Carol Roth Blog
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.
 

75+ Tasks that Your Business Should Outsource

 

As hard as we might try sometimes, business owners cannot and should not even attempt to do absolutely everything for themselves. So, to help lighten the load, the CarolRoth.com contributor network of entrepreneurs and experts have shared what they think are the top tasks that businesses should outsource. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.

You may notice some similar insights, but I kept the concepts separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.

1. Money Matters

As a small business person, it is not possible to have expertise in all of the things that a business needs. This is particularly true of money matters- i.e., tax forms, tax reporting, payroll and accounting. I would be absolutely lost without my accounting firm, which has saved me a lot of money over the years and given me invaluable tax and accounting advice!
Thanks to: Deborah Laurel of Laurel and Associates, Ltd.

2. Whip Up a Video Really Quick!

Outsource video editing. In our experience, there aren't a lot of more stressful, time-consuming and therefore, costly jobs that get people get thrown into at work. Someone says, "Hey, Jane is tech-savvy. Can't she just whip up a video really quick?" Hours and hours later, Jane's head is slamming her keyboard and she is staying late to get her "other" work done.
Thanks to: Rocky Walls of 12 Stars Media.

3. In-House = Outhouse

Advertising, promotions and marketing should be handled by outside agencies. Trying to perform these functions in-house rarely works. Everyone in-house is too close to the product or service being marketed. Plus, internal politics can often water down efforts.

Outside perspective is key for successful marketing. What a company thinks about its product may be very different than what consumers want or feel is important.

Remember: Work that comes from in-house often belongs in the outhouse.
Thanks to: Bill Shelton of Left Field Creative.

4. Inbound Marketing

The world of marketing is constantly evolving. Between changes in consumer attitudes & technological advancements, it has become more difficult to connect with our target audiences. An inbound marketing approach is the most effective way to generate leads, but it is a time consuming process. Outsourcing an integrated program (website marketing, SEO, social media marketing, email marketing and public relations) will ensure that your inbound efforts are getting done & managed properly.
Thanks to: Tony Popowski of Grass Roots Marketing, Inc.

5. Social Secretary

Long live the mighty blog; soon die the well intended effort! Every company seems to have launched a blog of late with less than enviable results! Most efforts are thinly veiled sales pitches, the writing is not engaging, and rarely is the blog updated.

If you truly wish to drive visitor loyalty; outsource your blog today! Entertain and inspire your visitors; do not try to sell them through the posting. If you do the job in engaging your visitors, they will soon enough explore your site!
Thanks to: Jerry Dollar of Jerry V. Dollar, Author.

6. Outsource Your Weaknesses

Take a look at your weekly tasks and try and separate those you are comfortable with and are good at from those that take unnecessary amounts of time because you don't quite have the skills you need to complete them effectively. The tasks on the latter list are those that you should consider outsourcing.
Thanks to: Sarah Moore of Proofreading Company.

7. Hire a Supervisor to Watch You

Self-control is the one thing every entrepreneur needs to outsource. If you're anything like me, you probably think up too many ideas for your own good. Shiny objects are bad for your health. If nothing else, you need to hire someone to decide what you are allowed to spend your time doing. Left to your own devices, you will not make that decision wisely.
Thanks to: Dave Baldwin of Self-Employed, Inc.

8. Hire a Tax Pro!

Having had my own business for 12+ years now, I can say without hesitation that the one area I immediately outsourced was taxes! I've never regretted hiring a professional to take care of this tedious--yet vital--task. My accountant saves my money and provides peace of mind, which is priceless.
Thanks to: Michelle Garrett of Garrett Public Relations.

9. Anything New

Your calendar and routine are both full enough. It can be difficult to let go of items that you've already added to your daily routine, so I recommend delegating/outsourcing anything new that comes up. Non-revenue generating items are the easiest to delegate and so are new items, such as blogging, social media, data entry, accounting, running errands, shopping, checking emails and voice mails. If it's a new item on your to-do list, that's the easiest time to "let it go".
Thanks to: Angel Tuccy of Experience Pros.

10. Outsource Everything

I run a virtual company and I outsource just about everything--sales, project management, graphic design, accounting, and more. Having employees is very expensive when you take into account wages, taxes, office space and equipment, benefits, and providing enough work for them so the job is worthwhile. Hiring per project contractors makes running your business much more affordable and it takes the stress of payroll off your shoulders.
Thanks to: Peter Geisheker of Geisheker Group Marketing Firm.

