The expanding reach of the Internet and growth of online collaboration tools have all changed small business operation strategies dramatically in the past few years. 

One strategy that is gaining popularity among Small Businesses, according to Forbes magazine, is outsourcing.  I have certainly seen evidence of that in the growth of my business over the past few years.

Let us take a look at 6 key trends for using independent contractors for projects and even ongoing staffing needs.

The “Outsourcing Life” is hip  

How many of you have read or heard of the book, the 4 hour work week?  More and more people are realizing that they can get their work done by someone else even if they are a solo entrepreneur. 

The SBA says 56% of US small businesses with 100 employees or less, have fewer than 5 employees. If your business is one with no employees or a very small number of employees, you may find yourself over-stretched for time and in this economy you probably find yourself needing to watch expenses too.  More businesses will opt for contracting relationships and hold off hiring new employees as long as possible.

How to benefit from this trend:

  • Re-examine what you consider to be activities only you can do, even if you are a sales associate for someone else’s company – do the math.  Do you make more money when you’re scheduling appointments, or face to face with a potential customer?  Would you make more money than you would spend if you had someone else scheduling and you spent your time selling?
  • If not the entire activity, can some parts of this at least be outsourced?
  • Be prepared to invest some time up front in training your outsourcing partner, or a little extra in setup fees.

I’ll post trend number two later 😉

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