Running your own small business can easily be more than a full-time job. As the owner, the buck ultimately stops with you. That’s a lot of responsibility to shoulder. Not only that, as a business owner you have a lot of hats to wear. Try to wear too many at once, and you’ll probably start noticing that some start to fall off and roll away. Fortunately, there are business functions that you can outsource to others.
Accounting and Taxes
Unless you’re an expert when it comes to accounting and tax laws, that can be a frustrating and stressful aspect of business to try to handle on your own. Even if you could do it by yourself, that may not be the best move for your business. Hiring a CPA may be a better option. A CPA should be able to help you chart a path to reach your business’s financial goals and can give you advice on how to handle taxes for your business. Given how complicated taxes can be, having an expert who can guide you through them to get the best results for your business can be one of the better moves you make. Make sure you know what to look for in a CPA so you can hire one that will be a good fit for your business and its needs.
Technology is great, at least until it stops working. Especially when it comes to small online businesses, you need every aspect of your business technology to be fully and properly functioning. Hopefully, that’s exactly what happens most of the time. When it doesn’t, you’ll need to get help to fix the problems that crop up. Again, you could try to troubleshoot them yourself. The internet can be a wonderful resource when it comes to identifying and trying to solve problems. That said, hiring an IT expert to handle IT issues is likely to be the better decision. You can get more time for the things you can do best by having your IT needs taken care of.
Customer service is an important part of your business. When something goes wrong or customers have questions, that’s the department they’ll be turning to for solutions and answers. While it can be flattering to have the owner of a business handling customer service queries from the customer’s point of view, it’s not going to be the best use of your time. As an online business, most of your customer service is likely to be handled either over the phone or through an online format. That gives you a chance to outsource your customer service needs to a call center or a business that handles chat services, leaving you free to handle business responsibilities that are generally handled by the business owner.
Depending on the type of business you have, you may be able to outsource your shipping. Handling large quantities of inventory can be a huge struggle for online businesses. Given that they can be operated from a personal home, and often are, coming up with space to store inventory can be a real challenge. Depending on the goods you sell as a business, you may be able to outsource your shipping by taking advantage of dropshipping. Dropshipping allows you to circumvent the need to have inventory on hand by purchasing the goods you sell from a third-party warehouse that stores it all for you. Once you’ve placed your order based on your sales, the warehouse will ship the goods directly to your customers. You don’t have to handle yourself at any point. Of course, there are pros and cons to dropshipping, so make sure you understand them before deciding that it’s a good move for your business.
If you have a team of employees working for your business, you may find it helpful to outsource your HR department. Human resources services are important to businesses. But if you have a small business, it may not make sense to have a full HR department working full-time. Outsourcing your HR department can be a good way to lower some of your costs while still meeting the needs of your business. They can take care of things like finding candidates to fill open positions, onboarding and paperwork, handling any benefits you offer, and managing payroll.
Marketing is a crucial facet of any business. Your business won’t survive for long if you aren’t able to attract new customers and retain the ones you already have. That’s the whole point of marketing. Of course, given all the responsibilities you already have, you probably don’t have time to handle your business’s entire marketing needs. Consider outsourcing your marketing to a company that specializes in exactly that. Online businesses need to build a strong online presence, improve their visibility, and develop a solid, positive reputation. If you have an expert marketing team you outsource your marketing needs to, creating all of that becomes much easier.
For your marketing to be as effective as possible, it needs to be founded on solid, quality research. You need to know who your target market is, what their needs are, and what the demand is like for what you’re offering. This is essential if you’re rolling out new products or if you just want to continue to grow your business. Conducting research takes a lot of time and effort though, which is often in short supply for many business owners. Consider outsourcing your research needs to a research company that will likely have greater resources and systems already in place to conduct effective studies and get you the data you need.
Outsourcing different business functions and tasks can be of great benefit to your business. Often, the ones that are best suited to being outsourced can take a lot of time, require specialized skills and training, or are things it doesn’t make sense to hire someone on a full-time basis to do for you. Take a close look at your business and the things that need to get done so you can make the best use of your time and resources.
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