– Guest blog by Irene Bennetts, from Admin Army –
As small business owners, we’re continually finding ways to bootstrap our operations. Quite often this means we’re operating as ‘jack of all trades and masters of none’. The number 8 wire, can-do attitude is part what makes me proud to be a small business owner in New Zealand. But at what point does this become a detriment to our business’, rather than an asset?
I mean, you wouldn’t personally perform open heart surgery on a loved one, would you? Why then, do we think that we’re capable of doing all of the tasks in our business?
Let’s consider the value of other professional services
I had a conversation with an accountant a few weeks ago, and we were talking about the value that people place in and receive from their services.
For a small closely-held company with a couple of shareholders, operating on Xero, their firm charges $1,200 ex GST to complete the annual financial reports and review the tax. Some small business owners struggle to justify the cost and complete their own accounts and tax returns to Inland Revenue. However, the accountant put it perfectly – a good accountant will easily save their client $1,200 in tax payments.
Through outsourcing this task to someone skilled in tax minimisation, the business can actually end up better off financially than it would have been if the business owner had retained that task in an effort to reduce costs.
This same line of thinking applies to our approach to marketing our businesses.
So often, small business owners will take a shotgun approach to marketing – we try and do all the things because that’s what we think we’re meant to be doing. This doesn’t only eat away at our precious time (which I’m sure like me you could do with more of). We also miss out on valuable opportunities to see our businesses grow because marketing is not our area of expertise.
By taking the time to sit down with a marketing specialist your business can flourish!
Where to start outsourcing your marketing
The best place to begin outsourcing your marketing is at the start – your marketing strategy.
With a solid marketing strategy in place, you will have a plan of attack. You’ll no longer be trying to do all of the things. You’ll be focussing your business resources on marketing tasks that will give you the most benefits in connection with the overall goals of your business.
There will be aspects of your marketing that you still retain – you don’t have to hand it all over. After all, there are parts of marketing your business that really require you, such as face-to-face networking.
There will also parts of marketing your business that you will have identified in your marketing strategy, that you shouldn’t be doing at all.
For example, part of your marketing strategy might involve building up your online presence through blogging. However, writing may not be your thing, so you may need to look at outsourcing this to a copywriter.
Where it all starts to pay off
Admittedly, initially, all of this outsourcing can seem like additional expense for your business. However, there are two key benefits which you should experience:
- By removing some of these tasks from your list of things to do, you free yourself up to focus on other areas of your business. Your business will benefit from more of your time being spent on often neglected, but crucial areas.
- By focussing your marketing efforts to the areas identified in your marketing strategy, instead of taking that classic shotgun approach mentioned earlier, your enquiries/sales will begin to grow.
With your attention in those previously neglected areas and an increase in enquiries/sales, your business is well placed to step up to the next level.
Irene Bennetts is the Managing Director of Admin Army – a team of Virtual Assistants and Bookkeepers who are dedicated to helping small business owners by waging war on their business admin.