Contracting Out Some of your Work

Online Business Outsourcing Tips

Some Tips to Help You Outsource Your Work That Needs to Get Done

You’ve been doing all the work of your business yourself so far: building the site, maintaining it, doing the content, working the social media, updating your information and so on.

However after a certain point, assuming you want to expand, you’re going to need some help. After all, last I checked, there’s still only twenty-four hours in a day and you want to be able to eat, sleep and spend time with your family, friends and hobbies!

When you hit this point, it’s time to bring some help on board. But how do you sift through the shysters, the cheaters, the people who don’t really know what they’re doing and the people who you’ll never work well with no matter how wonderful they are? Well, it is one part trial and error, but I can give you some ideas of how best to start looking and some tips that have worked for me in the past.

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Know Your Limits, Work Within It

What do you enjoy doing in your business and what do you dread doing? This is a great place to start when you begin looking for places where you can do your outsourcing. Some people hate to do the website building and love to do social media. Some people hate to do the writing and love to do the coding. Draw up some lists of things you love to do in your business, things you ‘put up with’ and things you hate and then find people who love and are able to do the things you hate. This frees up a great deal of your time to concentrate on the aspects of the business you enjoy.

Looking for Freelancers/Contract Workers

All right, so you know what kind of people you want joining you up, at least insofar as what you need doing is concerned. So where do you start looking? Well, there are a number of places out there which connect business owners like you and I with contract workers:

  • Elance
  • oDesk
  • Craigslist (though be careful here!)
  • Local job postings
  • Monster
  • LinkedIn
  • Affiliate marketing summits and conferences: I’ve received and given recommendations for workers and if you can get to these places, they’re a great place to find contractors

Do keep in mind that with any of these places, you’ll have to put down your own filters. For example, do you want people with experience or do you want to be able to ‘train them up right’ in your own image (or a combination)? Do you want someone from your native country or do you just want someone who is able to speak/read/work in your native language? How much of a factor is price? Do you want to be able to meet face-to-face on a regular basis or do you not mind working over email? I cannot tell you which things you should look for in particular as it will depend on your preferences, but a few guidelines I can suggest include:

  • It’s best to work with people whose native language shares your own
  • The closer the time zones, the easier it is on everyone
  • I’ve had as much success working face to face as I have had working over long distances
  • The bigger your budget, the better quality work you’ll tend to get (though there are other factors at play here which we’ll get into another time).
  • Ten years experience in the field does not necessarily equal someone perfect to you; however, they should be able to demonstrate some experience where you want them to work, even if it’s just from school and hobbies.

These filters are a good place to get started, but of course, you have to take into account your own preferences and some trial and error!

Be Specific in What You Want

All right, now for my next point—and I’ve had contract workers roll their eyes and complain about this to me before, so I know it’s a real thing!

Once you know what you want and you have an idea of where you’re going to start looking, make sure you have a clear idea of your expectations, your timeline and your budget. Leave some wiggle room obviously, but the more clear you are in your expectations, the easier it will be to sift out the problem workers and find the ones who will actually do what you want, how you want it done. This is a good thing for the freelancers looking for work too: professionals are more likely to pay attention to a detailed, well thought out job post than they are to something vague.

This means that you should spend some time figuring out exactly what you want and then write it out for your prospects to read. Be prepared to answer questions and while you should show some flexibility, the bottom line should be maintained.

Finally Words of Wisdom – Be Patient

Finding great contract workers for your business takes time. You will probably not find the people with whom you will work best right away and that can be frustrating. But keep an open mind, keep your needs in mind, and keep looking and building your team until you have what you want for your business to prosper.

We’ll get into more tips about your contract workers including things like pay and how to work with them later; we’ll leave you at the point where you can start hunting them down yourself. Good luck and remember: try a variety of places, know what you want from your workers and the work and be patient!

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