Don't Be A Hero: What Business Tasks You Should Outsource And Why
Want to supercharge your business operations? Here’s a tip: Do less.
While that might sound counterintuitive, it’s not. But we’ll expand on that tip: do less of what you don’t have to do so you can focus on what’s most important.
But it’s all important, you may argue. Indeed, it is. But some tasks over others will benefit far more from your full attention.
No matter what your business is, the task roster is lengthy and leveraged against the success of your business. You decide what gets done, when it gets done, and how it gets done. And because of this, you may be approaching burnout, particularly if you’re a new business owner and still learning the ropes.
As seasoned Shopify experts and business owners who help other business owners, we’ve learned where to devote our time and energy (and it’s not accounting, unless you like the monotony of routine number-crunching).
It’s not about what you like or don’t like, it’s what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. Unfortunately, these don’t always align.
So, here’s Reason #1 for outsourcing:
Outsourcing specific business requirements frees up your time and energy to tackle the more strategic tasks of running a business, for example, business analysis and development, communication, and relationship-building.
What requires your expertise, knowledge, skills, and creativity? Is it accounting? Keyword research? Graphic design? Maybe, but probably not. Not because they’re extraneous, by-the-wayside chores. Quite the opposite, actually.
That leads us to the Reason #2 for outsourcing:
Certain tasks are absolutely vital to the daily operations and success of your business, and they must be accomplished expeditiously, thoroughly, and expertly. Let’s take graphics, for instance. Imagine you just snapped a few haphazard photos to launch a new product on your Shopify site. The results will likely be far from professional quality, and they’ll do little to convert shoppers into buyers. You need a professional photographer. Not every business owner does, but as someone running a Shopify store selling any kind of product, or service for that matter, you do.
Now that we know why outsourcing certain business requirements is so critical, let’s look at what tasks those are for the majority of ecommerce owners.
5 Business Tasks You Could (& Should) Be Outsourcing
Few people enjoy doing the books, even bookkeepers and accountants themselves! Accounting is like washing the dishes after dinner. If you don’t do them, the dishes continue to pile one on top of the other until you have a mess so big you don’t even know where to begin. Of course with accounting, if you don’t manage your business finances regularly with precision and clarity the consequences are far greater than a pile of dirty dinner dishes!
Keep in mind that, unlike the other tasks listed below, financial management is not a task for Fiverr or some other freelancer platform. Your business books and bank accounts must be in the hands of an expert. Hire an accountant, and only an accountant. Not your neighbour’s cousin who’s in first year Accounting. If you enjoy taking risks with money, use some personal funds to buy a few crypto currencies, but don’t risk your business finances.
The best way to find a new accountant is either by investigating the reviews of local accountants (because your business, even though it’s online, may be subject to local laws). Alternatively, ask a colleague for a recommendation of an accountant they know and trust.
Everyone thinks they can write. Most people don’t like to, and if they do, they too think they can write. Content writing and copywriting do not involve the same skills or expertise as say, writing a history paper or a personal memoir. Expert copywriting skills take time to hone. And if you’re still under the impression that the writing for your site doesn’t really matter, we encourage you to do some strategic, fine-tuned split testing using one sample copy you wrote and one produced by a professional copywriter. We guarantee you’ll see a striking difference in traffic and conversions.
A copywriter writes direct-response copy, landing pages, product descriptions, and short-form website content. A content writer handles the more long-form variety, such as blogs. That doesn’t mean that one can’t do the other’s tasks, but one is more specialised to produce a particular form of writing. If you can, hunt down a copy/content writer who works in your niche. They’ll have greater knowledge of and experience with your industry and product or serving offering. Their cost will be greater than a generalist writer, but it’s worth the money spent (even if your accountant doesn’t think so).
Check out Fiverr, Upwork, or other similar freelance platforms, or go with a recommendation from a colleague.
We meet many stressed out business owners trying to program and design their own sites. Web design is among the most critical components of your business, especially if it’s an ecommerce business.
But it’s not just about having a great-looking site. Let’s see what the numbers say about why web design is crucial to the success of your business:
- As of 2021, there are 543 active websites online.
- There are more than 7 billion Google searches every day.
- It takes less than a twelfth of a second (that’s 0.05 seconds) to form an opinion of a site, and 94% of those are related to design.
- Slow-loading websites incur $2.6 billion in losses every year (that’s €2.1 billion).
- A great user experience leads 90% of users to continue shopping.
(And just in case it’s not obvious, an ugly, slow-loading website does not make for a great user experience!)
Source: hosting tribunal
Marketing drives new business. Without marketing, you have no reach. And most of it these days is highly dependent on expert social media marketing.
Over 70% of businesses rate their content marketing strategy as more successful than the previous year (source), which shows that content marketing is still a critical piece of the marketing pie. Content marketing includes any material created for a website or social media post with the goal of increasing traffic and sales. Content includes blogs that may include a call-to-action, social media posts, including images and text, and video marketing.
Depending on what type of content marketing you’re after––and you may have to engage all types––it’s wise to contract an individual or team that specialises in a particular type of content. Expertise in video marketing, for example, does not guarantee expertise in social media.
Social media marketers know how to create precise, engaging content that nabs a reader’s attention quickly. They also know the dos and don’ts of days and times to post content. If you’re running Facebooks ads, we don’t have to tell you it’s complicated––that’s putting it mildly.
Save yourself the headache, and the risk of ending up in the vast pool of Facebook exiles, by hiring a social media expert.
Last But Not Least… SEO
According to BrightEdge, SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media (source). SEO is no small undertaking. Even for SEO experts, it can take several months, if not years, for a website to rank in the SERPs.
There are far more than a few tasks under the umbrella of SEO too. Everything from backlinking to keyword research and optimization to web analytics, and other highly technical tasks. There are plenty of online resources to help you out if you prefer SEO to be an independent undertaking, but if you’re going full strategy, we recommend hiring an expert.
As Shopify website designers, we can help you with web design tasks, as well as other critical components of ecommerce business development and management.
Not sure where to even start? Give us a call for a free strategy session to find out what you need to outsource and what makes sense to keep in-house.
April 19, 2021