Delegating tasks will not only improve your workflow, but this simple act can also save you money in the long term. They say you have to speculate to accumulate, as a freelancer this idiom couldn’t be more accurate. Trying to keep all the balls in the air as an independent contractor can at times be daunting, and overwhelming. This is especially true if you are struggling to perform tasks you aren’t moderately skilled in; the more time you spend trying to come to terms with areas outside of your expertise, more valuable earning time is significantly lost. Hiring a professional to do these jobs for you guarantees a job well done, and will give you peace of mind.
Who should you call on for help?
The business world is made up of a plethora of professional bodies who will take your work to market. Below are some examples of how hiring-in can support your growing business.
As a sole trader with few overheads and minimal expenses, self-assessment seems pretty straightforward. As your business starts to grow and you find yourself delegating tasks, it becomes more important to understand what you are entitled to – especially if you work from home – and the different types of expenses you can claim. HMRC are very helpful in this respect, but they don’t want you to know about some of the hidden claims you are entitled to. An accountant might seem like yet another unnecessary expense, but as their fee comes out of what they get back for you from the taxman, it is money well spent.
In this modern world of technology, your website is the window to your business. Although there are many ‘self-builds’ out there, they still take up a lot of your valuable time, and by the time you’ve paid for all the add-ons, you may as well have paid a professional in the first instance. The majority of people browse on smartphones and tablets, getting your site to perform well, and behave on these mediums is key in keeping them on your pages. So much time can be wasted dealing with annoying little glitches a professional will iron out in seconds. Starter packages can be as little as £100, and you generally have ongoing support and back up to deal with the inevitable problems that pop up from time to time.
Self-discipline is the most important trait in a freelancer, especially if you are working from home. However, some people find the organisation of running a business doesn’t come naturally. Staring at a full email inbox, booking appointments, conducting research, writing letters, all take up valuable time and cost you money. You can carry on with the tasks you are skilled in by getting someone else to manage these daily, or weekly, activities for you. It doesn’t need to cost as much as you might think. There are plenty of freelance virtual assistants out there who will be happy to do as little or as much work you need. No salary to pay, just on an ‘as and when’ basis when you need extra help.
We all have our individual strengths and skills. You can be a highly successful entrepreneur, but have no idea how to market yourself. If you don’t keep up with current trends, you aren’t going to be bringing in the business. Hiring a marketing expert will save you time and earn you money as they use their in-depth knowledge to get you and/or your business out there. There is no shortage of social media experts to generate a valuable following to spread the word on what it is you do. Social media has become one of the biggest and most successful, marketing strategies in recent years. For this to work for you, it takes dedication and commitment, when your time could be better spent on other things. Again, hiring a marketing expert need not break the bank; once you are set up and running, they will post engaging content on a regular basis, and you can pay for work done as you go along.
Writing copy is a skill born of years of experience in the industry. Your website designer won’t be doing this task for you. Every piece of text will go straight up on the site without being checked by them for errors. That isn’t their job. Their skill is in the design. There is nothing worse for a business than to have a website full of grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and punctuation omissions. This shows a lack of professionalism, which will not encourage people to stay on your site and engage with you. Skimping on copy will not save you money, neither will it make you money. If you know this is an area of weakness, then outsource it, or you may as well not have a website at all.
Proofreading and editing
It can be hard when you are close to something, and understand the subject matter, to be objective to the flow of writing, accessibility to the reader, or to spot glaring errors. There is a variety of software to help with checking your content, but after all, they are only robots and can’t adjust to the tone of voice you are writing in. It takes an expert in the field to realise when the corrections are necessary, or when Grammarly doesn’t understand your target audience. It takes a trained eye, a human eye, to see what you can’t see, and correct it for you.
Take a fresh look at all the tasks you are doing. Is it your area of expertise or could someone do it better? Is it taking up valuable time, where you could make more money than you would be paying someone else to do it? Fortunately, there are plenty of sites you can find a freelancer to do any of the above jobs and many more. Give it a try and see how beneficial it can be to your workflow.