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StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Make The Best Use Of Your Time – Outsource!

Finances are tight at the launch of most new businesses, especially if you factor in the costs associated with employing staff and renting premises. There are ways of cutting costs and one way is to outsource a lot of the essential tasks to freelancers. Outsourcing will lower the number of staff you will need to employ on a permanent basis. Freelancers only get paid for the work they complete and won’t require holiday and sick pay. You can tap into the expertise of freelancers on a global scale. Excellent time management is then required for the remaining tasks.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
 
Time management is a skill in itself! If you don’t want to spend the whole day running around like a “headless chicken” achieving nothing, time management is a skill you need to develop fairly quickly! It is essential to prioritise your workload and ordering your “to do” list should become part of your daily routine.

Did you know that it is possible to hire the expertise of an online receptionist? This will remove a lot of the call answering tasks which can cause interruptions to your day. It is also possible to choose a new phone number with differing area codes relating to different parts of the country or a different country altogether! Take a look to see how much it costs to manage an australia 1800 number.

At the beginning of everyday, write a list of the tasks which need completing. Your next step is to then prioritise this list according to level of importance. If you can delegate any tasks or purchase software to make life easier – do it!

Here are some tips to make time management easier.

Deal with Urgent Tasks First

Sometimes tasks need to be urgently dealt with first. Staffing issues, customer requests and complaints and delivery issues will all need to take priority. Ensure IT systems are working effectively, especially cyber security software as you don’t want to be vulnerable to a data breach.

Project Deadlines

Your next tasks to take priority will be those related to deadlines. It is essential to meet certain deadlines in order to maintain customer and supplier satisfaction. Your deadlines may relate to accounting issues and if you don’t meet them you may incur hefty fines.

Phone Calls and Emails

If you answer the phone or open an email every time it rings or pings into your inbox you won’t get a great deal of work completed. Switch on the answer phone and turn off email notifications. Of course they do need to be dealt with eventually, but to make the best use of your time it would be a good idea to allocate a window in your schedule simply for responding to answerphone messages and emails.

Speaking by telephone is an essential form of communication. Many customers will prefer to speak to a real person as it gives the personal touch. To lower the amount of calls received ensure there is plenty of information on your website, which covers some of the more common queries. Perhaps consider having a “frequently asked questions” tab on your website.

To reduce the number of queries you receive by telephone ensure that you have sufficient information on your website and other promotional media to answer most common questions.

Outsource

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
 
Even the best time managers in the world would struggle to complete all the necessary tasks needed to run a successful business alone. Being frugal may be a priority but you should put aside some funds which will enable you to outsource certain tasks. You will need to avoid trying to do everything yourself as you will quickly burn out. Any investment you make is likely to be returned tenfold, especially as it will allow you more time to concentrate on generating sales, without sales your business won’t be viable!

Research has shown that 80% of a business owners time should be spent on generating leads and making sales.The internet has opened up the opportunity to connect with freelancers on a global scale.

There are some tasks which naturally lend themselves to being outsourced.

Accounting Tasks

Keeping an accurate set of accounts is essential, it is also tedious and time consuming! Some people love the accounting side of running a business but if keeping your books straight is not your “thing” it would be worth outsourcing this task to an experienced bookkeeper on a freelance basis. An accountant would also be useful at tax return deadlines.

Social Media Management

Social media is a relatively new phenomenon, but it has very quickly escalated into becoming a major marketing tool. Social media platforms literally allow you to promote your business to thousands if not millions of potential customers. The downside to social media marketing is that it is very time consuming. To stay engaged on platforms you need to interact and post regularly. You also need to be available to respond to queries 24/7. It would make sense to employ a social media manager, who could concentrate on building up your followers as well as a rapport with future and existing customers.

Virtual PA

It is now possible to employ a virtual PA, who can undertake all the tasks normally associated with a secretary in the traditional sense. A good PA will ensure records are up to date, complete paperwork, write up minutes and store data safely. All these tasks take time and if you have delegated them elsewhere you will free up lots of time.

For outsourcing to be successful you need to adopt excellent forms of communication. You will not see the freelancer in person so any instructions need to be clearly communicated in the written word as well as spoken. This will ensure that information isn’t misinterpreted and everyone will be working to the same goal.

When choosing a freelancer to outsource tasks to, be wary. Ensure that you can view examples of previous work and follow up references. There are so many people to choose from it’s important to realise that the cheapest isn’t likely to be the best, it’s also fair to say that the most expensive isn’t always the best either! Go for middle ground.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

If You Haven’t Thought About Outsourcing, You’re Missing Out

If you are just in the middle of getting ready to launch your business, there might be some avenues of freeing up time and energy in the early days that you haven’t considered yet. Most entrepreneurs are ready for long hours, the grind but you don’t have to accept that as rote. There are a few things that you can outsource early on and maximize your time for running the business and getting creative.

