Small business owners often say “I wish I could spend more time on my business and less time in my business.” As startups grow, each day’s to-do list can become overwhelming: Many entrepreneurs become too busy with menial tasks to focus on important big-picture planning. But unless you invest time into setting and meeting long-term goals, your business may flounder.
Reclaim your time and spend it in better ways. If you think it’s too expensive to outsource some of your tasks, think again. While you may not have the money to hire a full-time employee, there are providers you can partner with to lighten your workload. Let these folks handle the easy stuff so you can focus on what you’re passionate about.
1. Hire an accountant
Managing budgets, balance sheets and taxes is crucial for small business survival. But it can feel impossible to keep up. Partnering with an accountant will free up time and boost the financial health of the business. For example, accountants can help you find ways to pay less in taxes, cut costs and increase your cash flow. When it comes time to file taxes, everything will be in order. And if your business is audited by the Internal Revenue Service, you may be more likely to have the documentation you need.
2. Offload your social media
Social media is an invaluable tool for attracting new customers and staying top of mind with existing clients. But posting consistently to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other channels demands time and creativity that often could be better used elsewhere. Furthermore, only a small portion of your followers will see any of your posts: Now that social media is flooded with brands vying for followers’ attention, platforms such as Facebook show users only the posts that it deems relevant. One study estimated that as few as 2 percent of followers see a given post from a business they follow on Facebook.
Make the most of your social media following or connect with new followers: Deluxe can tell your story on social media by posting on your behalf or creating advertising campaigns to target new followers.
3. Outsource payroll
Whether you have one employee or hundreds, outsourcing payroll is a smart move. For a small fee, payroll service providers will make sure your employees get paid on time and in the correct amount, every pay period.
Besides saving you time, hiring an experienced company to do payroll can save you from legal trouble. Every year, there are dozens of changes to tax codes and labor laws that govern how you pay your employees: Are you sure you’re following all of them?
4. Delegate email marketing
When your business launches a new product or service, announces a special offer, or engages current customers, email marketing gets results. For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in return on investment.. But keeping in touch with customers tends to drop to the bottom of your to-do list, leaving dollars on the table. Hire a dedicated email expert to create campaigns for you. Whether you want to send a welcome email to new subscribers or a promotional email to announce a sale, Deluxe takes care of it all.
5. Minimize nonstop phone calls
Is your phone ringing off the hook? Nonstop phone calls are especially annoying: You’re expected to answer the phone when it rings, but you can’t always drop what you’re doing to take a call. Beyond hiring a receptionist, what’s a small business to do?
Start keeping track of phone calls you receive. Are most callers asking simple questions, placing orders, booking appointments or asking for directions? Think about how you can provide this information elsewhere. Your business website, social media accounts and business listings should include the information that would-be customers frequently seek. You can also design your website to handle appointments or reservations, allow clients to request quotes, and more. You may discover that when customers can get what they need online, they are less likely to pick up the phone.
It would certainly be nice to hire additional staff to handle the nitty gritty of running your business. But in the meantime, there are several options for small businesses on a tight budget to get the help they need.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2018. It has been updated for accuracy and relevance.