When you have big goals to accomplish on a tiny budget, you may feel like you have to do everything yourself. But small business owners can find help, increasingly turning to freelancers as a less expensive source of assistance.
"Freelancers let startups, small businesses and entrepreneurs get a ton of value for their dollar," said Matthew Cordasco, CEO and founder of freelance worker aggregator MyCrowd. "People are realizing that they can quickly hire freelancers to do everyday tasks, freeing up the business folks to perform higher-value work."
Based on data from MyCrowd and freelance hiring websites Freelancer.com and Freelancers Outpost, here are eight of the best tasks for small businesses to outsource to freelancers. [5 Ways to Improve Your Work-Life Balance Today]
A freelance virtual assistant takes care of all your business' administrative needs remotely, such as answering emails, filing and sending out invoices. Virtual assistants can work by phone, fax, email or even instant message.
Accounting and bookkeeping
A knowledgeable freelancer can take over anything an in-house accountant handles. This could include QuickBooks operation or setup, billing system creation and maintenance, simple accounts payable or receivable tracking, and collections.
Don't have time to keep up with your company's blog? A freelance copywriter can produce fresh, relevant content and offer valuable advice for your customers. Writers can also help you come up with eye-catching product descriptions and copy for advertisements.
If you don't have time to deal with every customer question and concern, consider hiring a freelancer to share the load. Todd R., CEO of Freelancers Outpost, recommended training all customer support workers to be strong brand ambassadors, since a customer's experience can determine whether he or she will continue to patronize a business.
Businesses often forget that they can outsource data entry. This work demands that busy business owners sit down, order data and type it out, which can take hours. It is laborious and time consuming, but it is easily outsourced. Data entry projects can take on many different forms, such as Excel data entry, Word data entry, electronic data processing, typing, transcribing or clerical jobs.
Market research and lead generation
Research plays a pivotal role in the growth of any company. In-depth industry and market research provides businesses with the necessary insights for future strategies. Once your freelancers have collected and compiled key market data and potential sales leads, you can analyze those findings and make decisions from there. Nikki Parker, Freelancer.com's North American regional manager, advised giving research and lead generation tasks to highly specialized and experienced workers.
Social media marketing
With so many different social platforms requiring attention, a freelance social media marketer can be invaluable to business owners. By developing a strategy, writing content and building up a strong following, social media experts will add immense value, without having to justify the expense of hiring someone full time.
If you work with international clients or business partners, translatingmaterials from one language to another is important. But if you're not fluent or don't have the budget to hire a professional translation company, this can be extremely difficult. Freelance translators will give you the quality of translation you need for a fraction of the price.
For these or any other tasks outsourced to freelancers, Cordasco advised crafting a clear, concise job description and reviewing sample work from any potential candidates. From there, you can assign a test project to ensure that a freelancer is the right fit for your company.
Originally published on Business News Daily.