What I've Learned about Outsourcing

by AnneE
46 replies
I wanted to pass on a quick summary of what I've learned about Outsourcing, because I think it has been key to my growing success and could be key to other Warriors:

1) One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch -- If you have a bad outsourcing experience, don't give up on the concept. I used to finish every bad outsourcing experience thinking, "See if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!" Well that would be great if you could clone yourself, but you can't and you will limit your success tremendously if you don't hire other people to do tasks. Now I finish any bad outsourcing experience thinking, "well I won't hire them again" or "I'll try a different outsourcing resource next time".

2) Try to hire someone with a proven track record -- Elance, Odesk, Fiverr (probably others) include individuals ratings. There is usually a reason for people being the highest-rated.

3) Try to give a small task first. Obviously Fiverr is setup like this. But Odesk, I just hired someone for 10 hours at $7 an hour. If the job isn't done properly, I'm out $70 -- really? who cares. If they DO the job then awesome, because this is a task that I've had on my to-do list for a couple months and I am just not getting to and it could REALLY help move my business forward

4) Do say please, thank you and give a little love! What goes around, comes around! And practice passing on positive thoughts and appreciation to others will help YOU in the long run.

5) I like Microworkers for getting some social media movement going. With a Microworkers job you describe a small task (it can be as little as posting to a wall on Facebook, Liking a page, Tweeting a message) and the website suggests what you should pay people to do the task. One thing I really like about Microworkers is since you are potentially someone who might do the work, you will be able to browse other jobs. I find often someone else has done a great job describing a task (for instance if they want a blog post written that links back to their website) -- and I can take their job description and then alter it to fit my needs. This ends up fixing a lot of situations where you might think, "It will take me so long to explain it, that it isn't worthwhile." There are other things I like and other things I don't like about this website, but I don't want the whole post to be about them.

6) Do Outsource! Others have said it, but it's worth repeating. Bill Gates didn't write all the code, make the ads, order the CD's or packaging, handle the customer calls, etc at Microsoft. You shouldn't try and do everything at your company. I think a lot of people think, "I'll hire someone else when my business takes off." or "I can't afford to hire someone else right now, but I will once I earn some money." But then the business never takes off because you are making such slow progress.

7) Read the 4 Hour Workweek to help get the right mindset. If you don't have the money, there are libraries with a copy and bookstores that allow browsing (just don't abuse the privilege and spill coffee on the book while at the cafe).

8) A good outsourcing experience can be a lot of fun. You might end up making a new friend. Or you may have tasks that have weighed on your mind, "I should...." and now, they are DONE!!!

That's it. Gotta go! Good luck!

Anne
#learned #outsourcing
  • Profile picture of the author Sojourn
    Excellent lessons. I knew logically that I would have to outsource at some point but I just kept putting it off. I've managed a lot of people in my career so I don't know what the issue was - fear of not having control, belief I could do it better myself, or some combination of issues. Part of it was not being sure what I wanted the outsourcer to do. However, once I figured out slivers of work to outsource and controls I could put in place to check the work, things went much better and now I can't imagine NOT having outsourcers. I had to just creep my way into it to increase my comfort level.

    (magiclouie, I do have two outsourcers in the Philippines and they're wonderful!! )
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    • Profile picture of the author oleo
      Thank you for this. I have one question. When you hire someone at an hourly rate, how do you know know how long it takes them to complete a task? Do you agree on it ahead of time or take their word for it?
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      • Profile picture of the author AnneE
        Originally Posted by oleo View Post

        Thank you for this. I have one question. When you hire someone at an hourly rate, how do you know know how long it takes them to complete a task? Do you agree on it ahead of time or take their word for it?
        I've used Elance where I was just taking the word of the person doing the work how much time they had spent. I think ODesk -- which I'm on my first job with them -- actually has some built in tracking system, like their providers log in to their system perhaps (almost punching a time-clock when beginning on a a task) and then punch out at some point? I really don't know, but I've seen references to "automatic tracking" and I know the job I had says 2.3 hours have been spent on it -- not the sort of increment a human being would be likely to record.

        The reason I tried Odesk over Elance for this particular task, was I just wanted to have someone see if they could collect some information on the internet for me. So it wasn't really a project that I wanted to try and put out to bid on Elance -- it felt smaller than that. So far, the results I've seen are great.