11. Work Smart & Share the Wealth

I would say outsource tasks, systems and any other activities that take away from your core business. If you need sales, then at least 80% of your time should be devoted to sales and the other 20% on moving those sales forward. Outsourcing to colleagues can also mean referrals down the road!
Thanks to: Jerry Pollio of Franchise Futures.

12. No More Best Kept Secrets!

My ONE best tip on the specific task that you should outsource in your business is marketing, marketing and more marketing. This is arguably the most critical element to the success of any business. One can have a great business along with great products, but if no one knows about it, then you ultimately become the world's best keep secret. To add to this, best kept secrets are only good when they are revealed and marketing does this. Outsource this important aspect and go work on something else.
Thanks to: Kevin Benton of Kevin Benton Ministries.

13. Outsource Your Payroll

Hiring an outside service to do your payroll can enhance your bottom line. Doing payroll in-house means you and your people must stay on top of the many regulations--federal, state and sometimes local. These change frequently. Most outside payroll services stand behind their work, so you don't spend resources worrying about, and doing, deductions for taxes, social security, unemployment, worker's comp, health programs and other deductions. Charges by outside services become a reasonable expense.
Thanks to: Al Warr.

14. Stop Writing (Especially Ads)

Writing is time intensive, and if you don't do it all the time, you're slower than a pro and usually not as good. You could be spending that time on activities that grow your business. The biggest sin is advertising--most businesses write ads that sound like everyone else's ads and won't actually win them customers. The biggest omission is a book, which is a great tool for distinguishing your company from all your competitors and making it easy to close deals with anyone who reads it.
Thanks to: Mahesh Grossman of AuthorsTeam.com.

15. Just Say No to Scheduling!

In our crazy-busy world, it can take a LOT of back and forth to set up any type of meeting. Multiple emails, phone tag, etc. = a total time suck! For impatient folks like me, an unset meeting can easily fall off my radar screen. Outsourcing this task to a VA has been a time and sanity saver. Other folks use a service like Tungle to have those who wish to meet with them schedule themselves. No matter what you do or how you do it - just say NO to scheduling!
Thanks to: Elene Cafasso of Enerpace Executive Coaching.

16. Outsource Now!!!

I believe most small business owners should work in their unique ability and do what they do best. I find with my clients the best help they can get is a part-time book keeper who can manage their Quickbooks or accounting function for them. Getting bills paid and having your accounting squared away takes a big load off most business owners and the part-time help is not that expensive. The extra free time allows for more selling and relationship building which can more than pay for itself.
Thanks to: Doug Hecker of 2 Excel Now, LLC.

17. Pay Me!

A small business that has employees on payroll service should always outsource payroll. There are so many complicated filings associated with payroll that the owner does not want to have the responsibility to handle!
Thanks to: Barry Moltz of Shafran Moltz Group.

18. Do the Math

If you want to earn $100,000, then any internal task where the investment is $50 an hour or less should be outsourced. For most small business owners, their focus is to increase sales. Time away from this activity negatively impacts the bottom line. So, outsourcing data entry to direct mail to even social media at rates between $5.00 per item to $30 per hour is truly a No Brainer. For each SBO, outsourcing will be different, but the bottom line is the same - more profits and more sales!
Thanks to: Leanne Hoagland-Smith of ADVANCED SYSTEMS.

19. Answer These for Your Answer

The one specific task that a business should outsource really does vary with each business. There are two questions to answer to determine what that should be for your business. First, what tasks am I least efficient and effective at completing? Second, what tasks am I most likely to put off until the last minute and never do as complete a job as they deserve? The answers will overlap. Find the one task on both lists that answers both questions more than any other and you have your answer.
Thanks to: Doug Johnson of G. R. Johnson & Son Consulting, LLC.

20. Always Outsource

Always outsource the Company Accounts to an independent, reliable and qualified Accountant or Accounts Company.
Thanks to: Rod Quentin of Quentin Publications Ltd.

21. Outsource Your Payroll!

Today's enhanced technology allows professional companies to handle virtually all of the "back room" financial requirements you might have. Payroll, accounting, accounts receivable, taxes, etc., can all be handled in a more timely and accurate manner than you can provide yourself. Outsourcing these tasks frees you to concentrate on what you do best -- meeting the needs of your customer.
Thanks to: Brad Dude.

