Save Yourself Stress (Outsource These 4 Small Business Tasks)

Save Yourself Stress (Outsource These 4 Small Business Tasks)

Running a small business can be a highly rewarding experience. It can also be filled with hassle, struggle, and stress! The good news is that by outsourcing certain tasks, you can reduce some of this stress, and still run an effective and profitable business. Keep reading to find out more. 

Marketing

Could you do a reasonable job marketing your business to potential customers? Probably, if you were motivated enough and had enough time. However, whether it makes sense for you to spend all that time and effort on something that is regarded as a specialist subject is the real question you should be asking here. 

After all, marketing will be one of the many tasks on your to-do list. Although if you outsource it to a professional firm you can ensure it will be handled by experts. These will be specialists that not only know how best to market your business, but also the latest trends and developments in marketing as well. Something that means they can offer your business a substantial advantage against your competition.   

IT Management

News flash! Being able to reboot a PC by switching it off, and then on again doesn’t make you an IT expert! Indeed, because the field of IT is moving so quickly right now, anyone that isn’t dedicating their entire working life to it will struggle to stay abreast of the latest developments. 

This can become a massive problem, what with nearly every business relying on IT to function! What this means is outsourcing your IT problems to specialists will ensure they are resolved as fast as possible and your business is up and running again with a minimum of downtime. 

You may even want to circumvent dealing with such issues altogether. That is where outsourcing the whole of your IT and network management comes in. After all, a good management company will be constantly monitoring your service with a view to spotting issues before they become serious enough to stop work. 

Accounting

If you adore numbers, spreadsheets, and brushing up on the latest regulations then you may want to deal with your accounting, in-house. However, if these things are not your strengths, finding an expert accounting agency to help you is often well worth the investment. 

There are many accounting and financial tasks that can be outsourced, such as preparing periodic accounts for accurate reports on your business’s performance, as well as budgets, cash flow, and forecast work. Indeed by handing off these jobs to experts you can concentrate on other issues in your business that will help it thrive.

Shipping and Logistics

Running a business with its own logistics arm is a complicated and expensive feat. Also, because there are so many shipping companies, covering so much of the world in a fast and reliable way, controlling your own logistics is largely unnecessary for most businesses. 

Of course, when choosing whom to outsource this function to it is important to consider several things. Price is essential, but the quality of service is also important. Remember that clients like to be able to track their package’s progress, and change the delivery location and date at will. Therefore choosing an outsourcer that can offer this is important to your long-term success.

This is a contributed post

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4 Ways For Small Businesses To Protect Their Profit Margins

4 Ways For Small Businesses To Protect Their Profit Margins

***Contributed Post

It’s a truly wonderful thing to be able to go into business for yourself. To see an idea that began life as a sketch in your notebook slowly blossom into a living, breathing and fully functioning enterprise. To develop a product that could change the world or at least shake up your chosen industry. To give up the rat race and carve out a niche for yourself in your chosen market, making a living on your own terms and taking your career into your own hands. But while this can be extremely liberating, it’s not without its risks. Benefits and paid vacations become a thing of the past and your personal fortunes are tied inextricably to those of your business. In order to make your enterprise viable in the long term you need to be able to invest sufficiently for stability and growth while still ensuring that your profit margins are healthy enough to facilitate easy cash flow.

Image by Pixabay

And that’s much easier said than done. Here are some ways in which new startups can protect their profits and reduce the risk of cash flow problems that could see them sink in a quagmire of debt…

Outsource your IT support

IT provision is likely an essential facet of your business, no matter what industry or field you choose to apply your skills to. But investing heavily in IT infrastructure not only represents a significant overhead, it can become a black hole as you constantly upgrade and renovate your systems. Using Outsourced IT Support is often far more cost effective. You will be afforded proactive monitoring to stop any issues in their tracks, expert advice on how best to tailor your tech to your business’ needs and regular auditing to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth.

Encourage customer retention

While a business with growth on its mind will always be on the lookout for ways to attract new customers it’s worth remembering that it costs up to 6 or 7 times more to attract new customers than it does to retain those who’ve already used your business. While a potent marketing strategy is a no-brainer, this shouldn’t come at the expense of implementing customer retention strategies. Here are a few you may wish to consider;

  • Rewards schemes.
  • Introduction incentives (giving the customer a little something every time they introduce someone to your business).
  • Customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Follow up or ‘thank you’ messages.
  • Email shoots.

