Tag Archives: employee outsourcing

7 Tasks You Can Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

As a business owner, you probably have a lot on your plate. There may not always be enough hours in the day to get everything done. A never-ending to-do list can be frustrating and overwhelming. Fortunately, we live in a digital age where an abundance of virtual assistant services are available. If you’re feeling swamped, there are seven tasks you can outsource immediately.


1. Posting and Responding on Social Media

Networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are gold mines for lead generation. However, they also require a lot of upkeep. A virtual assistant (VA) can handle the more time consuming aspects like posting content from your blog and curating content from relevant industry sites. You can also have employees promptly respond to comments so that you don’t leave leads hanging.


2. Online Research

Sales and marketing research as well as researching industry trends are extremely important. This is what enables you to create valuable content and identify potential opportunities. A manual approach can be a time drainer. A VA can do the heavy lifting and provide you with actionable intel.


3. File Management

Do you save and store files digitally on platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox? Things get out of control in a hurry without ongoing file management. A VA can stay on top of this at all times so that your files are labeled, categorized and organized for easy retrieval.


4. Invoicing Clients

In terms of the financial/accounting side of things, a VA will be able to handle basic invoicing as well. They will ensure that all invoices are created correctly and go out on time without having to handle it yourself.


5. Proofreading/Editing Blog Posts

It’s really important that your blog posts are flawless from a spelling and grammatical standpoint. Glaring errors make you look unprofessional and can be a deal breaker for would-be customers. There are numerous VA services that will proofread and edit your blog posts to ensure they’re error free. You can even have freelance writers handle content creation entirely.


6. Creating Analytics Reports

Whether you’re monitoring the effectiveness of your SEO campaign, social media or PPC, you’ll need access to accurate reporting. A VA will take care of the more arduous elements of this process so that you have continually fresh reports at your fingertips.


7. Sending Email Blasts

According to research from Statista, “86 percent of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15 percent would like to get them daily.” Why not have a VA take care of engaging and maintaining your email subscriptions? They can write emails, feature relevant promotions, respond to inquiries and so on.


If you’re pressed for time, hiring a VA makes all the sense in the world. These are just a few of the tasks you can outsource, and there are many other possibilities depending upon your specific needs. For more information on how the process works and advice for getting started, listen to this podcast from outsourcing expert Chris Ducker.



Advantages of Hiring Freelancers

4 Advantages of Hiring Freelancers

Technology has created a fundamental shift in the way small businesses run in the 21st century. It has resulted in unparalleled opportunities that were unfathomable even a decade ago. One particular decision that more and more small business owners are making is to hire freelancers instead of traditional employees.

In fact, research from The Plato Group shows, “One-third of Americans — roughly 42 million — are freelancers, with experts forecasting freelancers to make up 50 percent of the full-time workforce by 2020.” Hiring freelancers is becoming the norm and offers some distinct advantages.


Living in the “Gig Economy”

According to Tech Target, “A gig economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.” It differs from a traditional employer-employee relationship in the following ways:

  • There’s less of a commitment (workers may only complete a single project)
  • Work is often done digitally rather than on-site
  • Independent workers typically specialize in a certain niche


Getting on board with this trend can be extremely beneficial to your small business. Here are four specific advantages of hiring freelancers.


1. Less Overhead

The brilliance of the gig economy is that it allows you to eliminate many of the costs and inefficiencies that inhibit profitability and long-term growth. Here are a few overhead costs you can wipe out or at least minimize:

  • Work space – Most freelancers telecommute
  • Training – Most freelancers already possess all of the necessary skills and qualifications
  • Benefits such as healthcare, retirement, paid sick leave and so on -Freelancers are usually responsible for handling this


2. Maximum Flexibility

Hiring a full-time or even a part-time employee typically means that you must offer them a set amount of hours. An antiquated set-up can put you at a disadvantage because you may be paying for more than what you really need. This cuts into your productivity and profitability, which ultimately hurts your bottom line.

Hiring freelancers is a better alternative because you’ll always have just the right amount of manpower. Whether it’s a small-scale project or a much larger one, you get the exact manpower you need. Another plus is that freelancers don’t have to work any set hours. For example, you could hire a web designer to update your site over the weekend even when your business is closed.


3. Find Top Experts

Seldom does a single employee possess the skills to be a master at several tasks. Hiring freelancers puts you in a position where you can hire consummate professionals for each and every task.

For instance, you could hire a highly skilled web designer to manage your website, an SEO expert to maximize your exposure on search engines, a freelance accountant to handle financials and so on. This allows you to operate your business at the highest possible level.


4. Independence

When you extensively train an employee, you’re spending a lot of time and money and are essentially handcuffed to them. If they choose to leave, it puts you in a difficult situation that can thwart the progress you’ve made.

Hiring freelancers is a better alternative because you have the freedom to shift between different workers as needed and can part ways without any messiness. If someone doesn’t work out, simply find another freelancer who’s more suitable for the job.

You could argue that the businesses that thrive are those most adaptable. Understanding the gig economy and getting on board with the freelance revolution is your ticket to sustained growth, greater output and increased revenue.


Understanding Co-employment

The concept of co-employment where an employer outsources tasks to a professional employer organization (PEO) has gained some serious ground in recent years. According to a survey by the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO), “it is estimated that 2-3 million Americans are currently co-employed in a PEO arrangement. The average PEO has grown more than 20 percent per year for each of the last six years.”

Due to the results that many companies have experienced, co-employment is attracting the attention of more and more business owners. Let’s now discuss the basics of this type of arrangement to help you get a better idea if it could work for your business.


What is Co-employment?

The proper definition is “a contractual allocation and sharing of employer responsibilities between a professional employer organization (PEO) and client.” Simply put, you outsource various tasks to a third-party and they help you run your business more effectively and efficiently. There is a high degree of customization with this arrangement, so you can determine how much or how little you want to outsource to a PEO. Some companies only outsource a handful of tasks, while others opt for a large percentage.


Co-employment is a Partnership

With this type of relationship, you transfer many responsibilities to a third-party. You’re collaborating with a professional firm that will handle the duties that you either don’t have the time for or don’t feel comfortable with doing on your own. You also minimize some of your risks because and don’t have the sole burden of ensuring compliance with laws and regulations. A PEO maintains a certain level of control over the direction and culture of your company because they have the right to hire, reassign and terminate employees.


Common Services of PEOs

Although PEOs can run the gamut in terms of the specific services they provide, some common ones include:

  • Hiring, training and terminating employees
  • Benefits management
  • Assessing performance
  • Payroll processing
  • Tax compliance
  • Risk management

These firms understand that each business is unique and there isn’t a one size fits all formula. Consequently, they are usually willing to work with you and determine the best approach for your company.


Benefits of this Work Arrangement

By outsourcing a portion of responsibilities, it gives you more time to focus on the overarching vision of your company. You won’t be bogged down with as many redundant or time-consuming tasks, so you can concentrate on your natural strengths to grow your business. This should lead to increased productivity and less stress.

You can also minimize your amount of risk dramatically. Because a PEO will have an in depth knowledge of laws and regulations, as well as the inner workings of the EEOC and OSHA, this can greatly reduce your odds of getting hit with fines or lawsuits.

Finally, you can expect to see higher profitability over time. With many tasks that were formerly arduous becoming streamlined, you can improve performance across the board. Better quality goods or services combined with talented employees and regulatory compliance is a realistic way to increase your profits.

Although making the transition to co-employment takes time, it’s usually well worth the effort when you look at the big picture. While it’s not for everybody, you should definitely take it into consideration if your business isn’t currently operating with the level of efficiency you’re looking for.