I hate business; or rather, I hate mundane business tasks that detract from the creative. In fact, I can't name a single designer I've met who prefers paperwork to artwork. Even “small” business functions can demand as much of your time as the actual service you provide.
The solution? Outsource the following business functions:
1. Bookkeeping — The bane of any creative service provider, bookkeeping is painstakingly tedious and time-consuming. Many freelancers and small businesses can spend two hours or more a day on their books. If you charge $100 per hour, that's $200 out of your pocket; but a professional bookkeeper might cost less than $800 per month, a savings to you of $3,200.
2. Sales — Outsourcing sales doesn't mean you have to lose touch with your clients. One successful business model dictates that once a sale is made, the client and the designer work directly with one another from that point on.
3. Secretarial — Outside of bookkeeping and sales, you likely have many administrative tasks that need to be addressed throughout the day: answering phone calls, sending e-mails and letters, implementing marketing strategies, etc. Virtual assistants have made it possible to benefit from these services without having the high overhead associated with in-house employment.
4. Legal — Don’t try to be your own attorney. I repeat: Do not try to be your own attorney. Enough said.
5. Creative — That's right, creative! As your business grows, you'll need to choose between capping your pay according to how much you can do on your own and outsourcing overflow to other creative professionals. It's no secret which business model is more profitable.
If yours is a successful business, you will eventually run out of time to be and do everything and severely limit your income potential. Outsource what you can, and keep what you do best in-house for powerful income potential and high customer satisfaction levels.
What business functions do you outsource, if any it all? Why?