Use CRM to check your progress

Whatever the nature of your business, you need to ensure that your customer relationships are manages successfully. A Customer Relationship Management software solution like Salesforce is a great way to track which customers are engaging with you regularly and which are not. This will enable you to double down on retention techniques that encourage repeat custom while enabling you to come up with new strategies to bring lapsed customers back into the fold.

Always question your processes

Finally, it’s important for any small business finding its feet to keep an eye on its processes and ensure that they are as efficient and productive as possible. Keep in constant contact with your employees on the ground and encourage them to share their insights. If they can identify ways to make your processes more efficient they could help your profits to skyrocket.

It’s a truly wonderful thing to be able to go into business for yourself. To see an idea that began life as a sketch in your notebook slowly blossom into a living, breathing and fully functioning enterprise. To develop a product that could change the world or at least shake up your chosen industry. To give up the rat race and carve out a niche for yourself in your chosen market, making a living on your own terms and taking your career into your own hands. But while this can be extremely liberating, it’s not without its risks. Benefits and paid vacations become a thing of the past and your personal fortunes are tied inextricably to those of your business. In order to make your enterprise viable in the long term you need to be able to invest sufficiently for stability and growth while still ensuring that your profit margins are healthy enough to facilitate easy cash flow.

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Why Knowing When to Outsource Is Essential for Your Success as a Digital Entrepreneur

Why Knowing When to Outsource Is Essential for Your Success as a Digital Entrepreneur

*** Contributed Post

The digital age has brought with it an unprecedented number of ways to make it as an entrepreneur, not to mention a virtually limitless number of fields that an entrepreneurially minded person can choose to specialise in.

Of course, the other side of that coin is that the digital age has also brought with it a large number of ways to make unfortunate business mistakes and hamper your professional progress via your own inability to effectively handle and adapt to the nuances of your field.

While some of these issue and stumbling blocks are, indeed, rooted in the internet and digital technologies themselves, a good number of others are simply the result of timeless mishaps that have dogged entrepreneurs and small business owners for just about as long as people have been working and earning money.

Image via Pixabay

One of the classic blunders that afflict many entrepreneurs — digital and otherwise — is an inability to outsource, or the overwhelming desire to micro-manage every aspect of the business to the point where any other team or staff members are essentially left unable to do their job.

As it so happens, learning to outsource effectively might be even more essential for digital entrepreneurs as for others. So, if you notice a tendency in yourself to try and “do it all yourself” to the detriment of your business, consider hiring a company like Scarlett Group to take care of IT and other branches of your business, so that you can focus on your core competencies.

Here are some reasons why knowing when to outsource is essential for your success as a digital entrepreneur.

The business world is more complex today than ever before

One undeniable feature of the hyper-connected digital world which we all currently inhabit, is that things are simply more complicated than they’ve ever been before, across a wide variety of measures.

Whereas it was once the case that virtually every job was constrained by certain practicalities, borders, and technologies, virtually everything is up in the air now in this age of never-ending innovation, lightning-fast global communication, and the endless flow of information that characterises 21st Century living.

If you don’t police your productivity and your attention ruthlessly, you could spend all day, every day, fruitlessly trying to identify and apply different business strategies, new technologies, and so on.

Likewise, if you run a moderately successful business of almost any type, you could easily spread yourself far too thin by going above and beyond the call of duty in order to act as a fully-fledged team, all by yourself, while seeking to perform all the increasingly nuanced and specialised roles of a full team, all with the time and likely energy levels of any other normal person.

To put it simply, the digital age has made the business world more complex than ever before. It’s absolutely essential for any entrepreneur who wants to be successful, to know how best to spend their time in any given moment, while also having a good understanding of where their time is only wasted.

Outsourcing can be the key to ensuring that you don’t get swamped trying to do an endless number of jobs that you’re not specialised for.

You only have as much time in the day as anyone else

Tied in to the point above, is the clear and evident fact that you simply don’t have an endless amount of time. In fact, it’s one of those weird and wonderful facts of life that every single person who lives today, and who has ever lived, and who ever will live — the most ludicrously productive, and the laziest and most prone to procrastination alike — all have the exact same number of hours, minutes, and seconds in a day.

It may seem bizarre at first glance to think that you have just as much of this vital resource as someone like Richard Branson or Warren Buffet, but there’s something empowering in this fundamental understanding, too.

