Yes, you’re great at what you do. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have started a business in the first place. But as your business grows, you’ll find yourself with tasks and problems that are further away from your core skill sets or you simply don’t have the manpower for them.
In many cases, it’s smarter to outsource these tasks to vendors who can manage the work efficiently at a fraction of the cost you’d be spending if you hired more employees. Truthfully, you can’t avoid outsourcing work as it’s nearly impossible to manage everything in-house without making costly mistakes. Even the biggest corporations have advertising agencies to do the marketing for them.
According to business strategist Michael Evans, every business uses outsourced services. He says that many businesses don’t do their own taxes or audits and deliver products directly to customers. They outsource non-strategic functions so that they can focus on business operations that need in-house expertise.
In this article, we list down five functions of your business that you can easily outsource to improve your bottom line.
Employees spend at least 40% of their day on administrative tasks. That means they spend a large portion of their shift on repetitive tasks that are relatively easy to outsource to others.
We’ve mentioned that you shouldn’t outsource your core business functions, but you can outsource simple tasks of your core functions. You just have to build systems and processes for the outsourcer to support you well.
For example, let’s say you’re an SEO services company that also offers web development solutions. You need specific things from your client before can code the website. You need stuff like their logo, preferred fonts and colors, and content for the web pages all in one place so you don’t have to continuously hunt for them while you create.
Even though web development is a core service that you offer, you could task a virtual assistant to collect all these items in a single inventory so you can work more efficiently.
Here’s a list of administrative tasks you can outsource:
- Research and data collection
- Document management and organization
- Surveying, polling, and focus group testing
- Travel arrangements
- Social media posting/management
- Compiling reports
- Taking and preparing meeting notes/minutes
- Calendar management and organization
- Customer service emails
- Transcribing audio or video
Legal services are typically one of the usual functions that businesses outsource.
Why? Simple: in-house attorneys are expensive. Even the less experienced lawyers require substantial salaries to compensate for their law license and the years of schooling they’ve invested. At the minimum, an in-house lawyer would cost you about $64,000 per year. If you need one with more experience, you’re looking at a yearly spend of $175,000-$200,000.
Most businesses, especially if you’re an SME, can’t afford these types of salaries. You’ll have no choice but to outsource when the need arises.
It’s far smarter and more ideal to keep your accounts organized so that you won’t have to catch up so much at the end of the year. If you don’t watch your finances, you’re more prone to making expensive mistakes (interest and fees) and suffering a less than desirable tax season.
Working with a bookkeeper or with cloud-based accounting software is much more efficient. You send data your bookkeepers will need to organize your accounts and they’ll send back the reports you like.
Based on the financial situation of your company, they’re also a useful resource if you have questions that require expert answers. It never hurts to have a financial expert to rely on. Bookkeepers, especially experienced ones, will also help eliminate all the hassle in your life regarding taxes. When it’s time to square up with the government, simply provide your accountant with access to your accounting tool for (that your bookkeeper has kept organized and accurate) tax returns that are stress-free.
Depending on the specific tasks, bookkeeping and financial management require large amounts of administrative labor, expertise, or both. Any mistakes can be costly too. If you’re a small business and you don’t have an in-house team of specialists, these functions are best outsourced to experts. When your company develops more complexity and scale, some of the work will come back in-house.
Technology / IT Services
Whether you’re a non-technical person or technically savvy, it’s typically easier to have someone else handle your technology or IT needs.
This is because many technical tasks come with a steep learning curve. It’s not worth your time to learn how to optimize your site for conversions, migrate to the cloud, code an app, or implement two-factor authentication for your data. The opportunity cost for you to pay someone to handle your IT tasks will be considerably cheaper than managing them on your own.
Human resource tasks such as recruitment can take up a lot of time, especially as your team grows. Each time you hire a new employee, your HR obligations also grow. Additionally, mishandling your human resources (like hiring a poor employee, not paying properly, firing inappropriately, etc.) will create headaches, cost money, and even end up in a lawsuit.
Depending on your needs, you can outsource human resources to several small providers or one that provides comprehensive services. For instance, you might use a recruitment company to find talent, a payroll agency to process your team’s salaries, and a PEO to manage your employee’s benefits.
If you want to outsource several functions of your business to focus on other tasks and save money in the long run, start with your biggest challenges.
For example, which functions require skills or experience your team doesn’t have? Which tasks cause too much unnecessary stress or take up too much time? Which functions are too expensive to hire in-house? The answers to whatever questions you may have can be your starting points for outsourcing.