When starting your own business, you look to gain as much knowledge as possible to give you the best chance of creating a successful business. However, due to the time restraints and an extensive list of tasks you have as an entrepreneur, running every operation in your business is just not viable. That’s why many SMEs look to outsource their digital operations.
Common digital outsourcing
Digital outsourcing is often used by SMEs to fill skill shortages in their businesses. Taking on a specialised expert as an employee is a big investment for smaller companies. However, outsourcing gives businesses access to digital experts without the long-term commitment of taking on and training a new staff member.
A few common digital tasks that are outsourced by SMEs:
When you require specialist support for your internal team, you should consider outsourced IT support to provide quick and educated solutions to any IT problems. IT support businesses have trained experts who will transfer their knowledge to your staff through clear communication and specialist help.
Outsourced IT support will also improve the efficiency of your business operations and reduces the downtime of your own staff, who would usually spend time researching solutions to issues. Look for IT support companies who have clear communication and respond to queries fast and in detail.
Web development companies will handle the hosting and technical side of your website. When you first start a new business, creating a website and publishing it online is one of the first thing’s you’ll look to do. Creating an online presence is vital to ensure your business has the best chance of success.
Online marketing, including SEO & paid advertising, is often outsourced to a professional SEO agency. Understanding the way Google and other search engines rank your site is often confusing and takes an educated understanding. SEO agencies who specialise in online marketing will drive traffic to your site to drive conversions.
One of the most common tasks SMEs outsource is social media. Social media is a great tool for small and start-up businesses. While many businesses look to run their social media accounts in-house, the content is usually stale and lacks guidance. Outsourcing social media will ensure the content is fresh, unique and drives customer interest and engagement.
Part of your team
Although you may outsource some of your digital tasks, it’s important to view the company you deal with as an extension of your team, rather than an external business. Outsources want your business to succeed, as if it does, it reflects well on them as a business.
Some of the ways you can treat your digital outsourcers as an extension of your team:
- Give them tasks to complete
- Express satisfaction when their work is up to or above expected standard
- Hold them accountable for assigned tasks
- Speak to them as a staff member, not an external business
By treating your digital outsourcer as an extension of your team, your business will gain some great benefits.
- Clear communication means more knowledge will flow from outsourcers to your staff. This reduces the extent of training your internal staff will require.
- Access a specialist in the field without the long-term commitment of hiring new staff.
- An outsider view of your business, giving you a fresh perspective on your business operations and digital efforts.
- Improves company focus. Outsourcing digital tasks that your team lacks skills in means your team can focus on your own core competencies.
Ways to outsource
Outsourcing can be used to have an external business manage all duties involved in a digital task or provide expertise and support to your in-house team.
If you don’t possess the capability to have your own specialised in-house team, you can outsource start-to-finish digital tasks to a company. This means they will keep in contact with you and your business and continually complete any tasks you require in that specialist area. This is usually the best option for smaller companies.
If you have an in-house team, you can entrust support services to an external business to compliment and provide advice to your staff. Your in-house team will still be responsible for day to day duties however the external company will provide guidance and step in when serious issues need to be resolved fast.
Outsourcing, when done right, can bring expertise and knowledge into your company without the large financial and time investment involved with employing new staff. Consider the needs of your business and the areas you might lack knowledge when deciding which digital tasks may be better outsourced.
Alex works at White Chalk Road, and Online Marketing & SEO agency based in Australia. He is interested in the constant advancements and changes in online marketing. This includes Social Media Marketing, SEO, PPC and Remarketing.
He’s often writing informative pieces on how to harness SEO, profitable business practises and smart business start-up ideas. He’s also interested in how to potentially market in the future with trigger images, and devices such as Google home.