When you first start out running your own business, chances are you take the bulk of the hard work on your own two shoulders. You probably have limited money to invest and you can save a lot by doing a lot of the work yourself. This is fine for a short amount of time, but as soon as your business begins to make a name for itself, when people become interested in your products, when you start making sales and when demand increases, chances are you’re going to have to reach out for a little help to ensure that all the work gets done.
Struggling by alone can see multiple areas of your business becoming neglected. Failing to get products out on time, reply to customer queries or other tasks can result in bad customer service, negative reviews, no recommendations and a generally bad reputation. Now, many small businesses do bring staff in. Part time staff. Full time staff. Staff in different areas. But no matter how big your business may get, chances are you’ll find yourself outsourcing and collaborating with individuals and other businesses outside of your own business to get specific tasks done to a high standard. Outsourcing is a common business practice that involves handing over work that your company needs to be completed out to a third party. This third party will ensure that the work gets done on your behalf and will ensure that you and your own staff don’t have to spend time or effort completing the given project. Most often, this third party will be a freelancer or an agency (who will have plenty of freelancers on their books and act as a middle person between you and them). But what work should you be outsourcing and what sort of third parties should you really be collaborating with? Here are some suggestions that should help you along the way!
Very few companies will manufacture their own goods in house. Why? Well, manufacturing can be a costly process to get involved in in the first place. When you decide to manufacture your own goods, you’ll find that you have to purchase the equipment and machinery necessary to create every aspect of the product. This can involve multiple machines. Then, you need to make sure that this can be safely stored somewhere. This generally means renting some sort of warehouse or factory space. Next, you need to ensure you have fully trained staff to operate the machinery. This entails training costs as well as salaries. Finally, you need to make sure the machinery and the staff are fully insured. Put simply, investing in manufacturing equipment and staff can be costly. Another reason people tend to avoid manufacturing in house is that you never know when market demand may change. If you’re selling a product but find that sales dip and come up with a new product this is logical. If you manufacture in house, however, you will then have to begin the process of selling off the equipment you had to create the discontinued stock and investing in the new equipment you need to make your new products. By collaborating with a third party manufacturer, you rid yourself of all these worries. You don’t have to invest in machinery. You don’t need a factory. You don’t need the staff. Instead, someone else takes the hard work from your hands and delivers the end product. Now, make sure to only use specialist manufacturers, such as Custom Cable Assemblies. Specialists know their field well and will produce the best results.
A Product Photographer
If you run an online business, collaboration with a product photographer is absolutely essential. This individual will be able to take pictures of new collections, new releases and lifestyle shots of your products in action for marketing campaigns. Of course, you’re unlikely to need a full time product photographer when running a small business, so you can save forking out a monthly salary by using a freelancer instead. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can just take your product images yourself. If you’re literally just starting out and genuinely don’t have the budget for some professional product photographs, that’s okay. But if you have the budget, this really is an investment worth making. Why? Well, a product photographer will not only have much better quality equipment, but they will have an eye for detail, lighting and set up that will make your products look the best that they can be. When you sell online, the product photographs are largely what customers will go by to determine whether they like the look of something and whether they will actually buy it. Unlike a brick and mortar store, they can’t simply pick things up and try them out. They’re relying on this image to give them a look and feel of what you’re asking them to spend their money on!
When your business grows, it’s likely that you’ll eventually hire a permanent, employed copywriter. Think about how much copy your business needs to get by – website copy, marketing emails, service emails, blog posts, product descriptions, ad copy and more – the list goes on and on. But if you’re just starting out, you may want to use a freelance copywriter as and when suits you to write anything that your company may need. The power of words is significant when it comes to running a business, creating brand image and selling products. If you just need a one off task completed, using an agency can be an easy way to get the work done. However, if you want consistency across your site, it’s a good idea to use the same copywriter, as they’ll be able to keep a more consistent tone and style.
All too many businesses make the mistake of thinking that they only need to carry out market research as they launch their first products. But this really isn’t the case. Market research is valuable in various areas of your business’ operations. Market research is essentially the process of taking members of your target demographic and finding out their opinions on various aspects of how your business is operating. You can ask them whether they like your products and services, what they think you could do to improve them and what they think of competitor brands. You can find out whether they’d be willing to pay the price you’re planning on selling future products at. You can get their opinions on packaging, web design or anything else. Of course, it’s hard to find members of your target demographic who are willing to spare time for market research yourself. This is where agencies come into play. Market research agencies have plenty of willing participants of many demographics on their books. You simply let them know what kind of people you’d like to talk to and they’ll be able to get in touch with them quickly and easily. They can even run the market research for you, taking the responsibility and effort out of your hands and delivering results directly to you.
If you’re running a business of any size that’s generating a profit, it’s recommended that you make use of an accountant. If you’ve worked in employed positions until now, you may be used to your taxes and other compulsory contributions being automatically dealt with by our employer. It’s something that few of us even think about ourselves. But when you run your own business, it becomes your responsibility to ensure that your personal and business accounts are in order and paid properly. Of course, dealing with your own taxes can prove to be an extremely time consuming activity and you may feel that your time and efforts could be better directed elsewhere within your business. By using an accountant to do your accounts, you free up your own time as well as ensuring that everything is handled properly without any mistakes being made. and you could be better off investing your time and efforts into other areas of your company. Few small companies have in house accountants. Instead, they will outsource this aspect of financial management to a freelance or independent professional. Don’t rush this process. Finding the right accountant is essential, as taxes are a serious matter. Generally speaking, accountants have to be professionally qualified to officially deal with your accounts. So, make sure to look up the necessary requirements to be a qualified and registered accountant in your local area. This will ensure that your accountant is recognised by law. You should also look for an experienced accountant with plenty of positive reviews and recommendations.
There are a huge number of third parties out there that your business could collaborate with. Those listed above are just a few suggestions that could really help when it comes to running your business successfully. Hopefully, some of the information listed will be able to help you!