According to the Asian Development Bank, the Philippine economy is expected to grow by at least 6.4% in 2019 and is expected to maintain similar levels of growth into the foreseeable short-term future. If these positive forecasts are true, and assuming equitable growth, that means Filipinos, in general, may be enjoying the benefits of higher incomes and spending power – which in turn, is good news for small businesses.
However, this has created a new set of challenges for many small businesses. Founders and other key members of the small enterprise will often find themselves wearing multiple hats, and juggling different responsibilities. Sometimes, a founder who theoretically earns P50,000 a day is bogged down doing tasks that are worth less than P1,000 a day. On the other end of the spectrum, struggling small businesses may not be able to afford to have full-time employees for highly-specialized tasks.
This has led to an explosion in the so-called gig economy. Small, outsourced teams of highly-skilled professionals and individual freelancers are now routinely doing the work that only a generation ago, was usually in the responsibility of an internal department.
While the Philippines was somewhat slow in adapting the trend (and still is, in many respects) in the local context, even microbusinesses today routinely outsource key areas of their business. Some of these include the following:
1.) Accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll
Time spent wading through legal requirements and balance sheets can often be put to better use growing the essential parts of your business. Small business owners who do not have direct access to a certified public accountant or are not CPA’s themselves can stand to save a lot of time and money simply by leaving these technical money matters to a qualified team.
2.) Graphic design
The Philippines is often considered to be a black hole in the region when it comes to good graphic design. Unfortunately, many new businesses still fail to take graphic design seriously, which has resulted in the country having more than its fair share of uninspiring logos and artwork. Unless you have a background in graphic design and extensive experience with logos and art, it’s usually best to leave this part of your business to a freelancer.
3.) Inbound marketing
While essentially straightforward, content marketing, SEM, and SEO implementation can take up a lot of time and man-hours that your internal team may not be able to spare. Doing these and other inbound marketing strategies in a way that is consistent and fruitful can take up a lot of time that you simply should be spending on other things.
4.) Website development
While web design is certainly the kind of undertaking just about anyone can attempt these days, it takes a lot of work to create a site that creates real value for your business. Not only should it be a statement about what your business is about and what it aspires to, but it should also offer painless navigation and ample security for any e-commerce functions you may need.
5.) Information technology services
Whether it’s building databases or QA, a freelancer who’s done these processes thousands of times before will be much handier than your resident IT whiz who only does these things infrequently and on top of their other tasks. That is if you actually have someone on hand who can do these important IT jobs.
Rather than spend too much time trying to figure out any of several dozens of IT tasks, your time may be better spent hiring an outsourced IT team and focusing on other core parts of your business.
Phone cameras may be amazing these days, and DSL’s may have become a democratized commodity, but as most website and social media photos show, very few people have actually bothered to learn how to take great pictures. Great photos are a key investment in your company’s branding and they can send a subtle message about your professionalism and attention to detail.
This is especially true when it comes to product photos. If you have a food or online retail business, you owe it to yourself to find an experienced photographer to put your offers in their best possible light.
If you’re ready to find freelancers ready to take your small business into its next stage of growth, sites such as Smalljobs.ph will put you in touch with some of the most experienced and talented freelancers the Philippines has to offer.