If you’re like many small business owners, you were the only employee who clocked in on opening day! Startup entrepreneurs often have to handle every aspect of running a business on their own.
However, as sales grow, the time you spend being the chief marketing officer, head accountant, and supply chain manager starts to take away from the time you can spend on delivering great results for customers. Especially when your business scales up quickly, dividing your attention between too many tasks can impede your growth.
With a little more capital, now’s the time to find ways to outsource some of your efforts and refocus on your company’s core competencies. Read on to learn the five best operations for small businesses to outsource.
1. Content and Organic Social Media Marketing
Posting new blogs, editing videos, and uploading pictures to your social media accounts are all great ways to grow your business with nothing but your phone, computer, and a little time. Unfortunately, during busy periods, you won’t have much time to devote to these efforts.
Since content marketing works best when you post consistently, sporadic efforts will deliver less of a return on investment for you. At this point, your future growth will be best served by working with article writing services, social media management agencies, and other content marketing specialists who can free up your time and deliver professional-quality results.
2. Customer Support Services
In the right hands, a customer complaint is the beginning of a success story. You validate their disappointment, solve their problem, and surprise them with your kindness and consideration. With their negative expectations subverted, many previously unhappy customers become valuable brand ambassadors.
However, when this process goes wrong, unhappy customers often become angry—they demand more of your time and money, post negative reviews, and tell everyone in their circle to stay away from your company.
If you no longer have the time to delicately handle customer complaints yourself, outsource support to a live chat service, call center, or virtual assistant. Whichever one of these options you choose, look for staff with strong interpersonal skills and some knowledge of your industry.
3. Inventory Management and Fulfillment
Ecommerce fulfillment is easy enough when you’re shipping 15-20 items each day. As orders mount, however, keeping track of all the inventory you have on hand and getting it to the right people can become frustrating and time-consuming.
Especially if you’re shipping from your home or a small office, you may start to feel like inventory management is backing you into a literal corner as shipping crates consume the majority of your available floor space.
Working with a fulfillment center will allow you to cross packing orders off your to-do list permanently. Even better, you’ll be able to offer your customers the benefits of scale, like faster delivery times and lower shipping costs.
4. Accounting and Bookkeeping Services
It’s exciting when your business earns money, but managing it can be a convoluted and stressful process when there are so many tax and legal obligations to fulfill. Still, most small businesses don’t have the budget for a full-time CPA or bookkeeper, and even as your business grows, you may still be struggling to handle the financials on your own.
Hiring a freelance accountant to manage your financial issues can not only take some of the work off your shoulders, but also save you money on taxes in the long run. You’ll also enjoy the comfort of knowing you don’t have to handle things on your own when you receive a confusingly-worded letter from the IRS.
5. Information Technology and Cybersecurity
Unless you run a tech company, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about network security and maintenance. However, your business can’t afford to ignore data breaches, website downtime, or payment processing interruptions; all of these issues can cost you money.
Dedicated IT support staff is the gold standard, but full-time, salaried IT professionals frequently come with a six-figure price tag. Outsourcing your tech troubles to a third-party support provider or freelance computer expert can offer you most of the benefits at a fraction of the cost.
Entrepreneurs with successful businesses often find themselves in the position of suddenly having more capital than time. Since you no longer have to take on every task in your company, take advantage of that fact, and keep your energies focused where they matter most: growing your business.