Maybe you’ve got mixed feelings about outsourcing. As a business owner, you realize two things. One, in America outsourcing is still a dirty word. Two, it’s also critical to modern business. Regardless of how you feel about it, outsourcing is here to stay. More important, it isn’t all doom and gloom. In fact, outsourcing may be the key to taking your business from the back of your garage to a global enterprise reaching customers on multiple continents. Here are five services to consider outsourcing for your business:
1. Payroll and Taxes
Let’s face it, you didn’t start a business because you loved adding columns and carrying the one (unless you’re an accountant, in which case … you’re just weird). Payroll is one of the most widely outsourced elements of modern business, and you’ll likely save a small bundle through outsourcing. Outsourcing your taxes may not save you a tremendous amount of money, but it will save you headaches and heartbreaks. Small business owners claiming deductions are the most heavily audited sector of American society. Outsource this one, and come next February you can pour yourself a drink and toast your sharp business acumen.
2. Cloud IT
Don’t feel bad if you’re still wondering just what the cloud really is, if you’re currently standing beneath it, and if you’re going to need your umbrella. You don’t need to understand the technology for it to revolutionize your business as well as your profit margin. Put simply, the cloud refers to the Internet. Cloud computing is an umbrella term that covers a lot of ground, from storage services like Dropbox that store all of your documents and files online, to creative platforms like Windows Azure that allow users to create apps, websites, and databases tailored to their own specific needs.
To understand the difference between traditional mainframe/terminal host computing and the cloud, consider Photoshop. In the old days, you paid an exorbitant fee for Photoshop, took it home, and installed it on your hard drive. You saved all your files right there at home. Today, you can subscribe to a host of Photoshop programs and services (just like cable TV), produce what you need, and store your files online. It’s a whole new world. If you’re still a confused, don’t worry about it. Check out the link here for a list of the top 20 cloud services to transform your small business.
3. Growth Hacking and Marketing
Much has been written in recent years about whether or not you need a “growth hacker.” A growth hacker is someone who understands and utilizes technology—specifically website analytics, search engine optimization, content marketing, and A/B testing—to connect businesses to customers (to get an idea of what growth hackers do, check out this list of tools growth hackers use to build clientele).
Is it any surprise that “Mad Men,” the most highly awarded show in recent memory, is about, yes, marketing? Or that even teenagers, those frenzied denizens of social media, chatter furiously about their brand, by which they mean their life. What isn’t about marketing anymore? But marketing is a complex, creative endeavor. Chances are, your business will benefit not just from outsourcing a portion but all of your marketing tasks (growth hacking included) to professionals who specialize in nothing else. Because the customers are out there. And your outsourced marketing team will find them.