Multitasking: Overrated and Underproductive
All small-business CEOs reach the “too-many-hats” stage, where the business has grown as far as it can with the owner multitasking at top speed. On the surface, it would seem that wearing many hats is a smart cost-saving strategy for start-up enterprises. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that multitasking has its own costs: an increase in errors, and a 40% drop in productivity. It is estimated that lost productivity due to multitasking costs businesses $450 billion annually.
Outsourcing lets small business owners take off some of those hats and regain their productivity. To decide which functions to outsource, experts weigh the value of improved productivity against the cost of outsourced activities – a complicated calculation that Renzo Costarella, writing in Medium, has thoughtfully done for us. His report listed four tasks that small business owners can profitably outsource:
- Accounting: Full-service accounting can be cost-prohibitive, but outsourcing some of the most time-consuming tasks, such as payroll, gives business owners a large block of time for more profitable activities – billing, for example.
- Marketing: It doesn’t take long for every start-up owner to realize that marketing takes an extraordinary amount of time and energy, every day. Outsourcing some marketing activities, particular digital and social media marketing, lets owners focus on selling and closing the leads generated by the outside marketing team.
- Customer Support: No matter what you’re selling, customers will need assistance, and it can become very labor-intensive. An outside support companies that offers a la carte services lets you control costs by deciding what to outsource and what to keep in-house.
- Human Resources and Recruiting: Finding the right candidates is a time-consuming search. A recruiting firm specializing in your industry will easily identify the qualified applicants. If your business has seasonal demands, a staffing company can supply well-trained workers without you having to devote time to interviewing, hiring, and training.
By removing the burden of some of those multiple hats you’re wearing, outsourcing boosts your productivity and your business. And as your business grows, some of those outsourced tasks will eventually need to be brought in-house, creating another challenge: finding space for new hires. Before you look at expanding your real estate footprint, consider reducing your storage space to free up existing square footage. High density mobile shelving and vertical storage carousels can yield as much as 50% extra floor space compared to traditional storage systems. Document scanning boosts the space savings even higher. When your need for outsourcing ends, you’ll already be prepared to take your business to the next level.
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