One of the biggest benefits of starting a business from your home office is how easy it is to get things up and running. Without the need for an office or on-site staff, it can be remarkably cheap to start making some money if you can launch it well. However, not having your own premises and the on-site team can also come with some drawbacks, and may make certain processes and needs much harder to fulfil. For that reason, we’re going to look at some of the outsourced service providers who may be able to help you address what your business lacks.
Staying on top of your finances is crucial for the health of your business, regardless of how big or small it is. To that end, you should make sure that you do everything you can to keep your books organised, especially when it comes time to file them for tax season. If you find you have trouble doing that, then working with a bookkeeper may be just what you need. Chartered accountants offer even more value, offering tax advice to help you ensure that your tax returns take advantage of what breaks are afforded to you while avoiding anything that might trigger an investigation or audit.
Marketing and SEO
Naturally, you want your business to be able to reach as many people as possible. Developing a good idea of the marketing basics, of how to target your market, how to understand what they want to see and hear from your business, and how to create a marketing niche for yourself, is a good idea. However, if the day-to-day of running and managing adverts, as well as optimising your content and website for search engine effectiveness takes a little too much time for you, then outsourcing it to someone with both the expertise and manhours to do it for you can ensure that you don’t get knocked from what position of prominence you’re able to achieve.
Is your business going to rely on you being able to consistently perform outreach, to get in contact with new leads, and to try and sell your products and services to them? Sales is a very demanding job, and it should be no surprise that a lot of business owners find out that it can end up quickly taking up all of their time. To that end, you should be able to rely on the expertise of sales teams that are already built, and able to set up call funnels and processes that get you the clients and customers that you need. If you want more control over your sales process, you can start building that team internally once you’re able to start hiring more people.
If you’re running the business alone or with just a few employees, then you might find that you end up having to do a lot of the small administrative tasks that are important, but not exactly profit-driving yourself. It can feel like a misuse of your energy and time, especially when it could be much better spent elsewhere. To that end, a lot of small business owners will enlist the help of a virtual receptionist. Even working with them a few hours a week can help you greatly keep down the volume of busy work that prevents you from getting on with what might be more important for the future of the business. Furthermore, a virtual assistant can also act as a receptionist, offering a professional face for the company.
Keeping with that topic of a professional face for the company, it’s important to offer your customers the ability to get in touch whenever they’re in need of assistance. If you start trying to handle that all by yourself, then you can quickly find yourself overwhelmed by it. To that end, there are customer service providers that can handle these calls and emails for you, providing the responses that you teach them to provide. AI has become a lot more helpful in this particular field, as well, with AI chatbots able to answer a wide range of basic but specific queries. That said, you want to make sure that your customers always have the option to talk to another human when they need to.
Does your business deal in the sale and delivery of physical goods? Depending on your volume, you’re eventually going to need to scale up the space you have to contain all of it. However, before you get to that size and level of success, you might find that demand occasionally increases, such as around the holiday season, to the point that you have to manage more inventory than you’re able to keep in your home. You don’t want to scale up your space just yet, as you won’t have as much need for it once the heightened demand ends, but you can rent affordable & secure storage. This can serve as the temporary space that you need to help you get through the high sales period without having to invest in anything long-term.
Of course, in order to be able to store and sell those products, you’re going to need the products in the first place. To that end, while you might able to start making prototypes and your first few sales yourself, you need to ask yourself if you’re able to keep up with growing demand once your business gets off of its feet. If the answer is not, then you should start looking into the manufacturing partners that you can find, now. Find a manufacturing provider near you, give them the details of the products that you need to make, and see if they can’t help you get a working production line operation. You can learn from their processes to eventually make your own, as well.
While you’re on the way to growing your business, how are you handling deliveries? Right now, you might be working with a postal provider, one or two drivers, or even doing deliveries yourself. However, as you start growing, you might need someone who can reliably handle the growing scope of your deliveries. Partnering with a full logistics and fulfilment provider can ensure that you’re not lacking the resources necessary to carry out more and more deliveries. As you grow more, still, you may want to bring your logistics in-house, but fulfilment providers can act as a great mid-way stop-gap until you’re ready to handle those set-up costs.
Research can be very beneficial indeed, to your business. Whether you’re considering launching a product and you want to make sure that there’s a market for it, to gain insight into what your competitors are doing so that you can differentiate yourself from them, or you want to know more about your customers so that you can better target and serve them, research provides the data and insights necessary to make the best decisions for your business. It’s not always easy to do this research alone, so it’s good that there are agencies who can do it for you and can do it quickly, since research is their business, they’re likely to have some understanding of your market already.
Eventually, regardless of the tasks you outsource, you’re going to need your own team. You may even want to start bringing people in so that you can begin outsourcing less. The best way to do that? It might just be to outsource more (temporarily.) Working with recruitment agencies can help you hit the ground running by connecting you to a network of professionals who are ready to get started. If you work in a very specific industry, then there are likely to be recruitment agents who are more specifically suited to your needs, as well. You can work with these agencies to work out your own internal hiring policies and processes as well, so you can advertise roles more openly in the future.
Once you have those people on your staff, you had better make sure that you know how to treat them and how to fulfil your obligations and responsibilities as an employer. If you’re not entirely certain how to do that, then you may want to consider working with an HR agency. HR can help you manage your employees in a variety of ways, from providing conflict resolution services to helping facilitate training, taking care of payroll, and managing things such as scheduling and attendance issues. You want to learn how to take care of these responsibilities yourself, as you grow, but outsourcing to qualified HR specialists can make sure that you’re not lacking anything you are legally required to provide as an employer.
Outsourcing should be done with care. Use it to rely on services that you need temporarily but if you find yourself having to use them a lot more often, then it may be more cost-effective to look at how you can start wrapping those processes into the business to do them internally.