Launching a business itself is hard work. You probably had to do everything yourself from setting up operations, marketing and promotions and establishing the work flows. But the real challenge lies in maintaining the growth trajectory of your business. Once you gain traction, there are at least 8 things you should outsource immediately to scale your business.
1. Administrative Work
At the top of the list is administrative work. These tasks are sometimes unfairly referred to as “time wasters” not because their functions have little value.
Administrative work includes tasks that are clerical and supportive in function. Examples are filtering e-mail, taking phone calls, setting appointments, filing and documentation.
They are necessary to keep the business running more efficiently. But if you spend more time managing them instead of attending to work that is directly related to your main enterprise, you will end up wasting productive time.
Virtual assistants are highly experienced professionals who can render excellent work managing administrative work. Hiring virtual assistants are an affordable alternative to full-time employees but they can generate a higher level of productivity.
2. Customer Service
In this day and age of digital technology where consumers can access information from a portable mobile device, every customer becomes a valuable asset to a business.
If a customer is not happy with his experience with your company, he can go to your competitor on his own freewill. Your competitors also monitor customer behavior by reading online reviews. One bad review is all it takes for a competitor to swoop down on your customer like a hawk and take his cash away from your business forever.
Business success is no longer about making a sale. Market retention is as important as market creation and customer service is an integral component of the client experience.
Set up a customer service framework that covers at least 3 points of contact and outsource it to virtual assistants. An effective customer service framework includes e-mail support, inbound call handling, chat support, social media engagement, fax and regular mail support.
3. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is the most efficient method for marketing and promoting your business. It is a cost-effective approach that offers sustainable solutions simply because it utilizes Internet-based tools, strategies and techniques. A digital marketing campaign includes the following processes:
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- PPC Advertising
- Link Building
These are skills that one cannot simply learn overnight or by watching videos. You need experience and expertise to design and implement a successful digital marketing campaign.
That is why digital marketing should be outsourced to third party professionals. They have a ready team of experts on SEO, content marketing, social media and other forms of online marketing to make the job easier to manage.
Effective money management policies are necessary to help the business stay afloat. In fact, poor money management is one reason why many small businesses close down within 5 years.
Business owners and entrepreneurs know this fact even without having to research it. But accounting for cash flows, income projections and disbursement schedules will take time.
You can outsource accounting to virtual assistants or freelance accountants. They already have the system in place, including the software, to make sure you are informed of your financial position all the time. Among the accounting tasks they can do include the following:
- Payroll Preparation
- Inventory Management
- Cash Sales
- Accounts Management
5. Human Resources
It takes time, money and resources to hire employees. You have to acquire talent, run tests, evaluate, select, train and orient candidates before you can have them onboard. In addition, you have to consistently evaluate performance and provide more training if necessary.
If you had to manage Human Resources on your own, you would not have enough time in the day to attend to key business activities.
You can contract the services of third party specialists in Resource Process Outsourcing or RPO. This is a branch of outsourcing that not only deals with hiring but also the development of requisite work and leadership skills.
The objective of RPO specialists is to build your company a team of individuals who are ready and committed to navigate your business through the most difficult and challenging economic periods. To do this requires experience, knowledge and a proven track record of success.
6. Web Design and Management
For your business to capitalize on the opportunities available on the Internet, it must have a website. Although there are free and downloadable templates online, do not take a chance with a Do- it- Yourself website.
Your website needs the following qualities to be effective:
- Mobile responsiveness
- Fast download speed
- Accessibility by multi-browsers
- Fully functional features
- Aesthetically pleasing design
Thus it would be to your benefit to outsource web design and management services to a professional web designer.
Remember your website functions like your office in the virtual world. This is where your end users go to find you. The last thing you would want is to give them a forgettable experience by having a website that frequently malfunctions.
7. Research and Development
In order to stay competitive, you must regularly be updated on trends and developments in your industry. Research must consistently be undertaken to keep you ahead of your competition.
But comprehensive research takes time. Sources have to verified, due diligence work may be conducted on some references and old school leg work could be included in the methodology.
You are better off outsourcing research to an agency or a freelancer with the experience and resources conducting accurate data gathering, analysis work and making recommendations.
You will also need research if you plan to embark on a new venture or an expansion of your current business. A research team can conduct a project feasibility study complete with figures, scenarios and an updated market report.
8. Leads Conversion
Online marketing can help you achieve many goals. It can promote your business, enhance your reputation as an expert and build your network of followers. But one of its most sought after benefit is lead generation.
But what good are leads if these are not converted to paying customers? Leads are considered assets in a business. As you well know, transitioning a lead from an acquired market to an interested party and finally a customer is not an easy process. It takes strategy, timing and a purposeful approach to move a lead through a sales funnel.
You can easily find virtual assistants with the experience and ability to convert leads into sales. They can use outbound telemarketing techniques or e-mail marketing tools to get them more interested in the product or service you are selling.
Outsourcing is not a new concept. It has simply evolved from a cost-cutting process to a strategy that can improve the profitability of your business.
There are real challenges to outsourcing; foremost of which is relinquishing control over areas of your operation to people who do not share or collaborate in the same space. But it is a proven strategy for business development.
Once you outsource, you will notice an immediate improvement in your level of productivity and it will eventually show up in your bottom-line.