Outsourcing Tips for Small Business Owners
Outsource your weakness to build upon your strengths
As a small business owner you know there are only so many hours in the day yet so many tasks to do and many areas of responsibility to look after.
As a small business owner myself, I know the feeling of needing to deliver exceptional results for clients while allocating enough time to work ‘on’ my business, not ‘in’ my business – Marshall Thurlow (Founder Orion Marketing)
It can be exhausting and many business owners experience burn out as a result of taking on too much responsibility. That’s why I put together this outsourcing tips article for you.
How do you avoid this burn out?
By making sure you are supporting your key areas with either in house resources or outsourcing to the professionals.
If you want to create a better customer experience and value proposition you can’t do it all yourself. You need to partner with reliable service providers who can deliver professional results across the areas where you may lack the skills or resources.
In this article I cover some of the areas that small business owners commonly outsource. You will read about outsourcing the following areas:
- Content marketing
- Temporary staffing
- Virtual assistants
Why Small Business Owners Should Outsource Content Marketing
How to outsource content marketing
In terms of how you present your business/brand to your target market, content is everything. Whether it is the words and images on your website to your business cards or brochures, everything is content and all content has a message.
What is content marketing?
A useful way of thinking about what content is, is to not think of content as an article or an infographic you develop, but rather as anything that communicates a message to your market. There are so many ways you can develop content to communicate with your target market however they take considerable time and resources to develop and that often means diverting energy away from your core business and into content creation.
Outsource these content types:
If creating high quality content is proving too hard, consider outsourcing this to marketing agencies.
Types of content you can outsource:
- Blog posts (share these via social media)
- Your monthly newsletter/email (hint: link to your blog posts in your email newsletter)
- Industry trend reports
- Infographics and graphic design work
- Website copy: service copy, product copy, about pages, profiles
Outsourcing content to a trusted partner who specialises in high quality content creation allows you to deliver high impact content to customers and potential customers while focusing your time within your business.
Why Small Business Owners Should Outsource SEO
How to outsource SEO
SEO is the technical process of increasing organic (keyword) traffic to your website through the optimisation of your website content. Once you have more of the right people clicking through to your website, you have more of a chance of converting website visitors into paying customers.
Unless you have done SEO before and can demonstrate a proven history of both increasing organic traffic to your website and getting strategic keywords to rank within the search engine results page, it is highly recommended that you engage a professional SEO company to do this for you. Here are some outsourcing tips on SEO.
What is the benefit in outsourcing SEO?
- By outsourcing SEO to a professional agency who does SEO day in and day out (consider Orion Marketing for your SEO needs), you are investing in the medium to long term growth of your business.
- Your ideal customer is most likely looking on Google for a business just like yours. If you can hold and maintain Google page 1 results (and those highly sought top positions) you will have a sustained source of both website traffic and enquiries for the life of your business.
Who doesn’t want that?
What is the downside to outsourcing SEO?
- SEO, like any other business investment, takes time and money.
- Don’t risk doing SEO on the cheap as you likely won’t get the results you deserve, and worse, if SEO is done wrong, risk getting a penalty or having your site deranked.
A starting budget for a small business SEO campaign would be around $1,000/month. This may be a little less if you are located in a less competitive suburb, outside of a city area. Allow 6 months minimum for the campaign to gain traction. If you’re serious about investing in your business and growing your market share, outsource your SEO to the professionals.
Why Small Business Owners Should Outsource Temporary Staff
How to outsource temporary staffing solutions
As a small business owner you understand that your work inflow doesn’t cease just because you’re in the process of recruiting, selecting and training new staff to fill vacancies. The fact is that if a job stays unfilled for too long, the existing staff is likely to be stretched too thin and productivity will decline. When this occurs, the option of utilising temporary staffing can present just the right solution. Here are some outsourcing tips when it comes to temp staff.
Key benefits of hiring temporary employees
- It is often the case that temporary employees possess precisely the necessary experience and qualifications. Employment agents are skilled in finding the right candidate for the job. Here is a good article on the benefits of temps from Four Seasons if you wish to read more.
- Small business owners are often impressed with the overhead savings made possible by using temporary staff. Temporary employment agencies tend to be the ones who provide benefits to workers, not the clients using them. Thus, tax and insurance costs can be reduced, as can money lost due to sick and holiday days. Companies that do give benefits to temporary workers usually feel free to offer a lower level of accommodation than is provided to permanent staff.
