Working smarter - not harder to boost business

Doing your homework will bode well for your business.
Doing your homework will bode well for your business.

Are you ready to scale your small business? Before you can start multiplying your sales, you must minimise your busywork.

By Oksana Tashakova

Published: Mon 15 Feb 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 16 Feb 2016, 7:56 AM

If you're like most small business owners, you probably spend far too much time dealing with drudgery and not enough time on activities that are critical for growth. You probably find it hard to trust anyone else to manage any part of your business or think that you can't afford to hire anyone else.
But the truth of the matter is this: if you're spending the bulk of your time managing inventory, counting numbers or dealing with every customer personally, you're costing your business and yourself greatly in terms of time, money and effort. The best returns come from being able to focus on innovation and improvements, branding and marketing, and multiplying your income streams. How can you find time to attend to critical activities like these if you're doing everything else your business requires to function? contributor Matthew Grattan offers some great advice in terms of six functions you should consider outsourcing and the RoI of doing so.
Information technology: Are you making the most of information technology to run your business? Are you trying to manage it yourself? Using cloud solutions or hiring a vendor to handle your IT functions can result in cost savings as high as 40 per cent.
Accounting: Crunching numbers is better left to the experts. Simply handing payroll management over to someone else or using automated software can lower your managing costs by 18 per cent and minimise filing mistakes and penalties.
Staffing: The freelance workforce has exploded and you can find highly competitive rates. Hire someone to handle just part of your business management or only hire during your busy times and you'll get a lot more done paying a lot less out. You can save between 30-50 per cent in staffing costs.
Marketing: Marketing is a critical activity but is made up of many components and roles. It doesn't make sense for you to handle metrics, PR, social media and e-mail marketing all by yourself. You could easily spend the bulk of your working hours on this without making the impact you want to. Determine what you need done and find software systems, hire an agency or a freelancer to handle some of this work.
Logistics: Are you handling packaging, shipping and delivery of your products yourself? Hire someone else to store and fulfill delivery of your products and you'll end up saving money and time and improving customer service.
Customer service: A personal touch goes a long way but as your business grows, you become less able to deal with your customers one-on-one. Using a good contact center to handle customer service can improve customer satisfaction and free you up to scale your business through other means.
Outsourcing is just one way to work smarter. Automation is another. What functions might you automate in your business? Accounting? E-mail marketing and management? Customer profiling? Social media postings? What software will help your business run more efficiently? There are many options available for small business owners today and you can learn all this and so much more at the upcoming Millionaire Summit.
Your business might be your baby but there comes a time when you have to let go a little to allow your baby to grow. Automate, delegate and outsource and you can begin turning your small business into something much larger.
The writer is a personal branding expert, wealth creation strategist, professional coach and founder of Wealth Dynamics Unlimited. Views expressed are her own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.

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