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Outsource It or Do It Yourself? Top Resources for Small Business Owners
Trying to cover multiple jobs is the hardest part of running a small business, according to 53 percent of people surveyed by eVoice, a telecommunications service. Accounting ranked as the least favorite task, followed by sales, receptionist work and office management, and marketing and PR. The struggle to juggle multiple jobs translates to time management challenges; 29 percent of respondents said they didn't have enough time to do everything, and 38 percent regarded time as their most valuable business asset. If you're running a small business and trying to do everything yourself, stop. Identify the areas where it makes sense to spend money to gain time.
Forty-one percent of the survey's participants said accounting was their least favorite task. For those who do their own accounting, QuickBooks is the most-used software solution—although, there are an increasing number of alternatives, as Capterra points out.
However, if you're not a bookkeeper or you're short on time, there are excellent reasons to hand your accounting off to a professional. Using a pro reduces the risks of cash-flow problems, late credit payments and tax trouble. Accountant Deepaman Prabhakar offers tips on TheGuardian.com on what to look for when outsourcing your accounting.
Sales was the second-least favorite task in eVoice's survey, cited by 23 percent of respondents. Whether you plan to handle your own sales or outsource this job, the foundation of an effective selling system is the customer database. You can maintain this in a form as simple as an Excel spreadsheet, or if you need a more robust solution, check out TopTenReviews' review of popular software packages.
When it comes to making sales calls, Side By Side Reviews provides a ranking of top telemarketing services. To make your telemarketing and other sales scripts more effective, hire a copywriter from an agency or a freelancer board such as Elance.
Twenty-two percent of respondents identified their least favorite task as receptionist work and office management. To make such tasks easier, you can use calendar software such as Google Apps and Office 365. To outsource administrative tasks, you can find freelancers on sites such as oDesk.
Marketing and Public Relations
Marketing and PR came in as the fourth-least desirable task for small business owners, named by 14 percent of entrepreneurs. You can keep some marketing tasks in-house by using software to make them easier. For instance, anyone can design a customized logo for their brand using LogoGarden's pick-and-click online software.
For other tasks that fall outside your in-house scope of abilities, digital marketing expert Erik Huberman recommends on Forbes that you outsource to an agency. It's a cost-efficient solution for companies that lack the time or budget for a full-time team.
After time, eVoice survey participants said their most valuable business asset was their computer, highlighting another candidate for outsourcing which permeates many of the above tasks: technology. Freshdesk's Aishwarya Hariharan offers some tips on how to outsource technical support to save money while maintaining quality.
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