For a small business owner with a very time-limited schedule, outsourcing some routine everyday tasks can play a significant role in the growth of their business – especially when it comes to their social media management!
Because you can distribute a number of small – but very important jobs to a third party that specialises in that area, you are helping yourself and your business to grow and become more professional. This is much better than trying to bite off more than you can chew by micro-managing everything yourself, and then spreading yourself too thin to be able to perform any task effectively.
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Small Business continues to grow
According to statistics from the Federation of Small Business (FSB), small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2015 and 99.9% were small or medium-sized (SMEs). Total employment in SMEs was 15.6 million; 60% of all private sector employment in the UK.
In 2015, there were 1.3 million employing businesses and 4.1 million non-employing businesses. Therefore, 76% of businesses did not employ anyone aside from the owner. The overall business population includes three main legal forms: there were 3.3 million sole proprietorships (62% of the total), 1.6 million companies (30%), and 436,000 ordinary partnerships (8%). SMEs account for at least 99% of the businesses in every main industry sector.
Due to the sharp rise in the number of SMEs in the UK over recent years, outsourcing has become a key element to the success of most of these businesses. As your business starts to take off and grow, more demands are put upon your time and resources. For a sole trader or small partnerships, both time and money are very precious commodities.
Many entrepreneurs and SMEs do not have the budget to take on full time staff, especially where their workload would ebb and flow, meaning staff would be paid to be idle. Through outsourcing, a business owner can distribute a number of projects to a third party to perform, such as social media management, ensuring consistent high-quality results, but which is also scalable to be able meet their requirements during times of heavy demand. An example would be to outsource a social media campaign from creation to delivery, monitoring and analysis – something that can be very time-consuming and difficult for a sole trader or very small business to keep on top of.
How Outsourcing can help your small business to grow
Outsourcing in this way acts like a pair of helping hands where you can access expert skills that a business owner may lack, or who doesn’t have the time available to dedicate to see the project through from start to finish. It also saves them money when they cannot afford to hire staff on a permanent basis. You can still steer your company in the right direction without having to break the bank to do so.
The freedom that outsourcing can give to an entrepreneur is very considerable. Many sole traders start their own business because they possessed the specialised skills needed to succeed in their niche, they want to be their own boss, and they want to strike out on their own confident they can provide a better and more personable service to clients that a small business can deliver.
However, one person on their own, a couple in a partnership or even a small group friends who decide to strike out on their own may not possess all the necessary skills needed to make the business work on every level. For example, take a couple of skilled plumbers who find they work well together on jobs working for a large plumbing services company.
The two friends live quite close to each other in their local area, so after a couple of years working well together decide to set up as partners in a plumbing business. They are both highly skilled plumbers and are very good at what they do, but neither of them are very computer savvy and apart from having a personal Facebook account each, they know nothing about how to use social media to get their name out to their local community, engage with people and raise awareness of their plumbing partnership.
The pair have grown the business as much as they can comfortably handle through word of mouth, recommendation, circulating business cards etc. but to attract new business they know they will have to try new things that neither of them have the skills for, or even have the time to dedicate to learning about. Outsourcing their social media profile building and awareness to a third party will enable them to stick to what they are good at and what they enjoy doing rather than coming out of their comfort zone to try something they don’t feel at all confident about.
Outsourcing fills the skills gap
What a lot of small business owners face is a lack of knowledge of the processes involved to build their social media profile and raise awareness on a local level. They find it hard to create the balance between being fun and acting like a business online, which doesn’t bode well for their social presence. They are also not often in a position to permanently employ staff to give them the support in the areas that they lack, which can be a huge stumbling block for very small businesses and sole traders.
Many sole traders and partnerships will outsource all of their online activities, including social media management, PR, content writing, blog management, email marketing, SEO and website maintenance simply because they don’t have the manpower to manage all these elements by themselves. Doing this gives them the freedom to focus on delivering a high-quality job and making sure the customers is satisfied, rather than be worried or distracted by other tasks that are not getting done in their absence.
No loss of control
When you decide to outsource some or all of your online tasks, the companies that you work with to complete these tasks for you will keep you in the loop at all times, so it isn’t like you are working in the dark with no idea what is going on behind the scenes of your business. You can be as involved or as distant from these tasks as you choose to be. You can be provided with regular reports that keep you informed of progress and alerts and updates as things are put into action.
What you will get in the end is a successful and productive business with a strong social presence, a website with solid Google ranking, but all on a budget that will still remain as lean as possible, and all through creative use of outsourced skills.