3 Small Business Tasks You Can Stop Doing Yourself
by Arina Smith Small Business 06 August 2021
Small business owners start their companies because they have a passion for something. They may see an unfulfilled need or a problem no one’s stepping up to solve. They might want to make the world a better place by offering a product or service. At the very least, small business owners have the vision to build and create. It’s this passion that drives the business, but it’s also what tempts many owners to try to do everything themselves.
While business owners are talented, they’re not always good at everything. Trying to do it all by yourself is a recipe for burnout. While there are advantages to keeping tasks in-house, expecting a small team to do it all isn’t realistic, either. That’s why hiring outside help to manage the things you and your team aren’t experts at can boost productivity. Below are three tasks you’re better off delegating to the pros.
Running payroll by yourself can take hours away each week from strategizing and mentoring your staff. A payroll solution for small businesses automates many of the repetitive tasks that go along with paying your employees. You still maintain oversight, but the app tracks changes to pay rates, 401(k) deductions, vacation requests, and payroll taxes.
A survey of small business owners found 63% weren’t aware of the time they spent on payroll-related tasks. An astonishing 49% of owners who tried to do it themselves found payroll processes to be frustrating. Different labor laws in various locations were a contributing factor to misunderstandings and complications, according to 70% of respondents.
Fortunately, payroll software can stay on top of differences in laws and automatically file payroll taxes for your business. Any changes that come down from federal, state, and municipal agencies will take effect as outlined in the laws. Although you may want to explain any upcoming changes to your staff, you won’t risk being out of compliance.
As your business grows or adds employee benefits, you can scale your existing payroll solution. Simply add on options for staff to elect insurance coverage and complete onboarding paperwork. If you hire hourly employees, you can also sync their time with payroll software. Some time-clock applications can transfer hours worked, automatically calculating weekly or biweekly checks according to employees’ pay rates.
You’ll no longer have to keep all the details in order by yourself with a payroll solution. Other options and integrations include invoices from independent contractors, offer letters, onboarding checklists, and professional HR resources. Once you’re set-up, you’ll start completing routine payroll tasks in minutes instead of hours.
2. Office Management
Do you find yourself answering all the calls, ordering office supplies, and checking your email messages every hour? Trying to manage routine clerical duties and the big-picture tasks of your business is next to impossible. Hiring an administrative assistant or office manager can shift the clerical duties off your plate. You could bring a new employee on board, but virtual assistants are another viable option.
Virtual assistants are freelancers that usually work from home. They may work for an agency or independently. Either way, virtual assistants can answer incoming calls, take and route messages, and handle your travel plans and appointments. They can also order the supplies you need, manage vendors, and prepare letters and spreadsheets.
Some virtual assistants have the skills to manage your social media accounts and posts. They can create content, including blogs for your website. A few even have graphic design skills to create the visual elements of your web pages. They can check your email, reply on your behalf to some messages, and send out company announcements. You’ll be able to delegate many of the tasks that keep you glued to your desk.
Since virtual assistants work on a freelance or independent contractor basis, you can shift work as needed. If you’re slow one month, you may find you don’t need an assistant to take on as much. During periods of high volume, you can send over more tasks or hire multiple virtual assistants to share responsibilities. You also won’t have the overhead costs of a full-time employee. Virtual assistants can help you with the administrative side of your business until your revenue justifies a full-time office manager.
Coming up with creative ad campaigns, creating digital ads, and monitoring and measuring results are difficult with a small team. You need an effective mix of digital and traditional advertising to attract customers. However, finding the time and people with ad expertise isn’t something many small businesses owners can do by themselves.
Even if you have a background in marketing, staying on top of new SEO developments is a full-time job. Content marketing strategy and research, website planning and design, and media calendars can take months and years to work out. With the help of ad agencies that work with small businesses, you can oversee the creative direction of your advertising.
At the same time, you won’t have to find the resources to execute everything involved in a successful campaign. Once hired, ad agencies will spend the time researching your target market and pitch creative ideas. These agencies can create an overall look and feel for your brand, including positioning statements.
A positioning statement communicates your brand’s identity and what your business offers that is unique. It provides the “why” for your target consumer and helps you stand out from the competition. In addition to positioning, ad agencies can create continuity between what consumers see online and in traditional media. This includes billboards, print newspapers and magazines, and radio. Even though marketing efforts have shifted toward the digital realm, “old-school” ways of reaching consumers aren’t dead yet.
That said, you still need to know how to reach your intended market. Having the right message isn’t enough. Ad agencies will accomplish this for you through consumer behavioral and target market research. Agencies will also set up reports and analytics, showing you what message has the most impact. You can decide together whether to take a different direction or tweak your existing marketing efforts.
Don’t try to do everything yourself when it comes to your small business. The realities of having a smaller set of resources may prompt you to try to make up for perceived deficiencies. Burning yourself out isn’t a good answer, though, and your team will notice you’re stretching yourself too thin. Relinquishing full responsibility for the tasks that eat up your day and those you aren’t good at can help. You’ll become a more effective leader when you show that asking for help isn’t a weakness but a strength.