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Many Hands Make Light Work: Accepting a Little External Input When Crafting Your Website

As a small business owner, it can be extremely easy to become territorial over all aspects of your company. After all, that’s one of the reasons you became self-employed in the first place, right? You want freedom to pursue what you want, craft your own ideas, and develop your own brand. However, every now and then it’s a good idea to let others lend a helping hand. As the old saying goes, many hands make light work.

This rings true in particular when it comes to setting up a webpage. A well crafted website can help you to launch your business into the ever-expanding world of E-commerce, exposing you to customers on a potentially worldwide level, opening your store up to access at all times of the day and night, and giving you space on the smartphones that so many of us tend to have our heads buried in most of the time.

So you want it to be the best that it can possibly be. Here are a few areas that others can help you out with to give you the most admirable results.

Image Credit: Pexels

Web Design

If you want to succeed in ecommerce, you’re going to need an eye-catching website. This is your base. The place that customers will come into contact with your brand, its aesthetic, and the products and services that you have available. Make their experience memorable.

Rather than using the same old same old web page layout, collaborate with a web designer who will be able to create a site that is easy to navigate, has easily accessible links to important brand information such as returns, sizing, shipping, and terms and conditions; and options such as mailing list signup and contact forms.

Graphic Design

Sure, you can use stock images. They’re free, simple to source, and will do the job. But since when did you ever settle for average? Whether you’re looking at something major like a new logo, or more small-scale like an illustration for a blog post, a reliable graphic designer will be able to hook you up with whatever it is that you may need.

Not only will they be able to put your ideas directly onto paper (or screen), but they will also be able to offer sage advice regarding what works and what doesn’t. They’ll have seen many businesses come and go in their time and can give you a little insight as to what styles will best suit your brand aesthetic and what types of images to avoid.

Content

You want your content to stand out. So many sales sites have such similar product descriptions, blog posts, and images. Try to do something a little different. Employing the help of a photographer and copywriter will ensure that your web page content pops! Not only will it be more memorable (encouraging customers to revisit pages), but it will also encourage sales.

Remember that you can’t do absolutely everything! That’s where self-employed freelancers can come in to help out with one-off jobs. Make the most of their creativity and expertise where you can!

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Keep Things In-house to Maintain Your Control over Your Small Business

Nowadays, more and more small business owners are outsourcing aspects of their work. But if you’re new to the field, you might be a bit unsure as to what outsourcing is and what best suits your personal business needs. Here’s everything you need to know about the outsourcing process!

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What is Outsourcing?

Outsourcing is a commonly used business practice where businesses use independent third-party companies to complete specific tasks, operations, jobs, or processes. There are various reasons that companies do this. Sometimes outsourcing can save money: it can be cheaper in the short term to use third-party manufacturers to create a short run of goods.

It may also be easier to draw in individuals with independent expertise to complete one-off tasks rather than training one of your own employees or hiring a full-time employee to do one task and serving little more purpose for the benefit of your company.

Why Will It Benefit Me to Keep Things In-House?

While outsourcing is great for one-off tasks, or short production runs, it’s often better to keep things in-house if you plan to repeat the same tasks and manufacturing over and over. For these kind of things, outsourcing can prove more expensive in the long run. It’s better to own the means of production or employ the expert individual in the long-term if you’re going to require their services more regularly.

There are more benefits to doing this than mere cost and profit too. When you outsource, you hand a portion of control of your company over to someone else. You have to place your trust in them and hope that they complete the required work to the quality that you expect.

By keeping things in-house you regain control: you can oversee processes and make tweaks and changes along the way.

What Can I Keep In-House?

Manufacturing

Manufacturing can easily be kept largely in-house. Consider investing in machines that you will get repeated and long-term use out of. For example, milling machines, robotic arms, and conveyor belts. This can ensure that your goods are produced, assembled, and packed as quickly as possible and that you can check up on them during every step of the process, assuring quality and precision.

Market Research

Many people use outsourced market research to save time. But if you have a little patience and work a few extra hours you can do the job yourself. Most of the research is already out there with results posted online. Then you can conduct small-scale specific interviews yourself. Simply use your social media page to find volunteers who will be able to give you a deeper insight and understanding of your brand and brand image.

These are just a couple of areas that you can shift from outsourced work to in-house work. It’s definitely worth the effort in the long run. While you may not see immediate results, you’ll notice the savings that you make mounting up over time. Any outlay for machinery or robotics will pay for itself and slowly turn into profit.

3 Instances in Which Your Small Businesses Should Outsource

If you’re a small business owner then the chances are you’ve been told to outsource. This usually leads to some small business looking to outsource every single job they have. It’ll save money, they think. In reality, outsourcing only saves money and benefits your business when used correctly.

So, today’s your lucky day — here are some pointers that outline when it’s right for your business to outsource.

Jobs That Aren’t Always Constant

In your small business, there will be some jobs that are constant and some that aren’t. Now, here’s a question worth considering — why would you hire a full-time employee for a job they won’t have to do every single day? It’s a waste of money. Hire on an as-needed basis is the best approach — and this is where you’re far better off outsourcing.

Things that come to mind include content writing for your website or even web design. It’s unlikely you’ll need new web content everyday, or for new web design. So, it makes way more sense to outsource these jobs whenever you need them, cutting your overheads quite dramatically.

Image Credit: Pexels

Complex Jobs That Require Specialist Skills

There’s no denying your business will have some complex tasks that need to be fulfilled. Attempting these yourself can take a long time, and you might not have the skills to do them. The problem is, if you bring someone in on a permanent contract, they could cost a lot of money as it would be a skilled job. Here, we have the perfect opportunity to outsource.

If your business outsources a bookkeeper, they handle all the complex financial tasks because that’s what they’re good at. You could outsource a marketing team to handle the complicated marketing strategy, and so on. There are loads of tasks that require skilled individuals, and you’ll find it cheaper to outsource rather than hire permanently.

Plus, you could get a team of people doing one task, rather than having to physically hire individuals to make up a team.

Large-scale Jobs That Need Multiple Hands on Deck

This final point kind of plays off the last sentence of the above point about outsourcing a team of people. You’ll find this is one of the main benefits of outsourcing — you can pay a company to do a job, and they’ll provide their team for you. This comes in handy when you have quite large-scale jobs that mean you need a lot of people working at once.

The main thing that pops into my mind is customer support. Even a small business needs a decent support team for their customers. This could mean hiring a lot of people, even a small support team of five or 10 employees is costly. By outsourcing jobs like this, you get a team working for your business, and all you do is pay the company that supplies them. It’s easier to manage, and you get rid of the overheads like employee benefits, etc.

The whole point of this article is that you don’t have to outsource every job. In fact, some jobs are better done in-house. Hopefully, these points help you figure out when you should outsource to gain the most from it.

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