Congratulations! You started your business all by yourself. It’s up and running and ready to grow. But here’s the problem: if you continue to go it alone, you’ll never grow it alone. It’s time to take a look in the mirror and recognize that, although you are really good at some things, you can’t be good at everything.
It’s time to let go a little — to take off some of those hats you’ve been wearing. It’s time to get some help, to delegate, to outsource. It sounds easy but the truth is that many entrepreneurs enjoy having the full weight of the business on their shoulders. In trying to keep all those plates spinning at once, they have a hard time determining what tasks they should outsource. In case you’re having that problem, take heart. Here’s a look at three areas of your business worth outsourcing:
1. Areas that require highly repetitive tasks
When you first got started you probably didn’t picture that you’d be spending only 25% of your time doing what you do best and the rest of your time doing all those repetitive tasks that, while necessary, do not contribute directly to growing your business. If you’re beginning to get bogged down by data entry, doing payroll, paying bills or boxing up and shipping out inventory, it’s time to outsource those duties. The key is to do it early before those tasks become overwhelming to the point that your business begins to suffer. It may take you some time to find the right people, but freeing yourself up to do what you know, love and are passionate about is well worth the time and effort involved.
2. Areas that require skills and technical knowhow
Starting out, you may have built and maintained your own website. But to take your business to the next level you need to outsource this area of your business to professionals, those with serious skills and knowhow in the areas of web design, SEO, web analytics and social media. With websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest becoming more and more important as a means to advertise and interact with clients and customers on a massive scale, the ability to leverage social media is more critical than ever. Doing website updates, email marketing and newsletters are also tasks that can be handled reasonably and efficiently by others to free up more of your valuable time.
3. Areas that involve branding and marketing
Building and marketing a successful business brand doesn’t happen overnight or by accident. Nor should it be left to well-meaning business owners. Professionals must carefully orchestrate brand creation and marketing. Qualified graphic designers with branding experience should be brought in to design the logo and the overall look.
Physical branding through products such as promotional banners, brochures, books, flyers, signage, name tags and lanyard should also be outsourced to companies that understand the importance of staying true to the designs and color-schemes that help constitute your company’s consistent corporate image. These companies will know how positioning pop displays affects consumer purchasing rates and how a more clean cut and simplistic logo will lead to better branding.
Entrepreneurs who have poured heart and soul into their businesses need to understand that outsourcing inevitably involves growing pains and learning curves. When high expectations are not immediately met, the urge to step in and start micromanaging should be avoided. The only way your business will ever take off is if you let go, do what you do best, and then get out of the way.
About the Author: Robert Cordray is a freelance writer and expert in business and marketing. With over 20 years of startup experience, Robert is now retired and hopes others can benefit from his writing.