By Rieva Lesonsky
We all know that small business owners have to wear many hats. But even though many of us get quite adept at juggling so many tasks, there comes a time when it’s better to outsource specific responsibilities to save time and money and focus on growing our companies.
What are the tasks to outsource? Start with the ones that take a lot of time to do, that are outside your skill set, or require expert knowledge.
Here are seven areas of your business that have tasks to outsource.
Tasks to Outsource in Your Business
1. Human Resources/Payroll
Human resources covers a lot of ground in a small business, from hiring to managing your team. You may think you don’t have enough employees to warrant outsourcing HR, but since HR covers so many job responsibilities, it can be worth it. First, consider the specific HR duties you need. These could include:
- Payroll processing
- Employee health insurance
- Managing employee benefits
- Employee training
- Employment law compliance such as safety rules (OSHA)
Many small businesses start by outsourcing payroll. Since there are so many constantly changing rules and regulations, it’s hard for an in-house person to keep on top of it.
2. IT Help
Small businesses generally cannot afford an in-house IT employee, but they are so dependent on technology, they need help.
Like HR, IT covers a wide range of services, from web design and hosting to fixing hardware or fighting cyberthreats. These jobs require a lot of specific expertise, so it often makes financial sense to choose this as one of the tasks to outsource and begin outsourcing IT responsibilities.
3. Search Engine Optimization
Today, whether you’re a B2B or a B2C company, potential customers discover you by looking on a search engine (Google, by far, is the largest). Search engine optimization (SEO) can be considered a marketing function by requires a lot of industry knowledge.
Another issue is how often Google and the other major search engines (Bing and Yahoo) change their algorithms. It would be impossible for you to keep up, and it would cost a lot of money to hire an employee who has the knowledge to do this job.
Social media plays a big part in your SEO rankings, so the company or person you hire should have a solid foundation in social platforms as well.
This is not a task for a novice, so make sure that you look for someone with experience when outsourcing SEO.
Accounting is probably one of the most popular tasks to outsource. Again, accounting covers a lot of different job responsibilities, many requiring their own degree of expertise. You’ll want an experienced tax accountant to do your tax preparations.
Depending on the type of business you own, you might need a bookkeeper as well. Some of the overall accounting online solutions, like QuickBooks, offer bookkeeping services as well.
5. Payment Processing
Another one of the tasks to outsource is managing your accounts payable and receivables. These are labor-intensive and time-sensitive tasks best left to a company like Bill.com that automates these processes.
Outsourcing your receivables can help you get paid faster. In fact, Bill.com says their clients get paid twice as quickly. Using a service like this for your AR and AP reduces possible human error, keeps your systems secure, and helps you manage your cash flow.
And since the service is cloud-based, you can access your own dashboard to track what’s going on anywhere you have an internet connection. When looking for companies to outsource to, see if you can find ones that let you try before you buy. Give Bill.com a risk-free try today!
6. Customer Service
Good customer support can mean the difference between staying in business or closing your doors. Providing superior customer service, which is what consumers expect, is not only time-intensive but takes someone with a lot of patience to deliver.
And the more you grow, the larger the demand for customer service will be. That’s why it often makes sense to outsource this to a call center or chat service.
Do your due diligence when hiring a company to do your customer service. These people will be dealing with your customers, and you want to make sure they are treated fairly.
7. Administrative Tasks
More and more small businesses are hiring virtual assistants (VA) to handle their administrative tasks. These can range from typical admin work or more sophisticated duties like social media posting or booking travel. You will be interacting with this person a lot, so make sure you hire someone you feel comfortable with.
Access to Experts
Other areas of business that include tasks to outsource are sales, marketing, and legal responsibilities. Outsourcing gives you access to expertise that would likely cost you a lot more if you had to hire in-house employees with similar knowledge. Prices can vary significantly, depending on what you need done and the experience level of the company you’re outsourcing jobs to. Be sure to shop around and check references.
Today, with so many businesses operating remotely, outsourcing can literally be a business-saver.