Tuesday, 20 Dec 2016 | 4 min read
How online outsourcing can grow your small business
To some, outsourcing might be a dirty word, but looking outside your business to ease the burden of the daily grind can be a great way to get ahead. For the modern small business owner, there are a number of ways you can automate many of the routine tasks or ongoing expenses of your business, freeing up your time to focus on what you love.
Earning awareness through content marketing
“Best way to sell something -- don’t sell anything… Earn the awareness, respect and trust of those who might buy.”
Rand Fishkin. Founder: Moz.com
Generating great content for your business is a proven method for building trust and respect between your brand and customer base.
Great content shows the value of your products and services through information that is compelling and entertaining, without the heavy sales pitch. It's not easy to get right, and many small business owners have wasted hours plugging away on their own when time (and ultimately, money) can be saved outsourcing content to professionals.
Outsourcing your content is a great form of human automation that not only frees up your time to focus on the aspects of business that you love, but provides beneficial growth and reputation building for your brand. That's a double win for any small business owner.
What to look for when outsourcing your content
A great content marketing agency can demonstrate how the content will be of value to your business. This can take many forms:
SEO or Search Engine Optimised content will relate to keywords that drive search traffic to your site.
Social content has high shareability, and can work well through social media promotion.
Other types of content, like research or 'white papers’, how-to guides and case studies provide valuable information to your audience, and help show your brand as an aware and trusted source of information.
Take care of accounts and payroll through outsourcing
For the average CPA, running the numbers is bread and butter, but for small business owners, it's a task that can sap time and energy better spent running your business. Part of the reason for this is that as humans we’re not great at multitasking. In fact, some research suggests that spending our time split between too many tasks can actually have an adverse effect on our multitasking capabilities.
The post-refractory pause, as explained by senior lecturer in psychology at Macquarie University, Dr Julia Irwin, “Creates a split-second in which the brain’s in no man’s land...Over time these pauses add up and can mean your mind wasn't on the job for a couple of minutes.”
While larger companies might hire dedicated teams or divisions for managing their accounting, tax and payroll, small businesses have less resources and, until recently, less options. Now, however, small and medium businesses can look to web-based companies to provide accounting and payroll services at scale for affordable pricing. Here's a couple of our favourites:
You might know them more for their work withQuickBooks, but the software company also provides payroll services at a fair monthly fee.
Dedicated finance and tax teams with easy to use software, perfect for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Get on the cloud
Moving your digital resources to the cloud outsources much of the risk and responsibility for managing your data. For a monthly or annual fee, cloud storage negates the need for your business to invest in expensive hardware and infrastructure. Instead, all you need is a laptop and a reliable internet connection.
Much of our daily software is also now cloud based. From Microsoft Office and Google Docs to Photoshop, cloud based account management makes it easier to manage licensing. It also means you don’t have to keep a library of all your media installations. Just open up a web browser or application and away you go!
To hire local or abroad?
When looking to outsource and automate tasks relating to your business, there is ultimately a question of whether it’s better to hire from within the local talent pools or look abroad.
With remote and telecommunicating becoming more prevalent around the globe, it makes sense to outsource in your own backyard. Some of the benefits of hiring remote staff locally include similar time zones, decreased language and cultural barriers, and ease of maintaining a one-to-one business relationship (marketplace middle layers can be expensive) with simpler contracts and payment.
Based on expertise and savings that come with working from home, many locally based professionals can offer comparable value. Small business owners looking to take their business to the next level shouldn’t discount locally based tele-workers as potential candidates for their outsourced workforce.
How outsourcing benefits your business
Outsourcing certain elements of your small business frees up time for you to focus on the elements of your business that you have a particular talent and passion for. This can enable your business to flourish, leaving the worries and strains to professionals trained in dealing with particular issues and technologies.