Your brainchild is taking its first steps as a real-world business, and you realize there’s a lot to accomplish. There are crucial meetings with potential investors to be scheduled. They will need reports detailing your business’s performance so far, which you haven’t done. You have a ton of sales leads to follow up, and you haven’t dealt with that poorly-timed leave request by your sole employee.
All these important tasks demanding your attention could be a sign that you need help. Delegating these duties to trained professionals will help you get more done and done well.
Deciding to Outsource
This professional help comes from two sources: in-house staff and outsourced professionals. While you will always have in-house staff at your beck and call, it takes a lot to enjoy this option. You need to have adequate office space and equipment to accommodate your employees.
At the end of every month, you will need to pay them a salary along with all the accompanying benefits. You will also have to deal with the headache of calculating, deducting, and remitting their statutory dues.
Outsourcing those crucial tasks will help you find savings while guaranteeing quality workmanship. You can vet various service providers, interview their past clients, and compare their rates before contracting any of them.
To further ensure that your chosen vendor meets your expectations, you can draft a service level agreement (SLA) between yourself and them. In the event there is any shortfall in the agreed-upon service (delays past a deadline, for instance), you can hold the service provider accountable based on the contents of the SLA.
Bringing in an outsourced professional does not mean you completely take your hands off the wheel. You will need to establish continuous communication with them and continually check on the progress they’re making.
Below are some of the areas you should think about outsourcing:
Getting your chosen target market to notice your brand and products takes a lot. You need to establish their tastes and preferences, where they’re located, what communication channels they use most, when they’re most likely to respond to promotional messages, etc.
A professional marketer will help you develop a clear strategy to reach your target audience effectively. They will help you come up with effective email campaigns and harness the power of social media to promote your brand. Your marketing guru will also know how to use paid Google ads to connect with potential buyers.
It’s easy to overlook bookkeeping when trying to juggle all the different aspects of getting your startup off the ground. Startup business owners should look into tax services in the early stages. This helps avoid an accumulation of unrecorded transactions or unbalanced books that may come back to haunt you during tax season.
There are a number of intricacies that filing your annual returns involves that an outsourced accountant will be better suited to work on. They will ensure everyday transactions are well recorded for ease of income tax computation. They will also be well-versed in your state’s requirements and what IRS forms you need to file.
Your tax expert’s experience can bring to light many opportunities to grow your business. They will offer ideas on areas you can reduce your expenditure and boost your income. Their connections could include more competitively priced suppliers, and their tax expertise can secure you tax breaks you didn’t know existed.
3. Human Resources
A lot goes into HR that can quickly snowball into a huge distraction as your staff grows. Thankfully, a number of tools can help startup owners with modest budgets take care of all aspects pertaining to their staff.
You can take care of the A to Z of your payroll using cloud-based software that factors in everything, including workers’ compensation insurance in the states where it is required. Or you can fully outsource the personnel function to a company that will handle everything from their recruitment to their monthly compensation.
4. Personal Assistant
A personal assistant can take many of the more mundane tasks you do and let you focus fully on expanding your business. However, you may not be at the stage in your business’s growth where you can afford such help permanently.
You can get a virtual personal assistant instead. There are numerous platforms online where you can secure a VPA at a fraction of the cost of an in-house PA. While working remotely, your VPA will take such time-consuming tasks as scheduling meetings, email correspondence, and making travel arrangements off your plate.
5. IT Services
Though your business may not be tech-intensive, you still need to keep your computer hardware, peripherals, and office network in good working condition. You also need to ensure your security systems are up to date and able to protect you from the latest online threats.
An outsourced IT professional can help you take care of this without the wage demands of an in-house computer wiz. However, there is a risk that your outsourced IT guy may be unavailable in a moment of crisis, subjecting your customers to hours of downtime and leading to huge losses in revenue.
Jumping in Eyes Open
Outsourcing various non-core functions can free up your time to actively pursue the growth of your enterprise. However, it’s not a panacea for all ills, and in some instances, hiring permanent staff may be less risky and less expensive in the long run. Research the pros and cons of both options extensively so that you make a well-informed decision.