Any Outsourcing Advice For A Control Freak?

24 replies
Hello Warriors.

I'm hoping you guys can help me out with some advice on how to begin outsourcing. Now I know there are a million posts and a million WSO's on the subject, but I am looking more on advice on how to "let go".

I have built my business from the ground up on my own over the last 4 years, and find it difficult to think about handing whole projects or even areas of responsibility over to someone else. I guess I am having a control freak issue with it. I am at the point now that time is a limiting factor for my business rather than money or knowledge, so I need to outsource to grow.

Does anybody have any advice on how to get started when its so hard to let go? Any words of advice or cautionary tales? I can't imagine handing over passwords to my stuff, or is it just something I have to bite my lip on and just do it? How do you guys protect yourselves? Thanks ahead of time for all the great responses I know I will receive.
#advice #control #freak #outsourcing
  • Profile picture of the author Dan Allard
    Coming from someone who's done both- you really do need to let go. Yes you'll have to provide passwords and you'll have to put a lot of trust in someone else. But don't forget, you get to pick who that is.

    Most of my time online I've been freelancing, but I also have my own projects and have hired people before. I always felt the same way as you. I also always thought 'there's no way someone else could complete this project the way I'm envisioning it".

    But then I realized people probably thought the same about me, and I always over-deliver. There are plenty of trustworthy, knowledgeable, and capable freelancers out there. You just have to weed the sketchy ones out, which isn't hard to do these days.

    I recommend changing your passwords temporarily if you need to give them to someone else. Also start out with small projects and see how they work before moving on to bigger projects.

    And one more thing, give them a chance! Give them some breathing room and see how they do..they might just surprise you. If they don't, micromanage away!
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  • Profile picture of the author ScoTech
    Thanks Dan, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. Sometimes the first step is the toughest.

    Where is the best place to look for high quality outsourcing, I'm not sure I'm ready to turn my business over to an army of Filipinos quite yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Allard
    No problem!

    I've hired from recommendations before and also from oDesk.com. oDesk is great because each freelancer gets feedback and a rating. They also have to submit a cover letter to apply for your job- my first job posting there I had about 15 applicants. And it's free to post a job posting.

    It's easy to tell where they're from/ their skill level/ and how much integrity they have from their cover letter and public profile. You can also (and should) talk to them over the phone or Skype.

    Other places to check out are:
    Hope this helps, goodluck!
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  • Profile picture of the author ScoTech
    Thanks Bonnie, that is a really great suggestion. I have never heard of VA from rural areas of the US, only from overseas. Great tip.
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  • Profile picture of the author kingprince999
    well as you said
    I am at the point now that time is a limiting factor for my business rather than money or knowledge, so I need to outsource to grow.
    i would recommend to hire someone locally find someone around your area who can work sitting besides you you will feel more secure, otherwise there are many sites where you can distribute your work like odesk, freelancer etc etc
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    • Profile picture of the author cd4337
      Originally Posted by kingprince999 View Post

      well as you said
      i would recommend to hire someone locally find someone around your area who can work sitting besides you you will feel more secure, otherwise there are many sites where you can distribute your work like odesk, freelancer etc etc
      I would at the very least start this way. No matter how small your town may be you can still find talent.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan Butz
    @ScoTech - I use oDesk for my outsourcing needs.

    As far as how to let go, I would suggest reading The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. He goes into detail about how to outsource and why your time is more valuable. Or even just simple habits to get into to help you save yourself time throughout the day so you don't have to completely go full fledge right away.
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  • Profile picture of the author ScoTech
    These are all great suggestions. I will check out that book also. Thank you everybody for the encouragement. I don't usually need it, but sometimes it helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    What sort of work do you need to outsource?
    If it's any sort of writing work, I would be happy to discuss doing it for you as I am an excellent writer/editor/proofreader.
    If it's other work, try vworker
    I have completed 42 jobs for that site and found the employers to be great.
    Elance is another terrific site for people because you get some decent quotes form skilled people.
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  • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
    No matter what kind of work you need done, you need a professional. One of the biggest problems that people have with outsourcing is that they wind up cleaning up all of the work later - which doesn't do you any favors, and can actually take more time than just doing the work yourself.

