Turning Opportunity Costs into an Opportunity to Benefit


August 23, 2012BusinessNo comments

Opportunity cost is huge consideration overlooked by many entrepreneurs. After all, it seems wise to spend as little as possible when starting a business. However, it’s not money, but time that’s the most valuable asset. Think about it: how much is your time worth, and how much more money could you be making if you freed up hours in your day to focus on the money making aspects of your business? Here are several actions you should consider outsourcing to reduce your opportunity cost and be as profitable as possible.

1. Taxes: Small business taxes can be incredibly complicated for first-time business owners. However, for professional tax preparers who understand the ins and outs of IRS code, they’re a simple task that shouldn’t require many billable hours. Plus, a pro can usually help you find additional deductions and credits you wouldn’t necessarily have known about yourself. Not only do you gain time to work on other aspects of your business, the savings on your tax bill may even pay for the cost of the tax preparer.

2. Payroll: Rather than trying to figure out when and how to pay employees, including how to deduct taxes and set up retirement account contributions, hire this job out. It’s highly specialized and carries serious consequences if you do it incorrectly. Choose a payroll processing company that offers direct deposit and easy timecard reporting so you and your employees can get paid quickly and accurately each pay period.

3. Bookkeeping: Managing the day-to-day financial details of your business can be tedious if you aren’t trained in bookkeeping. Plus, even a minor slip-up can cause you to make poor financial decisions. Instead of struggling through it yourself, outsource your bookkeeping by hiring an assistant, either in your office or offsite, to manage your books.

4. Receptionist or Virtual Assistant: Answering your phones and responding to routine inquiries eats up your time, in addition to reducing your focus and momentum as you’re working on a task. Instead of handling these yourself and wasting your valuable time, hire it out. It’s easy to redirect your phone calls to someone else, and as long as this person is qualified to talk to your customers, you’ll benefit.

5. Web Design: Unless you have web design experience, it’s probably not worth your time to design a site that will end up looking mediocre at best. Instead, hire out the design to a professional and spend your time getting the content ready for the site. You’ll be up and running right away, and your site will have a professional look that will attract customers in the long run.

Every hour you spend on a task that you could be hiring out to someone else is lost opportunity to build your business. Time is one of your most valuable assets, and it’s your job to examine how to best spend it. Basic day-to-day activities should not be on the list, especially if you’re not trained in these activities or could be stuck paying fines if you complete them incorrectly. It’s best to delegate these tasks so that you can focus on the bigger picture of building a successful business.