How outsourcing can revolutionise your business

Need to work smarter and get more done? Find out how outsourcing can revolutionise your business.

As a small business owner tere are many tasks you need to take care of in order for your business to run smoothly. But how may of them have to be done by YOU?

Trethowans
Trethowans

utsourcing is a great way to push and grow your business. It can take you from a solopreneur to an entrepreneur quickly and easily. Alternatively, it can be a great way to reduce your daily workload and give you more time to relax and do what you enjoy.

  • Advantages of outsourcing include:
  • Free up your own time
  • No permanent contracts
  • Pay per project
  • No ongoing commitments
  • Minimal paperwork
  • Pay with PayPal on most platforms
  • Take advantage of geo-arbitrage
  • Hire people from across the globe
  • Reduce interruptions & work more productively
  • Work on your business around the clock

How to get started with outsourcing

How much is an hour of your time worth? Decide what you want to outsource by keeping a journal for a week or two. Write down everything you do each day and make a note of how much time you spend on each task.

At the end of the two weeks, evaluate how much time you have spent on administrative tasks such as filtering emails, answering the phone, and arranging travel. You can also make a note of jobs that you do that aren’t within your core skillset.

For example, you might be an online adverts expert, running a small digital marketing agency. Graphic design might not be a core skill of yours. However, you often spend time doing design work for some of the ads.

You may also want to make a tally of different types of interruptions. These can be a real productivity killer. Research indicates that it takes an average of around 25 minutes to return to a task after being interrupted.

Acknowledging and getting rid of interruptions can be a real game-changer. Unwanted telephone calls can be a big problem for many business owners. Make a note of how many phone calls you get a given week and multiply that number by 25. The total number will provide a rough estimate of how much of your time is getting wasted or taken up by calls.

Hiring a PA – where what and how?

While you can outsource virtually anything to a PA, the most straightforward outsourced tasks are usually repetitive ones. For example, every time you write a blog post, you might get a PA to add a photo, add tags, meta details and schedule the post. You might also have a PA handle specific parts of your online marketing campaigns. 

For example, it might not be feasible for you to search on Twitter and Linkedin for hashtags related to your business’s niche and then make insightful and meaningful comments 100 times per day. However, this type of commenting-task is something that you might want to outsource to a PA if it only costs you $3 per hour.

An excellent place to hire a virtual or personal assistant is online jobs.ph – although you have to pay a subscription fee, you can cancel it as soon as you have found your assistant. Another useful website is Freeup.net – as they help you to find your assistant.

According to Travis Marziani, hiring assistants from the Philippines is an excellent idea because they tend to speak good English. The country’s internet infrastructure is also excellent – meaning they have access to high-speed internet.

Once you have chosen a platform to hire an assistant on, sign up and post your job. Make the job descriptive, and don’t be afraid to pre-qualify the applicants by making them write a detailed application, or you could even get them to do a small amount of research relevant to the job for you.

Once you have narrowed down the applicants that you are interested in, you can send them a sample or a test task to carry out.

You can also consider paying 2 or 3 assistants to do similar tasks for you for a month or two but then only hire 1 of them on a semi-permanent basis.

Hiring a phone answering service

Hiring a phone answering service is often a lot more straightforward than hiring an assistant. Once you have done some research, contact the phone answering company of your choice. They will normally call you back and run through the number of minutes per month you are likely to use or need and get further information about your business.

In some instances, you will then have an introductory call with your dedicated virtual receptionist. They will make some notes and get to know your business and how you would like calls to be handled. 

The idea is that whenever anyone calls, for all intents and purposes, your virtual receptionist will do the same job as a full-time, in-house receptionist would – be for a fraction of the cost.

You get the benefits of an in-house receptionist – fewer distractions, more time, a professional appearance, without a monthly salary or contract.

Outsourcing platforms and websites

Once you have made your journal, it should be reasonably straightforward deciding what you should outsource. An excellent place to start is often administrative tasks and phone calls.

You can hire a personal assistant for a relatively small hourly fee if you take advantage of geo-arbitrage. If you live in the US or the UK, hiring an assistant in the Philippines will work out substantially cheaper than hiring someone locally. This is due to the strength of the pound and US dollar relative to the Philippine peso.

Telephone calls can be handled by a phone answering service such as Moneypenny. With some services, you can opt for a dedicated receptionist and also 24/7 cover. The 24/7 service provides a small team of receptionists to take calls around the clock for you. This can change your working day and free up more time to get more done or enjoy some leisure time.

Freelancing is slightly different. If you want to hire a freelancer with a specific skill, for example, a web developer, then a website such as PeoplePerHour might be an excellent place to start.

Using a platform such as PeoplePerHour or UpWork allows you to check out reviews and portfolios before hiring anyone. You can hire per project or task too, so if someone doesn’t do an excellent job, you won’t have to use them again.

The easiest way to use PeoplePerHour is to sign up, post a task with a budget and then sit back and wait for the applicants to come in. The next step usually is to hire someone and add payment in “escrow” into the platform. The payment gets released once you are happy with the work.

Do not underestimate phone apps

While outsourcing can streamline and even revolutionize your working week, so can phone apps. A good first job for a virtual assistant might be to get them to research the best free phone apps for your business!

For example, the free version of Canva is a handy app for creating basic yet professional-looking social media graphics. You can choose from a variety of templates and upload your images and logos.

An app should as Microsoft Power BI can also be a very powerful and useful way to track all of your business KPIs. Once you have a loyal and trustworthy assistant on board, you could get them to learn how to use Power BI and get them to send you weekly reports automatically.

How can you gain more time by outsourcing?

If you are looking to grow your business while mitigating financial risk, outsourcing may well be the answer. If you can find a trustworthy and loyal virtual assistant, it can make your working week much more productive and streamlined.

A phone answering service or virtual receptionists can reduce unwanted interruptions while using a platform such as PeoplePerHour gives you access to talented freelancers worldwide!