Kjetil Olsen, VP Europe with Elance, the leading platform for online work, outlines the essential hires for a growing SME, in part 2 of his series.
So, your business is up and running but you’ve still got a long way to go to reach your growth targets. Online hires can help you grow brand awareness, assist multi-channel strategies and drive sales. Here are our top recommendations for essential online hires for growing SMEs:
1) Social Media Marketer
Business owners are waking up to the potential of social media networks to build brand awareness, attract potential customers and develop new ideas. The great thing about social media is that it levels the playing field for smaller businesses but the downside is the time it takes to invest in properly managing social media channels. Hiring a social media expert through the cloud can save a lot of time and hassle for SMEs.
2) Virtual Assistant
You might think that having an assistant is just for high flying executives at multinational companies, but it’s actually a great way to free up your time too. You can quickly build up a relationship with someone you can rely on and outsource tasks when you need extra help. By hiring online, you can find the perfect balance between your budget and your to do list.
3) Lead Generation Specialist
The old adage “If you build it, they will come” can’t apply to growing SMEs. Lead generation is a significant challenge if you have never dealt with it before. Lead generation experts are qualified sales and marketing professionals who can help an SME navigate the choppy waters trying to decide which tools and techniques are needed to drive sales. Try and find an expert that has experience in your particular field or industry for the best return on your investment.
4) SEO Expert
Search engine placement is critical to any business with an online presence – after investing in your branding and a fully functional website, what’s the use if your customers can’t find you? Gaining high rankings will be difficult for an SME with no experience in the dynamic web field.
5) Mobile App Developer
Apps are big business so, as your business grows, it makes sense to ask if you can develop one for your business. It could offer a new way to engage with customers, or could create a new revenue stream if it’s a paid-for app. I don’t know a lot of SMEs who could build one from scratch, so it’s an ideal project to outsource.
Return on investment
All new businesses need to take risks to grow and develop further. By hiring online, you are safe in the knowledge that contractors looking for work have a proven track record. There is minimal outlay for an SME, as projects are completed at a fixed price, or paid for on an hourly basis, enabling an SME to dip it’s toe in the water to widen experience and expertise before committing precious time and financial resource.