11 Tips To Outsource Your Online Business
Is life making you feel strained and is it all getting too much? Is your hectic schedule giving you less time to focus on your business? Do you need to increase the scope of your productivity?
This post, which is about outsourcing, can help you with not only all of these worries, but much more too. The advantages that can be gained from outsourcing are infinite, including more time for your personal life and an increase in revenue as well as practicality. This post gets straight to the point and explains how to actually use outsourcing.
The steps below allow you to follow the instructions and tips directly and will show you how to get terrific results with outsourcing regardless of whether or not you have used it before.
How to outsource your online business to make it thrive?
Beneath lie some steps you can take to have a successful outsourcing experience. It begins with discovering what you can gain and finishes with finally having the added pressure taken off you.
1. What´s your role
Before you can embark on your outsourcing journey, you need to identify what it actually is and what you aim to use it for. The following questions can be used to make lists that will help you to discover this: What is my role in the business? What work don’t I enjoy or what am I not particularly good at? What work would I like to take on? What would I like other people to do for me?
Begin from the column furthest to the left and work your way across. As you go along, see what you can cross off the list to prevent you from doing pointless tasks that you may have paid another person to do.
Below lies an example of what your table will look like; it should give you some ideas of what to include in your own table.
|What is my role in the business?||What work don’t I enjoy or what am I not particularly good at?||What work would I like to take on?||What would I like other people to do for me?|
|Inventory||Data handling||Marketing||Email response|
|Email response||Account management||Blogging||Networking|
This table will help you to perform activities that you enjoy, while you pass on work that you dislike to others. This will help you to enjoy your work and will result in a positive change for the business. Even though the process may be time consuming, it is imperative that you establish the answers to the above questions in order to be as productive as possible.
Outsourcing might take a while to put into practice, but it will have great end results and allow you to, not only increase profits, but also to enjoy what you do. As you undergo the outsourcing process, you may find yourself adding more activities to the column “What would I like other people to do for me?” Outsourcing becomes an effortless activity and as a result, you will have more time to yourself and control over your business.
Don’t be nervous to delegate tasks to others, even if you are concerned that others might not have the skills that you use for the activities. The nitty gritty aspects can be figured out at a later point. Keep your possibilities open!
“If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.” – Lee Kuan Yew
2. Which tasks are most urgent when you outsource your online business?
Look under your “What would I like other people to do for me” column and decide which of those activities need to be completed right away. You should pick between one and three activities that you are comfortable to allow someone else to do.
Set out instructions that state precisely what you need done with this task. Include the steps that you, yourself, would usually take when completing the task; but keep it straightforward so that others can follow the steps.
If the task to be outsourced comes from the column “What work don’t I enjoy or what am I not particularly good at?”, then you need not give such a detailed description. Give simply a broad outline and what you are specifically looking for.
Be very clear when you define what needs to be done and when it needs to be completed. If the people you hire are experts in the field, you need not give step-by-step instructions as they will already know what to do.
In order to know who you want to work for you, create an idea of who would be the perfect hire for the job. Specify this clearly, as you will be more likely to get applicants from those who are best qualified for the job. Being specific about what you want will also make the hiring process simpler for you, as you will not have to sift through applications that do not meet your requirements.
You need to decide the following when applying your specific requirements:
- What skills do the applicants require?
- How skilled do they need to be in that area? You can rate this on a scale.
- How many hours will they be required to work per week? Also include the limits of how many hours a person can work.
- What level of English should they have? (or any other language)
- What skills that are non-specific to the task do they have? Such as time management and communication.
- How much are you willing to spend to get the job done? Have a budget for each task.
Consider all of these aspects when you are deciding who the perfect hire will be.
4. Put the job online
Now that you know precisely what you are looking for, you need to start getting applications for the job by posting it online.
Create a specific outline including all the requirements that you listed above. This will filter the possible applicants, as only applicants meeting the specifications should apply. Choose one way of receiving the applications, such as a specific email account so that all applications are grouped together.
Applicants should include contact details, CVs and examples of their work. Keep these handy for future jobs.
Don’t give out your personal details and contact information. It is preferable to create an email account solely for the purpose of job recruitments so that your personal accounts do not become full of applications.
