You Don’t Need to Grow It Alone
As your business grows, you may find yourself working harder than ever. While that’s a good sign for your business, it might mean you could benefit by outsourcing key tasks. Hiring out the right jobs to others on an as-needed basis can help you conserve the lifeblood of your growing business: your cash. Here are a few points to consider as you make the decision to outsource.
Do More With “Virtual” Employees
Today’s technology enables more and more jobs to be performed remotely—and only to the extent you need them. This saves you from hiring full-time employees until you have sufficient need to support them. For example, your next “new hire” might be a virtual assistant. Generally, this individual works independently from home or some other off-site location for a number of clients with needs similar to yours. They can book your appointments, conduct market or product research, and perform other basic administrative functions when needed.
Keep Office Costs Down
You might also consider saving money on office space by renting a conference room by the hour for the occasional meeting. You can also rent a private office by the day or week to host a series of meetings with local clients, prospects, or collaborators. App-based companies, such as WeWork or Liquid Space, make scheduling easy and are now located in cities across the country. With their flexible arrangements, you may find you can get by without leasing a bigger workspace for a short project, let alone opening a second office in a city you visit regularly. When you do need a dedicated place to work on an ongoing basis, many co-working spaces are also available. These enable you to share office expenses and resources with other small businesses and interact and collaborate in ways that can benefit your growth.
Identify Tasks That Can Be Safely Outsourced
By choosing proven, well-vetted providers, you can expand your capabilities while still protecting your firm’s customer base and reputation. Some commonly outsourced business tasks include:
- Administrative services, such as scheduling projects and managing email inboxes.
- Basic accounting and bookkeeping tasks that keep your business running, such as accounts receivable and payroll functions.
- IT support to help keep your computers, laptops, and phones secure and in proper working order.
- Legal assistance provided by lawyers, paralegals, and other experts in the laws and regulations that govern your industry.
- Marketing and creative services that require the generation of professionally written and illustrated articles or technical manuals, blogs, websites, and other communications.
- Executive management from outside consultants with high-level experience (perhaps a retired CFO, for example) to advise you on running your business.
- Specialized skills like audio-visual services or equipment maintenance from independent firms or individuals who provide remote technical support.
- Broad-scale operations of a large vendor who can handle highly repetitive, high-volume business functions, such as data entry or order fulfillment.
Whether you hire independent freelancers, engage contract employees, or partner with another firm, the economics of outsourcing can work in your favor. Especially for the smallest businesses, smart outsourcing decisions could save time, money, and resources that can be devoted to meeting current business goals or pursuing new opportunities.