It is often said that you should work ‘on’ your business rather than ‘in’ it. It makes sense when you think about it – carving out more time to make strategic decisions, engage your target market and build your brand, will give you momentum to drive the business forward.
The problem is, taking on an employee is a big commitment. So how do you achieve a better balance within your business when there are just not enough hours in the day to do everything yourself?
Outsourcing to freelancers
Websites such as People Per Hour and Elance offer a quick and cost-effective way to hire professional freelancers who are actively looking for work. If you are struggling to find time for marketing, bookkeeping, or the vast number of other tasks that need to be completed in any business, you can advertise your job and wait for people to bid.
Start-up businesses in particular could benefit from affordable access to top quality freelancers. Even outsourcing small ad-hoc jobs such as designing a logo or thinking up a catchy company tag line can give you extra time to focus on core tasks.
Another site on which to find great freelance talent is Freelance Alliance, where you’ll find copywriters, graphic designers and public relations experts all ready to help you take your business forward.
The benefits of outsourcing in this way include:
- Being able to set the price for your work
- Taking your pick of professional freelance talent
- Availability of feedback from previous clients, on individual freelancers
- The ability to check out a freelancer’s profile and portfolio before hiring
- The Escrow system used on some of these sites protects your money
How will this help your business in the long run?
- More time: concentrate on core tasks such as selling your products or services. Maybe you want to try a different product line or introduce a new service, but it has been on the back-burner while you deal with general business admin problems
- Reduced stress: not having to do something with which you are unfamiliar or simply do not enjoy, such as writing website copy or keeping up with your blog posts
- Enhanced customer service: this is often cited as one of the main reasons consumers return to a company. Gain a competitive advantage, exceed your customers’ expectations and develop a loyal customer base
- Effective budgeting: keep an eye on your cash flow by outsourcing as and when you need. The flexibility offered by using freelancers far outweighs the responsibility and cost of employing someone, or of using agency staff
- Strategic planning: it is easy to ignore the bigger business picture when you are constantly caught up in day-to-day admin. Outsourcing frees you up to think clearly about where your business is heading, and allows you to make detailed plans for the future
There is no huge commitment on your part if you hire a freelancer for a small task initially – you can test the water and if it all works out you may decide to outsource everything that drains your energy and gives you that horrible Sunday night feeling.