As small businesses go forth and multiply, outsourcing is a trend that is increasingly driving business growth. A cost-effective way to expand your team, without the additional costs of taking on employees, delegating to external freelancers and agencies is a smart way to move your business forward.
In August, we decided to take a closer look at small businesses, their approach to marketing, and their opinions on outsourcing. From a total of 56 survey respondents, we gathered some very interesting findings. Let’s take a look at the results, to offer some behind-the-scenes insights into the workings of small businesses in the UK.
Who’s Running the Show?
During our survey, we gathered responses from a cross-section of businesses, from education and training to e-commerce and manufacturing. Over 65% of these small business owners were one-man (or woman) bands; a further 29% had up to 10 employees.
Of course, running a small business presents a plethora of challenges. As well as single-handedly providing goods and services, taking care of admin, managing client or customer relationships, and keeping on top of your accounts, it’s crucial to market your business if you are to grow. Which makes these respondents a prime target for outsourcing – right?
Small Business Marketing
Nowadays, marketing isn’t a one-off campaign or advert. It’s a round-the-clock priority that requires constant attention from the person in charge. From websites to social media, digital marketing has transformed both the way in which we market, and consumers’ expectations.
A staggering 86% of respondents said that they were responsible for the design and marketing needs of their business. And it seems they are switched on about their requirements– an impressive 96% have a social media presence, with websites following close behind at 9/10 businesses. Throw in a blog (62%) for good measure, and you have a heck of a lot of additional work on your hands.
Not all business owners have the time or resources to manage these effectively. Whilst a fair portion of our entrepreneurs claimed to have excellent time management skills (25%), and a clear strategy for their marketing (20%), not everyone is quite so organised when it comes to design and marketing.
A sizeable 1 in 4 business owners said they have an average to poor work-life balance; a further 1 in 4 (perhaps the same respondents?) have no content or marketing strategy at all, simply updating their blog, social media and website whenever they have a spare waking minute.
With small business owners under increasing pressure to keep up with the digital world, outsourcing seems like the logical answer. When asked about their opinions on the benefits of outsourcing, respondents were well aware of the advantages that delegating design and marketing tasks could bring.
Asked to rank the benefits in order of priority, ‘cost-effective’ came in first; a third of respondents believed that delegating tasks for which they have neither the time nor skills was a smart option. After all, if you value your time at £40 per hour, and you spend two hours writing a blog post, couldn’t you achieve a greater return on investment by outsourcing this (for much less) and dedicating that time to what you do best?
For this reason, it’s not surprising that saving time and taking pressure off your workload also ranked highly. However, the most popular response overall was the fact that outsourcing enables you to achieve higher quality design, marketing and content. By using skilled professionals, you can add value to your business and achieve results that deliver on your business objectives.
So clearly, outsourcing is the obvious solution for small business owners. Or is it? Despite these findings, less than 10% of respondents regularly outsource requirements such as graphic design, copywriting, blogging and social media management. Nearly half of respondents have never outsourced before.
Why is this the case? Well, approximately half of the people we asked believed their business didn’t have the budget to outsource. Of course, rates charged by freelancers and agencies can vary greatly – there’s no real ‘going rate’ for marketers, copywriters and designers. But when you consider the time spent doing this yourself, and the benefits that quality results that bring to your business… can you really afford not to outsource?
Making You Content takes a flexible approach to copywriting, helping brands to increase their online and offline presence with tailored content at competitive prices. We’re always happy to provide a quote for our services, whether you require one-off web content for a new website, or ongoing blogging services to engage your audience and boost SEO.
Why not get in touch to see if outsourcing can transform your business?
Infographic by Becky O’Leary – Freelancer Graphic Designer