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The Advantages of Outsourcing for Small Business Owners

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The advantages of outsourcing for your small business are immeasurable. Sharing the workload or time-consuming tasks is sometimes essential, even if you’re the most charismatic, multi-talented multi-tasker in the world! After all, “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney

For small businesses, a lot of work goes into evolving and staying ahead in the hyper-competitive market. While the business is still in the start-up phase, the business owner adorns a lot of roles whilst ignoring the benefits of outsourcing. Apart from concentrating on the core business functions, small business owners and managers tend to invest a lot of time in handling small tasks such as hiring, accounting, small business bookkeeping, payroll processing and much more.

The habit of micromanaging vs the advantages of outsourcing

Micromanaging – the need to do everything yourself is actually like digging a grave for your business with your own hands. No one has made a law that you must do everything by yourself.

As small business owners, we understand the need to look for every advantage available to stay ahead of competitors. And one of the most effective ways to do this is by outsourcing certain business activities and concentrating more on the more important areas of the business.

Outsourcing for a small business: is it necessary?

Outsourcing has nothing to do with the size of your business. It is the process of hiring third-parties to handle work that is normally performed within the enterprise to give the business owner more room to concentrate on the core business functions.

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Large-sized organizations have been leveraging the gains advantages of outsourcing for decades, to efficiently manage their business processes. If you’re a small business doing all the paperwork by yourself and doing things your own way, choosing to exploit the advantages of outsourcing could be a wise choice.

Still not convinced? We bet, by the time you finish reading this article, you will definitely rush to seek someone to share your load.

Top 3 benefits of outsourcing for small businesses

The real benefits of outsourcing is that it can essentially help your small business to facilitate growth and expansion. Here are the top benefits of outsourcing all small businesses must know to take the first step towards hiring a third party.

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1. You can focus more on your core business areas

Owning and running a business are two different things. Act like an owner. It’s good to do things by yourself, but only up to a certain limit.  

Administrative and support functions of a business such as; payroll, bookkeeping, resource management, accounting, and managing the website, entail a lot of time and effort. Instead of managing too many processes at once, focus on achieving core competency in specific areas, and set your sights on growth. 

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Outsourcing the support and admin activities will save you a lot of time and help you focus on your key business processes. When a business outsources, it becomes more adaptable and can take on new opportunities faster than competitors who still do everything in-house.  Focussing more on the core business means better scope for new opportunities, especially short-term projects.

2. Outsourcing pros: save money for future

Cost-cutting is one of the major reasons why small businesses must consider outsourcing.

In fact, 59% of businesses who outsource consider it as a cost-cutting tool. Outsourcing allows you to avoid large-scale investments and convert fixed costs into variable costs, thereby controlling capital costs.

It also saves labour costs, since you can focus on hiring human resources that you need the most. Hiring strong resources for certain business processes allows you to take up on new projects and deliver faster, thereby improving the overall sales and business growth.

Outsourcing gives your business much more flexibility in managing costs and investments. Instead of hiring full-time in-house resources for tasks such as graphic designing, content writing, you can hire freelancers at lesser costs.

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Hiring freelancers will also benefit you from investing in the employees’ office equipment and space, medical benefits and other employee policies. 

3. Outsourcing improves productivity and expertise

Outsourcing unimportant tasks can save you a lot of time and allow your resources to focus more on the important tasks.

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For small businesses to flourish in a competitive world, there needs to be a competitive advantage and expertise in specific business areas. Outsourcing gives business owners the ability to evolve their area of expertise and stay afloat while maintaining an aggressive advantage.

Still don’t see the advantages of outsourcing?

Cherry-on-the-topadvantages of outsourcing

Apart from the above-mentioned advantages of outsourcing, there are a few more that aid in the overall growth of small businesses.

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  • Building brand credibility: When you hire more people to work for your business, your brand visibility and credibility improves. This benefit is often overlooked.
  • Increase competitiveness: Your start-up is competing with both large and small businesses. Hence, hiring third parties that have a foothold of the industry and its changing trends will help you stay ahead of the competition.
  • Leverage expertise and skills: Hiring third parties for handling various business operations gives the business owners an opportunity to work with qualified professionals having varied skill-sets and expertise. This will eventually affect the quality of work and therefore the overall growth of your business.

