Small business owners have an extraordinary amount of responsibility. As an owner, you are required to ensure that every facet of the business is running at its full potential. Juggling all the important tasks within your small staff can become extremely daunting. Therefore, it pays to explore outsourcing options, which can free up time and resources in-house.

1. Accounting

Accounting is one of the most common tasks outsourced by small businesses. Doing accounting the right way can be time-consuming, and errors can be costly, so it's a good idea to let someone who specializes in it handle yours. They can give it the time and care it needs without the distractions a small business owner must often contend with.

2. Taxes

Taxes are a complicated area where you do not want to risk missing important information or making mistakes. There are changes to taxes every year on both the personal and business levels, so things can become doubly complex if you're a business owner.

3. Payroll

Many businesses outsource payroll tasks to third-party companies, and with good reason.1 This is not an area where you want to make mistakes. According to Mie-Yun Lee at Entrepreneur, "The Internal Revenue Service has reported that one out of every three employers has been charged for a payroll mistake, with total penalties reaching into the billions of dollars. And given the ever-changing nature of tax regulations, it's easy to make an error that can grossly affect your bottom line."2

4. IT Management

IT Management can become incredibly complex, and if you don't have a top-notch IT manager in-house, your business can face massive problems, especially if a significant part of your business requires computers, networks, and software. This is an area where a DIY attitude can really cost you time and money. Outsourcing to a professional third-party IT management firm can save you a great deal of hassle.

5. Marketing

Marketing can get your company noticed and increase sales, but it can be complicated in this era of digital marketing, when the ways to reach potential customers are changing very quickly. Depending on your industry and your budget, it might be best to let the professionals manage your marketing. If you decide to outsource, try to find a firm that can demonstrate clear results on how they have helped other businesses succeed. There are more ways to track marketing success than ever, so ask to be shown concrete data.

6. Data Entry

Data entry is one of those tasks that can easily be done in-house, but you should consider whether it's the best use of your employees' time.

As Andy Morely at Small Business Bonfire notes, "First and foremost, there’s the cost of labor. Whilst you would probably delegate this task to somebody who is already being paid, taking them away from their usual role could end up in missed opportunities and financial loss. This can sometimes be a major downfall for emerging small businesses who need just a few extra leads to make the next step."3

7. Collections

Overdue payments can put a major strain on cash flow, so it’s worthwhile to spend time following up with accounts receivable. However, there may be situations when you can't get someone to pay up. That's when it's a good time to outsource collections to an experienced agency. Just be sure you understand the terms under which you'll be working with them, especially their fee structure.

8. Shipping

If your business needs to ship products to customers, you can outsource this to a third party to take care of all the logistics that come with that. This is another area where the time of your staff may be put to better use elsewhere.

9. Human Resources

While you may prefer to keep HR in-house, there are benefits to outsourcing. It can be a cheaper option than paying full-time employees to handle the duties that fall under this department, and there are plenty of outsourcing options available. Companies that specialize in this should have expertise in many related subjects, such as recruiting, compliance, benefits, and risk management.4 

Ultimately, the tasks you choose to outsource will largely depend on your personnel and their capabilities, as well as where your resources will best be put to use. Explore the options available to you and weigh them against the expenses and productivity loss of having these tasks performed in-house.

  1. For more information on outsourcing payroll services, please visit https://www.nsbank.com/business/manage/employee-management/payroll-services/
  2. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/47340
  3. https://www.smallbusinessbonfire.com/small-businesses-data-entry-outsourcing/
  4. For more information on outsourcing HR duties, please visit https://www.nsbank.com/business/manage/employee-management/

The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC.