When you first start up a small business, you are likely to take on the bulk of the work yourself. There are benefits that come hand in hand with this. When you work entirely alone, you are able to control the direction of your business extremely easily. You would know exactly what work has been carried out, when it was carried out, and where you need to take your business next. But when it comes down to it, nobody can run any business single handedly – at least not when you start experience success and demand begins to grow. If you try to take on all of your work yourself, your company will suffer for it. You’ll find yourself carrying out seemingly endless administrative tasks to simply keep your company afloat. This would result in you never being able to find the time to move forward or carry out more progressive activity! The good news is that you can start collaborating with a whole host of other individuals to bring your products to life and to bring them to the consumer market in a way that will boost brand exposure and generate sales. In the early stages of your business, you are probably better off outsourcing rather than taking on more permanent members of staff. Outsourcing is a business practice that is carried by the majority of first time small business owners. It involves the distribution of certain tasks and work to independent third parties operating independently outside of your company. This can help to lift a huge workload from your shoulders. It also comes hand in hand with various other benefits, such as jobs being completed faster, gaining the expertise of people who are trained or educated in different areas to yourself, and making use of other business’ resources and specialist equipment. If this sounds good to you, here are a few different areas of your small business’ process that you can outsource.
One of the first steps that you should carry out when setting up a small business is market research. This is the process that allows you to understand what currently exists on the market as well as what your target audience is looking for. By understanding your competition, you can place yourself alongside them and work out how to draw their customers from under their feet and direct new customers to you rather than them. This may mean making your products and services superior in some way, offering a lower price tag, or even developing something that just hasn’t been seen before to ensure you have no competitors in the first place! By understanding your target audience, you can ensure that what you’re offering ticks all of their boxes, is affordable or in line with their disposable income, and is put in their eye line so that they know it exists in the first place. When it comes to finding the best market research agency for your needs, you should focus on experience. Ask to see their previous work and how it benefited the companies who paid for it. If they have an extensive portfolio of past successes, you can almost guarantee that they’ll carry out equally valuable work for you and your company too!
Once you are sure of your product concept, you will have to start bringing your ideas to life. Manufacturing is the process that will achieve this – taking raw components and turning them into complete goods. When you are in the early stages of establishing your business, it's generally a smart move to outsource your manufacturing process. There are a few different reasons for this. Outsourcing means that you don't need to fork out for costly gear or equipment while you are still figuring out your business’ direction. So many independent companies begin by specialising in one field, just to find that customer demand lies somewhere else and requires something different from you. Outsourcing your manufacturing means that you can alter your products as you go along by simply switching to an alternative manufacturer, rather than having to purchase new manufacturing equipment time and time again. Outsourcing also guarantees quality for your money. The manufacturer will want you to return time and time again, so will ensure that they deliver exactly what you ask for.
An increasing number of small businesses are taking their brand online. This makes sense. The consumer market are spending more time browsing the web and if you make your products available through an E-commerce store, you’re likely to make an increased number of sales. Operating online means that you can operate around the clock, reach out to a global audience by offering international shipping, and boost your brand exposure. When it comes to setting up your website, you may feel a little out of your depth to start with. Getting online is no minor feat, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. But not to worry. We’re here to guide you through! The first thing that you need to do is to find a reliable web host. Doing this will ensure that your website is online around the clock. Next, you need to focus on web design. If you have little time on your hands and don’t fancy learning HTML and CSS coding yourself, you can work hand in hand with a professional web designer who can bring your ideas to life on the screen. You should have a preliminary consultation with them to ensure that they understand your brand’s aesthetic and are aware of your company’s colour scheme. They can then implement this into a site design that is aesthetically consistent, aesthetically pleasing, and functional all at the same time! Various studies have found that people decide whether they are going to stay on any given site within a few seconds, so if you ensure that your design is appealing and enticing, you can give yourself a better chance of encouraging people to browse your goods and go on to make purchases.
You are likely to need photographs of your products to use on your website, in your advertising, and in your stores. Sure, smartphone cameras may be brilliant quality. But nothing quite compares to the work of a professional product photographer. This individual will have access to extremely high quality equipment which can produce images that will still appear high-quality when web users zoom in, or expand the size of the image. They will also have access to lighting which can be used to catch more flattering shots of whatever it is that you are trying to sell. They will also know how to best stage all of your shots, perhaps bringing in attractive backgrounds or accessories.
If you find that administrative work is piling up on top of you and you aren’t finding the time to answer customer queries, you should outsource your office work to a virtual phone number. This will be answered by a professional who will have a thorough understanding of your company and access to all of the information to do with your business details. They will then be able to consult customers, answering questions and offering details such as opening hours, store locations, and stock availability.
Seeing as small business users are using more and more tech in the running of their business, increasing numbers are opting to outsource their IT. Sure, you may be able to rectify minor errors yourself. But if you are less familiar with tech, IT support can pair you up with professionals who can detect problems before they occur and rectify issues that do manage to establish themselves. This can reduce the amount of downtime that your business experiences when things do go wrong with your computers, laptops, and tablet devices.
There are, of course, other areas that you can outsource. However, this list should get you started in the right direction. When your business begins to grow and expand, you might want to consider creating in-house departments to deal with all of these aspects of your business. But for now, while you are getting your business on its feet, outsourcing should suffice!