What to Outsource as a Solopreneur

For most businesses, the two largest slices of the budget pie are people costs (salaries, benefits, and so forth) and office space. The only way to eliminate these costs is to go it alone as a solopreneur, which can be daunting. By outsourcing everything that typically requires an in-house workforce, you can bring down overhead and create the freedom to work on your own schedule—enhancing quality of life and business.

Without in-house employees to manage, no one calls in sick or needs a cubicle. When your outsourced agency or freelancer isn’t getting the job done, you can hire a new one. Paying hourly or on a monthly retainer lets projects be fulfilled by teams of experts, instead of by a skeleton crew of full-time employees the same money would buy.

As a solopreneur, here are five departments you’ll need to fill:

1. Promotions. Media relations, advertising, and design should work together to communicate your product or service. Outsourcing these to public relations and design firms gets you experts in the field without having to pay them to work full-time in your office.

2. Web management. Designing, updating, and managing your website keeps lead generation and in some cases, direct sales on track. Unless you have a professional background in Web development, don’t try to do this yourself. Having an out-of-date or malfunctioning Web site is the quickest way to turn potential customers and investors away.

3. Consulting. Having experts in logistics, for example—or other areas specific to your company—saves money, time, and headaches.

4. Warehousing. Holding inventory and fulfilling orders requires a facility filled with staff, but that doesn’t mean your business has to own one. For a monthly fee, distribution centers will hold, ship, print, and sort for you.

5. Accounting. Bookkeeping is detailed, time-consuming work that cannot be ignored or taken lightly. Accounting firms are equipped with the latest software and tools, which streamlines your business accounting.

On a personal level, not having full-time employees also gives you the freedom and flexibility to type e-mails in your pajamas, spend time with your family, and play golf on Friday afternoons, if you feel like it.

By Lee Loree

Lee Loree is the Founder of Sleeptracker in Atlanta, Georgia.

Source:  http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/tips/archives/2011/02/what_to_outsource_as_a_solopreneur.html

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