As a small business person, your time is precious and should be spent adding value to your company rather than doing menial tasks. To help keep you focused on only those activities that matter most to your bottom line, let’s look at some things you should be outsourcing right now.
With remote access, a virtual assistant from a service like Zirtual can screen and prioritize emails, organize your company inbox and respond when appropriate, forwarding you only the most relevant messages. Provide your virtual assistant clear guidelines and templates for responding to help avoid any problems and add a reminder to your calendar to periodically spot check their management of your email.
Whether it’s market research or vetting a potential employee, outsourcing research is critical to freeing you up to run your business. Services like Elance are a great way to find qualified research assistants who can provide you with the information you need to make smarter decisions without taking a lot of time or money.
No joke; if you travel for business, use a travel agent. It’s a free service and you don’t have to research multiple sites and calendars to get to where you need to go. They also often find better deals than you would anyway. Check with your credit cards to see if you can get extra rewards for using a specific travel service to get even more than time.
Small business owners love marketing, but your value to your company is creating a vision, setting a strategy for sustainability, profitability and growth and then working like a dog to execute on that strategy. So give up managing your social media accounts and creating brochures and settle instead for writing a creative brief that a freelance marketer can reference to create something you can use to flush out leads and drive business results.
If you’re business is B2B, and particularly if it’s service-based with clients in multiple time zones, seriously consider outsourcing your commute to and from the office. While at first this might sound excessive, you could be missing out on several hours every day of following up on sales leads, building and strengthening relationships or even cold calling all so you can be stuck behind the wheel. Think about what your time is worth, really, and if it’s more than an Uber or Lyft, take it back by outsourcing your commute.
Giving up control of the details can be daunting, if not downright difficult, but relentlessly focusing on achieving your company’s one or two most important goals will help keep you in business longer and growing faster.