As a small business owner, you will be very conscious of every penny you spend. Your ability to learn every aspect of running a business is commendable. Knowing that you can save yourself hundreds, if not thousands of pounds by choosing to do those things yourself may seem like a good idea in the short term, but actually, it could end up costing you even more.
Every area of running a business is a skill set in its own right. From design and marketing to accounts and payroll, to HR – there’s a reason why there are experts in these areas in every single town across the country. There is the knowledge that is built up over years.
With the best will in the world, you will not be able to run your own accounting system in its entirety unless it is your full-time job – which naturally takes you away from the main activity of your business. In the long term, your lack of knowledge could cost you significantly.
The best thing you can do for your business is to concentrate on what YOU do best. You need to be working consistently ON your business, rather than IN your business, giving yourself the time and the headspace to work productively and grow sales, rather than firefighting in areas where your expertise is half-cocked.
There are a number of disciplines that lend themselves to being outsourced. These include:
1. Book-keeping and Payroll
A book-keeping and payroll outsourcing service will save you hours of your time, and, more importantly, save you from the frustration of systems and quirks that the experts automatically keep up with as part of their role.
You don’t need to pay someone to come into your place of work – most payroll outsourcing providers can work remotely through online accounting systems such as Xero, Sage, and Clearbooks.
The more your business grows, the more complex your tax affairs become. Even the most number literate of business owners will never know the changing landscape of tax law in the right depth and detail better than an expert who works in this area full time.
A good tax advisor may cost you some money, but they could end up saving you many thousands in the long term – not just in tax savings and deductions that you may not have known about. But also, had you made a mistake that hadn’t been picked up, you might be liable to unexpected penalties.
3. Digital Marketing
In our 21st-century technology-driven trading environment, the internet is the foundation of all marketing. And boy, is it a complex and ever-changing landscape! Simply keeping up to date with the constant tweaking of rules and regulations, analytical benchmarks, PPC, and SEO methodologies for all the various search and social media platforms is a full-time job in itself.
Start with a simple campaign – it does not have to cost the earth, and a good agency will ensure that the campaign is delivered to produce a positive return on your investment. Once you hit the sweet spot, a good campaign can grow hand in hand with your sales growth.
4. Virtual Assistant
You may not need a full-time personal assistant all the time, but a good VA – virtual assistant – could give you two or three hours a week and just keep all your affairs in order. Working remotely, they will book appointments, answer the phone, take messages, look after your diary, type up and send reports, liaise with payroll – anything that will make your life easier and allow you the time and headspace to concentrate on building your business.