OK, outsourcing... let's begin...First of all I would like to bow to the great admins & moderators of FlippingPlanet for accepting my suggestion regarding opening this Outsourcing sub-forum and for the rest of the crew for supporting me.
(This place is slowly, but surely shaping into one of the best IM forums out there. It is just a matter of time before it becomes the best!)
Given the fact that most of us are interested in online marketing, I'm going to focus on outsourcing tasks related to these types of businesses only.
I discovered the world of outsourcing a long time ago, but managed to fully grasp it, understand its importance and potential the moment I've stumbled upon:
• Timothy Ferris - The 4-hour Workweek
• Leo Babauta – The Power of Less (more on productivity, but extremely useful for beginners)
Before I continue with this introductory article I want to mention several very important things:
1. 99.9% of all successful companies/businesses outsource their stuff.
2. You are leaving money on the table if you are not outsourcing.
3. Life is too short to do all the work yourself.
- The main reason I focus on delegating tasks to other people (and training them to get better when they become my employees) is due to the huge power of leverage that one can take advantage of.
- The second reason is having more free time.
My Story (In 158 Words)
My success with outsourcing came even during the first month when I hired my full time employee simply because I had a method that was producing me money, but I couldn't do more work than I possibly humanly could! Hiring someone and giving exact instructions to perform any particular job is a great way to double your success rate, your accomplished tasks and at the end of the day – your income (if you are doing it right, of course).
When I started with IM I was working like 10-12 hours a day during my first year. I managed to create several relatively low maintenance & passive streams of income, built a couple of authority sites in various niches and sold them making some really good money. I knew I was heading the right way. The problem was not finding that actual FREEDOM that is (or at least should be) an important part of running this online business. I realized if I continue to work like this for another year - I'm ****ed:
- No time for social activities or traveling
- Bad health (poor eyesight)
- Getting mad too often (who likes to write 5-10 articles per day on topics that you have no clue about?)
Outsourcing: Living the IM Lifestyle
Since I started outsourcing 97% of my online business stuff I managed to:
1. Improve my eyesight and well-being in general
2. Travel more often (mini-vacations)
3. Dedicate more time to my martial arts practice (got my Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt this year)
4. Spend more time with my girlfriend and family.
5. Enjoy life.
It is impossible to fully enjoy the IM lifestyle if you don't consider outsourcing. Otherwise you just exchange your regular job with an online job.Gurus that talk about living the IM lifestyle and don't even mention outsourcing are full of shit.
What's really attractive about doing business online is the possibility to start really low, grow big and enjoy your life while automating most of the time consuming tasks.
I'm a big fan of automation and tools. However, not all tools can automate your tasks, so that's why you need to implement human outsourcing. That's why you need someone to replace yourself.
Q: Do you live the 4-hour workweek?
A: Well basically yes, but due to the fact that I'm a workaholic I still enjoy doing a lot of stuff (mostly creative and brainstorming tasks like coming up with new business ideas) myself. However, I've dramatically reduced the time I spend in front of my computer from 10-12 hours a day to 2-3 maximum. So instead of working 70-84 hours a week I now perform no more than 14-18. It is also necessary to mention that my income has seen only one way – up and steadily growing.
So, let's recap the most important aspects of outsourcing your time consuming tasks when it comes to running an online business.
1. The Power of Leverage.
2. Living the true IM lifestyle (having the freedom you've always wanted)
Outsourcing for Beginners
Our buddy, colleague and respected moderator flipcrowd was kind enough to kick-start the discussion in this sub-forum by providing some really quality information in his first thread related to outsourcing, entitled: "Outsourcing - A world of opportunity and failure at your fingertips!"
I really appreciate this mate and I insist that all of you folks who don't know much about outsourcing go and check his post.
He basically mentioned the pillars (fundamentals) of outsourcing and you are definitely going to need to know that stuff no matter where you hire people or who you delegate your tasks to. Period.
WARNING: Due to its nature, outsourcing is an extremely broad topic and I could easily take this post up to 20k words and still have plenty of important details unmentioned. That's why, today, in this particular thread, I focus on THE BASICS."Outsourcing and globalization of manufacturing allows companies to reduce costs, benefits consumers with lower cost goods and services, causes economic expansion that reduces unemployment, and increases productivity and job creation." - Larry Elder
Q: What can be outsourced today?
A: All your SEO work, content writing, social media presence, website development, design & maintenance. Also, by having a VA (Virtual Assistant) you can totally replace yourself and manage to get much more work done in a shorter period of time (if you are doing it right...)
N.B! I'm not going to talk about the security/trust issues related to handling tasks to people you don't know. This is a whole new topic and I keep it for a future thread. Just follow the basics here please.
Q: Where can I outsource?
A: Luka has already opened a thread on this topic. You can basically find a services/outsourcing category in all big IM forums and Freelancing websites out there. Just make sure you read the testimonials and reviews of other people before hiring someone yourself.
Q: How about hiring someone full time?
A: Having someone to work for you 40 hours a week is a great way to grow your business or either replace yourself while keeping your business stable. You just need to do it the right way. Full time employment of cheap employees in third world countries is something that I also have quite some experience with and I'm going to open a thread just for that pretty soon. Stay tuned!
Those of you who had the necessary patience to go through my +1k words post today probably noticed that I use the expression "if you are doing it right" quite a lot. That's because you can get easily get scammed, screwed and lose a lot of hard earned monies if you don't know and fully understand the basics of outsourcing:
• Why and what are you hiring someone for?
• Where are you hiring someone?
• What skills and level of knowledge does your employee have?
• How much do you pay that person (per hour, day, week, month, etc)?
• How to build a solid relationship and make sure your employees or freelancers don't leak sensitive information about your business?
In order to understand everything that I mentioned above even better I'm going to end this introductory article by letting you know about the two types of outsourcing that currently exist and the ones that you are definitely going to stumble upon the moment you consider hiring someone.
1. Freelancing & Services
Pros: professional, fast
Cons: rather expensive, can't really trust them due to the short-term nature of your relationship
2. Full Time Employees
Pros: very cheap (if you know where to hire), the possibility to build a long term relationship that will benefit both parties, better trust
Cons: lack of professionalism at the beginning, requirement for training from time to time
As you can see, I basically covered the "WHY OUTSOURCING?" part of the topic in this thread. Don't worry and stay tuned, the "HOW" and "WHERE" (geo-wise) threads are coming soon...
My current motto is: "Don't do stuff that you can outsource!"
Thanks for your time.