One of the best ways to bullet proof your screen shop business from any recession is to embrace new ways to manage your business cost-effectively. The key to doing that is to reduce operating costs by outsourcing tasks that aren’t core competencies. Outsourcing also puts you in contact with freelancers that have abundant skills at a significant cost saving.
What to Consider Outsourcing
Outsourcing makes it possible for small businesses of all kinds to get more done while trusting important tasks to freelance professionals. Over a third of small businesses today outsource some of their operations. Even more are expected to explore it as an option in the near future. Following are a few tasks that a growing number of businesses are outsourcing.
Admin Support/Virtual Assistance
The secret to success for most successful businesses is that they save time by assigning non-core responsibilities to virtual assistants. Admin support and virtual assistance are key ingredients for helping startups get off the ground, and helping small businesses thrive. Highly repetitive tasks, including accounts payable, data entry, etc., fall into the Admin support/Virtual Assistance category, including the following.
Call customers to follow up
Email customers (invoices, artwork)
Make sure approvals move faster
Call for collections
Accounting and Bookkeeping
Accounting is among the most common areas to outsource. We all know that it takes skill and a lot of time to figure out all the processes involved – and let’s not forget the compliance standards that companies need to meet to do an efficient job. When you outsource to a skilled individual who’s only focus is accounting and bookkeeping, efficiency increases which saves you money. If you feel bogged down when it comes to numbers, receipts, spreadsheets, etc., outsourcing is something you should consider.
Following are just a few tasks an outsourced accountant or bookkeeper can do for you.
Email invoices to customers
Create reports (balance sheets, Profit and loss, open receivables, etc.)
In a poor economy, it’s tempting to cut back on sales and marketing. This is always a bad decision unless you plan on closing your doors. Investing in proven, cost-effective marketing strategies are a necessary component for any business. Sales and marketing tactics focus on growing the business and generating profits . . . cutting them correlates with a major loss of revenue. Outsourcing your sales and marketing team can give you access to a dedicated team of top quality professionals who produce outstanding results. These specialists will be able to take your advertising concepts, content creation and social media management off your plate, so that you can concentrate on the internal operations of your business. An added benefit is that a professional outsourcing service will employ experts who can help you think of creative ideas and valuable strategies you might not have thought of, or had access to, on your own. Following are a few marketing tasks to consider hiring out when it comes to social media marketing.
Social Media Manager
Create content for social media posts
Post on all social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, twitter)
Respond to messages/notifications
Create brand awareness
Social media makes it possible for brands to connect with target audiences in meaningful ways. The problem is that most businesses don’t know how to use social media to its full potential.
Outsourcing a great social media manager will help you develop the right voice for your brand and build brand awareness.
Social Media Ads Buyer
Can purchase ads on all social media platforms
Can optimize ads
Helps with attracting more leads
According to eMarketer, social media ad spending continues to grow at a rapid rate. Billions of dollars are dedicated to promoting social media ads, but the success of the ads depends on the skills of the ad buyers. This is definitely a task that should be left to the professionals.
Sure, it’s great to have an existing employee who could wear multiple hats within the company, including handling your social media efforts. The problem is that social media management is a full-time job. You’d be better off outsourcing the position to a skilled manager who can come up with an effective social media strategy, manage, maintain, and execute important social media campaigns, producing a better return on your ad spend investment. Social media marketing is particularly important during a recession.
Similar to marketing, you may not have the skills or expertise to create targeted client lists, make sales calls, set up sales funnels and processes that actually close deals. By outsourcing, you can hand those tasks over to highly skilled professionals that will help generate more business.
In today’s world, not blogging isn’t an option if you have an Internet presence (and you should). Good content is King, and crucial when it comes to providing relevant, compelling verbiage for your website and social media platforms that converts. Services bloggers provide include the following.
Top-notch content written for the unique voice of your business
Some bloggers offer graphic creation/stock images (for posts)
Some offer social media posting support
Graphic Designers & Videographers
Maintaining a professional appearance requires having a great graphic designer and videographer. It’s also important to have access to on-brand graphics and a consistent look. An added benefit is that it can’t hurt to have a fresh set of eyes on a project. Here are a few of the things a freelance and/or outsourced graphic designer can do for you.
Can do all the shop artwork done remotely
Can do color separations
Can convert sketch to vector files
Can create custom mockups
Can create flyers and marketing materials
Videos have become the norm today because they’re easy to digest, entertaining and engaging. Businesses love video because using them as a marketing strategy can potentially deliver a substantial return on investment (through countless channels). That said, it takes a lot of skill to create high-quality videos which is why you should hire videographers who can . . .
Create marketing material for YouTube and other social media platforms
Take all the shop owners video materials and process them faster
Outsourcing Reduces Costs
Outsourcing business tasks that you don’t need to personally handle (or turn over to an on-site employee) will give you time to focus on core functions. Outsourcing can also help control costs, reducing the costs of hiring and training your outsourced team at $4 to $6 an hour, compared to paying $12 to $15 an hour. The important point here is that operating costs can go down by over 50 to 70%.
Important to note is that, if there’s a recession, worldwide diseases (like corona), or any other emergencies, you’re not depending on local employees who may not be able to show up to work, you also don’t need to let anyone go at the same time.
So, where can I find these new team members?
Once you’ve made the decision to outsource some of your company’s processes, you’ll need to look for the right outsourcing partner. This is an extremely important decision to make, because if you choose the wrong company, the end results could be devastating. Following are two outsourcing companies with proven track records.
This is a leading outsourcing service where you can hire freelancers for just about any task, including admin, marketing and sales support. Upwork connects you with top notch talent close by or around the globe. Once you sign up you’ll be able to read reviews, compare job bids and get qualified proposals in as little as 24 hours in most cases.
When it comes to taking control of the design process, Speedy Sep makes the perfect outsourcing partner. Their experts can help you with graphic design (including t-shirt design), color separations and converting artwork into vector formats. The company makes the screen printing process easy. Once your design is ready, you can download the artwork from your mobile devices or desktop. Need help? No problem. You can communicate with their designers anytime.
How to Control and Manage Teamwork and Workflow
There are several online platforms that make it easy to manage outsource work teams, with one of the best being Monday.com. “Monday.com” connects you with your team, making it possible to collaborate, manage and monitor work, anywhere, in one easy-to-use platform. No more endless email chains or struggling to sync meetings. https://monday.com/use-cases/remote-work
We cannot replace everyone at the shop – but if we take the time to learn to reduce our expenses and be prepared for the next Covid19 – we will be in a much more secure place.
If you need more help in developing a remote team, contact us – and we will be happy to advise you how to set it up.
Dan from the SpeedySep Crew.