As entrepreneurs and small business owners, there are so many tasks that need to be done that there aren’t enough hours in the day for one person to get them done. Then, when you consider that most people are not good at everything, forcing yourself to “do it all”, unfortunately leads to some tasks not being done top-notch. So, either things don’t get done right or those tasks you are not good at take so long that they keep the you from doing things that would be a better use of your time and talent.
The choice for many of us comes down to: do everything yourself or do outsourcing (versus hiring employees).
Here are 10 steps for outsourcing effectively:
1. You want to start by determining which activities drain you. You really don’t want to do them, but they have to be done. So, you push through to get them done, but when you are done doing them, you have little energy left to do the things you have a passion for or things you enjoy. Make a list of the things that drain you.
2. Now, think about the things you really should be doing to take your business to the next level, but you have been neglecting doing them. Make a list of those things. This list may include search engine optimization (SEO), writing, video design, research or marketing outsourcing.
3. Take both those lists. These lists are very powerful. These are the activities you should be outsourcing.
4. You will want to carefully think through the main tasks you need performed and any deadlines. It’s a good idea to write out all the steps involved. The good news is that you will only have to do this once from scratch. Afterwards, you will want to revisit your process for potential improvements.
5. Determine whether you want to hire full-time outsourcers or project-based outsourcers. Full-timers will continue working for you, completing assignments you request on an on-going basis, and project outsourcers are only hired for a particular assignment. What is your budget? Will you hire someone overseas?
6. You can find outsourcers at ODesk.com, Elance.com and Fiverr.com, plus many more sites on the Internet. (I just outsourced an assignment to a project-based outsourcer using Fiverr.com. How cool! That saved me from having to do the mindless, time-consuming job of manually submitting my video to all the video-sharing sites and saved me the cost of the monthly fee of a video submission service. I’ll be using him every week because my marketing plan calls for me to post a video each week.)
7. When posting the job, be sure you have:
–A headline that clearly states what you need done.
–A description that gives a detailed job description.
8. You need to interview the applicants. You will be able to build a relationship with your full-timers. You want to carefully screen for someone who is passionate and eager to learn. They will become your assistants. You want to know their availability and experience. You also want to review their portfolio, read any online reviews and get a referral.
9. Always start them on a probationary period (particularly full-timers). Give them a test assignment. Also, make sure you give them an orientation and ask for daily progress reports. Use software like Dropbox.com and Google Docs to send projects to them. You can use The Jing Project to capture your computer screen as an image, so you can share it instantly.
10. Use payment software to pay them. An example is Xoom. It allows you to transfer money safely while saving money on transfer fees.
The benefits to your business of outsourcing include:
1. Increased quality of work/tasks completed.
2. Time savings in having an expert complete an assignment.
3. Cost savings over hiring employees.
Once you start outsourcing, you will be able to concentrate on what energizes you about your business. Start having fun in your business, again!
I invite you to take back control of your time by outsourcing.
Visit again soon for more Outsourcing tips!
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