You can also decide where you would prefer your hires to come from, as online outsourcing will result in applications from all over the world. You might prefer someone from your own country or a person from somewhere that is topic specific. For example, if you need someone to write a blog entry on African wild-life, someone from South Africa is likely to have intimate knowledge on the subject. People from the Philippines are also popular hires, as they are known to produce good results for less of an expense. Websites that are good to use should you want to hire someone from the Philippines are:
Update 2017: A new website called Outsourcely may also be an alternative for your business.
Aside from those 3 I have listed the best outsourcing websites on this other post which will come extremely handy to you.
Most of these websites are also available for finding hires from other countries. You can specify where you want your applications to come from.
There are also numerous outsourcing agencies available. They will know who to send your way, based on your requirements. On the down side, this route is usually more expensive than hiring an independent contractor. Independent contractors usually cost less to hire, as no compensation needs to go elsewhere for the hire.
Independent contractors or freelancers can also be found on the web. Good websites to use are:
Now that you have posted your job online, check for applications on a regular basis so that you don’t get behind. Remember the requirements you set out and search for the applications that best meet your specifications.
Get a response ready that you can send to applicants that you may be interested in hiring. You can send the same response to all candidates to save yourself time. In this response, you can be more specific about the job you have posted. You can set up an interview via Skype and include follow-up questions that the applicants should answer. Tell them when your deadlines are and make sure that they can do the job in that time.
6.Filter and though applications
This is what you should look for in an application:
- A copy of their CV an employment/education history
- Examples of work they have done in the past
- The message that goes with their job application
- Their tone and register as well as spelling and punctuation used. This can be used to see what level of English they have.
7.The interviewing process
Once you have chosen the few applicants that are most qualified for the job, the interviewing stage comes into play.
Make sure that you don’t just start hiring applicants; you should interview them first in order to avoid hiring the wrong people. Remember not everyone is completely honest about their skills and experience.
How should the interview process go?
- Generate a few questions relating to what your ideal worker would be like.
- Make them specific questions; for example, ask them to rate their skills.
- Ask them about the projects they have previously worked on.
- Ask them about what parts of previous projects they struggled with, as these difficulties might arise in your job
- Be specific about what you want, but also try to build a positive relationship starting from the interviewing process
- Ask them questions about the job, almost like a test
- Make surely that you respond to all interviewees, even if you don’t think you will hire them. Be polite and explain that they don’t meet the requirements
- Make sure to interview all the top candidates before you start hiring
8.Get a sample
Ask the top applicants to do a short sample of the job you are hiring for. Give them the instructions and see who produces the best work.
After receiving the sample take into account not only how well they performed the task; but also how long it took them and how they understood the task. You don’t want to hire someone that will require help and advice from you constantly. A certain amount of questions are good, as they are clearly keen to produce the best work possible.
Now that you have seen the candidates’ applications, interviews and samples, it should not be too difficult to choose the best person for the job. The samples should show you who lived up to what they sold you in their applications and interviews and who did not.
If you have a few people that all seem like great hires, go with your gut. Who gave you a good vibe? Who seemed like a good person to build a strong work relationship with?
Choose a person to hire, but ensure that you pay the other candidates for their sample work. Remember them for future work, if they appealed to you.
9.Make arrangements and guide
Now that you’ve hired someone, set in motion the guidelines for the job and give them any further training.
Some advice on how to do this:
- Tell them how you would like to communicate and share files. For example, choose one account for communication and one method for file-sharing to make the process less complicates. Dropbox is a good way to share files.
- Set up dates for progress reports, for example at the end of each day or week.
- Use a time-tracking device, such as on odesk.com. This allows you to track their progress and to see how their time management is working out. Quickbooks is also good for this.
- Make sure that all new hires receive the same information to keep the process organized.
Once you have a system figure out, apply to all of your other ventures and projects, master it and get comfortable with it. I’ve said this many time though my blogs: money comes and goes, it can be cero or it can be millions but you only have 1 lifetime, hense time is your most precious resource. Outsourcing saves you time, the best you get at it, the more time you’ll have to enjoy.
Now that you have hired someone and given them instructions, trust them to do the job. Try not to micromanage your hires or expect too much of them. The point of outsourcing is to give yourself some time to do other things, so don’t spend all this new time keeping track of the hires. Of course, you need to check up on them and get updates in how the project is going, but this can be done once a day or even less. Enjoy your new found spare time to do things that you enjoy.
The process might seem slightly intimidating and complicated at first, but don’t give up! You will soon get used to outsourcing and its many benefits are well worth the effort.
What would you like to know about how to outsource your online business? Drop a comment below!