Nobody is going to argue that outsourcing, as a general idea, is usually considered a bad thing.
The nightly news is full of stories about huge corporations who dodge tax burdens and destroy jobs by outsourcing their basic needs, like customer service, to other countries.
Sometimes though — especially when you are running your own business — outsourcing can be a good and helpful thing.
Here are the top three things that you can (and should) outsource when you are building a business of your very own.
Hiring an accountant is one of the best things that you can do for yourself and your company. This is because, unless you are already well-versed in accounting and tax laws, you are very likely to make mistakes, and those mistakes could net you thousands of dollars in fees, fines and other penalties.
If your business is small — just you, for example — you can simply hire an accountant to manage your expenses and taxes and that should be it.
Once you have employees or take on a partner, though, you’ll want someone who understands and can manage things like payroll taxes, etc. It is in your best interest to hire a full-time book keeper or accountant to keep on staff. You could also outsource your books to an accounting firm.
Search engine optimization is incredibly important — especially for businesses that are web based and do not have local qualifiers to help naturally boost their rankings. There is more to this than simply setting up an AdWords account and publishing regular blog posts (though those are both important parts of it).
When you are first starting to build your company’s website, you can usually manage your SEO on your own. As you grow and get busy, though, you’re going to need some help with this.
There are lots of companies out there that are more than happy to help you manage your SEO needs. The trick is to find a company that specializes in white hat search engine optimization and that keeps up with industry trends and Google updates.
The easiest way to figure out which firms do this is to check for (and avoid those companies that make) promises that seem to big. “We’ll get you on page one in less than 24 hours!” is a good example. There are also certain black hat buzzwords that you’ll want to watch for.
Managing your own and your company’s reputation, like everything else, is simple enough in the beginning. Once you start to take off and find success, though, it is going to become much more difficult and time consuming.
This is because there are nefarious types out there who will do everything they can to use reputation management and SEO against you. They’ll do things like publish false and negative reviews on social media.
They’ll build bad links to your site. Staying on top of it all eventually becomes something that requires 24/7 attention. This is why so many business owners and entrepreneurs are outsourcing their reputation management duties. If they didn’t, they’d have no time to work on building their business!
Social Media Management
Oh social media. You are so fun and so time consuming. Sure, it’s easy enough to schedule things like Tweets and Facebook posts ahead of time. There are dozens of different apps and programs that will allow you to do that on your own.
The problem is that all advance posting all the time leaves you open to doing things like accidentally tweeting marketing messages during disasters or emergencies. Nobody wants to be that guy.
Outsourcing your social media management ensures that there are always eyes on your accounts so that you don’t have to worry about making mistakes like that. It also ensures that messages are replied to in a timely manner, posts stay relevant to the cultural conversation, etc.
These are just some things that you can outsource. Yes, you can turn these things into staff roles within your company. Most of the time, though, it’s more cost effective to simply partner with a company that can take on these duties for you.