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      3 Things You Should Never Outsource for Your Small Business (And 6 You Should)

      As a small business owner, there might come a point when you feel it’s time to call for backup. Perhaps you’re struggling to stay on top of your responsibilities, or you realize that you lack the required expertise to carry out certain tasks.

      In these situations, outsourcing might be the right solution for you. It involves hiring a third party to perform essential services, such as managing your company website and social media accounts. However, before getting outside assistance, it’s essential to identify the business areas that could benefit most from this strategy.

      In this article, we’ll look at the main advantages of outsourcing jobs for your small company. We’ll also highlight the three things to never outsource for your small business and the six you can definitely hand off to someone else. Let’s get started!

      The Advantages of Outsourcing for Small Businesses

      Outsourcing can be very beneficial for small business owners. For starters, hiring third parties tends to be more cost-effective than employing new staff members, mainly because you don’t have to spend money on renting office space or expanding your existing location.

      You’ll also avoid other costs that generally come with hiring employees, such as software licensing. When you outsource, you’re only paying for the services delivered by the third party.

      “An example of a small business website.”

      Outsourcing can also reduce your stress as a small business owner and help you prioritize your tasks more efficiently. As your company grows, you may find that your workload becomes unmanageable. Handing over certain jobs to third parties will free you of those unnecessary burdens, so you can focus more time and energy on developing your products or services.

      Finally, outsourcing can help you achieve your business goals more efficiently. For example, if you wish to grow your Instagram audience and drive more sales, you can achieve this quicker if you hire a social media expert (rather than doing it yourself or training an existing staff member).

      Likewise, if you want a new website, you can have one up and running within a few days if you hire a professional. Ultimately, you can use outsourcing to fill gaps in your workforce and have experts take over the weaker areas of your organization.

      How to Determine What Type of Help You Need

      Perhaps you’ve decided that outsourcing is the right option for your small business and are wondering how to determine the type of help you require. Let’s look at a few factors to consider.

      It’s best to start by identifying the tasks that are hard both for you and your team. These typically tend to be secondary or additional duties on top of primary responsibilities.

      For example, your customer service assistant might also do a bit of social media marketing when time permits, even if it’s not their area of expertise. In this case, it makes sense to outsource your social media marketing, so you’ll have someone who can dedicate more time to it and achieve better results.

      You might also want to track your time when working on particular tasks or projects. Even if you and your staff are qualified enough to handle every area of your business, some jobs can be more time-consuming than others, and in turn, require outsourcing.

      For instance, while you may have the technical expertise to manage your website, doing so could be taking up a large part of your working day. Therefore, it might be a good idea to entrust a professional with the maintenance of your company site.

      Delegate More, Stress Less

      Running a website takes work. Now you can offload backend jobs — things like performance optimization, malware removal, and updating old software — to DreamHost’s technical professionals and free yourself up to focus on your business.

      3 Things You Should Never Outsource for Your Small Business

      Outsourcing can make things easier for you and your team. However, we believe there are three areas of your business that you should avoid handing over to third parties. Let’s take a look at them.

      1. Core Competencies

      Your core competencies are the capabilities or traits that make your company stand out from the competition. For instance, your main competency could be your innovative marketing strategy, or perhaps it’s the quality and reliability of your products. In other words, it’s what makes your business special.

      Since this core competency gives you a competitive advantage, you might want to avoid assigning it to outside parties. Think of it as your ‘secret recipe’ that you want to protect and constantly improve.

      2. Customer Service

      Another area of your business that you should avoid outsourcing is customer service. When you interact directly with your clients, you can ensure that their issues and requests are addressed quickly and efficiently. This will help you earn a reputation for really caring about your user base.

      Meanwhile, when you entrust a third party with your customer support operations, it’s hard to be sure whether they are dealing with your clients professionally. Poor service can cause irreparable damage to your brand image. You can also miss out on vital information about weak areas, which can help you improve your offerings.

      3. Human Resources

      If you have a small team, handling your own human resources could be more cost-effective than outsourcing it. You may have one member of staff who has the authority to approve or reject holiday leave, deal with payroll processing, and handle other employee-related issues.

      Having an in-house human resource manager also means that any problems or conflicts within your small team can get addressed and resolved instantly. This creates a safe and supportive working environment for your employees, which can positively impact their productivity.

      6 Things You Should Consider Outsourcing for Your Small Business

      As your workload begins to increase, you may feel the need to hire more freelancers or firms to handle a specific task or business function for you. Here are six main services you should consider outsourcing if you want to save money on training and employing staff.

