Written by: Melissa R. MacCaull, Director of Marketing, Union Savings Bank
As a small business owner, you’re probably accustomed to juggling a lot of the tasks necessary for running your business. Some of these tasks require your involvement and unique perspective. Others are responsibilities that you truly enjoy. And the rest demand your attention because you simply don’t have the staff to handle them. In these cases, outsourcing business activities can help you and your team reclaim your time.
If you are outsourcing business tasks such as IT and travel but hanging onto your marketing activities, you may want to rethink your strategy. Outsourcing marketing activities can do more than free up valuable time for you and your team. It can bring in a breath of fresh air to everything from your website to customer research and everything in between.
Here are 4 marketing activities to outsource as you grow your small business.
Small Business Website
There are plenty of tools out there that can help you build your own website in-house. These can be great assets, especially when you’re just getting started or have a small budget for marketing. But as your business grows, you (and your customers) will likely find that a basic DIY website doesn’t cut it anymore.
Outsourcing the design and management of your small business website is a smart move for many reasons. Website maintenance can be an around-the-clock task, especially when you are just getting started or running updates or changes. Trying to figure out the intricacies of function and user experience can be confusing and time-consuming, and your site’s downtime can lead to lost profits.
An often overlooked reason for outsourcing your small business website is your familiarity with your business. This might sound counterintuitive, but think of the last time someone explained the plot of a movie you’ve never seen or described the layout of a place you’ve never been. While the person you were talking to could see their vision clear as day, you may have struggled to follow along. Your understanding of and passion for your business are key components of the web design process. Outside experts who will help craft your vision while also considering the user experience and the necessary functions of your site is a recipe for a website that is easy to navigate and great to look at, too.
If you rely on training videos to bring new employees up to speed, share safety protocols, or educate your team about new products and services, then outsourcing these materials can save your small business time, money and resources. Whether you are looking for whiteboard or PowerPoint presentations or you’re thinking about live action videos, an outside vendor can be hired to write, storyboard and create them professionally. They can also prove useful for years to come, no matter how your team may change.
Another way to ensure your marketing materials can stand the test of time is to outsource your graphic design projects. You can find talented freelancers and design companies that will work with you to bring your vision to life on a budget. Even if a member of your small business team has some graphic design experience, outsourcing these tasks can help move projects along faster and eliminate the barrier to providing honest feedback.
When it comes to developing a logo for your business or unique products and services, you want designs that are professional and high quality. A designer can also create suites of images and logos for you to use on various projects such as letterhead, presentations, print collateral and more. This will help ensure that all of your marketing materials look professional without needing to keep a designer in your budget.
For your small business to reach the right people with these marketing materials, you will need to get inside your customers’ heads. You can tap into consumer insights in a variety of ways, but one of the best strategies for assessing your target audience is with market research. Outsourcing tasks like phone calls, interviews, focus groups and surveys can help you gain clear, unbiased feedback from the people you’re trying to reach.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t conduct your own small business surveys. Surveying your small business customers is an important part of your customer experience strategy. When it comes to conducting research outside of your customer base, however, working with a qualified outside vendor can help you cut down on costs and work more efficiently.
Small business owners balance a myriad of different responsibilities and tasks that keep their businesses running smoothly. Outsourcing your marketing activities can help you develop materials that you’re truly proud of without sacrificing your precious time. Outsourcing is also a way to help you reach a healthier work-life balance. Be sure to find a partner that can bring your vision to life. When it comes to finding a financial partner for your small business needs, our Small Business Banking Team is here to help.