There are plenty of great ways for entrepreneurs to keep costs low and avoid having to hire additional employees to help with their startups.
Creating a business starts with a simple idea. Growing that idea into something of value requires time, talent and resources. Thanks to the age of the internet, companies no longer have to solely rely on hiring employees to make their business dreams become a reality.
Now more than ever before, savvy startups are leveraging technology to automate processes, while outsourcing tasks that require a human touch to freelancers, contractors and professional services. These strategic decisions give small businesses the horsepower they need to ramp up their companies and position themselves to be competitive in their industry without requiring the deep-pocket budgets that their big box competitors have.
If you are an aspiring young startup trying to get on your own two feet, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to find cost effective solutions that can give your business the competitive edge. Thatâ€™s because there is a sea of services and solutions out there being offered to small businesses, and you can bet just about everyone will try to convince you theyâ€™re the answer youâ€™ve been looking for.
So how do you avoid having to hire additional employees and pick the perfect service providers for your business? Ideally, youâ€™ll be able to do so without throwing away time and money on solutions that were never going to get you the results you needed in the first place.
Use a Suite of Digital Solutions That Keep You On Track
Intelligently handling your business information in a way that keeps you productive is critical to your success. Many companies have admin staff like secretaries, assistants or even Office Managers who ensure the flow of information is steady and clear. However, there are many tools that can make managing your companyâ€™s schedule, tasks and data simple to keep up with, enabling many solopreneurs to be independently effective.
While there are many tools out there, one of our favorite virtual tool sets is the integrated app solutions by Google: Gmail, Google Tasks, Google Docs, Google Keep, Google Calendar, etc. Each one of these tools has an integration with one or more of its counterparts making this an effective enterprise solution that millions of businesses (both large and small) use today.
Here is a short list of integrations you can get from this suite:
- Open Google Tasks to view them in your Google Calendar
- Open your notes from Google Keep into a Google Doc youâ€™re working on
- Assign an email to your Google Task list with a click of the mouse
- Attach a Google Doc or Google Sheet to a Google Calendar Event
The list goes on and on, and Google is constantly adding more functionality to help their users be more efficient and effective. The best part is, all of these tools are completely free and for only $5/mo you can upgrade to GSuite (formerly â€śGoogle Apps For Businessâ€ť), allowing you to add your domain email to Gmail (ex: email@example.com). This gives you access to a whole new level of professional tools, apps, and integrations to take your business to the next level.
Service Providers: Independent Contractors Vs. Professional Agencies
There comes a point where the volume of work simply canâ€™t be reduced or automated to a point that is manageable by just one person. When this happens, many businesses post job listings to Craigslist, Monster.com, Indeed.com, etc. However, smart startups hire employees only when it is absolutely necessary and instead turn to independent contractors, freelancers and professional service agencies to help them scale.
Independent Contractors and Freelancers
- Businesses donâ€™t have to pay employee taxes.
- Businesses donâ€™t have to provide employee benefits.
- Businesses donâ€™t have to pay workers comp. insurance.
- Flexible contracts: can hire for short term, project based or more depending on your requirements.
- No depth in availability. If an independent contractor gets sick or decides to leave the project, your business is hung out to dry.
- Freelancers often juggle multiple clients, which could impact availability and/or meeting deadlines.
Same pros as Independent Contractors and Freelancers +
- Resource Depth: Instead of being at risk of your contractor falling ill or not being available one day, you benefit from a pool of resources capable of reliably providing the services you are paying for.
- Hierarchy: If you have a problem with any one person from the agency, you can speak with their supervisor, manager, your account rep, etc. until you get the results you deserve.
- Often the additional horsepower a service agency provides comes at a higher cost to support the infrastructure you are benefiting from.
Luckily, there are some professional service agencies likeÂ Sound Telecom that provide phone answering services and virtual receptionist solutions for small businesses for as low as $40/mo.Â Our flexible, pay-as-you-go plans have protected thousands of small businesses from the prohibitive costs of hiring an in-house receptionist for overÂ 30 years. Choosing a live support provider likeÂ us can connect your callers to professional, US-based phone agents who are always ready to help. This gives you the capable resources you require to grow your business without making the mistake of hiring in-house earlier than absolutely necessary.
Launching a business from a simple idea isnâ€™t enough to be successful in todayâ€™s world. You need a solid strategy of when, why and how you plan to spend your companyâ€™s hard earned money, especially when it comes to deciding the right time to hire employees. Try using some of the strategies listed in this article to give your business a running head start. Youâ€™ll be able to build the momentum and capital required for the day your company is doing so much business that hiring internal employees is the only thing left to do to support the weight of your success.