Building a business from scratch is always an operation in multitasking and entrepreneurs tend to wear many hats in the early days. The reason for this is usually a lack of resources and limited funding, but the consequence is often that some aspects of the business suffer. By trying to do too much and attempting to manage business functions they have no expertise in, mistakes and missed opportunities are common.
A potential solution to this is to outsource some of the day-to-day work to external providers so they can concentrate on growing the business. Of course, every business is unique and will have different requirements, but here are 5 services which many start-ups decide to outsource.
- IT Services and Support
Even well-established companies choose to outsource IT as it is a complex and crucial component in business. While outsourcing to an IT service provider will incur some cost, it will save you money in the long-term due to improved efficiency and productivity. In addition, the peace of mind and security of knowing you have IT experts running your IT functionality, protecting you from cybercrime and keeping you at the cutting edge of technology, is priceless.
- Accounting and Payroll
If you have employees and are managing payroll yourself, you are probably wasting time and money on a task which can easily be taken on by an external provider, or at least made easier with software. It is also important to ensure that you are filing tax returns correctly and on time each year, as failure to do so will lead to penalties. A qualified accountant can remove a lot of the stress and administration while ensuring you are complying with your legal obligations.
- Digital Marketing
Whether you run an e-commerce website, a bricks and mortar stop, a consultancy, or a restaurant, you need to have an online presence. When consumers and businesses are looking for products or services, most will head straight to a search engine like Google. If your website and/or social media profiles are not optimized for search engines, your competitors are likely to appear before you in search results. This will have a significant impact on the traffic your website receives, the number of enquiries you get, and your sales figures.
A digital marketing agency or executive will be able to advise you on a digital marketing strategy and execute it for you, e.g. creating and publishing content, developing social media campaigns.
Retailers are often bogged down in the practicalities of managing stock, processing orders, packing merchandise, and dispatch. This is all essential, but it prevents them from using this time to market the business and maximize sales. A logistics company may be able to help with storing your products and fulfilling orders in a quicker and more professional way than many start-ups can manage.
- Customer service / support
Small businesses are often unable to dedicate a lot of time to dealing with customer questions or problems. The result is long waiting times and missed communications which lead to dissatisfied customers. There are, however, contact centers and remote customer service professionals who can look after your existing customers while you focus on attracting new ones.