One of the most difficult aspects of running a successful business is figuring out which activities are most worth your time and effort. Unfortunately, there are a lot of mundane tasks that can swallow up your time, leaving you with little ability to work on the things that truly matter. Once you get to a certain point in your business, outsourcing can help you get beyond these difficulties and focus on the activities most likely to result in better outcomes for you business.
Why Outsourcing Is a Good Idea
Chances are that there are activities that keep you busy without providing you with a lot of positive result. These activities might be tedious and time consuming, and keep you from forming plans that allow you to improve your business. You can’t focus on expanding your business or improving your product when you are stuck doing payroll or managing your appointments.
If you have some mundane tasks that you can outsource to someone else, it can free up your time. If you can pay someone $10 an hour to manage some tasks, and use that time more profitably, perhaps gaining a value of $80 an hour, you have come out ahead and helped your business. Additionally, it’s hard to calculate the value involved when you can grow your business exponentially when you aren’t distracted by time-consuming tasks that could just as easily be done by someone else.
Which Tasks Should You Outsource?
For best effect, you should outsource tasks that you find time-consuming and tedious, and that don’t exactly advance your business, even though they have to be done. Administrative tasks are often the easiest to outsource. They are necessary to the business, but they don’t usually contribute materially to expanding the business, or boosting profits. Some of the tasks that are ideal for outsourcing include:
Invoicing: You can easily outsource your invoicing and accounts operations to another company. There are plenty of companies, like ADP.com, that can help you manage your invoicing, including following up on payments and taking care of other related activities.
Bookkeeping and payroll: If you have bookkeeping and payroll needs, there is no reason to do it all yourself, especially as your business expands. There are numerous companies that make it a point to engage in these activities, and their knowledge and expertise ensure that everything is done more efficiently.
Scheduling: If you are having trouble managing your schedule, an assistant can help. In fact, other administrative activities can be performed by an assistant, or even outsourced to a virtual assistant. Such an assistant can maintain your schedule, help you set up interviews, and manage other aspects of your schedule.
Social media: It’s important to keep up with social media in some businesses. However, it can be a
time-consuming task that doesn’t do much in terms of actually growing your business, or helping you focus on big picture items. Outsourcing to a competent community manager who might also be able to manage other aspects of your public image, can be a smart move.
Email: In some cases, it can make a lot of sense to outsource your email and other mundane communications. While you want to be careful of how you do this, the reality is that there are a lot of emails that can be answered by anyone. Outsourcing can free you up for other things.
Customer service: Like email, it makes sense to outsource some aspects of your customer service. After all, others can do just as well, if you have the right systems and policies in place.
The biggest drawback to outsourcing some of your tasks is that you might have to train your contractor on what needs to be done. While this does require time and effort at first, the savings to you later could be immense. Over time, outsourcing can free you up to focus on more important things, and improve your overall productivity.
Make it a point to identify the items that seem to suck away most of your time, leaving less time for other activities that could better benefit your business. Once you know which activities are least profitable (but still necessary), you can outsource them to experts who can do them instead.
Written by: Tom Drake Source: www.AllBusiness.com
THE MARK CONSULTING & MARKETING