22. Use Your Own Voice

Delegate everything that doesn't absolutely require YOUR VOICE/TALENT/EXPERTISE. It's important to identify your most critical "target client" and most treasured "value added" service - and never outsource or delegate that critical component. Always speak to, handle, and honor your most valued client, while supporting your most treasured value-added service.
Thanks to: Cena Block of Sane Spaces Productivity Consulting.

23. Tweak Social of Social Media

By now, most everyone realizes they should be active on social media sites in order to develop a worldwide business. However, the "should" brings about too many hours devoted to being social. Followings need to be monitored for adhering to your brand, postings monitored for the same, and one needs to be efficient with hours spent in order to move business forward. I highly recommend interviewing several people to know who understands social media for business best and outsource these tasks.
Thanks to: Elinor Stutz of Smooth Sale, LLC.

24. Make the Bean Counters Happy!

The #1 task to outsource is your bookkeeping. One of the quickest ways to mess up your business is to maintain your own books if you are not a bookkeeper. It doesn't matter whether you have the latest version of Quickbooks, Peachtree, or even if a pro set it up for you. There are so many details to report and new laws that will affect your business. It's a far better use of your time to be working in your business, rather than counting the beans. Let them explain your numbers to you.
Thanks to: Randy Peyser of Author One Stop, Inc.

25. Don't Administrate

Paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork- unless this what you love to do day in and day out, the one thing that you should outsource is anything administrative that takes time away from doing the tasks that you have your strengths in and should have your focus. So, hire an administrative assistant (virtually works too) to schedule your appointments, return calls, compile reports and so much more. Finding someone to help you minimize your efforts will maximize your output daily.
Thanks to: Myles Miller of LeadUP & Learning Breaks.

26. Outsource Your Weakness

The biggest mistake many business owners make is they try to do everything themselves to "save money". In the process, they end up wasting valuable time and getting a substandard result. No one can be an expert in everything. A web developer probably should outsource PR. A PR firm might be best served hiring an accountant. In my business, I try to form mutually beneficial partnerships. The only thing that should never be outsourced is client service. Find the best partners to succeed.
Thanks to: John Paul Engel of Knowledge Capital Consulting.

27. Marketing!

This may sound self serving, but marketing is definitely a task that should be outsourced... and let me give you two reasons why. First of all, for 98% of companies, marketing is not part of your core competencies. It is not a revenue source and therefore is seen as another cost center and not given the attention it deserves. Secondly, most SME companies will not hire the breadth of knowledge required to handle all of their marketing needs in house and if they do, it is EXPENSIVE!
Thanks to: Ben Baker of CMYK Solutions Inc.

28. Outsource for $10/Month

I use phonetag.com to transcribe voicemails for my cell phone. I don't need an answering service and the results get sent to my Blackberry.
Thanks to: Mark Mondo of MondoCRM.

29. Don't Damage Your Brand Image

Web video production must be viewed as an investment not a cost. Doing it right means outsourcing the right company that knows how to develop a presentation that enhances your image and attracts attention. Homemade or semi-pro efforts may seem like a bargain at the time, but they will ultimately turn out to be a costly waste of resources that can do more damage than good; then again, if you sew your suits, act as your own doctor, and grow your own food, perhaps you don’t need a professional.
Thanks to: Jerry Bader of MRPwebmedia.

30. Outsource the Right Task

Outsourcing select tasks can be a great way to free up overworked employees to enable them to focus on their core jobs. A great task to outsource is your Payroll. Checks, deductions, and W2s are mandatory tasks that can be outsourced to help relieve company stress.
Thanks to: Tony Ellison of Shoplet.

31. Do Your Best, Hire the Rest

Work to improve your strengths, not your weaknesses. Outsource that which you are not good at. A classic example is bookkeeping – find a good bookkeeper. Do you like promoting yourself? If not, find a PR or marketing firm to handle that task. Do the activities essential to your core business; outsource activities that you find distracting and never quite get done. Then, you can do good work, knowing the essential but unpleasant tasks will be done.
Thanks to: Bob Stovall of Gain-Stovall, Inc. Public Relations.

32. Get Rid of the Admin Hat

A PA (Personal Assistant) is an essential hire. They come to your office to file, help you create your "whatever" Kits, clean your office, and do other administrative jobs. However, this is also the person who can babysit while you're working, water the garden, put the dishes away, and yes, even wash the floor! As a busi-ness owner, many tasks are put on the back burner, which add up and cause stress. Your time is needed to earn money! So, earn money while someone does the house and admin work.
Thanks to: Maria Marsala of Coach Maria.

