Clock on dollars

Below is a guest post written by Catherine Park and edited by Ashley Gaynor.

Owning a business can be a handful because there are so many decisions to make and a lot of things to take care of, which can be time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. Since running a successful company entails thinking about all the little details that are crucial for it to function properly, we would always appreciate getting some weight off our shoulders.

That's where outsourcing steps in as a blessing in disguise. You don't want to be stuck behind a desk answering emails and talking to customers, while some vital things have to be put on pause because you don't have any help with those mundane tasks.

So, which services should you outsource?

Bookkeeping

Man using a calculator

Bookkeeping is simply necessary for a firm to function properly. However, as important as it is, we cannot fight the fact that it is time-consuming and that it requires a lot of attention because of all the numbers and calculations involved. There are many outsourcing companies that specialize in providing these services, so you will not be stuck for choice.

Ashley’s Comments - Bookkeeping and accountancy are the most commonly outsourced functions for small-to-medium sized businesses, which is why there are so many bookkeeping and accountancy companies to choose from. This means you may shop around and negotiate hard for the best prices/rates. Be as cheeky and bold as you like because the worst they can say is "no."

Scheduling

Creepy woman with headphone mic

In the beginning, the business may be slow, but when your business starts growing and expanding you will eventually find yourself having too many obligations and not enough time to achieve everything. That’s where scheduling comes in.

You will need an organized individual who can help you create your daily schedule and set up meetings and interviews. The easiest solution is to outsource a virtual assistant who will help you manage your time in an efficient manner.

Ashley’s Comments – There are also apps and programs that may help, but the overall point of a scheduler is to give somebody else the “Responsibility” of making sure yours and your employees’ time is arranged efficiently with regards to adhoc or routine appointments. If something does go wrong, you have somebody to blame, to fire, and to replace as necessary. Instead of searching for who to blame after a meeting is missed or an appointment is overdue, you blame the person/team who is responsible for scheduling.

Social Media

social media buttons on a keyboard

Google+, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the most accessible platforms with millions of users. As wonderful as the notion of building a social media presence may sound, we cannot dispute its time-consuming element. Having a social media campaign requires frequent posting and replying to messages in order to sustain attention and interest.

That’s why you should consider outsourcing social media management services. There are various social media outlets with a lot of reach, and it would be great to have an expert polish your public image and bring attention to your company and its services.

Ashley’s Comments – A poor quality social media campaign can have a devastating effect on your online reputation. Do not treat your social media process as a disposable marketing tool that you can ignore. Find a staff member, team member, or outsource team that you can trust to generate social media content that speaks to your target consumer. In addition, set up rules and boundaries to deal with any social media backlash because good targeting means making one group happy and potentially making another group unhappy. Don’t be afraid of negative press on social media, but do set up protocols and systems for dealing with it (even if dealing with it means ignoring it).

Final Thoughts

Ashley’s Comments – In most cases, people outsource because it is cheaper. Having another company complete a series of tasks for you may be cheaper than hiring and training somebody to do it for you. If you consider outsourcing, always look locally first before you look internationally.

Outsourcing is not always the best long-term option if your business is growing, but it may help plug a few holes in your talent pool until your business is large enough to support various internal departments (legal, HR, scheduling, accounting, etc.).

If you are running a small-to-medium sized business, then outsourcing is a fine option, unless you are considering an offshore customer support. I severely dislike calling Talk Talk or HSBC because they put me through to people who barely understand English. If you are outsourcing your customer support, then outsource locally to companies in your state, county or country.

Small-to-medium-sized businesses are spoiled for choice when it comes to outsourcing. If you are running a small business, then consider hiring local freelancers instead because they are often willing to do smaller jobs on a non-commitment basis.

Written By Catherine Park, 15/09/2017

Edited By Ashley Gaynor