In our crazy busy world, we’ve found small business owners to be some of the busiest.
Like many business owners, they tend to wear many hats. Beyond their primary business activity hat, owners can wear an accounting hat, human resources hat, IT hat, marketing hat and more.
While we can admire that entrepreneurial can-do spirit, being busy—or overwhelmingly busy—can make it hard to get work done. More specifically, doing the work that will maintain and grow your business plus increase your income.
Wearing too many hats on your head can be unwieldy. It can take a stressful amount of energy to keep all those hats from falling off your head.
Energy that could be better focused on your core business activity.
Time to Share Those Hats—Advantages of Outsourcing
Outsourcing some areas of your business can be an efficient way to improve the running of your business.
Here’s a list of our top four outsourcing advantages:
Focus: Keeping Attention on Your Core Business a Priority
Smart business owners know they have limited time and attention for details. When that time and attention is consumed by peripheral day-to-day tasks, your primary business can suffer from neglect.
By outsourcing, you can shift your focus from outlying tasks to activities that:
- Maintain and improve the quality of products or services your business delivers
- Better serve your customers
- Make your business more successful
Save Money: Increasing the Efficiency of Your Financials
As your business grows and becomes more complicated, so do the tasks of maintaining and keeping track of your business finances. There comes a point when performing these accounting tasks at a consistent and reasonable cost becomes a challenge.
Outsourcing can be a lifesaver to your business’ bottom line.
Accounting: If you’re spending nights trying to do the books, hire someone to handle your bookkeeping and billing. They can handle these day-to-day tasks efficiently while you focus (see above) on your business.
Reduce Overhead: If you’re a growing business, you’ve maybe encountered a need for more office space to handle more staff. Expansion costs money. Instead of incurring additional overhead costs, look at the simple tasks an expanded staff would perform and locate a vertical assistant/service provider that can fulfill them for you.
Reduced Labor Costs: As a follow up to reducing overhead, outsource staffing. Hiring and training new staff can be an expensive endeavor. Some of your staffing tasks might be better performed through a business that specializes in your needs. Consider hiring out for your IT, human resource management and janitorial needs.
Competitive Advantage: Leveling the Playing Field
Let’s face it, bigger companies that can hire in-house support have an advantage over smaller businesses. Outsourcing is one of the only ways a small business can compete financially.
You Can Act Bigger: Outsourcing can provide your small business with the same economies of scale, efficiency and expertise as your larger competitors.
Staffing Flexibility: If you have seasonal or cyclical staffing demands like most of us in St. Augustine, outsourcing can be the solution. Work with a virtual assistance firm that can bring in additional staffing resources when you need them and release them when not needed.
Start New Projects Quickly: By outsourcing your peripheral tasks, you’re able to better focus on your business needs. That means you can put more attention toward new income producing projects. What’s more, a virtual assistance firm could help you ramp up new projects right away.
Reduce Risk: Let Others Worry and Solve It For You
It’s no secret that we live in a business world of change. Market and financial conditions are always shifting. New government regulations are always just around the corner. Technology changes quickly.
Outsourcing to providers with expertise in areas outside your core business arena can help keep you away from sleepless nights. Let these outsourced partners assume and manage these risks for you.
If you are ready to take advantage of our virtual assistant services call us today at (904) 429-4588 to learn more.
Six months into 2015 and so far I am still as excited as I was on December 31, 2014. This year is such an exciting year for me and Business Solutions Unlimited, LLC. So forgive me for taking about myself and my company in this blog. I did ask myself if such “self-promotion” was appropriate and in this method, but I truly hope this blog, as all the others I write, have a positive meaning for you as well. As Small Business Owners we can and should all learn from each other’s experiences and I know I am always up for hearing and sharing of good news. So, back to my excitement… LOL
This year is Business Solutions Unlimited, LLC’s 10th Year Anniversary! Yay! Boy, have we seen some times since incorporating in 2005. After much hard work and determination we have finally reached many of our goals this year.
- Making it 10 years, LOL!
- Growing from one person with a passion to help others grow small businesses to a team of experts willing to help others grow small businesses! The fact that I have found others with the same passion for small businesses and the concept & mission of BSU, LLC is an amazing accomplishment within itself.
- Launched a new website.
- Grown our Accounting & Tax Services Division over these past years to:
- Backed by Intuit QuickBooks Online for AccountantsReserved space on Intuit’s underground server to transfer secure data between us and our clients
- Became Certified QuickBooks Pro-Advisors
- Now offer clients discounts on many QuickBooks products
- Accepted by IRS as an e-File Service Provider
- Grown to three tax return preparers & signers with more prepares planned to be hired part time for next season
- Utilize Dropbox to collaborate with clients or help them obtain important documents that we and their other advisors may need access to, all secure and all via the internet, which helps us and our clients be paperless. In most cases this doesn’t cost the client anything more and they have access to their documents from anywhere in the world, with internet access
- Expanded to add payroll services, expanded payroll services to add Pay-as-you-go Workers’ Comp via Intuit.
- Started blogging for ourselves. LOL.