33. Don't Memorize the Web!

Being web-savvy is great, but it's more important to know the big picture -- how do you want to design your online presence and less important to learn the nuts-and-bolts of how to code your way there. Outsource technical matters to .php experts who have already taken the time to learn how to manage the back-end of a website.
Thanks to: Paula Pant of Afford-Anything.com.

34. Top Task to Outsource

I believe that Bookkeeping is the best task for a small business to outsource. Professional bookkeepers can make entries quickly and accurately at a relatively low cost, saving the typical small business a large amount of time that they can use to generate revenue selling their goods or services. In most cases, small businesses end up net positive after hiring a bookkeeper (the bookkeeper is a lower opportunity cost than the lost revenue would be if you were to do it yourself).
Thanks to: Mike Delgado of DevelopmentGate.com.

35. A Web with a $$$ Zing

Website development is a huge factor today in anyone's business. The attitude of "do it yourself", can cause disaster unless you can code, are a graphic designer and have hours to spend completing this task. Outsourcing will take work because budgets can be tough for the smaller guy, but it is a worthy endeavor for you because you will be free to work on your marketing or bringing added revenue with a great looking website. Caution: Do your homework in choosing a web company. Do it now.
Thanks to: Robby Hartley of Text Your Dreams.

36. Sales Training, of Course!

Sales Training is a great thing for companies to outsource! The reality, however, is that you should take careful inventory of your competencies and time, and outsource what doesn't fit. For instance, I outsource my administrative work.
Thanks to: Troy Harrison of SalesForce Solutions.

37. Save Time and Money!

Too many business owners try to handle all aspects of their business. This is not cost effective. One such area is your website. Trying to save money by personally doing your website will not always work. Is web designing your area of expertise? The time you put into trying to get it done will cost you more. Getting a good web designer at a decent price will help your business image and possibly bring you more business. They can support the site and show you creative ways to market it.
Thanks to: Karlene Sinclair-Robinson of KSR Solutions, LLC.

38. Don't Toss Out the Trash

Employees generate revenue in one fashion or another. Having them perform routine cleaning tasks reduces their revenue-producing time. Putting that aside...nothing helps morale better than your team arriving at a clean office each week.

The one thing you should outsource is your office/plant cleaning. Lots of competition keeps the pricing lean and the results are amazing.
Thanks to: Debi Einmo of White Glove Services LLC.

39. Best Task to Outsource

If you're going to outsource anything, we suggest accounting, especially for small businesses. Accounting tasks are absolutely necessary, but not mission critical and it doesn't directly contribute to your bottom line. Business owners especially shouldn't bog themselves with the hours of work involved with keeping track of accounting. There are reasonably priced accountants who can work as little or long as you need them to get the job done, opening up more time within the company for growth.
Thanks to: Sara Schoonover of TicketKick.

40. The Weakest Link!

What is the weakest link? Strengths can help a business flourish; weaknesses can stunt its growth. If a task that is vital to the growth of a business is a task where there is a profound weakness or lack of knowledge to implement, that task should be outsourced. Precious dollars and time can be saved by letting go and allowing experience to complete the task. That experience can help to mentor that weakness into a strength.
Thanks to: Lana Rice of TARGET SOURCE MEDIA GROUP, LLC.

41. Taxes are Fun!

Yes, taxes are FUN when you outsource the preparation to an expert tax preparer versed in small business tax law. (I'm not talking H & R Block, but rather a specialist in small biz.)

Why are taxes fun when you get them expertly prepared? You get $$$ back! Any preparer worth using will find some tax deductions you are NOT using. If they don't find something you didn't, fire 'em! Ditch those boxes of receipts and get a preparer who can organize everything for you. Then, smile and RELAX!
Thanks to: Dr. Barnsley Brown of Spirited Solutions Speaking/Coach.

42. Outsourcing for Less Headaches

If you ask me, the smartest service I ever chose to outsource was payroll processing. When I started my business, I was processing payroll on my own. I thought that using a payroll service was way too expensive and that I could easily do this on my own. However, after realizing that I owed $8,000 at the end of one quarter, the couple bucks I now pay for payroll processing seems pretty darn cheap. I can honestly say the day that I met Lesley Lehman at Paychex's is the day my life got easier.
Thanks to: Brian Krause of Woodstar Energy.