        In terms of 'taking someone's word' for how long they spent, you will still see the results, so odds are, if they say they spent 3 hours and you think they should have gotten a lot more done in 3 hours, then you probably won't hire them again. As long as you didn't commit to hiring them for a huge number of hours, then it's not a big deal.
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  • Hi There outsourcing is very good if you need a job done quick and you dont no what to do there are people willing to do this job at a price i highly recommend it
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  • Profile picture of the author kodyabbott
    The growth of the internet has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for those smart enough to recognise them. Everyone dreams of making quick money at home and outsourcing is one of the best ways of achieving the dream.

    Outsourcing is basically an exercise in reducing costs to increase profit. In its wider sense, it also means paying someone to do the jobs you don’t like or stress you out, so that you can use your time more profitably elsewhere. For the individual, it usually means taking on a job and then getting someone else to do it. You pay them less than you charge and pocket the difference. What could be more attractive than knowing how to make money in a simple fashion at minimum risk?
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  • Profile picture of the author hashbury
    You are pretty much spot on. One of the biggest problems for me was explaining how a task should be done.

    Now, I just make a video of how I want my task/jobs done and this has cleared a lot of confusion up.
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  • Profile picture of the author AnneE
    Originally Posted by magiclouie View Post

    I was hoping I could read something like Philippine outsourcing in your thread post. just kidding! .....
    No, but now that I see your signature link, I'll have to go check it out. Maybe one more resource to add to my list.
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    • Profile picture of the author magiclouie
      Originally Posted by AnneE View Post

      No, but now that I see your signature link, I'll have to go check it out. Maybe one more resource to add to my list.
      Yeah, you really need to check that out.

      Happy outsourcing!
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  • Profile picture of the author PPC-Coach
    Odesk has a time viewing system where the worker logs in and every 15 minutes or so, it takes a screenshot of their desktop. That way you can see what they're doing throughout each hour. (I think they might even randomize the timing of the screenshot so that it can't be tricked).

    I like that feature a lot but fixed price projects have always worked best for me. I don't have any full time outsourced employees at this point though.

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  • Profile picture of the author mongsky
    that's why i love this forum, i'm learning a lot form reading these threads
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    I had horrible experiences with many service providers at Elance, and specially Odesk. I hate both of them and I will never again in my life trust these thieves.

    I found honest people online but I have to pay them a lot more for their services than what I used to pay to the freelancers…

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    • Profile picture of the author AnneE
      Originally Posted by clever7 View Post

      I had horrible experiences with many service providers at Elance, and specially Odesk. I hate both of them and I will never again in my life trust these thieves.

      I found honest people online but I have to pay them a lot more for their services than what I used to pay to the freelancers...
      I would guess that any job/services boards have both good and bad providers. So I'm curious if you have had such bad luck with Elance and Odesk, where you have found the folks you like, the 'honest people'?
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  • Profile picture of the author nelsonbiglar
    That is a great way of presenting it... thank you so much!
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  • Profile picture of the author Go4DBest
    Outsourcing to the Philippines is by far the best.
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    • Profile picture of the author AnneE
      Originally Posted by Go4DBest View Post

      Outsourcing to the Philippines is by far the best.
      I really don't think any country has a lock on having the best service providers regardless of the job. And I would certainly never pick someone just because they live in a country that I'v heard is "the best" for outsourcing. You might just as well pull a name out of a hat!
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  • Profile picture of the author Internet Lawyer
    Banned
    Good, solid list. I recommend outsourcing when you know how it is done, for the sake of time. Don't outsource something basic, if you cannot do it yet. You need to be able to impose quality control--rather than passively accept whatever work they turn into you.
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  • Profile picture of the author vtotheyouknow
    Thanks Anne!

    I've been delaying the inevitable but I think the time has come to outsource. Especially if you're building niche sites, it's simply im-freaking-possible to do even a fraction of your to-do list yourself.

    On a side note, I went hiking in the Catskills this summer and it was loverly! :p

    Good vibes~
    Vic
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  • Profile picture of the author thedog
    Good points.

    I used an outsourcer once... from easyoutsource... they're all from the phillipeans... man my spelling is 5hite

    Anyway... I spent a lot of time explaining what had to be done... so, I guess it was more like a lesson in what not to do for me.

    It was a simple enough copy and paste task, so I thought it would be straight forward... ah well.

    I used them as they seem to be cheaper than the rest, but I don't like that there's no reviews... maybe there is now?

    So, next time... I'm going to wait until I have an exact blue print, and will be more stringent when interviewing those for the job.

