Having a great idea for a new business leaves you feeling fired up and eager to get started. But once you’re on the go, you might well find that you end up doing a whole lot of extra things in areas where you have little experience and that don’t directly make you money.
These support functions are absolutely necessary to keep your business running, but they aren’t the things you set out to do when you first had your aha moment. The good news is that outsourcing and automation can actually save you money. Let’s look at a few examples of this.
1. Fleet Management Software and Services
Whether you have reps on the road or are doing your own large-scale deliveries, fleet management can help you save money. Fleet management software automates much of the legwork you’d otherwise have to do and even covers areas you wouldn’t otherwise be able to evaluate or track.
Before you get started with running your own fleet, do consider whether it will be more economical to outsource transport services as a whole. Whether this will represent an economy depends on the amount of driving, the number of vehicles, and the type of cargo.
2. Financial Management
Big businesses have whole departments performing specific functions for them, but if you have a smaller business, you might end up having to cover a wide variety of specialized areas yourself – unless you outsource. A good accountant should be well-placed to evaluate the financial health of your business and provide advice. As the person in charge of operations, it will be up to you to see how to implement that.
Naturally, financial management services would also cover the day-to-day drag of bookkeeping and advise you regarding taxation. However, do compare the costs of keeping some of the work in-house. The more you can process raw data so that accountants only need to add finishing touches, the lower your accounting fees will be, and cloud accounting services that help you to do the basics before handing over to your accountant could be just the thing to add to the mix.
3. Your Online Presence
Nowadays, every business should have a website, and it’s often the first impression potential customers get of your business. That means it needs to be as professional as you are, offer a good user experience, and be easy to find online. But there are many other elements to consider. Platforms like GoogleMyBusiness, and of course, a social media presence, should also be taken into account.
Developing and managing your online presence can be time-consuming, and everything that’s done there contributes to or detracts from your image as a professional and trustworthy enterprise. Apart from these intangibles, there’s a lead generation which is a measurable criterion for evaluating the success of online marketing efforts. Once again, getting professional help will save you time, and although it may look like an initial expense, a good marketing agency should be able to help you with generating more sales.
Control Direct Revenue-Generating Activities, Outsource and Automate as Able
Even the biggest companies are keen on outsourcing. They have the wherewithal to do everything themselves, but they often find it cheaper to outsource. By contracting businesses that specialize in certain areas, you also get the benefit of expertise you may not otherwise be able to afford, freeing you up to take a strategic overall view of your business instead of loading yourself with a million tasks you aren’t particularly keen on or good at.
As for automation, it’s a bit of a no-brainer. If you can get things like customer relationship management done without having to hire someone to do it or spend time on it yourself, it’s an obvious area for saving that’s covered by a subscription or once-off investment. Weigh the pros and cons, costs and benefits, and steer clear of lock-in agreements wherever possible.