Bookkeeping – this is pretty much a vital part of keeping your business running well, and keeping firm hold of your finances. Head to a couple of freelance sites, have a chat with other business owners and see if you can find yourself a bookkeeper you trust and has a proven track record.

Accounting – they go hand in hand, and excellent bookkeeping can help your accountant make the most of those deductibles, and they are experts in the field. You won’t get silly mistakes or in hot water for not completing something correctly.

Appointments – while you might want to be the point of contact for all appointment setups, it is highly likely that you would benefit from something like TimeTrade, Setmore or SimpleBook.me. They are automated systems that check availability, book appointments, notify you or the person responsible for the meeting, plus they have many other functions to explore.

Storage – Rather than have a lot of paper or HDDs hanging around, look into ways to lighten to load and make your data accessible anywhere. Use of Cloud storage or an outsource fax server can help manage how you’re sending data to employees and clients.

Admin tasks – If you have a lot of admin tasks, and are spending more time taking care of those than managing your client work, then it might be time to think about hiring a VA. A virtual assistant can take care of a lot of tasks for you:

  • Social media management and scheduling
  • Research
  • Blog Writing
  • Data Entry
  • File Management
  • Commenting and responding to social media messages
  • Transcription

And, so much more. If you manage to find a VA that understands what you are trying to achieve they can be a tremendous asset to you and your business. It’s like having two of yourself.

Social Media scheduling – Set up something like Hootsuite, SocialOomph or Buffer. Other platforms work just as well, but those are highly rated. It will take you, or your VA a few hours to curate a month or more of content across all of your platforms.

Do you have the time to manage your content marketing? If not, hire a freelancer to take care of that for you. It is basically the use of easy to read and digest content, that educates and informs your target audience without being salesy. Lead generation, relationship building and vital.

Look at what you aren’t great at. Every CEO in the world has at least one thing that they aren’t great at taking care of or getting done. Check what yours is and spend the time to find someone who can take care of it for you.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Why Outsourcing Can Save Your Business


Outsourcing is the process in which a business will hire a third party to complete tasks that they do not want to complete themselves. Within a business it can be expensive to hire specialists in every single field, and for small businesses in particular it can be helpful to instead hire a third party to complete these tasks for them. They won’t need to pay a full time employee, but they will still be able to have a professional, expert service.

If you are wondering why so many companies choose to outsource, look no further.

Low Cost

The first reason that many companies decide to outsourcing is that the operational and labour costs are much cheaper than hiring an employee into the business. If a company is on a budget it can be the difference between falling out of profit and growing in profit.

Mundane Tasks

There are always parts of running a business which are boring and downright mundane. Things such as administration, finance and statistics can be outsourced by a business if they do not want to complete these tasks themselves. Another thing which could be outsourced is answering services– where all phone calls will go to a third party and they will take messages or pass people through. It saves people in the office being disturbed throughout the day with phone calls.

Global Knowledge

By outsourcing or offshoring certain business aspects, a company will be able to learn about the global market, and in time they may even decide to make the move across the globe and open up an office abroad.

Growth

By freeing up the time which internal employees will spend on certain time consuming tasks, they will be able to spend more time on their own work and be more productive. They can also look into developing the business in new areas and grow the business from there.

Resources

Sometimes outsourcing is the only way a business will gain access to a particular type of service or resource. It might be that internally a company has no one who can complete social media tasks and copywriting, so a lot of the time this will be outsourced to help the business market themselves.

Delegate Complicated Tasks

There are certain elements of a business which can be incredibly confusing and require an expert hand to oversee it. For example you might want to create a company website, but you will need a developer to help you decipher the code and make sure that the website functions correctly, looks good and that the SEO is all in place. Although you can often learn things on google, sometimes it is better to just call an expert and let them handle it all.

What parts of a business can you outsource?

Content Marketing

There are various forms of marketing which you can look to outsource, and a large part of that is content marketing. Whenever you see a social media post, a photograph, an article like this or a tweet- that is known as content. In order to grow your business as much as possible and reach the right people, you need to make sure you are sharing engaging and quality content every single day. This will involve writing up blog posts, writing and scheduling social media posts, creating graphics, taking photographs and a whole lot more. It is a job role in itself and this is why unless you have someone who can dedicate their time to it, you need to outsource it to a professional.

SEO

Search engine optimisation is a must for any company who has a website. The purpose of this is to make sure your website and content are seen on the search engine when relevant keywords and searched for. You want to optimise your website so that your content ranks higher on a search engine and has a bigger chance of being seen by those searching for a particular thing. It can get complicated when you start delving into the audit, which is why getting an SEO professional is a better choice.

Payroll

Payroll is something many people will outsource because it can get complicated with tax codes and overtime, so it is much smarter to let a professional handle it. If you get payroll wrong, you can be facing charges from the employees you underpay or even from the government, so it is better to leave it to an expert.

