Many extremely successful internet marketers say they would do one thing differently if they could. They say they’d outsource earlier in their business. In fact, many experts advise outsourcing almost from the very beginning. If you’ve come to a point where you’re ready to seek outsourcing help, congratulations! This is an important step. Where you go from here will help determine your success.
Your First Step
Your first step may be surprising. It’s not to start asking for referrals or to do a Google search for freelance help. Your first step is to sit down at your desk and plan.
You want to begin with a definition or a list of the tasks you need help with. These tasks will also likely include systems or a step by step of how you want the task to be accomplished. For example, if you’re outsourcing your customer service, you want to outline your customer service system so whoever you hire can step right in and do the job correctly.
You also want to plan how you’re going to outsource the task. For example, are you going to start small and outsource only a portion of the responsibility? Do you want to be able to add tasks and responsibilities as you develop a working relationship with your help? Do you want to be able to add more tasks as you can afford them? What’s your long-term outsourcing plan? That takes us to your second step.
Creating an Outsourcing Budget
How much can you afford to pay? This is going to involve two key questions:
* What is the task worth to you? (This is in terms of both time and money.)
* What is your hourly value? (How much do you make per hour?)
Your hourly value can be calculated by dividing your profits by the number of hours you work each week, month or year. For example, if you make $50,000 in profits annually and you work 2080 hours annually, then your hourly value is $24/hour. This information can help you decide if it makes financial sense to outsource a task. If it costs more than $24/hour then it might not be a wise financial step.
Where to Find Outsourcing Help
Once you have determined exactly what you’re looking for and how much you can afford to pay, then it’s time to start looking for outsourcing help. You can find good contractors in a number of places.
1. Ask associates for referrals
2. Network online
3. Search engines
4. Freelance websites like Elance
5. Search engines
Evaluating Your Candidates
Once you have a few candidates in mind, review their work samples and references and consider giving them a test project. You want to evaluate their communication skills, professionalism and ability to do the job you requested.
Maintaining the Relationship
Once you’ve had the opportunity to work with a few contractors and you’ve found the people you work best with, there are a few things you’ll want to do to ensure they stick around. The first thing is to work together to determine a method for communication that works for both of you. Some people communicate well with email. Others prefer phone calls or instant messaging. Make sure this communication system is established and works for both of you. Additionally, flexibility, constructive feedback and consistent work all help keep a contractor happily working for you.