Requirements for outsourcing to keep in mind

We are sure, you’re now considering outsourcing your business functions. Here’s what you need to know and take into consideration to do so successfully:

  • Build a strategic plan and vision for your business
  • Have clarity regarding the company objectives and goals
  • Maintain strong relationships within as well as outside your business
  • Have open communication with all your staff
  • Involvement and support from senior leadership is necessary
  • Make sure your vendor agreements and contracts are structured

Wrapping up

Outsourcing and its advantages can act as a catalyst in the growth of your small business. If you’re a business owner doing everything by yourself, outsourcing would be the right thing to do to move towards rapid business growth.

Lastly, a piece of advice: when you outsource, place your trust in your third-parties. Micromanaging the tasks you’ve outsourced is nothing but a big waste of time, money and resources. 

Happy outsourcing!

Entrepreneur

Why Digital Freelancing is the Future of Work

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The corporate world has changed more in the past two years than in the past twenty years. It took a pandemic to make people realize that you don’t need to travel for work two hours a day to sit in front of a computer that is connected to the internet anyway.

It is no longer possible to attract people to work at a full-time job in a corporate office because people have realized that the idea of a “safe and secure” job is just a dream that can collapse at any time. There is no need to work at a specific location in a specific city because we all live in the global village called the internet. 

If you have expertise on a specific skill, you can remotely work for the best companies in the world at command earnings that compete with anyone in the world with the same skill. And the best part is that you can work on a contract basis.

So what is preventing people from becoming freelancers and quit their day job (if they are fortunate to have one)? The lack of a personal brand.

The full-time corporate world operates on slightly different rules where you can jump from one company to another based on your personal network and influence. But in the freelance world, having a personal network is not enough, you need a personal brand.

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Building a personal brand doesn’t mean becoming popular. A personal brand is built when you add value to people’s lives through your content, sometimes without charging anything for it.

If you want to build a strong personal brand as an influencer, you need to start with blogging. Write a few articles a month about what you learn, what you know and what you have experienced. Writing is the best way to let the world know that you exist.

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Once you start writing, you will see that opportunities will come your way. Start helping out people with your content and then with free consultations. There are a ton of freelancing opportunities in the world, and you can become a specialist in one category. Let’s say, for example, you are an SEO expert. Start writing about SEO on your blog, share them on social media and post videos about what you know. 

Research companies that you want to help and maybe create an SEO audit report for them and cold-email it to them. If you add value first instead of asking for an opportunity, an opportunity will come your way. 

You cannot demand heat before you throw in the piece of wood. Set up a calendar that shows your available times and let people book a free 15-20 minute consultation call with you. This is how you add value and then get a sale, without asking explicitly for the sale.

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Freelancing makes you an entrepreneur where the product is yourself. This is the first step in your long journey of building something for yourself, that eventually becomes greater than yourself. 

Freelancing also requires professional relationship skills, sales skills and the skill of adding more value than what you are getting paid for. This skill is vastly different from the skill of being an employee.

If you are not in a full-time corporate job right now, it is time to start freelancing instead of trying to find a job in the post-pandemic, new world order. 

If you are already in a corporate job, you need to start freelancing as a side-hustle as soon as possible. Even if you are just building your brand and doing free consultations, it is more than enough to start with because it creates the foundation for your future freelancing journey. 

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You might have friction getting started in this journey if you are an employee or have been one. Because the typical mindset of an employee is to look for security and “something guaranteed” for every piece of effort that you put in. Getting started with your freelancing career is the first step in dealing with career and professional uncertainty.

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I cannot tell you what opportunities you will get once you start building your personal brand. But I can say with conviction that once you start, you will start getting opportunities.

Via Entrepreneur

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Why You Need a B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy–And How to Build One

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B2B influencer marketing has essentially been around since the beginning of commerce. When the dairyman told all the bakers on his delivery route that they should purchase flour from a certain miller, and when the miller gave the dairyman flour for his household as repayment, B2B influencer marketing was born. So, how can you make this marketing strategy work for your business, and why should you want to?