Bookkeeping

One of the more time consuming and a little boring tasks in the business is bookkeeping. This involves compiling all data on clients, employees, profit margins, expenditure and sales- then putting it all in once place for your business records. This is a job which will take a huge amount of time, which is why getting someone to do it for you is the best option.

Finance

Every company should really have a dedicated financial employee who will deal with all incoming and outgoing cash through the business. However if you don’t, you cannot expect to balance the books and keep an eye on things yourself. The job will involve any expenses and profits being recorded, the ordering of equipment and other items, renewing software licences and lots more. It is a complicated job which needs an expert eye. Make sure you choose an accountant or financial aid who you trust completely with your funds.

Admin Tasks

This can cover everything from scheduling meetings, making sure that there is enough toilet roll in the building, or even answering the phones to clients. These are all tasks which are time consuming and which you don’t want to spend your day completing. Instead, get someone else to do it for a lower price.

Your Weaknesses

There will always be a few elements within a business which you are not confident on or which you do not possess the knowhow and experience. It is a case of identifying these parts of the business and then outsourcing them in order to improve the way your business runs overall.

StrategyDriven Business Management Article

Why Your Business Shouldn’t Outsource Overseas

Most business owners understand the financial benefits of outsourcing their processes overseas these days. They are much the same as the monetary advantages entrepreneurs encounter when buying from suppliers based in other countries. Still, there are some excellent reasons why you should avoid following that strategy below. Read them carefully!

Outsourcing overseas takes money out of our economy

After the recent US election, the new President committed to bringing as much money back to America as possible. He is fighting a losing battle if entrepreneurs still choose to send their work abroad. Do everyone a favor and make sure you only trade within your home nation.

Outsourcing overseas takes jobs away from your friends

There is an unemployment crisis in most western countries at the moment, and it’s the fault of companies that outsource work overseas. By bringing those jobs home, you could ensure all your friends and family members never have to struggle.

Outsourcing overseas presents many quality control issues

There is no getting away from the fact that it’s often impossible to keep a close eye on quality control when the people performing essential tasks don’t live in the same country. Bear that in mind if you want to build a good reputation for supplying solutions of the highest of standards.

Now you know some of the reasons outsourcing overseas is a bad idea, you can start to alter your strategy and approach. Take a look at the infographic under this post if you still have some confusion.


Designed by  GreenLeaf Industries

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Outsourcing: The Hottest Thing In Business

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
Photo courtesy of Pexels

When you’re in business, it’s very hard to fall behind. So many new advances, trends, and ways of doing things pop up all of the time – meaning you hear about them pretty much as soon as they land. Some will benefit your business, others will be irrelevant, and then you’ll find the trends that stick. Because some of them will just work for your business. One of these is likely to be outsourcing. It’s nothing all that new, but as trends go, it’s certainly making waves out there in the business world right now. If you want to grow your business, improve your productivity, and generally operate well, here are some of the key areas you could consider outsourcing.

Sales

Not everyone is comfortable with the sales process, and that’s okay. When you own your own small business, or you’ve just started out, it’s highly likely that you’ll be tackling the majority of the sales process yourself. And if you’re not a natural, it can be something that you dread. So, instead of suffering, why not look at outsourcing it to an expert? With a sales consultant, their compensation is often results lead, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

Production

Then there’s the actual administering of your business operations. If you manufacture a product, why not look into outsourcing it? Even if it means you have to send cutting services to one expert, R&D to another, and packing to a specialist, if it speeds up your productivity and is cost-effective, it makes sense. Even if you provide a service, you could outsource some areas of the work to free up your time for more important things.

Marketing

As a small business or startup, do you often find yourself saying that you’ll market more, and never find the time for it? If you’ve answered yes, don’t feel guilty, you’re not the only one. When you wear different hats, and you’re just trying to get your work done, marketing and promotions often get put to the bottom of the priority list. But that’s one of the benefits of outsourcing your marketing – it gets done for you. Plus, it will be experts handling your strategy, meaning they could probably do a better job that you anyway.

Finance

If you’re not a natural when it comes to numbers, you probably hate having to deal with them. Looking at budgets and forecasts and even filing your taxes can be a lot of work. So, outsource it. You can hire an accountant to take care of the regulatory stuff and even filing your taxes. And if you really don’t want to deal with anything yourself, get an assistant in to run the day to day stuff for you too.

Administration

When you’re really busy and are trying to put all of your efforts into growing your business, you’ll probably find that you just don’t have the time to take on all of the admin that needs to get done. Or, worse, you’re spending your time and efforts on the admin and not growing your business. Either way, you need a VA. A virtual assistant can take on all of the annoying admin that you hate doing, and probably get it done a lot quicker than you could too – because they’re a pro!