8 Ways Outsourcing Can Help Your Small Business

Outsourcing Can Help Your Small Business
When you run a small business, there are only so many people you can afford to have on the payroll. However, there is typically more work than there are people to finish it. Outsourcing is an excellent option for tasks you and your employees don't have the time or skills to complete.

According to Small Business Trends, most startups have no employees, followed by those with one to 19 workers. Only a small percentage have 20 to 499 people on the payroll. No matter where on the spectrum your small business falls, there is likely work you can farm out.

If you feel completely overwhelmed with all the tasks of running your brand and aren't sure what to delegate, here are eight areas where you can hire contract workers to help. Hire them for a single job or ongoing work as needed:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO requires technical knowledge and the ability to stay up to date on the ever-changing algorithms of online search engines. While you might learn tactics to increase your rank, the work will also eat up a lot of your time. SEO-related tasks are excellent examples of the type of work you can delegate to others. Find a company with proven results for other small businesses and follow their advice as they help you tweak your website for better lead generation.

2. Graphic Design

Designers spend years in school learning how to use design software and familiarizing themselves with the best practices for website layouts. While you could make some images yourself and they probably wouldn't look awful, they'll never have the professional edge graphic artists add to their work. If you want to take your brand image to the next level, outsource your graphic design.

You can use work-for-hire sites such as Fiverr and Upwork or find a local freelancer and work with them on your objectives. The typical freelancer arrangement is to pay them for each job and issue a 1099-MISC at the end of the year. You will save on paying insurance and taxes for them, plus training and other benefits you offer your full-time employees. However, they may not always be available as they'll have other commitments.

3. Logistics

One of the main goals of outsourcing is tapping into resources you don't have access to. Hiring a B2B company gives you access to better shipping options, for example. They may already have contracts with couriers and can get your products from Point A to Point B much faster and more efficiently than you could ever accomplish on your own.

4. Social Media Management

You see how active people are on social media, and perhaps your competitor has a fantastic page or two. However, finding hours to invest in even one platform is overwhelming for already time-strapped business owners. Fortunately, you can hire out social media management and gain the benefits without losing any traction.

Figure out how much you can afford to pay for social media marketing and work with an outside company on what you can achieve within your budget. Ideally, they will schedule posts, respond to followers and manage your page entirely.

5. Legal Services

Lawyers are expensive, so keeping one on the payroll full-time isn't sensible for most small business owners. Fortunately, you can have a lawyer on retainer for when you need their advice or have to complete paperwork, which saves a bundle.

You might be tempted to ignore the need for a lawyer, but this can cost your business money in the long run. For example, if you use a contract with your clients, will it stand up to a lawsuit? Having a lawyer look it over for loopholes and issues is your best bet.

You may also need a lawyer for things such as filing paperwork for your corporation. If you run an S-Corp or an LLC, you have to file regularly with the state you operate in. The mounds of documents can drown the most organized person. Let your lawyer handle it and spend your time on other things your business needs.

6. Payroll

Business owners are often highly creative. They come up with the ideas that drive the company toward profits. When it comes to math and accounting, however, the work seems dreary and time-consuming. About 40% of small businesses spend 80 or more hours a year on federal taxes, with many relating to payroll. You can save a lot of aggravation by outsourcing your payroll processing. You'll also avoid the potential for embezzlement if you give one person in your company too much power over your funds.

7. Content Management

Driving traffic to your website requires more than catchy keywords and a slick design. You have to offer something of value that users want. Hiring a content management team makes perfect sense for small business owners. They create and manage articles, videos and infographics on your website.

Start by looking for someone who understands the importance of pain points and buyer personas. The better they know your typical customer, the more likely they'll write content geared toward your target audience. Ideally, the content will pull in traffic, and you'll gain leads from each piece on your site.
Doing this work in-house would cost a lot, but content marketing teams focus solely on creating, editing and uploading new work. They will work within your budget, whether you can only afford one article a week or one daily.

8. Event Planning

Your local area is the best place to start growing your business. Think about events you can attend or host that might draw in the people you want. For example, host a guest speaker and invite people in the community most likely to buy from your company. Think about who your buyer personas are and what topics they'd be interested in.

You can also hire someone to represent you at a booth. Create a presence at your local fairs or nearby trade shows. Each person you reach is a potential new customer for you, helping you scale your business up as you go.

It's Still Your Brand

As you interview professionals for outsourcing gigs, remember they represent your brand. Ask pertinent questions to be sure they're up to the task. Look for examples of their work and talk to other business owners who hired them in the past. The last thing you want to do is associate your name with someone with a bad reputation.

Outsourcing some of the tasks that are drowning you can give you breathing room to work on more vital components of your company's growth.

AUTHOR_NAMEAbout the Author:
Shannon Flynn is a technology and business productivity writer who has written for sites like TechDayHQ, Re-Work, and Skills You Need. If you’d like to read more by Shannon, visit ReHack.com or follow ReHack on Twitter.
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