Outsourcing things like complex accounting functions and marketing campaigns are almost a no-brainer in business. But if you’re struggling to find the time for all-important fee-earning work, it may be time to outsource a little more.
The decision of which jobs to keep and which jobs to outsource can be a tough balance to strike. There are also a number of benefits and drawbacks to outsourcing, but when you pick the right jobs to hand over, it can really be a worthwhile endeavour.
There are a number of outsourceable, time consuming tasks that don’t immediately spring to mind, especially if you are new in business. So let’s investigate 6 of these services you may not have considered:
1. Admin and Secretarial Tasks
Whether you love it or hate it, admin is an essential business process. If you’re a sole trader or micro business and you find a lot of your days being frittered away on time-consuming clerical tasks, you may want to consider the services of a Virtual Assistant.
Virtual Assistants or “VAs” can help with all kinds of administrative functions without even having to set foot in your office (unless you want them to of course – some VAs do offer onsite service). But with the pervasiveness of online collaboration and sharing tools, delegating tasks to an external party has never been easier.
Depending on the VA’s own skills, they can help with jobs like email management, data entry, transcription, database management, bookkeeping, basic research and analysis, creating presentations and graphics, scheduling and diary management, chasing leads – the list goes on!
2. Writing Marketing Copy
Not everybody has confidence in their own writing, and they often have to wrestle with themselves to actually put pen to paper when marketing copy is required. If this sounds familiar, you’ll probably benefit from the services of a professional copywriter.
Copywriters make a living from writing all sorts of marketing copy on their clients’ behalf. They’re skilled in empathising with the reader’s problem, conceptualising a way to communicate your brand and product, and crafting text that positions your company as a solution.
Good copywriters need a good grasp on marketing psychology, a keen writing skill and extensive knowledge of marketing methods. If writing key materials for a new launch or campaign fills you with dread, or you simply don’t have the time to put in writing and editing – outsourcing to a copywriter could be right up your street.
3. Writing Blogs & Shareable Content
On a similar note to copywriting, blogging regularly can also put a strain on resources due to the regular output of content required. If you’re interested in blogging but the thought of writing regularly feels like it would detract too much from your business, it may be a good idea to employ a professional content writer to help.
Ideally when you blog, you need to commit to a regular release schedule; but sadly it’s often a task that gets bumped down to the to-do list as more urgent work comes in. Outsourcing your content writing can potentially lead to a regular and professional-looking release schedule, not to mention plenty of informational posts to raise your profile online.
4. Human Resources Tasks
When you have limited time and manpower, HR functions can be incredibly time consuming, but they’re crucial to get right. Not only are people’s livelihoods involved, but there’s also a significant amount of legislation to comply with.
Thankfully, human resources tasks are totally something that can be outsourced. This can turn out to be a life-saver when you think of all the things that HR touches upon: payroll, employment contracts, pensions, employee handbooks, recruitment, legislative compliance, and background checking to give just a few examples.
These are all tasks that need a keen eye for legislative detail, a sympathetic nature towards both employee and employer problems and an ear to the ground for new developments and best practices. Outsourced HR managers and consultants can help to take the strain from smaller businesses who can easily become swamped with personnel issues.
5. IT Support
On a day-to-day basis in business, there are a few things more irritating than a sudden, confusing IT problem – especially when mixed with an impending deadline! If nobody in your company is particularly techy minded, a single error message can send even the best laid plans into a complete tailspin.
But IT support isn’t something you have to cover in-house. Anybody who’s had a sudden IT problem in the past can probably appreciate the benefits of having an expert only a phone call away!
People who deal with technical issues professionally are likely to have encountered many similar problems before, and what may seem like the end of the world to you could be as easy as a few clicks to them. As is the case with the other disciplines on this list, you’re paying them for this valuable expertise and experience, and for them to diagnose and fix any problems quickly so you can get back to business.
6. Customer Service
Dealing with customer service issues is another love it or hate it affair. Not all of us are natural customer liaison superstars, no matter how good our intentions might be. Thankfully customer service is a discipline that can also be outsourced.
If you find yourselves fielding so many customer service calls that it’s detracting from your other business functions, you may find solace in looking for an external customer service agent or agents. For those without a talent for customer service, engaging with customer complaints and feedback can be very draining – and can often require a very thick skin!
Though it might initially seem like a good idea to keep customer service functions in-house, your average customer’s experience may benefit more from relying on external professionals. The customer’s experience is of utmost importance – you want to be able to give your customers the best service possible, and outsourced operatives are already trained and experienced in dealing with people. It may therefore end up easier than training up someone in-house!Did you know you can outsource these 6 time-consuming tasks? Click To Tweet
So over to you – what jobs do you currently outsource? What would you like to outsource? Did anything on this list inspire you to outsource? Do you make a living as an outsourcing provider? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
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