Leverage and Scale Your Online Business Outsourcing and Out-Tasking
Doing everything yourself in order to save money can cost you a fortune in opportunities and potential profits. The thing that stops us from making money is time and resources. Outsourcing tasks can definitely give you more time to focus on more aspects of your business.
- Outsource tasks you do not know how to do
- Outsource tasks you hate to do
- Outsource task you don’t have time to do
- Outsource tasks that do not impart your IP
You may find it is much easier to make a “no brainer” decision to outsource something you have no idea about. For example if you have no graphic skills I am almost certain you would not hesitate to hire a graphic designer to create your logo for your online business.
Hesitation usually starts to set in when you need something done that you know how to do yourself. Ask yourself ;
Can I be making more money doing other tasks for my business?
In other words will I be generating more money if I focus on other aspects of my business and let the experts do what they do best.
It Boils Down to Communication
When it comes to outsourcing online, you will be dealing with people (shocker!). This means the most important skills you can cultivate are communication skills.
Knowing how to ask for what you need clearly and professionally, deal with paying people and providing inputs is paramount to your outsourcing success.
Always remember there is a person on the other end and go from there…
Finding the Right Person for the Job
Finding the right person for the job has a lot to do with skill sets. The best way to understand what type of person you need is to define the skill and orientation of that person.For example – for coding special scripts for your website you would need someone knowledgeable in certain scripting languages. The same person may not be the best at video production. Let people do what they do best!
If this seems daunting and complicated, get someone who understands the language to help you out. For example I have a good friend who is a ninja programmer. While I know a lot about programming, I am no expert. The day arrived and I needed some special code written for one of my sites. I had my friend on Skype with me to interview my top candidates. She immediately told me at least one of my potentials didn’t really know what they were talking about…
If you don’t have any friends to call on you can get a lot of information about these skills by checking out a few forums. Simply go to Google Forum search and type in your question, you are almost certain to find a discussion on the subject.
There are also Outsourcing Sites
Depending on what you need done, you can find great people on sites geared specifically towards this need. These sites differ greatly in the services they provide and how they work, but they are an important part of the outsourcing landscape online, so you might want to check them out:
- Amazon Turk
There are many others…
Here is a fun example of getting a voiceover for $5 from a Fiverr member:
Cheaper is not Always Better
Even though the recession is hitting hard right now, you should not jump for someone who is offering you the cheapest bid for the job. Cleaning up after low quality work can certainly cost you more in the long run.
You might consider researching the going market rate scale for certain tasks you need done, and then choose someone who has either references and recommendations and can show you a sample of their work.
For example, if you need some articles written, it is best to find someone that is willing to show you a few articles they already wrote. Keep in mind that off the shelf solutions are rarely right for a specific business and usually hit the average mark.
Cultivate your Business Rolodex
Finding the right person for the job is never simple, simply because there is probably always someone who can do it better and for less. Don’t drive your self crazy.
It reminds me of when I was younger and used to go shopping with my mom. She had a rule, once we bought something, we were not allowed to look for the same item in other stores to see if we could have gotten it for less. This is a great way to save yourself a lot of heart ache.
Of course with outsourcing, this applies only in part. You certainly want to keep your ears peeled for new recommendations about outsourcers. I usually ask my colleagues if they can recommend someone for X or Y tasks. Nothing beats a recommendation from someone you trust. Usually these recommendations are based on skills and not on price point.
Ease in to It
The best way to get your feet wet is to start small. Instead of outsourcing a large chunk of work, try to out task first, meaning, get someone to do one thing for you at a time until you get in the groove.
These is no point in learning everything in advance. Let’s face it, making mistakes is how we learn. So we might as well be in motion towards completing our goal task rather than stay stuck in the planning phase.
If you are totally afraid to get ripped off online (sadly it does happen from time to time); consider practicing outsourcing off line, get your lawn mowed, hire a sitter or a dog walker.
Then outsource business tasks that are technical and don’t require insight to your business such as website building, logos, research, programming. Invest in good information, tools and people. These investments will help you leverage your business growth. This will also free up you time so that you can focus on making more money.