When Should You Outsource Business Tasks?
A common issue for business owners in start-ups and SMEs is that they are often performing a long list of tasks themselves, many of which they might not have any particular knowledge of or expertise in.
For instance, you might be struggling through bookkeeping you don’t fully understand, you are unsure how to tackle marketing or have no time to write content for your website or social media channels.
Bearing in mind the stress this can create, outsourcing some tasks makes good business sense. It allows you to concentrate your time and energy on important jobs that are more aligned with your skills and expertise in your industry. Outsourcing means a business can transfer portions of work to external suppliers rather than completing every aspect of work in-house.
What are the benefits of outsourcing?
Whether it’s a virtual assistant, bookkeeper, copywriter or IT specialist, delegating and outsourcing means you get experts in their respective fields bringing all their specialist skills and experience to your business that you can’t match yourself. If done effectively, business outsourcing can help increase productivity and give you more time to spend on more profitable activities rather than stumbling through tasks that don’t interest you. It helps you play to your own strengths whilst also gaining the expertise in other areas.
What about the cost?
Smart, effective outsourcing can actually help you reduce costs overall. To achieve this, you need to understand which tasks you and your staff perform well and which are time-consuming and stressful because you don’t have the specific skills in-house. The cost of outsourcing time-sapping duties like bookkeeping, payroll, or IT might actually work out cheaper than your hourly rate or paying your staff for the time they spend on those tasks. This frees up time to concentrate on strategic tasks that will shape and grow your business, rather than trying to find your way around a new area.
What’s an example of effective outsourcing?
You might realise that a blog is an important marketing tool in today’s digital environment, that it can help build your reputation and attract customers to your website. So you spend several hours trying to write a blog, but you don’t have the same experience or expertise as a professional copywriter. You know your industry inside out, but you’re not really happy with the result and you’ve no idea whether your blog entry is engaging or useful, not to mention whether it will help you climb the Google search rankings. The obvious question is whether those hours would have been better spent generating sales and using your particular skills and expertise. For the cost of employing a professional copywriter for a few hours, you get a great, useful blog for a fraction of the cost of using several hours of your own time.
Business advisors will agree that outsourcing non-core activities when appropriate means you can focus on core aspects of your business. It can improve efficiency where an external provider can perform these tasks better and quicker, saving you time, money and ultimately giving you a higher level of specialist work in those areas.