As a small business owner, it’s easy to find yourself overworked and overstretched. There are likely tasks you know you should be doing, but simply can’t find the time. Or there might be things that would improve your business, but fall outside your area of expertise. That’s when you should consider outsourcing.
What can I outsource?
You can outsource just about anything. Accounting and recruitment are two of the oldest and most commonly outsourced tasks for businesses. The outsourced economy has been growing rapidly over the past decade though, and now there’s a whole range of services offered by freelancers.
Here are just a few:
- Social media management
- Diary management
- Website design
- App building
- Database entry
What are the benefits of outsourcing?
Your time is valuable. There are only 24 hours in a day, and it can be impossible to juggle all the demands of running a home improvement business. Deciding whether to take on new staff, particularly during these economically uncertain times, is tough. Outsourcing can fill the gap when you need an extra person to help, but are not ready to commit to employing someone full-time.
- Saves time
- Saves money
- Gives you access to specialist knowledge
- Allows flexibility – you can buy services as and when needed
- Is not a long-term commitment
- Frees you up to spend time on more important tasks
How do I outsource?
There are several ways to outsource work, but the most suitable depends on the services you are looking for.
Find a virtual assistant
Virtual assistants are generalists – freelance PAs who can help with all manner of basic admin tasks from email and diary management to mailshots.
VAs usually charge by the hour. Prices are typically £10-20 per hour and you purchase the number of hours you need either in a block or pay as you go.
Find a specialist
For one-off projects or tasks where you require a specialist, you can advertise on freelancer.com.
Simply detail the budget, requirements and qualifications you need and people apply, much like a job advert. You can then pick which candidate you want to award the project to. Freelancer is good for longer projects like building a new website, as you can create milestones, setting deadlines and paying in instalments at each stage of completion.
Use a company
For regular, repeatable tasks you can outsource to a company that specializes in that area.
This is good for outsourcing bookkeeping, payroll, or social media, for example. These are usually charged on subscription or monthly retainer.
Outsourcing is an effective and efficient way to save yourself valuable time, money and stress.
For further further actionable strategies to improve your home improvement business, check out: Shermin’s Post-COVID Business Recovery Guide