Business owners face many challenges every day, but one of the biggest difficulties is determining the smartest and most effective ways to spend your time and money.
Small businesses already have the cards stacked against them, with about half of them failing within their first five years. And of those that fail, 82 percent do so as a result of cash flow problems.
When it comes to protecting your time and money, outsourcing is your best weapon. Not only is it typically less expensive to hire freelancers than full-time employees, but the internet has also made it incredibly easy to communicate with people around the world -- so you're not limited to hiring someone within commuting distance.
Fortunately, outsourcing top talent is more feasible today than ever before. That's because between 20 and 30 percent of the working population in Europe and the United States classify themselves as independent workers, according to a study from McKinsey Global Institute. Also, services like Upwork and Fiverr make finding and hiring freelancers easy and affordable.
Outsourcing work has helped countless companies deliver a superior product and drive revenue. So to start saving time and money, here are a few essential aspects of business that are easy to outsource.
Technology has become an integral part of business, but that also means that companies are more susceptible to hackers. Hackers are also becoming more powerful, as evidenced by the spread of the WannaCry virus that infected more than 50,000 computers around the world earlier this year.
When a company lacks strong cybersecurity measures, customers take notice. In fact, almost 25 percent of consumers consider a brand to be unprofessional if it uses a free email service that offers little protection. Unfortunately, though, hiring an in-house cyberdefense team can be expensive. This is where outsourcing the task to a third-party company can be beneficial.
There are many cybersecurity companies that can work with your business to implement security measures and protect your information. Email security leader Zix, for example, provides the highest levels of email security to protect users from malware and viruses while keeping email services user-friendly. This allows business owners to focus on running their businesses rather than spending all their time on security efforts.
2. Web Design and Technology
If you use outdated technology, well...just don't. Around 90 percent of consumers will hold it against you. Outsourcing your tech talent may seem like an insurmountable task at first, but finding high-quality talent is easier than it may look -- and the benefits far outweigh the struggles.
Because you'll typically only have to pay for time used, hiring a specialized web development firm is almost always more affordable than investing in an in-house team. Because it typically only takes an outsourced web development firm 12-16 weeks to create a website, the cost of that work is far less than paying a full-time developer's salary (roughly $58,000).
Or if you're looking to build software for a new startup idea, consider alternatives to building out your own team -- like the Coplex Startup Studio, an accelerator I've advised. This allows you to remove risk from the business model before making a heavy investment in your product development team.
Web design is also important to customers. A visually pleasing and easy-to-navigate website helps strengthen consumer trust in your brand, and 94 percent of consumers say they will reject a website because of poor design.
3. Creative Services
Like tech talent, creative labor is not hard to find. Utilizing the support of an outsourced creative team can give your marketing department the freedom to spend more time developing data-driven strategy and doing the analytical work that is crucial to executing successful marketing campaigns.
In a consumer-driven world, good design should do more than just look nice -- it should also be a significant part of your marketing campaign. Because 65 percent of people learn visually, good design can make complicated statistics or other information more digestible. So if you're not making the most of design and other creative services to improve your marketing efforts, it may be time to outsource.
Fortunately, finding freelancers to handle your creative services isn't hard. Companies like Working Not Working can match companies with full-time or freelance creatives in a matter of seconds, giving you more time to focus on your strategic business initiatives.
4. Recruitment Marketing
Companies are no longer the only ones doing the vetting during the hiring process. In the modern workforce, jobs aren't hard to find. Employees and potential employees are constantly evaluating your company to determine whether you're even worth working for. Sites like Glassdoor allow workers to share their perspectives on your company culture anonymously, for better and for worse.
Recruitment marketing allows you to control your company's narrative, and by outsourcing it, recruiters can save time and focus their efforts on more than just responding to Glassdoor reviews and interacting with potential employees on social media job postings.
Your time and money are alarmingly finite, and the tasks and priorities you have to focus on as a business owner are seemingly infinite. When you outsource work, you free up the resources you need to invest in the areas that will truly differentiate your company from the competition. In today's business environment, that's how you win.