43. It's All About the MONEY!

Most entrepreneurs and small business people are so passionate about the work they do that they are less than focused on the bookkeeping for the operation. Knowing where every penny is and isn't is IMPORTANT for every small business. Outsourcing this simple piece of your business to someone who knows what (s)he is doing is paramount. Get a competent bookkeeper to put the time in and make sure every penny is accounted for. (S)he will pay for her/himself immediately.
Thanks to: Vicki Donlan of VickiDonlan.

44. Payrolls Can Be Hazardous

Outsourcing your company Payroll can be a smart decision. Most payroll services are very reasonably priced. They not only prepare the payrolls, but they keep you current with your payroll tax deposits, file your Quarterly Payroll Reports and provide you with W2s for your employees at year-end. If you have ever fallen behind with your payroll tax deposits, you know that Uncle Sam behaves more like Sammy the loan shark, charging you interest and penalties that can bury any business very quickly.
Thanks to: Mike Russell of QuickBooks Tutor.

45. Accounting and Administrative

The one specific task I think businesses should definitely outsource is accounting. Accounting and administrative tasks can be extremely time consuming and can drain the business owners' time and energy. So, outsource your accounting, free up your time and focus on your core business.
Thanks to: Vinil Ramdev of Startup Growth Expert.

46. Outsource Your Marketing

As a small business owner, you can get pretty busy (especially during the start up phase when you have to be a Jack or Jill of all trades)! It's best to focus on the core aspects of your business and outsource others. For example, I am not an expert marketer and in my experience, most small business owners are not. Therefore, outsourcing your marketing efforts to an expert can work wonders for your business. It will save you time and increase productivity in other areas.
Thanks to: Brittni Abiolu of FundingAlley.

47. You KNOW What to Outsource!

In a nutshell, you ALWAYS outsource that which you hate doing or can't do. For example, I'm horrible at accounting, and would spend weeks doing business taxes. I outsourced it and have never been happier or more efficient. Look at your current operations - what is the thing you dread most or spend the most time "fighting"? That's exactly what you should outsource, even if it you think you can't afford it. Guaranteed it will pay off in the end!
Thanks to: David Leigh Weber of Learn About Flow.

48. Never Outsource Culture!

When we first started, we had so many things that needed to be done. We found outsourcing through services such as Elance.com was a great way to stay focused on the real goal of building an amazing company with a strong culture of fun. If we had remained bogged down in trying to do everything ourselves and not outsourcing smartly, we would never have been able to begin franchising so soon. Outsource everything you can, but never outsource CULTURE! No Peeking!
Thanks to: Brent Hohlweg of Men In Kilts Window Cleaning.

49. Get a Kid to Do it!

Sole practitioners are often one-man bands. We should outsource anything that doesn’t have to be done specifically by the head of the company, whether it’s data entry, graphic design or watering plants. An author client stayed up 'till 4 am doing her own book order fulfillment. I said, “You’re a $200-an-hour person doing $10-an-hour work. Get a high school kid and free yourself up for tasks that only you can do.” Those precious wee hours became a great time to begin her next book.
Thanks to: Flo Selfman of Words à la Mode.

50. Outsource For More Business

It is best to outsource SEO oriented blogging. This can be done effectively and quickly by a low cost college student with good research and writing skills, freeing you to focus on your skills.
Thanks to: Lewis Harrison of The Academy of Natural Healing.

51. It's a Matter of Time

I am the type of person who likes to do everything. But when you are running your own business, you can't always take the time to do everything. You can actually stifle your own growth by trying to do everything. I know we are all super people, but sometimes you have to delegate. I outsource everything that is time consuming. When you are getting ready to do a task, ask yourself how much time it will actually take. If it takes too long, I outsource and find a better use for my time.
Thanks to: Lauren MacEwen of SM Cubed.

52. Become a Dictator of Thank You

I would recommend having a voicemail box set-up so that you can call & leave a message whenever a need arises. Just call and read out the biz card you just received or a client that just made a purchase along with a short thank you note. Then, have a virtual assistant monitor the box & handwrite the note + mail it out for you.

Outsourcing this one step removes the friction from showing your customers, prospects, partners, employees, and vendors how much you appreciate them. Worth it!
Thanks to: Kenny Jahng of Big Click Syndicate Small Biz Coach.

