There is a lot that online entrepreneurs have to do to get their business running successfully. They have to take care of marketing, customer service, product catalog, shipping and returns, inventory management, supply management, and so much more.
Online businesses have a 90% failure rate. A key reason for this failure is not outsourcing business functions that others should do. Knowing which functions to outsource can make the difference between success and failure.
Just think about it. How can a business complete several key tasks at one time? By outsourcing. Unless you are the owner of a large firm, you will want to outsource certain key functions.
Understanding how to outsource your online business involves knowing those functions that should be delegated to others.
Order fulfillment is a very time-intensive task that should be done by companies that specialize in it, like Fulfillment by Amazon. Whichever fulfillment partner you choose, they will do the arduous process of managing to ship, packing, and fulfilling orders. You will not have to spend time and money on managing warehouses.
When you outsource order fulfillment to others, you cut both shipping time and costs. Fulfillment services like Amazon have their warehouses situated in key areas of the country. Hence, they can complete shipping in 1 to 2 days. Due to shorter shipping times, you will also save money on shipping costs.
If your business suddenly starts booming, you don’t have to worry about renting or buying another warehouse. Your fulfillment partner can provide you with the extra capacity that you need for managing more inventory.
You also don’t have to deal with the hassle and complexities of international shipping when you outsource order fulfillment.
Website Design, Development, and Maintenance
Unless you have a lot of expertise in web development, website development and maintenance are key functions that you will want to outsource. Even if you have the proficiency, you may still want to outsource these functions because they demand a lot of time and effort. You need to handle many other important things, so you should delegate web design, development, and maintenance to specialists.
Instead of designing and maintaining your ecommerce store, you will want to grow your business. Hence, you can think of outsourcing web development, design, and maintenance to freelancers or web design agencies.
There are several sites from which you can find web design experts. Before hiring any freelancer or agency, you should check out their portfolio and clients.
Managing Social Media
Creating good content for social media is a time-consuming and effort-intensive task. Yet, it is essential for marketing your brand. Perhaps your business is too small for hiring a person full-time to manage social media.
There is a lot of work involved in managing social media because you have to create and manage content for multiple platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, etc.
You will want to find a consultant with a repertoire of satisfied clients. Before hiring anyone, you should take into account their client feedback and satisfaction. Check out their online reviews so that you can get an unbiased opinion on their performance.
Once you find the right consultant with good capabilities, you will discuss your social media strategy with them. You will need a different strategy for different networks. What works on Facebook may not work on LinkedIn. Hence, your strategy should be specific to the social media platforms that you will be targeting.
You should discuss with the consultant how they can build your brand name and reputation on social media. There should be a plan for dealing with negative comments and customer complaints on social media.
If your business is small, then inventory management may not be such a big issue. The inventory may be small enough to be managed on a spreadsheet. But as your business scales, so too will inventory. Managing it will then be a lot more challenging and complex.
Outsourcing inventory management to specialist firms can provide many advantages. The firm will have the expertise necessary for running complex inventory management software and databases. You will have to hire fewer staff. Your operating expenses will go down because you don’t have to maintain storage space.
You need a regularly updated blog for SEO benefits and to engage your target audience. However, writing fresh content for blogs is both time-consuming and labor-intensive. Bigger companies can afford to hire full-time staff for content creation. But small and medium-sized enterprises cannot afford to do this.
Hence, content creation should be outsourced to content marketing agencies with good ratings and reputations.
A good content marketing agency can help compose relevant, useful, and high-quality content for your blogs. With a good and regularly updated blog, you can rank higher on Google search results because the search engine giant rewards you for quality content that people like to read.
Hence, blogging should be at the core of your SEO and marketing strategy.
You can also hire a content creation firm to write product descriptions on your ecommerce website. This is another task that requires a lot of time and effort, especially if your inventory is growing.
Instead of spending time on boring and repetitive administrative tasks, you should spend time designing and executing business strategies so that your business can grow. Menial and time-consuming administrative tasks should be outsourced to others so that you are free to look into strategic and managerial matters.
If you cannot afford to hire a full-time employee, then you can think of hiring a virtual assistant or a VA to get the job done.
Now that you know how to outsource your online business, make sure to do your complete research before you make any decision.