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Seven tasks to outsource when you’re short on time or skills

By Alexandra Gavril - August 6, 2018

“I don’t have the time to write on my blog or to manage my social media accounts but I can’t trust anyone else to do it.”

“My site could use some design work but I don’t have the skills to do it, nor do I want to pay someone else to do it for me. Maybe later.”

Sound familiar?

As a small business owner, you’re probably skilled in multiple fields, which means you can probably handle just about everything. But should you?

You can’t and shouldn’t have to do it all by yourself. So why not outsource work to a professional who has the time and skills to help you out?

Sure, if finances are tight, it can be hard to justify hiring help. Or you may fear that the people you hire won’t do as good a job as you. But what if they do?

If you use outsourcing well and hire professionals with the right skills, you won’t sacrifice quality. Not only that but it’ll also help you to reduce stress, be more productive and make more money, since you’ll be able to focus on what you’re best at.

Not sure if you should outsource? Check out this beginner’s guide to outsourcing for business success to learn whether outsourcing is a wise move for you or not.

If it is, then read on for seven tasks that you can easily outsource to reduce workload and contribute to the growth of your business.

1. Administrative tasks

It’s easy to get bogged down in tens of small tasks that eat up your time every day. But that’s not productive and it isn’t helping your business either.

In fact, as a small business owner, you need to focus on bigger, more important tasks that can help to grow your business.

So why not outsource those small administrative tasks to a virtual assistant (VA)? Virtual assistants are online-based workers who do administrative tasks to support your business.

They can take care of lots of small tasks, such as:

  • Coordinating meetings
  • Organising your email
  • Answering client and customer service emails
  • Managing documents
  • Preparing presentations
  • Creating reports

You can use platforms like Upwork, Fiverr or PeoplePerHour to find your VA. Don’t think that just because the price is lower, the quality is as well. VAs in areas with a lower cost of living can produce excellent work at an affordable price.

Just make sure that before diving into a project you take the time to train and explain to your VA what your business it about, how it works and what exactly it is that you need from the them.

2. Research tasks

When you’re building a business, you need all the research and information you can get. But instead of spending hours on research, consider hiring a researcher to help you with tasks like:

  • Finding authority links, statistics and key information for an upcoming blog post, course, webinar or infographic.
  • Browsing through industry news to find informative, relevant or interesting information to use on your social media channels.
  • Gathering information on your competitors or specific products so you can compare pros/ cons, decide on the best unique selling point and pricing.

If you outsource research tasks, you’ll save lots of hours of work that you can use to take your business to the next level.

3. Bookkeeping, accounting and financials

When you’re running a business on your own, juggling lots of different tasks, it can be easy to forget to file receipts or track expenses. You don’t want to make this kind of mistakes when you handle the finances for your business, do you?

So why not hire a professional to handle your day-to-day accounting and financials? While hiring a bookkeeper isn’t cheap, it’s essential if you want to stay on top of your finances.

You can ask for recommendations of bookkeepers from others in your industry and you can also use bookkeeping and accounting software tools like Quickbooks that provide access to a pre-vetted pool of accountants.

4. Online marketing tasks

If you don’t promote your product or service online, how will anyone know you exist?

But instead of going at it alone, try to find professionals who can assist you so you achieve the best results.

Online marketing encompasses a variety of tasks that you can outsource entirely or partially, whatever you feel comfortable with. These include:

  • Maintenance: Keeping your website and blog up-to-date
  • Social media marketing: Using social media to interact with your fans and community, to answer questions and to share informative and interesting content
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO): Building links and optimising content to ensure your website is visible in the search engine results when prospects search for your business, product or service
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: Reaching your target audience with paid ads in search engines
  • Email marketing: Engaging with subscribers over email
  • Influencer outreach: Building relationships with influencers in your industry and getting them to recommend or spread the word about your business.

As you can see, there are lots of tasks that go into online marketing.

Now, if you want to achieve the best results, don’t make the mistake of hiring a single person to handle everything for you.

For example, a social media professional will likely not know much about link building or how to properly optimise your website for search engines. This means you’ll need both a social media manager and a SEO expert for these two different roles.

5. Content writing and marketing tasks

Best way to sell something — don’t sell anything,” explains Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz.com. “Earn the awareness, respect and trust of those who might buy.”

How can you do that? With content marketing.

Content marketing refers to using easy-to-digest, relevant, interesting content to educate and delight your target audience. The goal here is to generate leads and then turn them into customers.

But to be able to close the sale, you first need to use content to nurture the relationship and to earn your prospects’ trust.

Content marketing is one of the many tasks that business owners prefer to outsource whether to freelancer writers or to specialised agencies.

So, consider outsourcing content tasks like:

  • Copywriting
  • Content marketing
  • Blog posts
  • Editing
  • eBooks and whitepapers
  • Social media posts
  • Advertisements

Since content marketing plays such an important role in growing your business, make sure you outsource these tasks to a professional writer. A cheap, inexperienced one might not be able to help you to achieve your goals.

6. Design tasks

If you have little to no experience with graphic or web design, don’t try to teach yourself from scratch just so you can save some money. Because you won’t.

On the contrary, you’ll be wasting precious time that could otherwise be spent focusing on what you already do best.

Leave the design tasks to the professionals. These include:

  • Website design
  • Graphic design like logos, social media images, brochures
  • Video creation and editing

As your business grows, you’ll want prospects to think of you as a professional and trustworthy business. And you can only achieve that if you invest in high-quality branding and visual assets.

For more tips and advice, read our guide on how to outsource web design the right way to ensure you get high-quality work while also sticking to your budget.

7. Customer service

Customer satisfaction is key to building a successful business that people trust and recommend to others. That’s why providing customer support 24/7 should be taken very seriously.

Whether you provide support via email, telephone, chat or social media, consider outsourcing this task to a virtual assistant or to a firm that’s experienced in this area. Not only will you be able to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction but you’ll also save up time to focus on other important responsibilities.

Wrapping up

Don’t waste another minute doing the tasks that you’re not good at or don’t have the time to do.

Instead, focus on your priorities and outsource what you can’t get to. This will give you peace of mind and save you precious time that you can use on other important tasks.

In addition, as your business grows and you’re ready to hire, you’ll get a better sense of the skills you’re looking for and the types of roles that will be most valuable to you.