    I do believe this is the only way to bring your IM career to the next level.
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  • Profile picture of the author cannons
    Outsourcing is the way to go. Just pick the right one and you get the work done in heavily cheap costs.
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  • Profile picture of the author kenshin193
    During my early days in internet marketing...I have to do all the things by myself...well it get me so tired and I have no life with enough money but dont have enough time for family...I work 12 - 16 hours in front of pc. Just took me 6 month until I got high blood pressure because of stress and not enough sleep.

    Than I realize that in order for me to get a lot of time and expand my business I need to outsource it...Now...I only work 4 hours a day and have a lot of fun time with my family!
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  • Profile picture of the author go4wealth
    1) One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch -- If you have a bad outsourcing experience, don't give up on the concept. I used to finish every bad outsourcing experience thinking, "See if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!" Well that would be great if you could clone yourself, but you can't and you will limit your success tremendously if you don't hire other people to do tasks. Now I finish any bad outsourcing experience thinking, "well I won't hire them again" or "I'll try a different outsourcing resource next time".
    I had two bad experiences with outsourcing and wish I had ran across this post way back then.... being a hardheaded do it yourself kinda person I stupidly was turned off from outsourcing for years... like I said I am a hardheaded ... spent $18,000 in a coaching program where all the participants were as hardheaded like me and the most important message was "ok no one can do it better than yourself... get over it and let someone else do it"

    To think how much I could have saved if I had spent time in the Warrior Forum - ok maybe not really - fact is my coach, Chauncey Hauter, was absolutely a master marketer trained by Dan Kennedy and worth every penny

    My point is this post is excellent and the advice given is sound. Many of us who are independent business people are use to doing things and getting them done. We have to realize that we must depend on others if we want to expand and grow... not easy for some of us ... but essential to get to the next level

    Great Post
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  • Profile picture of the author gurokevin
    My last outsourcing job went horrible. Had a VA that would not do their job when I needed the work done and sometimes not at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author NikkiBlue
    Does anyone still use RentaCoder (Vworker?) anymore? I used to hear they had the best arbitration process.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rick88
      When you outsource you need to see yourself as a manager and follow the things that a manager does.

      Assigns work, gets the outsourcer anything that they will need that they don't have, set the deadlines, check the work, take care of the relationships, pay the worker, And oh yeah, the hardest part, DISCIPLINE a worker if they aren't doing what they were hired to do.

      Sometimes it is a word of encouragement and sometimes you have to let them go. Being a manager is not always easy and sitting back and doing nothing. It is however different than what most people are used to and if you are one of those who have never managed, then you will have learn something new.

      It's a tough job but someone has to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author PatriciaS
    I placed my first outsourcing task at oDesk just yesterday. I fell madly in love with the whole process. Now, the job isn't done, but it's half done and pretty good. For the longest time I was very disinterested in outsourcing, but then I "got it" -- HEY!! They can do things I don't want to (and there are SO many thigns I don't want to), and they can do things for cheap that I can sell for more. But getting it wasn't the same thing as being able to afford it.

    This time was a dream, though -- I had a problem I was going to have to literally spend DAYS learning the software to take care of (Photoshop which I don't even own, or Gimp). In this case, paying someone maybe $24 to take that horrible load off my shoulders, freeing up my time to do something far more productive and freeing me up emotionally too) is an absolutely incredible bargain.

    So, I'm definitely sold. Just need a bigger $$ income stream so I can do much, much more. In fact, I've been plotting a bit this afternoon just where I was going to be putting some of my anticipated income to boost my earnings.

    BTW, oDesk does have an hourly tracker. I would find that rather insulting were I the contractor, but if they can live with it, it certainly takes the suspicion out of the final bill.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Originally Posted by AnneE View Post