That is, it’s empowering if you understand the fundamental lesson of this. Which is that you need to treat your time as the most valuable and essential resource you could ever possess, and then you’ll be able to appropriately handle it, by doing the most essential thing you can with each moment you have available.

This is pretty much the same as saying that you really need to learn to outsource and defer tasks to others as and when it’s appropriate and expedient to do so.

If you waste this vital resource on tasks that are not very important, or that you’re not very good at, while neglecting those tasks that really need your attention, you’re setting yourself up for a disastrous failure down the line.

Other people can do things that you can’t

This point should be self-evident, but a large part of the reason why many entrepreneurs try to do it all themselves, is often that they’ve convinced themselves that no one else can do anything for their business quite as well, and with quite as much attention to detail, as they can.

While it’s certainly likely to be the case that no one will be as invested in your business as you are, it’s a complete fallacy to think that no one could do a better job in handling a particular aspect of your job than you can.

It’s highly unlikely that you will be a brilliant administrator, an excellent marketer, a superb IT specialist, a product development pro, a logistics maestro, and be otherwise proficient to a high degree in everything that goes into running a successful business.

If you put your ego and paranoia aside and are willing to explore outsourcing as a feasible option for various “departments” of your business, you can benefit greatly from the expertise of people who have developed their careers around becoming proficient in one or two specific areas, which in all likelihood are going to be different from the areas in which you’re proficient — no matter how much of a renaissance man, or woman, you might be.

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Why Outsourcing Is The Key To Your Business’ Success

Why Outsourcing Is The Key To Your Business’ Success

One of the biggest hurdles my clients face in scaling their business is learning how to delegate.

It’s tough, isn’t it? You have the vision for your company. You know what you want. It’s hard to just hand things to someone else and expect they’ll apply the same excellence that you do.

If you’re like most passionate entrepreneurs I work with, your business is your baby. You’ve poured your heart and soul into it along with blood, sweat and tears.

But each small business owner comes to a point where there is just TOO MUCH on the to-do list.They simply don’t have the capacity to do everything effectively so that their business can get to the next level.

And so they must learn one of the most vital keys of running any business…delegation!

It’s not easy at first but trust me, learning to delegate effectively is not only going to make your life more enjoyable but it might just be the key to 10x the success of your business!

Here are 5 tips to get you started.

#1 Figure Out What Tasks You Dread

What do you NOT enjoy doing when it comes to your business? Writing emails? Taxes? Payroll? Website stuff? Whatever it is, make a list of the tasks that drain your energy because you don’t enjoy them. This is your list of tasks to start delegating!

#2 Delegate Strategically

Each of your employees or contractors have different things they are good at. You’ll be surprised to find that the very things you hate the most are someone else’s passion zone. Take some time to hone in on the different talents/strengths of your team and arrange delegation of tasks accordingly. If you are missing certain skills in your company, it might be time to expand and bring in some new people.  

#3 Give Clear Expectations & Instructions

When delegating a task to someone, communicate clearly and simply as possible. Make sure you know exactly what you want them to do, how you want them to do it and when you want it done. It’s a good idea to give these instructions verbally and in writing so that no one forgets details.

#4 Acknowledge & Appreciate

When you’re done handing off a task to someone, finish by acknowledging them for taking over. A simple “Thank you for taking this on, I’m so glad I have you on my team.” will help them to feel important and create more motivation for them to do the task well. Once they complete the task, always show appreciation. Employees who feel appreciated are much more likely to show excellence in their future work than those who feel undervalued.

#5 Create A System For Reporting Effectively

Create a clear system for who reports to who. You may be the one everyone reports to but there should still be a clear way for doing so effectively. If you stay on top of emails, an email might be good enough. But if you are fairly busy you might want to set up a different system by using an online organization program for businesses. The goal here is to create accountability so that tasks are completed in a timely and effective manner, and none slip through the cracks. If you don’t have a good system, tasks will start to slide and your company’s efficiency and follow-thru will suffer.

​​​​​​​Once you pass even a few simple tasks to the right person, you’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes.

​​​​​​​You’ll have more time to focus on what you LOVE in your business.

​​​​​​​You will be able to reach business goals and milestones more quickly.

​​​​​​​You will be able to make it to your kids soccer games on the weekends without being on your phone the whole time.

​​​​​​​New, awesome ideas will come from employees that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.

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