Outsourcing involves farming out your work to qualified professionals for the benefit of your business enterprise. Large corporations have been doing it for a few years now with great success to their bottom line. These companies outsource jobs to other countries where they can be done just as efficiently for less cost. People get jobs and the company wins on all fronts.
This concept is not just for the big companies. Small business enterprises can use outsourcing to their benefit as well. Whether you are running a small business out of your home or online, it takes work to keep everything running smoothly. There don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get all of the work done.
Consider outsourcing as a means of boosting your bottom line and lightening your load a bit. With an online enterprise, usually you are the “everything person.” You function as the bookkeeper, web designer, content writer, Internet marketer, customer service representative and the executive assistant. It could take the better part of a day to respond to all of your business emails or to handle bills at the end of the month.
If you need help, there are affordable choices for small businesses. For you, outsourcing in the virtual world is a great option. People with certain expertise can help your business to grow. The trouble is finding these people and more specifically, the right people to handle your business needs.
Outsourcing works best when you know what jobs you can outsource and which ones are best left in-house. Also, learning the benefits of outsourcing makes you more confident and knowledgeable when looking for an individual or company to contract with.
Once you decide to outsource, you’ll need to know how to find who you are looking for. Creating an application and interview process gives you tools to determine who will be the best fit for the jobs you want to outsource. Virtual assistants are putting a new face on the process of outsourcing and proving themselves to be a great asset.
How would you like to get a press release distributed for only $5? How about a video created for the same amount? An article written? Keyword research done?
REASONS FOR OUTSOURCING
When you first start an online business, free time is non-existent. Either you are setting up a website or marketing your business or answering emails. Each job is important but it leaves no time for anything but work and sleep.
Many parents begin home businesses to spend more time with their families. You may have that opportunity eventually, but in the beginning you’ll work almost as much as you did with your regular job. Outsourcing allows you to get a few of those piles off of your desk and into the hands of someone else. Life becomes a little better because you can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.
With small businesses, if you don’t do it, it won’t get done. This includes the big M – marketing. In order to sell your goods and services, people need to know that you exist. Putting the word out there about you requires a marketing strategy that includes advertising. Just researching the market and establishing an online presence takes a big chunk of time each day.
When you outsource some of the tasks within your business, it leaves more opportunities for you to handle more pressing work of the business that requires your attention. Developing a marketing plan involves trial and error but that won’t bother you as long as you know that all your other bases are covered through outsourced companies or individuals.
Better Customer Service
Anyone who has ever owned a business or patronized one knows how important customer service is. A business, especially a small one or an online enterprise can be made or broken on the strength of their customer service program. Each customer wants to feel special, as if they are the only one that you have.
A good customer service program takes care of their new and returning customers. Questions and emails are answered promptly. Issues with merchandise are rectified rapidly. Outsourcing customer service to a third party frees you from answering business related emails or telephone calls. The customer’s need is met and you only answer emails or calls from anyone who needs your expertise to handle their situation.
You go into business to make money. It is true that you want to be the boss, but without money coming into the business your stint as head honcho will be short lived. Maybe you want to expand your business but don’t see how without some additional help. Outsourcing some of the daily duties allows you to focus on streamlining business functions and finding new markets to explore.
Lower Overhead Costs
If you have more money coming in than going out, you are doing something right. One way to lower your costs is to hire virtual contractors instead of employees. Employers are responsible for their employees’ health care benefits package and unemployment insurance.
Outsourced jobs are done by contractors. Virtual assistants and other companies that you hire to take some of the burden off of you are also business owners. As such, they pay for their own health insurance and any other expenses they might incur. You don’t pay for equipment or lunches or breaks. The actual time spent on your projects is all that you are being billed for.
Many online businesses use contractors instead of regular employees. In the beginning, you usually can’t afford to have any full-time people working for you. Outsourcing allows you to keep that status quo and increase your profits at the same time.
Employing Knowledge and Experience
As we stated before, outsourced work is done by contractors who are also working to build their own businesses. They have built a reputation of reliability and on-time product delivery. It is as important to them as it is to you to do a good job.
Most virtual assistants and other contractors bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. You might need a person who can answer your emails and perform customer service duties. That same virtual assistant may have extensive experience in website building. They can be of assistance to you further in other ways.
Choosing contractors, who have many talents instead of just the one you need at the time, will save you headache if and when you need more jobs outsourced. A knowledgeable person can troubleshoot problems and answer your questions without the need to consult yet another person.
Around the Clock Service
When you run an online business, you deal with people in many different time zones and countries around the world. While you are sleeping, your clients are just starting their day by bombarding your email and voicemail with messages. That means a lot of busy work to do when you get going in the morning.
One thing to consider when outsourcing your work is the location of the contractor. If they are living in another time zone, this benefits you because while you sleep, they are still working and taking care of clients. It is like a 24 hour convenience store. There is always someone on duty. Handling responsibilities like that requires someone you trust implicitly.