Most business owners lack one resource vital to the success of operations and growth – time. This pain point has spurred the creation of many successful productivity apps and courses. But the truth of the matter is, no one business owner can do it all.
Thankfully, there are a lot of hands out there that you can pass tasks off to and free up your valuable time. Here are 7 examples of simple tasks you can outsource so you aren’t wasting your time doing mundane chores that really don’t require your expertise – or that you actually don’t have the expertise for, however simple they may seem.
(1) Customer Service
Right off the bat, I give you one of the most time-consuming tasks that every business must perfect to remain lucrative. Customer service is also key to growth.
It’s a simple task that entails monitoring customer emails, taking customer calls, and responding promptly in a manner that keeps customers happy. Business owners can quite easily answer product or service queries and are in the best position to make decisions about how to satisfy complaints. There just isn’t enough time in the day to manage it all, especially for businesses with bigger customer bases.
The solution is to create a customer service system and process and pass this task off to an experienced representative. With your SOP and a veteran agent, questions and complaints can be handled professionally and in a timely manner, ensuring customer satisfaction without breaking your bottom line.
(2) Social Media Management
Social media is where everyone is at these days, and keeping a lively presence there is essential to productive customer acquisition efforts. It’s also a great place to receive and respond to questions and complaints, and to check reviews on products or services.
Like customer service, social media management takes a lot of time. It’s not just a matter of saying hello and posting your latest links. This type of passive activity will likely be ignored and not do anything but drain your time.
It also takes a lot of skill. There are different protocols to follow and best practices to employ to ensure that your business presence remains active and animated. This is essential to attract the level of engagement that you need to make any social campaign worthwhile.
Social media management is one of the tasks you can outsource with confidence. You likely don’t know the ins and outs of each platform, but a professional will know what platforms your specific business should be on, what to share on these platforms, and how to craft the different posts to appeal to your target customer segments on each network.
(3) Graphic Design
As with social media management, graphic design is rarely one of the skills that business owners possess. You can learn how to do it, but if you don’t have the talent for it, your output won’t be as good as your business deserves. It will also take a lot of time that you don’t have.
You need lots of different graphics for various efforts – your products, website, social media pages and posts, landing pages, ads, brochures, and a multitude of other materials.
Outsource your graphic design needs to niche experts who have learned all about how to best put together visual and text information in different situations to attract and convert at a high level.
(4) Website Design
Again, design is both a talent and a skill. With website design, it also often entails the additional skill of theme and app coding, and sometimes web programming, depending on your particular website needs.
This is definitely something you don’t want to get into, and therefore one of the tasks you should outsource. As soon as you have an idea of the functionality that you want included, put together your brand collateral (and get some new stuff designed as needed), all the details you can think of regarding the look and feel of the site, and hire a web designer to take over. The best ones can even offer you a lot of insight to improve on your initial concept, so make sure to do a discovery phase before throwing the project on their lap.
(5) Blog Writing
Writing may be something that you excel at – at least as far as providing value goes. This is another time-intensive task, however, at least it is if you want to do it right. Anyone can write a blog post, but it takes a certain level of panache and a lot of knowledge of content marketing to produce content that fuels sign-ups and sales.
Blog writing for business purposes is a complex process. You need a plan, just as you do with any other type of campaign, and this alone can take months of trial and error to perfect without prior experience. Then there’s how to write content that is searchable, attracts visitors, prompts sign-ups and encourages purchases.
Blog writing is actually one of the first tasks you should outsource since it takes a while to build a solid blog with lots of value-packed, high-ranking content that will drive traffic and sales.
(6) Listing Copy
Similar to blog writing, listing copy requires a special set of skills and specific experience behind it to do what it’s intended to do – sell. If you have a marketing background, you can probably write good copy. What you don’t likely have, however, is platform-specific keyword research and optimization skills, and knowledge of the required elements and their proper formats – such as images – and how to create and edit them to satisfy the rules that will boost your listings’ visibility.
Note that listing copy is a different ballgame from blog writing, so don’t try to cut corners by having a blog writer do your listings for you. There are some similarities, but as a whole, you need to outsource this task to a niche expert to get the best results.
(7) Inventory Management
Efficient operations is crucial to business success. Any kind of inefficiency results in lower ROI, no matter how you look at it. Each part of operations has a lot of moving parts, which can be difficult to manage. It also takes up a huge chunk of time to get the system right and keep it at optimal levels.
Every separate operation must be done in its proper sequence and without delay if you want to see your business thrive. You likely have the background to make this happen, but may not be too keen on focusing your attention on the details when your job is to manage the bigger picture.
Leave your inventory management to an expert. This ensures that you have someone with honed skills in keeping the machine running smoothly. You can even further streamline operations with different management tools that cut down on what you pay hires and improve their productivity.
So these are just 7 of the more obvious tasks you can outsource to save time and get it all done right. There are loads more tasks you can pass off to a freelancer (and this is the best option if you want to remain scalable and avoid costly human resources commitments).
Now you’re probably wondering where you can find the right person for each task. If you’ve tried outsourcing before, you’re probably not keen on making a virtual hire. It’s really not that bad, though, if you know how to do it right.
Start by looking at prospects on the right platform. For instance, you can find a lot of reliable people for general tasks on Upwork. If you’re really strapped for time, FreeeUp offers a fast hiring experience and pre-vetted freelances specializing in eCommerce tasks. TopTal also vets freelancers and specializes in tech talent. Then use your SOPs to identify the best candidate and interview them to confirm that they are the right fit for your business.