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When Is It Time To Outsource?

You’re hoarding work right now, aren’t you? In an effort to keep overhead costs low you’re doing everything yourself, after all, it worked out perfectly when you decided to build your own business website. You may figure that once you get “big enough” you may need to outsource some of your day-to-day tasks so you can focus on your company’s core business – but how will you know when it’s time?

Here’s a shocker – the time is probably now. It doesn’t matter whether your new Blockity website is a one-gal fashion blog or if it’s the online presentation for your construction business, there are probably several duties you can assign to someone else to run with – without having to take on the full-time cost of an employee.

Benefits of Outsourcing

There are some obvious and not so obvious pros to outsourcing certain tasks:

  • It allows you to focus on improving your main offerings
  • It reduces time-to-market with new ideas and products
  • Boosts revenue by letting you churn out more work, more quickly
  • Increases creativity since your brain is spared from mind-numbing mundane tasks

And depending on your business model and present situation there could be a dozen more benefits. How much quicker could you respond to partnership inquiries if you could focus on that more? What about developing that off-shoot business idea you had (and building another awesome Blockity website to boot!)? As an entrepreneur you probably have more ideas than you have time and effective outsourcing can allow you to chase down more of them.

“But I don’t trust anyone…”

Get over that. The people that fail when it comes to outsourcing also fail at management in general. If you insist on touching every piece of every operation you will never grow your business. Take the time to piece out what you can safely assign to others, and then set about creating clear instructions for accomplishing your desired results. Invest the effort in the beginning and it will pay off handsomely.

What should you outsource?

Don’t just think of tasks in their entirety, but break them into smaller pieces and it’s easy to see how outsourcing can help you be more productive. Go back to our fashion blog for a minute: you could get a part-time VA to continually scour a dozen industry news sites for you and send you bullets of the latest trends. If you’re a great writer but a terrible formatter, hire it out! Would you like 5,000 more outsourcing ideas? Sure you would, so here goes:

  • Customer service ticketing
  • Monitoring blog comments
  • Link building
  • Email marketing
  • Set up goals in your Google Analytics
  • Article writing – or just a piece of it
  • Social listening
  • Proposal / RFP creation
  • Sales support
  • Image sourcing / creation
  • Building out your content calendar that you keep refusing to do 
  • Monitoring industry trends and news mentions for guest post opportunities
  • Accounting services
  • Website maintenance and routine testing for broken links, etc.
  • Sending personalized thank you messages to new social followers
  • All types of research
  • Stalking…I mean reaching out to influencers
  • Keyword research
  • Competitor research
  • Competitor bashing (no just kidding)
  • App development
  • Survey creation, distribution, and distillation of feedback
  • Curating articles for a weekly newsletter sent to your subscribers
  • Checking for branding inconsistencies across your web pages and social profiles
  • ASO, SEO, SEM, PPC, SMM, UFO, SOS, WTF, OMG (ok got carried away with that)

That’s a few less than 5,000 but still plenty for you to start with today. Just remember that outsourcing is only going to help you as much as you set it up for success. If you only hire the guy who works for 5 cents an hour, don’t expect genius. And likewise, providing your outsource partner with instructions like “go figure it out for yourself” doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get what you hoped for.

There are plenty of places for you to look for and find great vendors, freelancers, and others to outsource to and in a future post we’ll review several of the major platforms out there. Please tell us in the comments some of the tasks you’ve had success in outsourcing.  

By Mark Holland exclusively for blockity.co

Business Writer - SEO & Marketing

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