This time, and with another 'time' related post, he highlights why he thinks outsourcing can save you money (and time) and help you grow your business.
Over to Stephen to explain all...
"A high proportion of small businesses fail, and there are many reasons for this—but one is simply that there's a huge amount of work involved in running a business, and many start-up owners just aren't prepared for it.
The solution might seem to be to hire employees, but often that's not a financially viable option; instead, small business owners may benefit from outsourcing key tasks.
One of the most common problems that small business owners face is the widely disparate nature of the tasks that need to be done to start and grow a business. Web design and content development, accounting and bookkeeping are just a few of the key areas that are essential for growing a modern business. And if you're unable to accomplish all of these tasks alone, outsourcing is the ideal solution.
Ongoing General or Repetitive Tasks
As a small business owner your time is both precious and limited, and outsourcing tasks that don't require your focused attention can help free up that time for more important things. How much time do you spend in a month on minor tasks that could easily be delegated? And if you delegate those tasks, what could you do with the time that frees up?
Hiring a virtual assistant can be a huge boon in this regard. Virtual assistants are typically hired on a freelance basis and can remotely perform a wide range of tasks, including administrative work, scheduling social media content, and data entry, leaving you more time to concentrate on your core business.
Tasks that Require Specialist Knowledge or Skills
You might be an expert in your specialist line of work, but your skills may not necessarily be transferable to web design, writing, accounting, or IT services. These are areas where it definitely pays to hire a freelancer to get the job done efficiently and well. Outsourcing these skills means you can take advantage of high quality work without the expense of a full-time or part-time employee, and without spending your own time on aspects of the business where you don't have the same high level of expertise.
For example, for a start-up small business there's rarely enough writing or web design work to justify the expense of hiring employees to do the work. But really there's no need to, when hiring freelancers gets the job done just as well—or better—and in a very cost-effective way. Similarly, if you need someone with IT skills for what amounts to a few hours a month, it's far more effective to hire a freelancer than it is to try and muddle through on your own.
When to Avoid Outsourcing
While there's a very wide range of tasks that can be outsourced in a highly cost-effective and productive manner, there are some aspects of a business that should always be done in-house. If you can't decide whether or not to outsource a particular task, there's one general rule that applies in virtually all situations: try to avoid outsourcing tasks that are related to your core business focus.
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Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.