      1. Content Marketing

      Content marketing is about publishing material aimed at engaging people with your brand and products. This normally includes articles, videos, and social media posts.

      “A DreamHost blog post.”

      Crafting interesting content for your audience requires time and creativity. When you outsource your content marketing to a freelancer (also known as an independent contractor) or a content agency, you can have professional writers regularly creating high-quality posts for your company website or social media channels.

      Outsourcing helps ensure that you will have fresh, engaging content published regularly. In addition to continuously providing value to your clients, this can also help boost your rankings in search engines.

      2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing

      SEO is a marketing strategy that helps your website get found by users looking for products in your niche. It can help you drive more traffic to your website, and therefore increase sales.

      However, SEO can take a while to master. There’s a lot of technical work involved and many different areas to cover, from performing keyword research to optimizing your website’s metadata. For this reason, you might want to consider hiring SEO strategists to help your website rank higher on search engines.

      3. Social Media Marketing

      Managing multiple social media accounts can be taxing. The quickest way to grow your following and engagement is to publish unique posts daily – something you and your team may not have the time for.

      “The Cluse Instagram account.”

      Outsourcing your social media marketing means you won’t have to spend hours taking beautiful photos for your Instagram account or trying to come up with interesting content to post on your Facebook page. Social media experts can do all the posting for you while helping you reach a wider audience.

      4. Website Design

      These days, almost everyone can create a website. Thanks to the variety of drag-and-drop website builders available, developing your own site has never been easier. However, not everyone is design-savvy, and a poorly-built site can drive people away.

      If you want people to trust your authority or buy your online products, your company should have a professional website. We recommend hiring web design experts who can create a stunning WordPress website that reflects your brand image and values and offers an engaging User Experience (UX).

      5. Website Management

      As a business owner, building a well-designed and functional website is just the beginning. Once you’ve set up your site, it’s essential to make sure that it’s actively managed and maintained.

      Considering that this is a time-consuming and sometimes tedious undertaking, we recommend finding someone who can manage the technical work.

      “The DreamHost Pro Services site.”

      Occasionally, your website will require some updates or backups. Moreover, some features might stop working, or your site may become unresponsive.

      If you outsource your website management, you don’t have to worry about fixing glitches on your site or resolving serious issues such as hacking attacks. Instead, you can have experts troubleshoot any technical issues and carry out regular maintenance on your site.

      6. Website Development

      As your business grows, so will your website. Perhaps you’ll need to add new products to your online shop or install new features such as live chat or a membership area.

      “A membership area of a rental property website.”

      By hiring an expert web developer, you can keep your site updated and relevant without having to do any work. Simply let your developer know what changes you want to make on your site, and they can take care of it.

      Outsource with Software and Tools

      Are you thinking of outsourcing some business operations? Consider a virtual assistant! Check out our round-up posts of software and tools that can help you manage your outsourcing:

      When hiring third parties to perform jobs for your business, it might be a good idea to use a few task management tools so you can keep track of all your outsourced projects.

      Entrepreneur Tips in Your Inbox

      Whether you need help creating the perfect web design, crafting a digital marketing strategy, or managing a remote team, we can help! Subscribe to our monthly digest so you never miss an article.

      Perfecting Your Business Process

      As your small business starts to grow, you might want to consider outsourcing some essential tasks. Hiring freelancers or other firms to take over certain areas of your business can be more cost-effective than training your team or employing new staff members.

      As discussed in this post, some areas make sense to handle in-house, such as your core competencies, customer service, and human resources. However, when it comes to marketing initiatives — such as SEO and social media and web design and development — we recommend outsourcing to minimize costs without sacrificing quality.

      If you’re looking to hand over your marketing and website management to the experts, we offer several professional services to help you grow your business in a cost-effective way. Check out our plans to learn more!

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      Casting a Large Shadow: Leveraging Partnerships as a Small Startup

      How to Join

      This Tech Talk is free and open to everyone. Register below to get a link to join the live stream or receive the video recording after it airs.

      June 1, 202111:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. ET / 3:00–4:00 p.m. GMT

      About the Talk

      A small startup can gain access to a large audience of users by leveraging a technology partnership with a larger, more established company. We’ll discuss how each side thinks about technology partnerships and how to build out a program to scale partnerships.

      What You’ll Learn

      • How partnership programs emerge, and how they scale
      • How to partner with a larger company as a small startup, and leverage that partnership to grow your user base
      • How to initiate technical partnerships
      • Frameworks and checklists for scaling your company through technical partnerships and integrations

      This Talk Is Designed For

      Technical and non-technical founders and teams at startups of all stages.

