When it comes to your small business, there are certain tasks that you have in common with larger corporations.
However, larger corporations are able to bring new employees in to handle those tasks, while still turning enough profits to offset the costs.
As a small business owner, you may not have the budget to bring in outside employees or the knowledge to automate tasks that drain your time.
That doesn’t mean you can’t outsource those tasks to professionals though. Outsourcing lets you free up a substantial amount of time and get professionals doing tasks that you maybe struggle with.
Here are 5 of the most common tasks small businesses should be outsourcing.
#1 – Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing, if you’re unfamiliar, is using content that’s easy to digest, aimed specifically at your target market, to help educate them without being overly salesy.
While the primary objective may be to generate leads, the content also helps you nurture a relationship with those leads to help you improve your chances of converting them into a customer.
The best way to sell something is to not actually sell it at all. When you earn the attention of your target market, you earn the respect and trust of people who may be your long-term customers.
More than 40% of companies currently have an executive that manages their content marketing strategies. Unfortunately, you may not currently have a budget available to hire someone to manage the strategies for you.
Rather than hiring an executive, putting a team together, or spending your own time creating the content and then distributing it, this is a task that can easily be outsourced. You can get started by hiring a freelance content writer, or by working with an agency.
Both options will help you lower your costs and give you the ability to cultivate deeper relationships with your customers.
#2 – Your Bookkeeping
The American Psychological Association has shown that whenever you are multitasking, or attempting to manage multiple projects at the same time, you can expect a 40% decrease in your productivity.
When you’re trying to multitask, your projects are going to end up taking longer to finish, and your stress levels are going to rise.
Being able to productively juggle multiple projects is a myth. In reality, juggling isn’t keeping multiple balls in the air at the same time — it’s waiting until one ball lands to throw another ball into the air. It’s not multitasking, it is task switching.
It’s estimated that multitasking costs businesses more than $400 billion on an annual basis.
When it comes to tasks that you shouldn’t attempt to juggle, your bookkeeping and business finances should be at the top of the list.
Whenever you outsource your bookkeeping, you are gaining the experience of having a large team behind you without the associated costs of hiring each of those people individually.
#3 – Your Web Design
It might be you are currently operating through a third party site, Etsy or Amazon perhaps but there may be a time when you are ready for a website of your own.
Your web presence needs to look professional and show you are trustworthy, it’s the public face or the shop window of your small business.
With technological developments, a generic website is fairly easy to put together yourself. However if you are operating an ecommerce site or have any special functionality, you may want to hire a web design professional. There is a cost involved it will almost certainly take less time and heart ache than if you were to be brave enough to attempt it yourself.
You do not need to spend a fortune on a digital agency, there are many freelancers who can put together a great website for a very reasonable price. You can find them via various freelancing sites and also check out their feedback to ensure they are trustworthy and they deliver.
You need not be intimidated by the process, web designers are used to working with small businesses and those with a limited budget. Be clear about what you want and what you are willing to pay, the process should be open and transparent.
#4 – Your Conversion Rate Optimization
If you’re implementing content marketing as a lead generation strategy, and your content is currently generating leads, you’re going to need to continuously optimize that content so the number of leads you are generating steadily increases.
Search Engine Land has shown that the average conversion rate is around 2%, with the highest converting companies generating 1 lead for every 20 people that sees their content — or 5% total.
Improving your conversion rates can be incredibly time consuming. Depending on your business’ profit margins, even a small increase in your conversions can add thousands of dollars, or more, to your yearly net profits.
If you’re able to figure out what to optimize, how to optimize it, and how to scale what you’ve optimized, you can start turning higher profits without having to drive even more traffic into your website.
Instead of trying to test, track, and optimize a continuous cycle of content and changes, you can work with an agency that specializes in optimizing your conversion rates for you.
#5 – Your Administrative Tasks
If there’s one area business owners get bogged down in on a day to day basis, it’s all of the small tasks. As a small business owner, focusing on those small tasks takes you away from the big picture and the core processes you use to continue growing the business.
Hiring a virtual assistant is a great way to free yourself from the mundane tasks while only paying for the hours that your virtual assistant devotes to the tasks that you assign them.
The end result is you eliminating a large amount of the time you would be sucked into those tedious tasks, like answering emails, setting appointments, and other duties.
You can also automate the process by using software to assign these tasks so you can remove yourself from the “busy work” and focus more on the tasks directly related to your business’ growth.
Ensure you vet who you choose to work with. They are likely to become a core part of your business so you need to trust they can perform and potentially interact with your customers.
Outsource Where You’re Weak
For a small business, there are quite a few different areas that can be outsourced. You may need to get creative, but the options for freelanced and outsourced work is huge.
Look at your current workload and the work that you do on a daily basis. Think about outsourcing the tasks that can be outsourced, so you and any team members you have can focus on the tasks that make the biggest impact.
About the author: Jock Purtle is an Australian living in the U.S. An entrepreneur and CEO of Digitalexits.com, he understand the challenges of starting a business and working with the right people.