Saving money is not making money!
Many business owners reject outsourcing because they think its costly. However, they fail to calculate the value of opportunities lost because they invested too much time into tasks that can be best left to others.
For example, we need to spend couple of hours everyday in managing our Facebook page and posting on Twitter. If I choose to do it myself, I can save Rs. 1,000 – 1,200 (Equivalent to $20) in outsourcing fees. Or I can spend these 2 hours in figuring out ways to increase sales & earn 10x or 50x of this amount.
Lets look at 9 such business activities you can easily outsource and make more time for yourself to focus on growing your business.
1) Outsource Accounting & Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping is like your morning exercise – no one wants to take the time out to do it but neglecting it can cause serious problems over the period of time. You always have an option to hire a dedicated person to take care of day to day accounting & bookkeeping activities but nowadays it has become practical for businesses to outsource their bookkeeping activities.
Lets first understand what is bookkeeping. According to Wikipedia, bookkeeping is the an act of keeping the records of all financial transactions in a systematic way. This includes recording purchases, sales, receipts and payments transactions.
There are lot of benefits of outsourcing your bookkeeping activity. You can save time and focus more on your business, you will also save money as account outsourcing is cheaper than hiring a full time accountant, you will have access to professionals who will ensure the accuracy and much more.
2) Outsource Tax Preparation & Filing
Activity of preparing tax returns is time consuming and requires special skill sets. You’ll easily find tax consultants who can take away the tax filing burden from you. If you are using any good online accounting software, you can just give them a temporary access and they will be able to generate the return.
Tax preparation services are pretty much standardized these days and you can easily outsource VAT, Service Tax and TDS return preparation.
3) Outsource Payroll processing
If you have a small team, you won’t have any difficulty managing payroll in-house. But once your business starts expanding beyond 10 employees, processing monthly payroll can eat up lot of your time. Keeping track of employee leaves, joining & exit formalities, bonuses & loan advances and applicable tax deductions can soon become a nightmare for you.
If chosen correctly, payroll outsourcing can be less expensive, simpler means of paying your employees and filing your taxes on time.
4) Outsource Your Creative work
Everyone thinks they can do their own design work, and they can, but very few can do it well. Its better to leave it to the professionals. You can get quality results by outsourcing your artwork creation. This includes designing of website images, logos, business cards, letterhead, advertising banners, etc.
5) Social media marketing
Social networks are no longer limited to the personal communication. More and more businesses are using sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin for lead generation. In fact, popular messaging app, WhatsApp is also being used by businesses extensively. Marketing on these social networks is not easy and this activity requires considerable amount of time. For example, our job doesn’t end with posting something on the social media, we have to participate in the conversation and respond to the users.
This activity can be easily outsourced to one of the social media management agencies. They will have a team of dedicated professionals who will monitor and grow your followers. You can use tools like Hootsuit that allows you to add team members and approve what they post on your company’s social profiles.
Most of the business think that social media can be managed by spending just 30-40 minutes a day or occasionally posting few messages but if you really want to reap benefits from it, you must invest time in growing the followers. Outsourcing this activity to professionals will definitely give good returns.
How do you hire new people in your organisation? Most of us post a job on our website or inform friends and existing employees about the vacant positions. If we have a good network, we slowly start getting resumes. Then we start interviewing these candidates during weekends. What follows is shortlisting, background verification, salary negotiations and more interview rounds.
You can imagine how much time hiring can consume if not done right. You can save your valuable time by outsourcing the entire hiring process. These agencies will have a database and can quickly arrange candidates with desired skills. Some of them even offer free replacement if a new hire leaves within 3 months.
7) Event Management
Planning to host a workshop for employees? or a team outing? or may be a get-together party for vendors? Its better to outsource entire event management activity to an agency.
Right from planning to execution, event management can take lot of time. If not outsourced, you will be forced to involve your employees and that will affect the productivity. A good event management company can take away the entire pain and have good connections with technicians, sound providers, food caterers and other vendors.
So the next time you think of hosting an event, consider outsourcing it and save some valuable time.
8) Anything you don’t enjoy
Apart from my other duties at ProfitBooks, I make it a point to write this blog because I love writing. But there are few tasks I just hate doing, for example, preparing monthly MIS. I’m sure you must be enjoying doing certain activities more as compared to other less interesting but important activities.
Doing things we don’t enjoy drain us and adversely affects our productivity. We tend to postpone such activities and normally, it takes longer to complete those activities. Its better to outsource such tasks to professionals who are good at it.
9) Skills you don’t have
Most of the entrepreneurs start their business which revolves around their primary skills. I started ProfitBooks because I came from an IT background. Similarly, you will most likely to work in the industry you are comfortable with and which you have some knowledge about. But sooner or later you’ll realize that an entrepreneur has to wear many hats. He has to get into marketing, sales and almost every other department of the company.
I was not good at sales when we started, simply because I never got a formal education in sales. Most entrepreneurs face the similar issue and they force themselves into doing the things they don’t have an idea about. In such cases, its wise to outsource the skills you don’t have.
For example, if you don’t know how to design a website, don’t waste your time in learning it. Better, find some professionals and get it done.
5 Things That You Should Never Outsource
We talked about the the business activities you should outsource to save time and money. But there are certain activities that are too important to outsource. You must take total control over these tasks and should never outsource.
During the sales process, your brand image is created which impacts your business in long term. While having conversations with the customer during the sales process, you get quality feedback about why they are buying or why they don’t want to buy which can help you make your product better.
Outsourcing sales will never give you these insights and you will be only concerned about the sales figures.
2) Customer Support
Most people don’t understand this but a great customer support can be a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of your company. It can make or break your brand. When we started ProfitBooks, we were constantly compared with Tally and were perceived as an online version of Tally accounting software.
Our instant customer support changed everything. We started getting users who were frustrated with the customer support of our competitors. A good in house customer support team can give you insights about your product usage which you can use to improve your product. Apart from this, a friendly support team can help you build a longer relationship with your clients.
3) Any Business Problem
Got a problem in product? Finances messed up? You should definitely take the help from the experts but never outsource your business problem completely. If you do that, you’ll never be able to reach to the root cause and take preventive measures to eliminate it completely.
4) Your Core competence
Never ever outsource core competence of your business. For example, if you are an IT company, never outsource the development work. This must be the reason you started this business in the first place and you must be very good at it. So, outsourcing your core competence or skills will take away the soul of your business.
5) Exit Interviews
If you are not conducting exit interviews, you should immediately start doing it. If you have outsourced the HR and Payroll process, make sure you keep the exit interview part with you. Ideally, business owner should conduct this interview with the parting employee. This feedback will give you an opportunity to improve company culture.
Many business owners are trying to do everything to save few bucks. Business activities like bookkeeping and social media management should be better left to professionals.
To summarize in one sentence, do what you do best and outsource the rest!Outsource Your Bookkeeping Now & Save Rs. 5,000 Per Month