53. Soul-Sapping Shipping

There's nothing less creative than writing out addresses, stuffing envelopes, or pulling product. So, if you have books, items, any creative wonderful resource you've created, DVDs, or CDs of fabulous information, get it out of your office and let the creative juices have more space to flow, by removing the "stuff" that saps your energy!

SHIPPING can be done by a great many people and many people are willing! Get the goods out and get your brain back to the business of creation!
Thanks to: Suzanne Gose of Flip n Flop Learning.

54. Outsource What? You Sure??

Small business owners should outsource every single task in their business that they can pay to have done in a way that is at least 70% as good as they would do it & that they can pay less to have it done elsewhere than their time is worth, or than what they would charge as an hourly rate. There are two things a business owner should never outsource - the signing of checks and the marketing. That way, you always know where your money is going and you know how you're bringing it in & making it!
Thanks to: Diane Conklin of Complete Marketing Systems.

55. The Value of Your Time

Businesses have various items of work to be done. Whether it be the owner or an employee, there is a certain amount of time it takes to get it done, and time & money are directly tied.

A figure has to be computed as to how much a certain item of work is costing in-house, versus the cost to outsource it. There is also the loss of control to consider when contemplating outsourcing.

The value of the owner's time, an employee's time & outsource costs all have to be compared.
Thanks to: Harris Glasser of Serving The People Press LLC.

56. Know What You Do Best!

Overhead is one of the biggest threats to any business enterprise. So, it naturally follows that real estate and staff will tend to be your highest costs. If you can outsource those functions, you are well ahead of the game! Now, we are an unusual company in that we outsource 99% of what we do here. But one of the reasons we can flourish in any economy is that we outsource our warehouse and distribution, plus our whole art department. The savings in salaries and rent is astronomical. Yeah!
Thanks to: Craig Wolfe of CelebriDucks.

57. I Outsource Routine Stuff

I outsource routine stuff, like updating my Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. I provide the content and have a VA load them. I am getting ready to do the same with Tumblr and Squidoo.

I don't outsource all of this completely. I still log on to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn most days and respond to tweets and posts.
Thanks to: Bud Bilanich of The Common Sense Guy.

58. Hire a Pro to Build Your Blog

Since no one should know more about your audience and your message than you, keep your content development in house. That said, you want to outsource the DESIGN of your WordPress blog site to an SEO-savvy web designer. Also, pay them to teach you the mechanics of using WordPress. Personally, I make videos for clients so they will have reference material for posting blogs, creating pages, adding tags, etc. that they can turn to long after I'm off the project. Then, write the posts and pages in house.
Thanks to: Kendra Bonnett of Women's Memoirs.

59. Let Someone Else Brag for You

I find it devilishly difficult to both produce smart content and then promote the pants off of it. I can't exactly outsource the thought-leadership part of my job (of course!) and a few weeks ago, in a fit of desperation, I outsourced the promotion and marketing-writing to my VA. Turns out, she's a genius at that sort of thing - she writes amazing social media content, newsletter blurbs, and more. It takes all of the stress out of trying to brag about myself and I can concentrate on content.
Thanks to: Erin Ferree of BrandStyle Design.

60. Accounting

Today you can outsource your accounting to low paying people who are CPA certified and/or have worked at the Big Four accounting firms. All you do is send your receipts and necessary info by email to your accountant and he/she will take care of the rest, so you can focus on your business.
Thanks to: Thanh Pham of Asian Efficiency.

61. Time for THREE Quotes?

Seriously, as business owners, we all know that when we have to spend money on anything, we should always get three quotes before making a decision...but who has the time to do all of this research? Outsource...everything you need to research.
Thanks to: Josephine Geraci of My Mom Knows Best, Inc.

62. Whatever You Don't Like to Do!

This really depends on you and your business. Some people "hate" accounting. Others "love" it. The same is true with websites and social media or traditional marketing. Find the task you dislike the most and outsource it to a person who loves it and is good at it. Also consider which tasks are time hogs for you (it may be one and the same with the task you dislike the most). A time hog is also a great job to outsource.
Thanks to: Heidi McCarthy of Toughest Customer.

63. Outsource for Cost Savings

In planning to set up a trade show event, we are outsourcing a specific individual that has great success at getting both clients and visitors to attend. Since this is a once a year event, it does not make financial since to hire someone full time and not to take the time to interview for full time or part time staff. Time is money. Since we do not have those type of skills, outsourcing is the most time effective and cost effective route to go to get the outcome we want.
Thanks to: Carol Coots of Practical Cost Reduction.

