While every small business takes its own unique route, there are some standard exits along the road to success that eventually cause entrepreneurs to ask themselves “am I in this for the long haul?”
Most ventures start as a side project squeezed into the off-work hours of evenings and weekends. But if business is good, the owner will soon have to decide whether they are going to make a full time commitment – or take the next exit. This is when a project usually becomes a sole proprietorship, with one dedicated employee working out of a home office. If the business continues to grow in scale and complexity, the owner will soon find themselves asking, “how much longer can I do this on my own?”
This is the point at which a lot of businesses get stuck. They’re not quite profitable enough yet to bring on another full time employee, but the amount of work is too much for the owner – or is perhaps out of their realm of expertise. Business owners find their own ways to address this dilemma, but as technology has advanced, new options have emerged. One that we’ll talk about today is an outsourcing company. These companies use their clout and technical resources to attract and manage reliable contractors that small business owners can leverage for tasks they need outside help with.
One example of this approach is a company called Time etc. By providing contractors a broad pool of clients, they’re able to offer the end user (small business owners) a low-commitment, affordable way to bring in a specialist to do a few hours of work each month instead of employing someone full time.
What kinds of tasks can the people at Time etc. help your business with for $26 per hour? Here are a few examples:
- Arrange and confirm meetings
- Find and book travel
- Do data entry
- Process orders from your website
- Write and send press releases
- Create marketing and sales material
- Create email marketing campaigns
- Do proofreading
- Research your competitors
- Prepare contracts and proposals
- Do your bookkeeping
- Keep your financial records up to date
While you might feel like you could do some of these tasks yourself and save a few bucks, it’s important to compare the opportunity cost of spending your time this way instead of growing your business. How much of the cost of a contractor could you offset by spending time bringing in just one happy customer?
If you’re curious about how a company like Time etc. works, check out their website. Have you tried an outsourcing group of this sort? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!