If you own or manage a small business, you know that everyone in your organization has to wear many hats. There is only so much budget to go around, so if your receptionist is also the head of Human Resources, your company is like many other small businesses.
The problem with this set up is that you have people who were hired because they are excellent at one thing do something that may not be so great with on the side. You may have hired Joe for his great graphic design skills, but his time probably isn’t being put to the best use when you make him take hours to work on social media. This set up may seem like it is saving you money buy keeping your staff small, but it isn’t cost effective.
Having experts do what they do best can make your small business more productive and profitable. You don’t have to double or triple your staff to make sure that your team is playing up their strengths and specialties. You can outsource, and if you want to make more money, look more professional, and get more done, the following are things that your small business needs to outsource.
If you get two calls a day or two million, outsourcing your incoming calls to a call center is probably a good idea. Not only will it give your customers the impression that you are a big deal business, but it lets you stay competitive with the bigger companies.
Customers expect 24-7 customer service in the internet age, and with a call center, there will always be someone there to answer the phone and provide information for your callers. Even during the work day, the call center can screen calls and direct them appropriately so that you and your team can focus on what you do best.
Small businesses do their darnedest to market themselves. Many managers spend time reading up on marketing, taking time away from other tasks only to roll out a lopsided or not completely developed marketing push. These efforts could lead to a small boost, but they certainly don’t get optimum results.
There are plenty of marketing firms and other professionals that you can outsource to. These professionals understand what they are doing, and they know what works. They probably can’t promise results, but their efforts will almost always create more impact and will look better on the balance sheet in the long run.
Web Design and Site Building
Every small business needs a web site. Customers expect to find one, and if they don’t, they may assume that your firm is not legitimate or that it is out of business.
Many take building and designing their site into their own hands, using premade templates and tutorials on HTML they found online. Even if the site looks good for something you made, it almost definitely looks amateurish in the eyes of your customers, regardless of what your employees say.
A website created by a pro will almost always be done in a fraction of the time an amateur would take to create something of marginal quality. You can outsource all aspects of building and maintaining the site. If you don’t have information that will change often, this may be a one-time expense. If you have information that changes daily, the person you hire can teach you or a member of your support staff how to quickly, effectively update the pages.
Your business should look as professional as possible at all times, and that means that all of your literature should be perfect and polished. Unless your staff is full of folks with English degrees, documents that your employees produce probably are rife with grammatical and spelling errors. These mistakes won’t stick out for you and your staff, but they may as well be written in flashing neon letters for your customers; these booboos will be all they see.
Quality copywriters come in a wide variety of prices, skill level and experience, so you likely can find someone who is in your budget and knows your industry. He or she can make professional documents from scratch, or you can retain them to edit and perfect the slightly flawed text that your employees put out.
Unless your company specializes in one of the aforementioned fields, your small business needs to outsource these roles. For your business to look as professional and big time as possible, things like phone support, marketing, web design, and writing need to be done right. Major faux pas in these areas have caused customers to pick competitors, and the misguided efforts in these areas undermine your bottom line.
Depending on your business and the size of your organization, there are other things you may want to look into outsourcing. Everything from Human Resources to Email may be better handled by an outsourced worker if you want maximum profits and productivity.
Neal Lacy works for United Call Center, a virtual receptionist service in Lake Havasu City, AZ. He is an expert on call center services and writes widely about telemarketing in general.