64. PAYROLL it Out...

Yes, while we all want to pass out the "fruits" of the labor, it can be a tedious task to bear. Payroll can take a great amount of time and be exhausting. Outsourcing this task through your bank, accounting office or Paychex is an efficient move and allows business owners and entrepreneurs the time they need to focus on new accounts and develop the overall business.
Thanks to: Sherell Edwards of AGC Transport & Services LLC.

65. Saving Your Sanity!

Payroll. Nothing's more maddening and wasteful then a small business trying to get payroll completed on time and accurately. It is often times the largest expense and almost always the greatest waste of time and efforts. It takes away from the ability to create new, and service existing, business. It's less expensive to outsource than business owners realize and will SAVE MONEY when done properly. It pays to have someone else do it for you, so you can be out doing what you need to do- YOUR job!
Thanks to: David Siracusa of Employee Leasing Strategies.

66. Monitoring Alerts, Blogs, News

For the last several years, I have posted blog posts and sent newsletters with updates and changes in the search engine marketing industry. Over time, the number of newsletters, Google alerts and blogs I follow has grown to the point of overwhelming. One of my challenges has been finding someone to monitor these but at a reasonable hourly rate AND who understands industry terminology. This is so important to outsource because my time is more valuable when I'm networking, writing proposals, etc.
Thanks to: Shelley Ellis of Online Performance Marketing.

67. Outsourcing Human Resources

The end of year is quickly approaching, but there’s plenty of production time left to drive revenue for the remainder of 2011 and forward. Enhance your bottom-line and peace of mind by becoming a client of Human Resource Outsourcing. Plus, time is freed up to concentrate on nothing but revenue production.

There's also a certain comfort knowing you have taken what can be a wildly variable cost of employee administration and made it a “fixed cost”. No more guessing.
Thanks to: Joseph Caulfield of Rapid Sales Success.

68. You MUST Outsource These Tasks

Any task that can be done by someone else for $20 per hour (or less) MUST be outsourced. Your time, as a business owner, is far too precious to spend doing these lower level tasks.

Consider this: If the lifetime value of a good client is as low as $1,000.00 and it takes you as long as 10 hours of your time to deliver that value, your time is worth at least $100 per hour. Every time you spend an hour doing a lower level task, in essence, you are losing $80.00 per hour.
Thanks to: Bill Gluth of Creative Thinking for Business.

69. Google Has Enough Money!

Businesses without a well-trained, full-time employee/department should outsource their Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing. Google Adwords seems simple, but is enormously complex & time-consuming to master. Google “water damage iPhone” and tell me if you think all of those emergency water damage restoration companies know that they are killing their account rating-not to mention wasting money-if a searcher clicks on the ad before they realize it doesn’t have anything to do with iPhones!
Thanks to: Scott Harvey of Honest Website Marketing.

70. Focus on What You Do Best

To be successful, you must focus on what you do best -- everything else can and should be outsourced. Better to have a team of experts than an expert team of one.
Thanks to: Randy Savicky of Strategy+Communications.

71. Pay to Pay

If you have a small business and you have employees, outsource that payroll. With all of the laws and regulations regarding what you have to track for employees (benefits, workers' comp insurance, SUTA, FUTA, etc), it can be highly cumbersome. I've seen several small businesses pay a full time person to handle payroll, which could be outsourced for a fraction of that cost.
Thanks to: Mike Saxton of Science Fiction Author.

72. Do Only What You Enjoy!

You're in business to make money, but to keep your juices flowing, you need to do what you enjoy and are good at. Everything else should be outsourced. Make good use of your time by doing only those tasks that energize you, and let someone else handle the boring stuff. You'll avoid burnout and love your business even more. When you decide to hand off your to-do list, make sure you hire experts; you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to outsourcing.
Thanks to: Debby Dowling of Effortless Bridal Marketing.

73. Business of Design

Outsource candidate: graphic design. Strongly consider hiring an expert to tackle external communications - unless this is a core service that your company delivers. The right designer can be worth their weight in gold as you expand your reach. Limited budget? Contact local college(s) and design schools for references or check to see if they have any in house programs you may tap into. On-line options such as ‘elance’ can also help. Tip: pick a company that speaks your native language.
Thanks to: Kelly Isley of Corcoran Associates.

