Business Case Studies

Trim to win — 5 business functions to outsource

When you first start out in business, blinkered control-freakery might be beneficial.

After all, keeping several plates spinning simultaneously is central to entrepreneurialism.

But once your enterprise is up and running, unless you’ve genuinely got the talent and time to personally fulfill the requirements of different departments, your empire could slide down as suddenly as a pair of ill-fitting trousers.

So getting streamlined by delegating duties to focus on your strengths is a savvy plan — if you want to stay trim to win, here are five business functions to outsource.

  1. IT support

If you operate solely online, employ remote workers or communicate extensively with customers using any kind of tech, ensuring your IT infrastructure is performing at peak is essential.

But hiring full-time IT professionals is very expensive, so for many issues, consulting a free support site like Tech Support Guy will suffice.

It’s essentially a forum where a team of expert tech volunteers attempt to answer queries on everything from Mac to Windows and Linux — well worth a whirl when the IT gremlins strike.

  1. Social media

There are several reasons LinkedIn might be the best social media platform to network with contacts and market your business — and using it is less time-consuming than wearing out shoe leather with face to face meetings.

With 562 million users, it can’t compete with some platforms on membership metrics, but because every user can be segmented according to criteria like their business sector, company and job title, connecting with people who care about your offering is made much easier.

If you value quality over quantity for your social media strategy, start with LinkedIn.

  1. Business cards

Once you’ve saved time making connections on LinkedIn, you might want to meet valuable connections in person — in which case, being well-stocked with business cards is a bonus.

You can order bespoke business cards and other printed products like postcards and stickers from online printer Moo at a reasonable price, and a range of styles and finishes are available.

If you don’t have the requisite design skills to create your own corporate paper products, it’s probably best to farm this work out to those who do.

  1. PA services

It’s too easy to assume personal responsibility for admin tasks like diarising meetings, arranging conference calls and making travel arrangements.

But all these tasks usually fall under the remit of a skilled PA who has the relevant training and expertise — and missing a crucial sit-down because it slipped your mind can cause financial and reputational damage.

So if your budget doesn’t stretch to a full-time assistant, stay on top of things by booking a few hours a week with a virtual PA service like Moneypenny.

  1. Digital marketing

In some ways, digital marketing seems simple — once you’ve got a website and a few social media accounts set up, you’re good to go, right?

Wrong — it takes expertise to develop a website which performs well in terms of user experience, is set up for ecommerce and has optimsed content. And you’ll need a mix of organic SEO and paid search ads to rank highly on prominent search engines.

If this all sounds a little confusing, an experienced digital agency like Attercopia can set you straight — they handle everything from localised content to link building.

That’s the end of our list, but the start of a conversation — please share your own business outsourcing tips in the comments section.