    Take the time to do your homework (research people out there and talk to them about what they can do for you before you hire them). It might take a little longer in the beginning that just opting for whoever offers the cheapest rates, but it can save you alot of time in the end. If you've got the right people working for you, even a control freak like yourself can wind up with more time to devote to other projects - while other people handle the tasks that you can't or don't want to do yourself
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  • I am a Control Freak in Remission ;-) I struggle every day to let go. The biggest help for me is my mantra, "You can't grow a business with out a team."

    I have to remind myself every day that I want freedom to do other things, I want to have a life. I can't do that if I am a slave to my business. Having a team that can run your business will set you free! "You can't grow a business with out a team."

    I believe it. I do it. But as a Recovering Control Freak, I also tend to take 3 steps forward and one step back ;-) "You can't grow a business with out a team."
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    Sleep a little, play a little, eat a lot, scratch where it itches - dogs have the right idea about life.
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  • Profile picture of the author grover69
    I've hired a ton of workers and writers on oDesk. Lately one of the best solutions is to use software like Basecamp or Apollo CRM (my current preferred choice) to set up a place for workers to log in and check stuff off of to-do lists. Attempting to manage workers just through email will drive you to drink (I know, because that is how I started). Get a system in place and use it.
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  • Most people are control freaks so don't feel bad, but the top 1% are not and it's a skill you can develop, just do one small project then move to the next and learn by doing.
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    soon people... Relax...
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    • 1. Implement daily quota standards. You've previously done what you need to outsource, right? What's the volume of your output and its overall quality when you did one particular task in eight hours? Are you an expert in specialized areas relevant to that task? Did you hire someone who has longer experience and better expertise in relevant subject areas to do that task? If so, then what you can complete in eight hours of doing that particular task should be your full time daily quota...

      2. Hire professionals who are screened, trained and managed by a reputable company with years of experience in providing offshore employee leasing services. Sign a subcontract with NDA and NCAs. The company won't ruin the reputation and credibility they built for years and years for themselves, hby doing anything that goes against the terms in your signed subcontract...

      Number 1 above gives you the opportunity to set achievable expectations and to pay for what you get and to not pay for what you didn't get...

      Number 2 above provides you with peace of mind and a less tedious task of screening, training and managing your leased employees because the company has formulated and constantly implements screening, training and management processes...
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  • Profile picture of the author larkin
    What is the sickest job or the most boring job in your business? Outsource it first.
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  • Profile picture of the author Inari
    take it easy and be more relaxed. we used to be super paranoid and uptight about our stuff - especially handing out shell accounts and even root access to our servers to outsourced guys, having them fax us scanned IDs, sign NDAs, etc - but in the end it never proved necessary. if you pick your freelancers well, they will have a longstanding quality profile and reputation, and care WAY more about that than about stealing your stuff.

    if you want control, for starters I recommend oDesk. probably the platform with the most control over contractors.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anomaly1974
    Just my personal view ...

    Find a reputable company (in the Philippines?) where you decide to conduct your business or who you decide to allow to handle your outsourcing.

    Visit them, work with them and make sure that they are capable of handling your work while you try to enjoy a bit of time away.
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  • Profile picture of the author colinph970
    In terms of "letting go" - try reading "The E-Myth Revisited".....
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  • Profile picture of the author ScoTech
    Wow what a response. I think I am going to give odesk a try, it seems like quote a few warriors recommend it. Anybody have any outsourcing nightmares they could share to help us avoid making the same mistakes?
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  • Profile picture of the author LauraJames
    When I first went into business, I was cautious about not overseeing every aspect, including building and promoting. I spent lots of hours doing my job and watching over the shoulders of staff members. Along with running a business, I am a single mom to my children, including having a daughter with autism. I have always realized the importance of being a positive role model to them. Naturally, this "burning the candle at both ends" scenario was not helpful to me, my family, or my staff members, I knew it was time to step back. Sure, I always knew my staff members were quite capable. Like almost everyone, they are proud to be considered trustworthy and reliable. It's a simple concept and quite effective. Speaking from personal experience, letting others help has been incredibly beneficial both personally and professionally. Best wishes to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasono
    I think if you consider the budget, outsourcing overseas like in Philippines and India would be a good decision. I've been outsourcing in these places and so far everything is fine. I get VAs at cheaper rates but can still provide quality work that I'm looking for.
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