- Continued to expand our marketing service division. What does that mean? We have experts to help with all of a business’s marketing needs – from developing a logo, website to promotional products, content & strategy, photos, videos, social media, blogging, marketing budgets & management, ad layouts & negotiations and so on. While we have been happy with this expatiation we have truly always wanted to put it all together and be a Full Service “Marketing Agency”. As 2015 approached and the experts in our Marketing Services Division got together to plan and discuss trends, upcoming challenges, changes and more the opportunity we have been waiting for appeared. Now more than ever marketing cannot be done best in silos. Meaning, it is no longer a best practice to have a web person, a social media person, ads designed by multiple people and so on. With the importance of storytelling and being digital only growing in marketing you are best served and therefore best practice is moving to working with a true “Marketer” or a “Marketing Agency”. We understand the markets we serve very, very well and we have created what we proudly call a “Local Marketing Agency”. Want to learn more about what this means in your market as well as what we can do for you let me know, firstname.lastname@example.org, I’ll be happy to discuss the details with you further.
- We have grown our Human Resource Services Division from a reactive, call as you need service to an ASO, Administrative Services Outsourcing. ASO is a combination of several business processes outsourced to a single provider. Such business processes outsourced to an ASO include payroll processing, Human Resources and exit interviews. We also offer up-to-date HR compliance posters, customized handbooks and other documents.
- Held the first ever expo of its kind in St. Augustine, FL on May 13, 2014, the St. Johns County National Small Business Week Expo, in celebration of the high population of amazing small businesses in Johns County. It was a one stop shop for business owners. With everything a business owner needs from employees, financing, payroll processing, telecommunications, marketing to accounting. This year the event was held again in conjunction with National Small Business Week. To participate and for up to date information visit the website, stjohnscountysmallbizexpo.com. Thank you for your support of this effort.
- Opened the Business Academy located at 904 Anastasia Blvd. Suite B, St. Augustine, FL 32080. We found ourselves doing so many speaking engagements, which we still do. We also needed more office space and once we launched our Hospitality Training Course we decided to look for space for both the expandation of our office and to open a Business Academy so that local business owners and managers, for non-profits too, could keep on top of the latest from Consumer Behavior & Pricing to Gaining the right Board Members & Volunteers, Social Media and so much more. To see up-coming classes visit, bsullc.com/academy.
- With all this we were able to continue our community involvement.
- We donated to & attend the ASSISTS Annual Awards Celebration
- happily shopped for three children in the ASSISTS program, Christie, our Office Manager, now is our representative on this board
- Christie was also accepted to St. Augustine Junior Service League – way to go Christie!
- I still sit on a few boards such as:
- The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce & its Small Business Council
- The St. Johns County School District’s Head Start Policy Council
- St. Johns County School Districts Academy of Hospitality and Tourism Advisory Board
- Raised money through the St. Augustine Junior Service League’s Annual King & Queen Fundraiser & Gala for Northeast Florida Early Learning Coalition
Wow, we have come a long way and are on an even better path today than we were yesterday! How you might ask. I would say it comes down to three main areas you must get right from the start and at the core of the business. For me, personally, first would be the grace of God. Starting the company we were off to a great start in 2005. However, the economy quickly downturned. I not only survived, but have been able to grow. Second, would be some of the most amazing, talented, loyal, trustworthy, I mean I could go on and on, staff. I created an enterpurnurial environment with flexibility and options. We are all equal teammates working toward the same goals. It’s an environment that luckily enough the core of us have worked together for so long that we created a fairly well-oiled machine, putting out the work of a large corporation on the staff and sometimes the budget of a small non-profit. Amazing! Third would be our upfront, honest, loyal clients that have been with us through all of our growing pains. Thank you for all you continue to do to help us continue to strive to be the best we can be.
Have questions about how to build the kind of culture you’re hoping for, when & what to outsource or other operational topics covered in this blog feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.
Some people say January is a good month for reflecting. I do my reflecting in December so I can start making adjustments for the New Year. Either way, it is important to take the time to evaluate the past year, make clear decisions for the upcoming year, rally the troops & set sail for a better course.
End 2014 with a cleansing:
- Prepare to roll your old work files over – It feels less overwhelming when your files are not overflowing.
- Ensure your payables & billing are all in good order & you are ready to close your calendar year books.
- Review staff – As Small Business Owners we sometimes find it hard to be the bad guy, but eliminating staff that aren’t carrying their weight can lower overhead & boost morale.
- Review all your policies, from insurance to internal policies, we often forget to look back at these to ensure they are up to date.
- Conduct a SWOT analysis, this will ease the planning process.
- Create a marketing plan for the New Year, it isn’t that hard, “A dream written down with a Date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into Steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by Action makes your dreams come true”. Greg S. Reid
- Create a budget for the New Year too.
- Rank your clients & fire those “D” clients. They are not making you successful so make room for someone who might.
- Prepare a list of the clients you do want & develop a plan to go after them.
The list can & should go on. Once you have gone through the cleansing stage, you will feel more organized & empowered to tackle 2015. Spend some time thinking about what went well, what you wish to avoid, areas that need improvement, etc. The most important thing is to have a clear direction set in your mind. Then bring in the rest of your team & review the past year with them as well as the clear path to even greater success!
Come out swinging in 2015!
Be strong & determined to reach your goals. I have seen this saying on social media & have adopted it as part of my 2015 success campaign: “Be Stubborn About Your Goals, And Flexible About Your Methods”. I wish you great success in 2015!