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To Outsource Or Not Outsource That Is The Question
As a newly formed startup, you are probably feeling very protective over every single function of your business. You have only recently shunned the promotion prospects that came with your lucratively well paid full-time job. You have turned your back on the camaraderie of your colleagues and waved goodbye to your job security. In turn, you have changed course and struck out on your own in an attempt to find your mojo, discover that job satisfaction that you once had every day, and to make a name for yourself.
Being the boss can be a bit of a culture shock. If you are working alone, you will no longer have a pal to Skype to fix the printer. There won’t be that positive hum of productivity within your four walls. And you will have to rely on your own brain cells to get your business up and running. But this is the exciting and daunting part of setting up your own company.
When first launching your startup, it can be overwhelming because the aspects of running a business that you once took for granted now rest on your shoulders. There is no way that you can be an expert in IT troubleshooting, finance, marketing, SEO and social media strategy. To take all of this on yourself can lead to untold amounts of stress, overworking and damage to your mental well being.
Instead, you need to consider the possibility of outsourcing. While once considered a word that could only be whispered within a workplace, and something that is still seen as controversial, outsourcing certain business functions could result in you and your business thriving. Take a look at the facets of your business that you might want to outsource.
The world of technological advancements seems to be propelling forward at breakneck speed. There seems to be a new piece of software, a new task management system and a new Google search algorithm being discovered every week. While you might know how to navigate your way around your emails, the Internet and even a spreadsheet, the world of IT troubleshooting is a whole different kettle of fish.
For a business that relies on its networked systems, has a lot of sensitive data that needs protecting and that needs WiFi every minute of every day, outsourcing your IT management could be an option. By doing this, you are freeing up your time to work on your business vision, implement your marketing strategy or launch a product. When the WiFi drops, your cloud storage is inaccessible, or your website is down, a team of external experts will get you back up and running remotely.
Cybersecurity has become a huge area of technological advancement in the past decade. With GDPR, privacy laws and data protection ever more integral to your business strategy, it might pay to seek outsourced help with this business function. Security experts know the patches to apply to your network, can boost firewall security and can even deliver training to your staff. Most data breaches are caused by human error such as opening that popup from a dodgy looking email. Only when every person that works for you understands and follows a data protection policy can you be sure that your data is as secure as possible.
Many startups rely on social media and their online presence to get noticed. To be visible, you will need to source a company that provides exceptional SEO services ensuring that your website and your company is the one that appears on the first page of the Google results. SEO and keywording is a mythical beast for us laypeople. Account managers who specialise in branding, online marketing and exposure are the best-placed individuals to call upon. They will provide a whole host of bespoke packages and ensure they follow a strategy that will help you achieve your online marketing goals.
If you are lucky enough to begin your startup with a small staff team or you are soon looking to hire, you should consider outsourcing one of the most mundane administrative tasks. Payroll is tedious and takes up to half a day a week out of your productive hours. You may have to work out tax allowances, pension contributions, and bonuses. Rather than becoming bogged down in this aspect of your business, consider outsourcing to a company that provides weekly payroll. Even more financially astute may be to invest in a software package that provides you with an automated payroll function. This will save you money, time and effort in the long run.
If your talents lie in the numbers, finances or strategic planning, the chances are that you won’t have any experience of managing a marketing campaign. Many specialist companies choose to focus their effort on maximising your social media business presence. So you don’t have to venture online three times a day to update your Twitter feed, Instagram pics or Facebook page with relevant and thoughtful content, they will do so on your behalf.
They will focus their engagement on maximising your exposure online, and will even write copy for your blog. Driving traffic to your website that you then convert into sales and profits will be their aim. Every month they will analyse the interactions you have had online and try to exploit trends. They may use webinars, guest posts or vlogs to maximise your company’s exposure. Forging connections and links online with other companies can help you compete with your rivals and help you achieve a market leading position in your industry sector. Marketing your products or services using the millennial’s platform of choice will aid in future proofing your brand and maintain its relevance.
Becoming your own boss can result in you feeling precious over every strategic decision. Your business is your baby, and it is now the sole thing you rely on to bring in a wage and help you sustain your lifestyle. It can be hard to delegate tasks and duties offsite without you overseeing them. However, relinquishing those functions that you have less experience or knowledge of can result in a more prosperous startup.
This is a collaborative post.