Six Things to Outsource for More Efficient Business Growth

You can do anything, but not everything.

– David Allen
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Six Things to Outsource for More Efficient Business Growth

By Jess Dixon

You can’t do everything by yourself.

I say this as a former card-carrying member of the “do all of the things, work 60+ hours a week, periodically burn out” club. Trust me, it’s not sustainable, it’s not good for you, and it’s not good for your business.

While it might be possible to run your entire business single-handed at the beginning, sooner or later you’re going to need some help. Here are six things to consider outsourcing, freeing up more time for you to focus on what matters to you.

Content writing

Content is vital when it comes to promoting your business. Your blog, newsletter, and other communication channels need a steady stream of fresh, high-quality content. But unless you’re a natural (and very fast) writer, creating it all yourself can quickly start taking up a disproportionate amount of your time.

Hire a skilled copywriter to take the burden off your hands. The money you spend will be more than worth it for the time you save. (Plus, professional writers understand how to get the message across in the most effective way, so you’ll probably see improved engagement and conversions, too!)

Social media

Very few businesses can get away with not having a presence on social media these days. At an absolute minimum, you should have a Facebook page. Ideally, you should also be utilizing Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. But running all these channels can take a lot of time, particularly if you want to actively engage with your audience and grow your following.

Depending on your goals and budget, you can hire a freelancer to schedule some posts each week, completely outsource all management of your channels, or anything in between.

Social media for business isn’t as simple as just posting the odd Facebook status or fun video on Instagram. It requires a strategic approach and a substantial time investment. Hiring someone with the time and expertise will pay off when you see your follower count and engagement rate soar.

SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a process that helps your site to rank more highly in Google search results. In a world where the top 3 results on Google take over 75% of total clicks for each search, you can’t afford to ignore SEO.

But unless you’re an expert it is laborious and time-consuming. It’s also complicated – while anyone can learn the basics, it takes years of work to get really good at SEO. Bringing in the professionals, whether in the form of a freelance SEO specialist or an agency, is the best way to get results and get your site the traffic it deserves.

Inbox management

I hate having an inbox full of unanswered emails. Hate it. But answering them all takes time, and I often find that I’m repeating myself. If you find yourself snowed under with emails, consider hiring someone to take care of them for you.

A virtual assistant can sort through your inbox, respond to frequently asked questions, and bring anything essential to your attention. Even taking someone on for a couple of hours a week can free up a substantial amount of time and headspace.

Admin tasks

Do you spend hours on record keeping, data entry, purchasing, invoicing, or doing other time-sucking admin tasks? As a business owner, these aren’t good uses of your time! A skilled freelance administrator or virtual assistant can take all of these things, and many more, off your hands.

Business owners tend to be control freaks (I say that as one myself!) so it can feel really daunting to hand elements of your business baby off to an outsider. But if you do your research and choose the right person with the appropriate skills, you’ll be amazed at how much better you’re able to put your attention where it should be: on running your business!

Accountancy

Business finances can be complicated. While you might be able to manage your cash-flow and taxes by yourself if your accounts are very simple, an accountant should be one of the first investments you make as soon as you can afford to do so. If your accounts are complex, if you have a very high turnover, or if you have people on payroll, it’s essential to have a professional handle the money side of things.

Accountancy services will seem expensive at first glance, but can save you money in the long run. A good small business accountant will proactively find ways to save you money, such as tax allowances, tax-free staff benefits, and allowable business expenses. They’ll also keep you on the right side of the law so you don’t get a nasty surprise if you make a mistake and HMRC come knocking.

It’s worth it, I promise!

But I can’t afford that!” you might be saying. It’s true that many new businesses are operating on a shoestring budget, and in the current climate you might be watching every penny.

But look at it this way: if your hourly rate is £100 per hour, you’ve lost £100 of potential earnings for every hour you spend on non-billable business tasks. But if you spend £25 an hour for an assistant, and use that hour to do client work instead, you’re left with an hourly profit of £75.

You might not be able to afford all the services I’ve mentioned here, and they might not even all be appropriate for your business. But take a hard, honest look at where your time is going, and chances are you’ll find at least something you could delegate.

The key isn’t to outsource for the sake of it, but to outsource strategically in order to claim back your time for what really matters.

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