Today I’m welcoming Jock Purtle to the blog, with this great guest post about when to outsource as a solopreneur. We all wear a lot of hats in our businesses, but strategic outsourcing will often make the difference between a thriving, focused, profitable business, and total burn-out. Jock looks at when and what to outsource.
As a solopreneur, the chances are that you’ll have to wear a lot of hats in your business. After all, there’s only you to take your incredible idea and make it into something with sensational reach, and profit potential.
During the early years of working on my businesses, I spent a lot of time working as everything from a content creator, to tech support, accountant, and everything in between. Of course, as any business owner knows, there’s only so long that you can continue doing “everything” for your business before you start to notice the negative effects of spreading yourself too thin.
Wearing Too Many Hats is Bad for Business
There are a few reasons why a solopreneur might end up wearing too many hats at once in his or her organization. First of all, you may think that you simply don’t have enough money to outsource the help you need, until you realize that the costly mistakes you’re making are stopping you from building a better, more profitable company.
On the other hand, because your company is your livelihood, and the thing you’re most passionate about, you may feel that only you can care for it properly. Unfortunately, trying to do everything yourself means:
- You end up giving important tasks sub-standard attention
- You don’t get access to the right expertise and skills you need to grow
- You never have enough time to seek out new opportunities for your brand
If you think you’re spending too much time working “in” your business, and not enough time working on it, then it’s time to look into outsourcing opportunities.
The question is, what are some of the first tasks you should delegate elsewhere?
1. Writing and Marketing
If you’ve explored the world of digital marketing , then you’ll know that content is king. Standing out in a highly-saturated online world means creating the content that your customers want to see online. The more content you create, in the form of articles, videos, podcasts, and more, the easier it will be for you to rank higher in the search engines and attract the attention of your target audience.
The trouble is, just because you were creative enough to come up with an excellent idea for a new product or service, doesn’t necessarily mean that you have what it takes to be a marketing expert too. Digital marketing and writing online takes a great deal of skill and know how. You can’t just throw words together on a blog page; you need to know how to combine those words with SEO, how to track the sentiment of your audience, and how to perform outreach strategies that make your content go further.
Fortunately, there are plenty of freelance writers and marketing experts out there who can help you get the attention your business deserves. By outsourcing marketing and writing, you increase your chances of earning new customers, keeping your existing ones, and making the profit you need to thrive.
2. Design and Website Development
Speaking of having a good presence online, there’s more to your digital storefront than a blog and a checkout page. You’re also going to need a stunning website that conveys the professionalism of your business. Once again, this is something that’s going to require some expertise. Although there are plenty of make-your-own website tools out there that you can access to create basic sites, you won’t have the right impact on your audience with a website you put together in ten minutes or less.
If you want a truly phenomenal site that works perfectly on desktop and mobile devices, then you need a designer with knowledge of web design, HTML, CSS, and responsivity.
A professional web designer not only knows all the technical elements required to design your website, but they also have their finger on the pulse of the latest design trends, so they can help you to stay one step ahead of your competitors. Remember, people still judge companies by the way they look online.
3. Social Media
We’ve already established how important it has to have the right marketing team on board for your content strategy. However, in today’s social world, it’s also crucial to make sure that you have the right support for your social media campaigns too.
Today’s customers are looking for relationships with their favorite brands. That means that they expect the top companies to be active on social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Social media managers and other experts keep on top of the latest posting rules and algorithms for each of the most popular channels, so that they can help you make the right impact on your target audience.
A social media expert helps you to figure out which platforms are best for your business, and what you can do to make a connection with your customers through these channels. They can even run competitions on your behalf and gather useful customer data.
4. Bookkeeping, Taxes, and Accounting
Just because there are tools available online today that can help you with calculating your taxes and managing your books doesn’t mean that you should try and do everything yourself. Accountancy mistakes are one of the biggest issues that any small business faces. One little mistake in your expenses, and you could end up facing costly fees, or even worse – an audit.
Bookkeepers and accountants are available on both a part-time and full-time basis to help you track your expenses more efficiently and ensure that you get your tax returns filed on time. As financial experts, accountants and bookkeepers may also be able to help you with various aspects of your budget and financial planning too.
5. PEO Services
As your solopreneur business begins to expand with the help of freelancers and contract experts, you’ll need someone that can help you to keep track of your new team, and ensure that they’re getting the right benefits, tax support, and incentives. A professional employer organization or “PEO service” might not be something you considered using when you started your solopreneur venture, but it’s something that can become more essential as you start to grow.
Remember, PEO services aren’t just there to help you onboard in-house employees. They can also assist with filing the proper IRS forms and ensuring your growing company stays compliant with HR laws across all 50 states.
When Should You Start Outsourcing?
Only you can decide when you’re ready to start outsourcing.
As a solopreneur, it can be difficult to loosen your hold on your company. When you’re the person who has brought your business to life, and the individual that has been guiding it through every stage of its growth, it’s difficult to hand the reins of various parts of your company to someone else. However, you don’t need to hire new long-term employees to get a little help with your business growth.
Sometimes, all you need is a contractor or freelancer you can outsource your hardest tasks to. Whether it’s managing social media, designing your website, or even handling your taxes, a little help from an outsourced team can help to take your single-person business to the next level.
Jock Purtle is the founder of Digital Exits. He started his first business at the age of 19 and has learned a great deal about entrepreneurial life. He enjoys sharing his tips and insights with the world through regular blog posts.
Want to learn more about about what, how, and when to outsource as a solopreneur? Check out The Savvy Solopreneur’s Guide to Outsourcing, or, if you’re really ready to level up and outsource on a bigger scale, you might want to check out the Outsource Weekly online course.
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