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Outsourcing

The advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing

Starting a business when you are 50 or more is a hassle in terms of your time. You’ve got stuff to do and less time than someone in their 20’s. Most of us use an accountant to do our taxes, some of us have cleaners or gardeners.  If you are starting a business or running one, then outsourcing is a sensible practice. You need to quickly realise that time is precious and that outsourcing can get you to where you want to go faster than getting stuck trying to do everything yourself.

Where you might not have sufficient expertise or time outsourcing to a specialist enhances your work.

What do you do best?
What don’t you do well?
I don’t know about you, the more I try to do myself, the more I neglect in my business. The more I outsource, jobs someone can do faster and better than me, frees up my time for deep research, writing and the things only I can do well. If you are over 50 and trying to do everything you will never make it. Sorry, but you don’t have that much time.

If you haven’t the money to do this, then you need to learn everything you can. And honestly, if you can’t afford help, then be really honest about how your business is travelling.

outsourcing

image by Naletu from unsplash.com

Outsourcing has to be a part of your business

The simple fact is that there are many benefits to outsourcing.
The big one is your time.

But not your strategy.

Seth Godin tells entrepreneurs that their job is to build a business bigger than themselves through creating a business model that is scalable and repeatable. And then to only do work you can’t hire other people to do.

Your focus, as a business owner is on the marketing strategy:

  • the customers you want
  • the activities your firm will do and won’t do
  • how you plan to differentiate yourself so as to avoid pricing competition
  • revenue targets & more

Then decide how best to do this.

It’s at this point you have to decide if you want those skills in-house or to outsource.

Advantages of outsourcing

  • your time
  • access to expertise and capability not currently available to you
  • choosing the experts who have the right fit for your business
  • just for the time you require
  • no overheads or on-costs
  • the ability to focus on what you are good at
  • saves time not having to learn everything you need

Disadvantages of outsourcing

    • non-delivery – time or quality not as expected
    • hidden or unexpected costs, more so with freelance sites where the bidder may not have the expertise
    • inconsistency, again this can happen with freelance sites, depending on how busy the freelancer is
    • lack of contact, lax reporting
    • not as passionate about your customers as you are
    • expertise stays outside your firm
    • outsourcing to overseas can have language barriers & misunderstandings

What might you want to outsource?

Web management – updates, monitoring, maintaining your website and social media sites
Content management & creation – blogging & posting, ebooks, white papers, editorial, video, podcasting, photography, articles, how to’s, illustrations etc
Social media management – content creation, posting
Email list management – segmenting your list, publishing newsleters
Campaign management – inbound and outbound
Website and social media reporting – interpreting the analytics data and reporting
Online advertising – Adwords campaigns and social media advertising
Bookkeeping
Transcripts
Everyday assistance
Graphic design
Technical assistance

Remember that the person or company you outsource to may not be able to do everything, they in turn may need to hire further experts to assist them, so factor in the extra costs.

time

photo by Antii Pajari on unsplash.com

Outsourcing or not?

There is a range of outsourcing options, especially with the freelancer sites such as freelancer, upwork and others.

There’s a good chance there are locals near you providing a range of services, for east of Melbourne see http://manderey.com.au/

While there are some excellent freelancers available, the trick is being able to brief them properly to get what you want.

Again, believe me, done wrong this can drive you mad.

Freelance sites can save you money if you don’t have the funds and know what you are doing.

Rates vary per task, from as little as USD$5-50 , just be warned though, you will get what you pay for.

Go too cheap, or go for the lowest bidder you may be throwing your money away.
I prefer to pay better rates as I get much better service that way.

I have tried many times and found the results can be inconsistent, even based on feedback provided about the freelancer. Sometimes you find a gem, but they won’t always be available if they are any good to start with.

What do you think?

 

 

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