74. Ensure Your Business Runs

If a flood, power outage or other disaster happens, what will your business do? Outsource a business continuity plan - not insurance - like Agility Recovery's membership. Companies can recover (access to power, mobile space, internet/telecommunications & technology) to quickly get back to business. It's proven, it's easy and membership gets you access to planning and over $35 million in assets such as generators, technology, space and connectivity.
Thanks to: Bob Boyd of Agility Recovery Services.

75. Gotta Catch That TRAIN!

Get on board! You can not be the best in everything! I know for you that may be a stretch, but it is true. Outsource performance and product training for your company.

1) Use companies and consultants that have an expertise in the areas that you may not.
2) Even if an area is your expertise, treat your employees and yourself to a refresher in that area.
3) There are always new innovations and this helps you stay abreast.

ALL ABOARD! Catch the latest in TRAINing and you will be on time.
Thanks to: Stephanie C. Williams of Crowned One Worldwide Inc.

76. If it's Outside Your Expertise

If you need something done regularly but lack the expertise or the time to become an expert, outsource it. Some obvious candidates: payroll, printing, hiring, writing, and signage. Just remember: you're still the business owner, so outsourcing doesn't mean "out of sight, out of mind". Work closely at the outset to start off right and meet regularly to review progress. Pick someone who is experienced, reliable and communicates well. Check references and check around about reputation!
Thanks to: Ed Alexander of Fan Foundry.

Do you know another task that should be outsourced in business that wasn’t included? If you do, please share it below. And as always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth
12 comments
ZirtualBuzz
ZirtualBuzz

This is a great breakdown of 75 things you should have your business outsource. Albeit if you're trying to save money and/or time, outsourcing can be a very convenient thing to do for your business. 


We just created a blog listing 9 business tasks that you should outsource, and the link can be found below. Please give it a read and let me know if you have any questions, or you would like to discuss some things!


https://blog.zirtual.com/9-tedious-tasks-you-could-outsource-to-make-scaling-your-business-possible 

Virtual Team
Virtual Team

Outsourcing can give you a pool of talented individuals that can cater to your outsourced tasks. This is some great inspiration on what they can outsource to make their business more focused and effective. http://virtualteam.ph/ can also help you find great virtual staff to help you get things done.


LuciaKimm
LuciaKimm

BPO or Business Process Outsource is the latest concept in global world.but I know a company named The Genius Truck who offers commercial power washing that includes inspection, pre-treatment and power washing on all concrete and asphalt exterior surfaces services for your home.see more http://www.thegeniustruck.com/power-washing

arshinipreetish
arshinipreetish

I completely understand you point of view here and not having hourly employees but I think that, on the whole, it's overly simple to look at it that way if you literally have different things for people to do.

We are not outsourcing any of our projects and tasks. We have been using Replicon software, its such an awesome tool to manage all our tasks more easily. If you like to know more about this application, visit this link - http://www.replicon.com/olp/online-time-recording-software.aspx

RamonAndrews
RamonAndrews

Data entry is one of the tasks that businesses can outsource. Those who are considering to do so will surely find this article very helpful. Thanks for sharing. 

DropKick
DropKick

Hi Carol,

 

First, I admire you having time to provide us such helpful article.

 

Being a small business owner who used outsourcing by hiring Filipino workers through a company called Remote Staff (check: http://www.remotestaff.com.au/rs/candidates/ ) I've learned not all tasks are to be outsourced and the process varies depending on the business' long term goals.

 

Outsourcing should also be a part of your business strategy not just a cost cutting method.

jorgepson
jorgepson

Outsourcing is really one of the hit this time. Big companies do this (hiring IT Outsourcing services) because they find it more profitable.

MattCruz
MattCruz

There are indeed lots of tasks that you can outsource which free up your time so that you could focus on more important tasks. I personally outsource tasks like social media marketing but instead of outsourcing it to a company I outsource it to an independent contractor to reduce cost. I look for contractors to hire from Staff.com and screen them first before hiring. It helps me see the potential of a person to do work.

Connectwu
Connectwu

Outsourcing your leadership development programs not only saves a company additional costs for 401K plans, bonuses, Health plans, workers comp insurance, and more it allows you to find a program that can be tailored to your needs administered by certified coaches.

 

 

Time Clock
Time Clock

I would support on outsourcing all supporting tasks and I always believe outsourcing money related tasks is dangerous.

mariablack
mariablack

great post. Outsourcing has become the epitome of today's business principle. Its very true that when we are running our own business, we can't always take the time to do everything. So its important to outsource some task which are time consuming.

 
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