When you own a small business, you're often required to dabble in pretty much every aspect of that operation. But unless you're superhuman, there will inevitably come a point when you need outside help to manage the various tasks that come with keeping that business running. Here are a few key aspects of your business you should strongly consider hiring professionals to handle.
1. Web design and maintenance
If you have a business, you most likely need a website. But that doesn't mean you should create one yourself. A professional web designer might manage to create a clean, sleek business site in hours, whereas it might take weeks for you to learn how to do so yourself. Also, don't forget that websites need to be updated and maintained. For example, if you're running a summer special, you'll want to announce it on your home page. Contracting with a web designer will save you time and aggravation, all while ensuring that the online face of your business represents it well.
2. Online marketing
These days, marketing a small business isn't just a matter of taking out some ads in the local newspaper and paying for the occasional billboard. There's a whole world of online marketing you'll need to dominate if you want to attract customers, and social media is a big part of that. Succeeding in that arena, however, requires an ongoing effort. You need to constantly update your various pages to keep followers engaged, and when you're busy running a business, you may not have the time or patience for that.
Similarly, search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the quickest paths to growing a customer base. But mastering the art of creating search-friendly content and ads takes a fair amount of trial and error when you're new to the game. Rather than spin your wheels, hire someone to manage your various online marketing campaigns. It's the sort of work that lends itself well to a side hustle, so chances are you'll be able to find a relatively recent money-hungry college grad who's willing to help you out for a reasonable price.
3. Customer support
Keeping customers satisfied is crucial to any small business, but dealing with consumer complaints and inquiries can be a full-time job itself. Rather than strain your internal resources or take up too much of your own time, consider contracting with an outside company that can handle customer issues. This is especially critical if you tend to have customers calling outside of your regular business hours, or want to ensure that there's after-hours support available to them.
The tax code is ever-evolving and extremely complex, especially when it comes to businesses. And while you might save yourself some money by investing in tax software and attempting to deal with tax matters yourself, you're much better off hiring a professional who knows the system inside and out. Hiring a tax professional will not only help ensure that you don't underpay your taxes (and get in trouble with the IRS as a result), but that you're maximizing the money-saving strategies that are available to you. And in this regard, hiring a tax pro is an expense that might easily pay for itself, and then some.
5. Legal contracts
Like the tax code, the legal system is fairly complex, and when you're writing contracts, it's crucial to ensure that your business is adequately protected. That's why you're best off hiring an attorney to develop the contracts you use for vendors, permanent employees, and freelance workers. The beauty of working with a lawyer is that once you have a number of boilerplate documents in place, you can modify them as needed to avoid racking up continuous fees. But unless you have a legal degree yourself, it pays to make that initial investment.
Outsourcing business tasks not only costs money; it also requires a certain level of trust. And as a small business owner, you might hesitate to put your faith in outsiders who, in your mind, aren't necessarily invested in seeing your venture succeed. But remember this: You only have so many hours in a week to accomplish the many things you need to get done, and you might as well pay some professionals to do what they do best so that you can focus on what you do best -- running your business.