- Short-term project needs can often be met by using temporary staff. It may be that you wish to avoid bringing on a host of new employees to complete a project that will last only a brief period. This could be social media help, admin work or otherwise. In such circumstances, temporary staffers can enter the picture, get the limited-duration work done and leave without disrupting your business structures.
- Temporary workers routinely bring useful new skills to the table that can benefit your permanent staff in the long run. These staffers often come to work with fresh perspective and new approaches that are truly transformative even after their assignment is done. This is an often overlooked, yet extremely valuable consideration.
Low Commitment and High Reward Potential
It is also often the case that a solid temporary worker can transition into a permanent employee, particularly if their skills and personality are a great match with your business. The time spent in a temp role often gives individuals the training and background necessary to seamlessly blend into your business culture and workflow. When this happens, it seemed silly not to make the arrangement a lasting one.
Temporary assignments regularly function as a sort of tryout for the permanent role. There is no risk on either side, because if there does not turn out to be a strong match, you are under no obligation to continue the contract and you don’t need to jump through many hoops to terminate the relationship.
Why Small Business Owners Should Outsource to Virtual Assistants
What is a virtual assistant?
We are in the digital age now and your business should be embracing the efficiency and new ways of working that come with the internet.
Have you considered taking on a virtual assistant?
Briefly, a virtual assistant will perform the same functions as a traditional personal assistant or office administrator, yet they’re never in your office. Rapidly advancing technology means that you don’t need to hire staff to just sit in your office, and you can increase or decrease the hours they work as you need to.
Below is a short list of tasks that many of our clients use virtual assistants for:
- Answer incoming telephone calls
- Take messages
- Reply to emails
- Book new customers into cloud based booking software
- Manage your schedule and appointments remotely
- Take care of invoicing and billing
- Do data entry
- Update your website content
- Manage your social media channels
- Booking travel, transport and other logistics
As long as they have a computer, internet connection and phone, they can really be tasked with almost any business function.
While I don’t have any personal recommendations for VA providers, you only have to do google search to find a long list of companies you can enquire with.
Outsource to Bookkeepers
Bookkeeping is an integral process for every business, as it helps keep all your finances in check as well as map out your revenue and costs for future operations. However, as important as it is, bookkeeping can also become incredibly costly and time-consuming, especially if done in-house by someone who is unfamiliar with accounting procedures.
Simply put, outsourcing a bookkeeper will mean you can safely rely on the experts to do all the calculations and paperwork. Not having to worry about tedious bookkeeping tasks can make your life running a business much easier. In addition, more complicated bookkeeping tasks such as filing taxes and audits will be made much simpler, as all you will have to do is sign off on them.
Keeping everything organised with a bookkeeper will also make accountants and banking institutions happy, as there will no longer be concerns over accurate bookkeeping or financial statement due dates. In the case of software-based bookkeeping, even problems of human error can be eliminated entirely and bookkeeping will become a breeze for your business.
Outsourcing Tips Wrap Up
As mentioned at the start of this article, small business owners often experience burn out as a result of taking on too much responsibility and unintentionally letting other areas of their business suffer.
I know that you need to deliver exceptional results for your clients while allocating enough time to grow your business. – Marshall Thurlow (Founder Orion Marketing)
The key to winning new business and keeping your current customers happy is two fold: providing great service and delivering an exceptional customer experience! Even if you have the best product/service on the market, if your customer is given a poor experience you may lose them to your competitors.
Don’t do everything yourself! From content marketing to SEO, temporary staffing to virtual assistants, there are many ways you can lighten your load while improving your service delivery and customer care. Hopefully these outsourcing tips have proven useful.
Consider engaging the services of professionals in the areas where you lack in house resources or experience. This could make all the difference to your future success and longevity as a small business owner.
Contact Orion Marketing Today
Marshall Thurlow is Director and Founder of Orion Marketing Pty Ltd. He is a digital marketer with expertise in SEO, website design, content marketing and project management. With over 15 years of experience spanning government, not-for-profit and the private sector, he is well equipped to lead teams to success. He is a big proponent of environmental sustainability, critical thinking and progressive issues.