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Outsourcing Tips for SMEs

Poor cash flow is the single biggest killer of Australian small businesses. I have no doubt it contributes to more stress than any other facet of the business. When bills are piling up and employees need to be paid, poor cash flow can be suffocating and depressing.  SME owners primary focus must be on bringing regular capital into the business. Until the business has been won and the invoices paid, business owners simply do not have time for other business activities.

 

We have put together a list of business activities SME owners should think about outsourcing:

 

Administrative Tasks

Every small to medium business has administrative tasks that need to be completed daily to ensure the business runs smoothly. Administrative tasks include:

 

  • Responding to emails
  • Setting appointments
  • Responding to complaints
  • Chasing up invoices
  • Sending gifts to suppliers on their birthday

 

The first option is to hire an administrative assistant, however many SME owners are not at that level of business growth to afford such a luxury. The second option is to hire a virtual assistant and set them up with weekly tasks to complete. A set number of hours can be allocated to keep costs down and lock-in contracts do not usually apply. The overheads of hiring a temporary virtual assistant are very low.

 

Bookkeeping

Once again there are a few options with getting your bookkeeping under control:

 

 

If you have a service-oriented business that doesn’t require a complex accounting solution, FreshBooks is easy-to-use and offers a lot of functionality on the go. You can track hours, log receipts, and send invoices from your smartphone or tablet. Freshbooks is intuitive and highly visual and integrates with a range of others including Basecamp, PayPal, Google Apps, and ZenPayroll. The base plan starts at $19.95 a month, and allows management of up to 25 clients. More fully featured versions allow unlimited clients for up to $39.95 a month. Check it out here.

 

 

Content Marketing

Content marketing is highly important but also very time consuming business activity. To create purposeful, useful content that drives leads to your business, which is the objective of content marketing, regular, high-quality content must be created and distributed to current and potential customers.

 

Try freelancer or Upwork to find blog writers. Content creators on these sites have ratings from previous customers so you can usually find good people to work on your blog articles.

 

A good option to set-up an automatic schedule to post your blog content to social media is Meet Edgar. The tool allows users to set up a feed and schedule. You could link it to your blog and Edgar will automatically share the blog posts on FaceBook and LinkedIn.

 

Auto-emails can also be set up using Mail Chimp.

 

Payroll

Payroll can be a risky business. Every second news article seems to be about a business owner underpaying staff. One mistake with payroll can trigger tax audits or an investigation by the ombudsman, both will cost your business dearly.  

Rather than handling your own payroll, or maintaining the overhead of a full-time accountant, outsource your payroll to a reliable service. Companies Intuit can help you avoid costly mistakes, and free up your time so you can focus on running your business.