The When, Why, and How of Outsourcing for Small Businesses
Everyone has things they do well (one of which, we hope, is managing your finances with our online invoice software)—and things they don’t. In business, the latter can be taken care of easily through outsourcing. If you are not a graphic designer, for example, you might get an agency to do your design work. The questions many small business owners have are when should you outsource and how. In this post, we’re going to show you how to determine whether you should outsource something, and the many ways to do it.
When to do Business Outsourcing
The first step of outsourcing is to know what tasks you should outsource. The easiest way to determine this is as follows.
You can’t outsource the making of your products, but you can outsource the design of your logo.
First, ask yourself what you—as the business owner—are best at in your business that only you can do. For example, if you sell handmade crafts, then maybe you are the only person who creates your product a certain way. Therefore, that is something only you can do in your business.
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Next, ask yourself what you are not good at, but needs to be done for your business. Using the same example, let’s say that you need a new logo for your handmade crafts business. But you don’t know the first thing about designing graphics, let alone logos.
You could take the time to learn how to use graphics software and create a professional logo for yourself. But this could take up a lot of time – time that you could be spending making more handmade crafts.
But unlike your handmade crafts that can only be made by you, there are lots of people and services that can help you make a professional logo. In short, you can’t outsource the making of your products, but you can outsource the design of your logo.
Why You Should Outsource
The reasons you should outsource this task are simple. There is no need for you to learn the skills to design a logo because you will rarely need to design new ones. Therefore, you would be spending your time learning new skills that you wouldn’t be able to apply to your business on a regular basis.
Stop doing the things that can be outsourced and are not a profitable utilization of your time.
The time you spend learning the skills to design your logo could be spent making more crafts, and thus more revenue for your business. Let’s say that you can make 10 of your products in an hour, and you sell each for $20. That’s $200 per hour.
Now, let’s say that it takes you two eight-hour days to figure out how to design your logo. That’s 16 hours that you could have spent making your products, or $3,200 worth of revenue-generating products.
If you were to have outsourced the design of your logo, you could have spent $500 (much more than most small businesses spend on logo design) and STILL have come out $2,700 ahead.
The bottom line is that your business’s bottom line will likely benefit from outsourcing the things that you cannot or do not need to be doing in your business.
This reasoning can be applied to all businesses. Realtors that could be out selling homes for $20,000 in commission shouldn’t trade that time to design their own website, which could be outsourced for $5,000 or less. Photographers that could be out photographing a wedding for $1,500 shouldn’t trade that time to design their own business card, which could be outsourced for $200 or less.
In other words, stop doing the things that can be outsourced and are not a profitable utilization of your time.
How to Outsource to a Third Party
The good news when it comes to outsourcing is that you can outsource almost any business-related task. The price you pay depends on who you choose to complete the task for you and where you find them. The following are just a few of the popular outsourcing providers that can cover a wide range of tasks with different approaches.
Fiverr is a popular marketplace where you will find people who will do just about any business task for only $5. Gigs fall into the following main categories: design, online marketing, writing, translation, video, animation, music, audio, programming, tech, advertising, and other.
Note that while all gigs have to start at only $5, many will offer additional options that will increase the price, such as faster delivery or premium upgrades.
Upwork, formerly known as oDesk, is a freelance network that allows you to connect with freelancers to handle specific tasks. Freelancers fall into the following categories: accountants, consultants, creatives, customer service agents, designers, marketing experts, mobile developers, sales experts, virtual assistants, web developers, and writers.
Pricing on Upwork varies based on the freelancers experience and ratings. For example, you will be able to find top-rated web developers from $33 to $100 per hour. In essence, every business will find someone who fits their needs and budget.
99Designs allows businesses to create contests to get specific design work completed in the areas of art & illustration, book & magazine, business & advertising, clothing & merchandise, logo & identity, packaging & labeling, and other small tasks. For each contest, you will get multiple designers submitting work to you from which you can choose the winner.
Each design job will offer four levels of pricing. For example, if you want a character or mascot created for your business, you can expect to get about 30 designs from good designers at $249. For those with a larger budget, you can expect to get about 40 designs from expert designers at $999.
You can also just go to Google to search for agencies, consultants, contractors, freelancers, or services that can get various tasks done for your business. The pricing will vary widely. In some cases, it might be higher than what you would find at the above-mentioned services, and in others, it might be lower.
In Conclusion: Business Process Outsourcing
As you can see, you’re not alone in your business. There are many ways to get things done that will save you time and money in the long run. All you have to do is be able to identify those things that you need for your business, but you don’t need to do yourself!
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