Small business owners are used to wearing all of the hats for their companies, but at a certain point, it becomes largely impossible for one person to manage all of the responsibility for a growing and productive business. You, like most entrepreneurs, may consider outsourcing certain tasks and obligations simply to get it all done – and done well.
Every business is different, but in general there are several categories of work where you’ll pack the most punch by outsourcing.
We’re not all born writers or marketers, and yet marketing is essential if you want to grow your business. Outsourcing marketing-related tasks means you take it off your plate and put it in the hands of a capable professional who can use blogs, email, and social media to effectively help you reach new customers.
Legal Work and Taxes
While you can incorporate your business yourself, it will probably take more time and energy than you’ve got. The same thing is probably true of filing your taxes – you can do it, but it may not make sense, considering that it may not be your specialty and may take you many times longer than it would a professional even if you don’t make any mistakes. These are critical missions where one mistake can derail your business or cost you plenty. This responsibility is a prime one to hand off to the professionals.
Bookkeeping and Payroll
Once you have a consistent stream of revenue coming through the door, you may find it helpful to hire a bookkeeper and meet on a monthly or weekly basis, depending on your volume of sales. While it may seem convenient to handle your various administrative duties in-house in order to keep that office manager busy, payroll is another task that outside professionals can handle with more ease and familiarity than you can. And it may actually be more cost-effective to outsource bookkeeping and payroll, because you pay a fixed amount each month, based on your needs, rather than paying for a full-time employee.
In the beginning of your small business venture, you may be fine with buying a laptop from your favourite big box retailer, but as you expand your small business, you may need more specialized technology. Hiring out for your IT needs may save you money in the long run, as your need for a comprehensive system and backup increases. An IT professional helps your business scale organically rather than too hastily.
Eventually, you may need photographs for a brochure or newsletter or a new visual asset for your direct mail, website, blog, email, or social media. While many marvelous new tools exist that can help you do this on your own, there may be times when the touch and training of a professional can take your presentation to a brilliant level of execution. Try to frame the cost as an investment in the longevity of your business rather than a painful outlay that you’d rather not pay for.
Just as you’d never set your own broken bone or make your dining room table from things you find around your house, there are many things that are probably best left to the professionals. While you might find yourself balking at paying for legal help or financial advice, the fact of the matter is that highly trained advisors can relieve you of some of the burden of running your business.
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Andrew Patricio is the founder and CEO of BizLaunch, a company that trains, advises and mentors entrepreneurs. Andrew has written two books on small business, started seven businesses, and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs in Canada get their businesses up and running. Andrew is not a Pitney Bowes employee and was a paid contributor.
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