As your company grows, you’ll find yourself dealing with issues that are further and further away from your core needs. You’ll drown in tasks that distract you from revenue-generating activities. And you’ll waste precious time learning new skills for limited functions until scaling your business is the last thing you’re actually doing.
It’s easy to get caught up in the notion that you must do it all as the business owner, wear every hat, take every call, and send every email. But even the slightest hesitation to pull the automation and outsourcing trigger can cause your business to suffer.
By finding the right tasks to automate, the right tasks to outsource, and the right tasks to keep to yourself, you can find more time to focus on new growth opportunities.
Sure, automating business processes and outsourcing website tasks is nothing new, but the rise of technology in 2019 website outsourcing trends means that you will be able to integrate business process automation software just as easily today as you would outsourcing functions to other experts in the traditional sense.
Even better news, both offloading strategies can be implemented without losing out on:
Ditching the back office time-suckers requires that you identify your most repetitive tasks first. To define those tasks, business coach Melitta Campbell suggests that you find a way to work smarter, not harder. Ask yourself:
Focus on what you’re best at and delegate other tasks to your employees. In other words, outsource what you can’t do, automate what you’d like to forget.
Automating inefficient business processes allows your revenue to grow without the added cost of hiring more people or deploying more exhaustive resources. Here are a few tasks you can automate easily, and the tools you’ll need to do so.
Why this task is best automated: When you want to save time and effort online, but have little technical expertise, business process automation software will help simplify daily workflows with simple integrations.
There are hundreds of apps that work with automation software like Zapier to streamline a common workflow. For example, set up a “Zap” with Zapier to automate everyday tasks such as forms and survey responses and notifications.
Common form and lead generation workflows you could automate:
Why this task is best automated: Sorting through product and service reviews in a timely manner is key to managing your online reputation.
You’ll (hopefully) gain more online reviews as your business grows, which means leveraging your most rave reviews to boost sales and build trust will require constant monitoring. Use a review management software like The Hoth to auto-post your most positive reviews to social media and handle less-than-stellar feedback privately. Then, encourage additional customer reviews in your email footers or product and checkout pages with just one code snippet.
This small automation goes a long way for:
Why this task is best automated: Customer support begs for automation because it’s one of the most time-consuming and redundant business processes. It’s also a task that is instrumental in converting online visitors to customers.
ChipBot’s collective intelligence capabilities ensure that you only have to answer the same support question once before it’s stored in the database and available to all visitors forever.
In addition to streamlined support, ChipBot’s automation features also moonlight as “data collectors”, gathering key user insights that help small businesses target their marketing strategies with little effort.
Why this task is best automated: Constantly drumming up ideas for fresh new content is exhausting. Plus, recycling and republishing original content has its perks, such as increased engagement rates and a better chance at creating backlinks to your site.
Scheduling, posting, and reposting blog content to social channels and beyond without the help of technology would require daily monitoring and maintenance — sucking time that could be better allocated toward content curation or SEO strategies.
Win back minutes every day with business process automation software that shares (and reshares) relevant content on a schedule. A WordPress plugin like Revive Social will not only share old posts routinely but grow your network by sharing content from other industry websites on your social accounts.
Stay one step ahead by systemizing and outsourcing tasks outside of your core competency, freeing you up to focus intensely on your strengths. Here are four tasks that are better suited to outsourcing.
Why this task is best outsourced: Online visitors are more likely to buy after watching a product video. And hiring a professional to shoot, edit, and publish videos is a costly endeavor if you don’t already have a video wizard on your payroll.
Consider outsourcing this task to a video software company like Powtoon to create conversion-friendly videos for your website, for a product demo, as a guide, or for your social media needs. Their software is intuitive and provides all the animation tools you’ll need to create professional videos in full HD fast. They also have experts willing to create Powtoons for you.
Why this task is best outsourced: Outsourced developers are experts in their field, up to date on modern trends, and armed with valuable skill sets you can benefit from as an owner focused on growth.
Business owners can ramp up productivity by outsourcing website design and development to those more qualified. Designers, back-end developers, UX writers, and testers are all better equipped to maximize your website’s functionality than you … in less time.
Need to install a new trigger on your features page? Consider a professional web developer. Most developers come armed with a variety of specialized skill sets, which helps ensure they can deliver the project to your specific requirements much faster.
Elevate your community by scouring the large talent pool of professional web developers circling a city near you first. But if you can’t find what you’re looking for locally, try searching for experts on Fiverr.
Why this task is best outsourced: Daily administrative tasks are the very definition of “repetitive busy work”. Still, the job needs to be done.
One of the easiest ways to buy back time in your day is to outsource administrative tasks to professionals you can count on. Virtual Assistants hired on Upwork, for example, can alleviate some of the daily pressures, allowing you to focus on your business objectives.
With some simple training directives, VA’s can adopt outbound customer communication and promotion strategies such as:
Why this task is best outsourced: It’s more cost-effective from an efficiency standpoint to spend money on talented copywriters than to try and create all your outbound B2B and B2C communication by yourself.
There’s unnecessary risk in “guesswork”, especially when it comes to effective marketing copy. If copy creation is taking up a large portion of your time, outsourcing it to a professional might make sense for your business. Fine-tuning your brand and spicing up content that connects with visitors is what an experienced copywriter does.
Maybe your goal is to grab the attention of bloggers, journalists, and influencers with effective pitch emails. Ask a copywriter to create email templates from start to finish, or to simply review the ones you wrote. These can be created and saved as drafts in MailChimp so you can reference them as needed.
While they’re on-board, you might also consider using their creative skills for your newsletters, free trial emails, or company updates to help ramp up communication with your subscriber lists.
Delegation is never easy — especially not for the business owner who’s been eating, sleeping, and breathing the business for the last year (or seven). But there’s nothing wrong with knowing your strengths and weaknesses.
This is precisely why automation and outsourcing is the key to business growth. The sooner you learn to use your resources wisely, the better. Try identifying tasks and processes that can be automated or outsourced easily, then use this article to implement tools and strategies to save time and boost productivity.
Lauren Hamer is a Digital Content Writer and Copy Editor who helps top companies and small start-ups to define their brand through quality, conversational content.