Why is B2B influencer marketing important?

At its core, influencer marketing is a field of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive or showcase a brand message to the larger market. Rather than selling directly to a big group, instead you can inspire, hire, or even pay market influencers to promote what you have to offer.

In the world of networking, we see B2B influencers guide, direct, and even enhance the experience a business has with another business. While we would like to think that slick ad campaigns and ad spend are directing traffic, it is still the word-of-mouth influence that guides people and businesses to each other.

A quick guide to B2B influencer marketing

Where to find influencers

Ask yourself who your current advocates are. Who already speaks highly of you? Who refers business to you?

Advocates aren’t always clients or customers. Sometimes, they can be our vendors and suppliers. Other times, we must look at other professionals related to our industry. Advocates speak highly of your people, products, or services.

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Do your clients connect on social channels? Do they tag referral partners? Do they recommend services and providers to their own clients as a value-add? Where are they also sharing information on non-social channels, such as podcasts, speaking events, and books?

Consider sponsoring a speaking event where a potential B2B connector will be presenting. Build a relationship with them off-stage in order to get their shout-out on-stage. Feature potential B2B influencers on your own company podcast. Showcasing your relationships with influencers and companies will add to the trust factor so that other businesses will be comfortable connecting with you.

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Build a B2B influencer connection

Think about tires. If you are a fleet manager and you are purchasing new tires for vehicles in your fleet, you might discover you need brakes. You might then mention to the tire dealer that you need to have some new decal work done. Your tire provider suggests a brake shop that specializes in fleet maintenance, and suggests a painting and decal service that one of their other clients uses.

Did the tire provider need the brake guy or decal person? No. Most likely the brake shop and the decal creator reached out to create a B2B connection which would benefit the tire dealer (and themselves). If you know of other businesses that your clients regularly utilize, your business can build a B2B influencer connection with benefits for all.

Did the tire provider need the brake guy or decal person? No. Most likely the brake shop and the decal creator reached out to create a B2B connection which would benefit the tire dealer (and themselves). If you know of other businesses that your clients regularly utilize, your business can build a B2B influencer connection with benefits for all.

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Make sure to vet any potential connections

It is easy to speed forward and engage a B2B business as a possible connector or influencer. However, you need to take some time to vet the affiliations and relevance of the connection. Checking affiliations and relevance is as simple as doing a Google search, website review, or social media audit.

While it might seem like a particular business would be an ideal connection and influence, their affiliations and company culture may not be a perfect fit and could create some reputation, brand, and image problems in the long run.

What is your plan for co-creation?

If you are just hoping your B2B influencer is sharing your service/product accurately or is referring potential clients through the right contact at your company, you are not going to receive the impact you are looking for through this influencer.

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B2B influencing is about co-creation. Co-creation means you are working together with the influencer—it is collaboration and partnership. It is developing a relationship, not just a tactical means to an end.

In a number of instances, a company hires an influencer from a transactional perspective, and only provides the influencer with what is needed to achieve a given result. However, the more you develop a relationship, and provide the influencer with the education and resources to make the most impact for your company, the better the result and outcome.

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How do you plan to compensate influencers?

Not all influencer marketing requires you to pay for time. Sometimes, B2B connections are made that are just about giving valuable connections.

Could a “paid” influencer provide value? Absolutely. But you should determine the best influencer for your product or service first. Then determine if that influencer relationship should be a compensated one or a value/connection one.

B2B influencer marketing and your business

Just a few years ago, B2B businesses would have balked at the idea of using influencer marketing as a marketing strategy; it was considered “celebrity” and a hack. However, businesses have been using this technique long before it was given a trendy name and celebrity status.

Influencer marketing is all about relationships—your relationship with an “influencer” and their relationship with your client/customer or prospects. The key is to know the purpose, audience, and tools necessary to make it work effectively. Knowing your audience and the key influencers in your industry, professional network, or community can make the biggest difference.