      About the Presenters

      This panel is moderated by Jade Wang, who runs the Cloudflare for Startups program. She previously co-founded, ran a network of hacker houses, and grew the community of Meteor, an open source project.

      Andy Kaiser is the founder of Ninetailed. Previously, he founded and worked in companies in the marketing, social, and health sector, as well as an open-source and enterprise CMS consultant.

      Rouven Wessling leads technology partnerships EMEA at Contentful.

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      6 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs a Website Now

      Expecting to lure in customers without having a digital presence is like moving to a deserted island and hoping all the neighbors pop over for a visit. If you don’t place your small business somewhere where people can easily find you — like the internet — they just aren’t going to.

      According to market research, a majority of respondents reported going online to find products and services from small businesses, and only 8.4% said they found new places to shop by walking into brick-and-mortar stores.

      It’s clear that the best way to show off your business to a potential customer is with a professional website. Still not convinced? Here are six important reasons why your small business needs a website.

      We Support Your Dream

      Whatever your online goals, we’ll be right there with you, making sure your site is fast, secure, and always up. Plans start at $2.59/mo.

      1. Influence Customers While You Sleep

      When you don’t have a business website, you limit your influence to the physical location of your storefront. Consequently, this also places restrictions on the times when you can engage with and influence your customers.

      However, if you’ve got a stellar website up and running, loyal customers have access to your business 365 days a year  — whether you’re selling a product, running a blog, or promoting your personal brand.

      And imagine this: If you’ve utilized search engine optimization (SEO) best practices when building your site, people who have never even heard of your business will be able to find you via a search engine. Bringing in a steady flow of potential buyers is every business owner’s dream!

      2. Access a Global Audience

      Ninety-three percent of consumers are only willing to travel up to 20 miles to make routine purchases. And 87% said they won’t travel more than 15 minutes. This means if you only have a brick-and-mortar store, your customer base is limited to people who live within a 15–20-minute radius.

      The takeaway: if you want to spread your message far and wide, you’ll need a website.

      3. Harness the Power of Positive Reviews

      While most consumers head online to find a business, the second most powerful influencer in purchasing decisions is word of mouth. That can mean recommendations from family and friends, but it also extends to helpful reviews from strangers who have experience with a product or service. In fact, a cool 90% of customers say their buying decisions are affected by online reviews.

      So how can you harness social proof? Simple. Collect all those good reviews, testimonials, and accolades you’ve stacked up and publish them on your website to wow potential customers.

      In this case, it’s OK to brag.

      4. Become a Trusted Expert

      A storefront only goes so far when building a brand. But a custom-built website gives you access to the billions of people who are surfing the web every day.

      In addition to getting exposure, your online presence will help you establish yourself as an industry authority. By sharing credible blog content, expert insights and tips, helpful videos, and, of course, all those five-star reviews, you’ll be building a brand that customers trust and want to engage with online. And the good news: There are lots of social media tricks to help you make the most of your time on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

      When you think of your brand, don’t limit it to your logo or your storefront. Instead, consider the possibilities you have for growth and scalability when you get online.

      Looking to Launch Your Web Presence?

      Whether you need help finding a target audience, choosing the right social media channels, or writing a blog post, we can help! Subscribe to our monthly digest so you never miss an article.

      5. Make Selling and Marketing Easier

      When you invest in a website, marketing and sales become a whole lot easier. For example, rather than asking your sales team to cold call, you can set up an online marketing campaign that captures leads from people who are actively searching for products and services like yours. This means your sales team can pitch and sell directly to people who want what you’ve got.

      Furthermore, digital marketing — whether it be paid search, SEO efforts, social media marketing, or content marketing — allows you to connect with consumers who are searching for you.

      Think about it this way: 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase. If you invest in creating great content for your website, you’re giving those savvy shoppers the facts they need to make a decision. And better still, you’re controlling the messaging.

      6. Attract Local Customers

      Earlier we talked about accessing a wide range of customers, but what if your business is looking to stay small and local? Do you still need an online presence?

      Yeah, you do!

      Why? Because 72% of consumers who did a local search ended up shopping at a store within five miles. This means that even if you are simply looking to attract a local audience, a website can do wonders for your business — even if it’s as simple as providing directions to your store and the hours of operation on an About Us page.

      TL;DR: A website is a vital tool for your small business. And with DreamHost’s easy-to-use WP Website Builder, you can build your own small business website in minutes — no coding required! So forget that empty island. Let DreamHost help you get your business online today.

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