    1) One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch -- If you have a bad outsourcing experience, don't give up on the concept. I used to finish every bad outsourcing experience thinking, "See if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!" Well that would be great if you could clone yourself, but you can't and you will limit your success tremendously if you don't hire other people to do tasks. Now I finish any bad outsourcing experience thinking, "well I won't hire them again" or "I'll try a different outsourcing resource next time".
    Certainly not complete, but the only complaint I have is THIS! One apple CAN spoil the whole bunch! But you are taking this statement out of context. Just because ONE bunch is spoiled does NOT mean another is.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Silent Warrior
      Thanks for the post and reminding me to dust off The Four Hour Work Week!
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  • Profile picture of the author tlrix
    If the outsourcer is bad or did a bad job I always give a bad review. Especially if I clearly stated in my job posting "don't bid if you are not a VERY good writer" (or something like that). I'm so fed up with all the ones saying "A++" or "Great experience to work for" ... if the work was bad I write it out in the review... Then they come crawling back begging "please please remove bad review" telling me this will break their business or that they will lose customers... I don't remove it, and I don't care... lol! It's their own fault...
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    • Profile picture of the author hamzah3
      This is the right way to deal with such kind of people.I don't understand why people have forgotten the basic rule of business in 21st century."If you will provide good service and be sensible to the needs of your customer then your business can go only in one direction i.e Upwards".After all everyone wants to work with a person who is hard working and professional but sadly on internet most of the people are looking for free lunch
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      • Profile picture of the author Zane236
        I've also had a few bad experiences in outsourcing. Hired a couple of VAs but would suddenly disappear after a few weeks without even telling us and what's worst is that tasks were not finished. Well, that's life. You experience ups and downs but I never quit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Targeted Traffic
    For those who can...I think it's great to outsource your search marketing. It is better to let your staff concentrate on what they are trained to do, and let a company who specializes in search marketing take care of your campaign.

    Also, most search marketing companies have a monthly rate, so you pay the same every month and do not have to predict the fluctuating costs of your staff performing different search marketing tasks every month.
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  • Profile picture of the author Teacherman
    What people have to remember about outsourcing writing is that you often get what you pay for. If you want basic SE fodder, then you can go the cheap route. If you want actual post-secondary educated writers you have to pay a little more. I know there are lots of people that advertise they are "native English speakers" and then only charge a dollar for 500 words. Ask yourself if that sounds right. Once you find quality, stick with it and treat them well. The time you save on worrying if your work is being done correctly can be more efficiently allocated.
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  • Profile picture of the author underthegun
    This is pretty interesting. I've been attempting to signup for all the bookmarks available at Onlywire but for the love of God I don't want to do it LOL I've been considering outsourcing it haha
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by underthegun View Post

      This is pretty interesting. I've been attempting to signup for all the bookmarks available at Onlywire but for the love of God I don't want to do it LOL I've been considering outsourcing it haha
      I had this done through elance, and not only did I love the guy who did it, he was quick and has now become one of my part time outsourcees.

      Tis funny how through contract work you can find and test the reliablity of people. Once you find a diamond in teh rough, then keep them and look after them, and in turn they will look after you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brian Cashins
    You definitely get what you pay for, 9/10 times when you hire someone.Sometimes you just gotta take the plunge and do it. You can not do it all, so give outsourcing a shot.
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  • Profile picture of the author WSO Scholar
    Basic but great information for anyone looking to outsource aspects in their business. Well done!
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  • Profile picture of the author jeresteem99
    You can always try a trials period in a bit small amount and if they pass your expectation then you can continue your work with additional amount. Try to have tutorial first to get it effective.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lena
      Great info. I like your ideas. Thinking about outsourcing for a long time..
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  • Profile picture of the author anders3397
    I agree that there's a point where you need to take the plunge and outsource...you business simply can't grow if you don't.
    Thanks for the thoughts!
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  • Profile picture of the author junwejw
    Very useful info, thanks for sharing your experience!
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  • Profile picture of the author Anang Andriana
    Outsourcing helps us doing our job faster. Let it done by someone else and we can thinking another job which more urgent to get big profit.
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  • Profile picture of the author jeffreytheIM
    I agree with most of you guys about outsource. Just a note. Make sure you know the job first before you outsource so that you know if the guy you outsource the job to doing it well...

    Just my 2 cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author juicyt
    I have tried outsourcing from Odesk, freelancer and Elance and to date, noone could do what I required. I will certainly use them again on different projects as I too believe it can be an absolute invaluable tool, but you have to pick the job right.

    (I used them all to get sales leads via telemarketing into residential households in Australia for an information/sales pitch. A really great product almost everyone who see's, wants, but just getting people to answer let alone show interest just made this task impossible. Even for the companies that have had success doing it in other countries. Australia is a tough crowd when it comes to getting your foot in the door, the residential door.)

    MB
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  • Profile picture of the author coredesign
    Outsourcing is good if you are clear with what exactly do you want.
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  • Profile picture of the author JCorp
    Great post. Outsourcing can definitely help maximize and manage your time...it's just getting good outsourcers that can be tricky...
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