My guess is that you have already been using this technique or are an influencer yourself. You just didn’t know you were doing it. Now, do it with purpose!

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Via AB

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Will Employer know if you are self- Employed

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The quick answer? No, your employer won’t automatically find out if you’re self-employed. In this day and age, having a side hustle is becoming pretty commonplace. Supplementing a salary with a second (or even third) source of income is a great way to expand your skills offering and of course, bump up your bank balance. It’s a great way to earn some extra cash, grow your network, indulge in your passions and continue to diversify your talents.

However, if you are going to go down the route of secondary self-employment, alongside your regular ‘day job’, there are some things you need to consider. For example, if you earn more than £1,000 from self-employment activities in a tax year, you’ll need to let HMRC know by registering for Self Assessment. And then, of course, submitting tax returns so that you pay the right amount of tax on your earnings.

Informing HMRC is one thing, but what many side-hustlers are concerned about is their employer finding out about their extracurricular activity.

Can you register for self-employment if you’re already employed?

Absolutely! Even if you’re on the payroll for a full-time or part-time job, you’re still allowed to work for yourself outside of those hours. For example, somebody who works in marketing might do some freelance copywriting or social media management on the side. This secondary source of income classes as self-employment and can run parallel alongside their regular employment.

The benefits of working for yourself as well as for an employer are many, but the most common include:

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  • Earning more money – perhaps the most appealing advantage and most common motivation.
  • Being able to develop and explore the skillset you use in your regular role.
  • A chance to dip your toe into the water of new or alternative skills that you aren’t able to fulfil through your employment.
  • Expanding your network of contacts.
  • Being able to turn a passion into income.
  • You get to learn a great deal about business ownership and being on the other side of the books.
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Will a full-time employer find out if you’re self-employed?

Unless you tell your employer directly, there is no reason why they should have to find out about your self-employed work. The only other way they might find out is if you tell a colleague or mutual connection about your side hustle and it gets back to your employer that way.

However, in terms of tax codes and self-employment registration – two things that many employed people are concerned will give them up – you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Your tax information is highly confidential so HMRC will never inform your employer if you register as self-employed. Nor would that be necessary as your PAYE income and self-employed earnings are entirely separate in the eyes of HMRC. The only reason that this might change is if you ask HMRC to collect your self-employed tax through your tax code.

What if I register a limited company?

The only other way this might become a potential issue, if you’re hellbent on hiding your side job from your employer, is if you register a Limited Company.

These details are shared publicly on Companies House so all your employer would need to do is a quick search to find information about your business. That said, it’s highly unlikely they would do this unprovoked, or without prior knowledge.

Is honesty the best policy in this situation?

Although it’s very unlikely that your employer would find out about your self-employed work without you telling them directly, is it worth being transparent with them about it?

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Honesty is usually the best policy, but the decision is yours alone to make. Just consider:

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  • There might be something in your employment contract that forbids you from having any additional work, which means a side job would be in breach of that.
  • Transparency lays the foundations for a healthy relationship with your employer – something that is going to be pivotal in your future success within your role there.
  • If your employer is supportive of your self-employment, they might even be able to help you out with some contacts or advice.
  • Again, if your employer is in support of your side hustle, making them aware might mean they can be more flexible around things like annual leave and working hours to accommodate your other commitments where possible.

Our top tips on balancing more than one job

If you are juggling both regular employment and self-employment, it can be tricky to strike a healthy balance between the two. The aim of the game is to find a balance that means you can maintain your own wellbeing whilst ensuring that you’re doing your best possible work for all involved.

Here is our advice on how to master the juggling act:

  • Be realistic about what your clients can expect from you – and be honest with them about it!
  • Identify your goals. Are you hoping to make some extra income, or to become fully self-employed, for instance? Keep these in mind – it will help you remember when it’s time to say no!
  • Know when you’ve reached your capacity so that you don’t get burnt out.
  • Make sure you’re registered as self-employed so that you can report your additional earnings to HMRC and pay the necessary deductions. Failing to do so could land you in some serious trouble.Via FN
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