The start of the year is a good time to take a look at your business finances and see where you spent your money last year — and where you can save money this year. For small businesses especially, this attempt to save money often results in cutting back, leaning in and having people take on multiple roles within the organization. However, you might be surprised to learn that there are some areas of your business where you can save money by outsourcing. Here are five tasks you should consider contracting out in 2015:
- Payroll and Accounting
Payroll is one of those administrative tasks that can suck up huge amounts of time, taking you away from your expertise and lowering your overall productivity. It’s also easy to make mistakes that could become a big headache come tax season. Outsource it to a specialized payroll and accounting firm, and you’ll see financial benefits probably within a single year.
- Social Media Posting
Odds are, you’re spending way too much time posting on your business’ social media. Social media is important, but the bottom line is you can hire a company to automate most of your posting, manage and analyze your accounts, and engage with your customers for a very moderate monthly fee.
- Ads and Graphic Design
When you’re trying to keep advertising costs low, it’s ever-so-tempting to design ads yourself. Resist that urge. You might be able to put together something that looks OK, but ad design isn’t simply about looking nice. There’s psychology and a lot of research behind successful ads, and you’ll see a better payoff by investing in someone with education and experience in those areas.
- Content Editing
If you produce any written material — whether those are ads, rate schedules or blogs — you should be paying a freelance editor to look at these materials. You probably don’t have enough of this content to hire an in-house editor, but having pieces go out without a professional edit can make your business look amateurish and sloppy. That, in turn, can cause you to lose customers.
- Phone Answering Services
Most small businesses don’t even consider live phone answering services — in fact, many simply rely on personal cell phones. But hiring a call answering service can give your company a more professional image, improve customer service satisfaction, lift an unnecessary burden off your workers and reduce your labor costs. Don’t think you need to opt for a 24 hour answering service, either; you should be able to choose hours that make sense for your industry.
Would you consider outsourcing phone answering services this year? What about these other tasks? Discuss in the comments.