As small business owners we appreciate better than most the age old adage that time is money and, financially speaking, we find we have to focus our efforts on those tasks that will maximise our return. Prioritising inevitably means that some jobs continually get pushed down the to-do list. Equally, failing to prioritise may lead to lost sales and revenue.
In this article I’ll be discussing exactly why image clipping — the process of removing the background from product photos — is ripe for outsourcing.
The history of outsourcing
Outsourcing has, in recent years, become a more viable option for time strapped small businesses. Once a word with quite negative connotations that we would most likely associate with multinational corporations and Indian call centres, outsourcing is now being embraced by regular folk in the street. Actually, we’ve been outsourcing for years (more on this below), the difference is that in this globally connected age we live in, people are thinking more intelligently and creatively about exactly what they can outsource.
A classic example of outsourcing is your financial bookkeeping; no doubt it’s important, but the time spent managing your books can detract from the crux of your business: sales. When faced with customers ringing you on the phone to place an order or ensuring that you’ve entered your latest supplier invoices into your accounts package it’s likely that most would pick up the phone. Palming off your financials to your local bookkeeper — an expert who can do the job more quickly and efficiently than you can — so you can focus on bringing home the bacon is a wise choice. If you look at it this way you’ll realise that outsourcing is nothing new.
We’ve written previously about why outsourcing of certain jobs is beneficial to small businesses but the question is, what do you outsource? Or perhaps more importantly, what don’t you outsource? There is no definite answer and it depends on your business processes but generally speaking, repetitive office tasks that do not require highly qualified staff and detract from time spent generating sales and building your business are ripe for outsourcing.
Here’s why outsourcing image background removal makes sense…
Below is a real world example from one of our customers that illustrates perfectly why outsourcing image clipping for your business makes sense. The following assumes that you already realise the benefits of image clipping. If you’re not convinced then it may be worth your time reading our short article about image clipping and its potential sales benefits.
Our customer writes…
“Last week we had a new product come into stock which we needed to rush onto our online store to replace another out of stock item. The stock arrived early afternoon and we snapped photos almost immediately. Faced with outsourcing the removal of the background of these images to ClipItQuick.com or, having a working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, editing the photos myself and getting them online ASAP I made the somewhat foolhardy decision to do the work myself. Removing the backgrounds from these images wasn’t particularly straightforward as they were quite complex shapes (see images above) and after 45 minutes I’d edited just 3 images. It was around this point that it began to dawn on me the true value of the service ClipItQuick.com provides.”
It was great to wake up to an email like this! Lets take a moment to do the maths here. 45 minutes for 3 images means 15 minutes per image, or 4 images per hour. Let’s assume this customer is paying themselves a wage of £10 an hour so editing these images has cost them £10 (remember, your time is money and even if you’re the boss you still have to put a value on your time). Our customer could have outsourced their job for a total of £4 to ClipItQuick.com based on our flat fee of £1.39 per image for background removal, saving themselves £4.44 off the bat.
Here’s the kicker though, the monetary saving is one thing but ask yourself how our customer could have better used that hour of their time spent editing images? What if they’d spent that hour returning calls from customers wishing to place orders, or replying to emails from customers who had requested quotes, or even just responding to email enquiries that may well lead to sales? How many sales has our customer missed out on by choosing instead to spend an hour editing 4 images? A job that, like the book keeping used in our earlier example, could be outsourced to ClipItQuick.com, a service that offers the expertise to carry out the job more quickly, efficiently and cheaply than the customer can, allowing them focus instead on building their business.
This final point harks back to the opening paragraph of this article. Prioritising by focussing our efforts on those tasks that will maximise our return is essential for small businesses. It’s the difference between success and failure. Profit and loss. Clipping your product images to remove the background is important and can play an important role in boosting your sales, but, like book keeping, just because you can do it yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Especially when our ClipItQuick.com service can do it for you for a fraction of the cost.
Still need convincing? Give our free trial a go and feel the benefits for yourself.