being can save you a lot of money and frustration in the long run.

You want to make sure you are spending time growing your business, not worrying about your website. A well rounded webmaster can keep your site’s content updated but also coordinate your security efforts with other, more skilled, vendors. Our resident geek, Louise, offers website management as a monthly subscription service solution for business owners who want all their hacker woes to go away.

5.  Advertising and Ad Buying

The beauty of social media is that now business owners can purchase advertising space directly from Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. The curse of social media is that now business owners can purchase advertising space directly from Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. (You know, like the entire premise behind the Jurassic Park movies) We’ve seen businesses waste more money on bad ad campaigns than we care to remember. Even if they manage to compose a compelling and brilliant advertisement, it is extremely rare that they then use the targeting tools correctly (assuming they know they exist at all). Frequently we’ll conduct a free review of past ad campaigns for a prospective client only to find out that they have been targeting EVERYONE with their ads. A local movie theater was wasting hundreds of ad dollars each month on a global ad that was targeting everyone on earth aged 18-99 without regards to interests, age, gender, location, or spending habits. Another career coach created an advertisement and filled it with target keywords that she felt best described her business. She used terms like “I love my job” and “career coach.” It wasn’t until she sat down with us that she realized she making ads that would only target other career coaches and people who loved their jobs, not her prospective customers. Oops.

Your advertising campaigns should be rooted in research. That research should come from a solid marketing plan that has been tailored specifically to your business’ brand, your sales goals, and your industry. Without that, you are simply throwing money out of the window.

6. Marketing and Promotions

While we are on the subject, who came up with your marketing plan? Do you have a marketing plan? Do you know what a marketing plan is? When you read your marketing plan do you know who your target customer is, what they like, where they shop, what they read, what they watch, how they make purchase decisions, what offends them, what delights them, and how they identify themselves? These are not trick questions and they aren’t meant to put you on the spot. But if you can sit down and be completely honest with yourself, do you know the answers? Launching up your business without having a clear picture of with whom you intend to do business is a very common mistake. Failing to understand their market is a huge factor in the failure of so many small businesses within their first year of opening.

We’ll repeat it again for emphasis:

Your advertising campaigns should be rooted in research. That research should come from a solid marketing plan that has been tailored specifically to your business’ brand, your sales goals, and your industry. Without that, you are simply throwing money out of the window.

Our team is especially skilled in creating bulletproof marketing plans that will help you discover customers you never knew were out there waiting for you. Schedule a call with us so we can evaluate your current situation.