Does Outsourcing work for you?

56 replies
There's a lot of talk about outsourcing. I've bought some great courses on it. It makes a lot of sense leveraging other people's time to grow your business.

What is your experience with Outsourcing? Is it all it's cracked up to be?

Honestly, my experience has been mixed. I've outsourced entire information products that I made six figures on, but I've also had a lot of nightmare experience. What's your opinion on outsourcing? What's your most valuable tip?
#outsourcing #work
  • Profile picture of the author mialove
    I also had a very good experience and a nightmare experience.

    It can be super difficult to find a right people, but when you find them, it's just wow...life became so much easier
    I don't have great statistic, for every 1 that good, i have 10 that not great at all...
    So, for me the most important thing is not give up fast, and just look for the wright one, even if it takes a lot of time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Cutts
    Yes it works for me but you have to be strict and interview them properly....

    I went through a lot of VA's in the past but I have a good team now.

    Danny
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  • Profile picture of the author jamesrich1
    Once you have a system set up and you are making consistent money its going to be necessary to outsource to scale up your business. Check out John Jonas Replace Myself for INCREDIBLE insight into this area.
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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    There are over 7 billion people in this world, and it only makes sense to find ways to hire the best person for the job. Find a good person and treat them well and you will have a long and fruitful partnership together.
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  • Profile picture of the author shaunfm
    From an economical perspective,outsourcing cannot realy fail if used properly.We are talking about highly skilled,academical individuals who actually find it a privilage and take great pride in offering you a great service.I have used Odesk on many occassions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Ocasio
    Outsourcing is very important in my business. I think one important point to keep in mind when outsourcing is to be as clear and detailed as possible with your project details. That's one step towards a positive experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author denysapu
    Find the right people to outsource (not easy though) at least if you had a nightmare before you could take some lesson of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author DeanJames
    It can be. Expect to go through a number of people to find the 'gold'. When you find a quality outsourcer, do your best to keep them. Allocate small projects at first. Keep an eye on quality of output over time.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Hooper
    I think it's one of those things where, the more you do it, the more skilled you become.

    The biggest advice I have on the subject is to trust people. You'll get the short end of the stick sometimes, but the overall benefits are worth the negatives, I think.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nicholas H
    I have had great success with outsourcing. It frees up some time to work on other tasks.

    Have had a horrible time with Filipino outsourcing (was recommended to me), such as them only charging $1.00-$2.50 an hour. You get what you pay for I guess (which Is not much)!

    Since then I have only been "hiring" qualified people, well qualified In a specific skill area. May have to pay a bit more the work Is better.
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    • Profile picture of the author abbe77
      Originally Posted by Nicholas H View Post

      I have had great success with outsourcing. It frees up some time to work on other tasks.

      Have had a horrible time with Filipino outsourcing (was recommended to me), such as them only charging $1.00-$2.50 an hour. You get what you pay for I guess (which Is not much)!

      Since then I have only been "hiring" qualified people, well qualified In a specific skill area. May have to pay a bit more the work Is better.
      Yes, its true!!! I am also a contractor and got many clients who are bitten by those $1-$2.50 people (losing of few BUCKS but lots of TIME ). Expert will always costs higher no matter in real job or as a freelancer. If you are looking for great quality then it is good practice to find someone with reasonable price like minimum $9-$12 per hour.
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    • Profile picture of the author MLMCoach
      Originally Posted by Nicholas H View Post

      I have had great success with outsourcing. It frees up some time to work on other tasks.

      Have had a horrible time with Filipino outsourcing (was recommended to me), such as them only charging $1.00-$2.50 an hour. You get what you pay for I guess (which Is not much)!

      Since then I have only been "hiring" qualified people, well qualified In a specific skill area. May have to pay a bit more the work Is better.
      You are right. You get what you pay. I am also a contractor. I have got many satisfied clients. It is reciprocal. I also faced problems with contractors and their availability.
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  • Profile picture of the author ningning
    Outsourcing can be a great experience. But as others have said it can take some attempts to find the right people.

    You also have to be very precise and structured when you give out tasks. I use instructional videos and nurse my workers a lot on Skype. So in the beginning it can easily take up more of your time to outsource but when your workers are trained your investment will come back many times.
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  • Profile picture of the author jingrong
    Need time and effort to find the right person with right skill to do the job. Just like I looking for Solo ad seller. If you are lucky you got the right person at very short period of time. I always look for recommendation from here or my mentor.
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    • Profile picture of the author jamescanz
      Definitely!

      I have dabbled with odesk and iwriter but nothing even comes close to the power of fiverr. The stuff they do on there would take me 100x longer to do and probably 10x as much money.

      Note: Contact someone on Fiverr that you expect to purchase a bunch of gigs from and ask them if you buy X amount ... would I be able to get 1 free?

      It works really well because usually doing that extra gig doesn't take them too long and the like the fact that you will be coming back for more (this obviously greatly depends on the gig)
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  • Originally Posted by BrianCampbelldotcom View Post

    What's your opinion on outsourcing? What's your most valuable tip?
    The most valuable tip about outsourcing is to try a number of providers by giving them small tasks, and then hire the best of the lot a full time employee as soon as you find someone truly valuable and reliable. Finding good "outsourcees" is *very* difficult, so when you find them you want to keep them all for yourself at a discounted monthly fee (salary).
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnTimmins
    Indeed, outsourcing your business is a best strategy to leverage yourself. But sometimes, employers are having a hard-time gathering employees who can be a part of their team or company. The fact is that, finding them is not that hard, the hard part is that, how you manage and handle your employees or virtual assistants.

    What I've seen from various successful internet entrepreneurs are that they meet their employees personally and make some bond with them. This way, they will feel that they are important to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author arny660
    If you want to make serious money, you must outsource. You simply won't have the time (and skills!) to do everything yourself.

    Think of all the top business guys - they do very little themselves, but they surround themselves with a great team. And that is what you must do when you outsource.

    Do your homework and pick people that you think will do a great job. If they don't, get rid of them immediately and get someone else. There are plenty out there willing to do a great job at a low cost to you.

    IMO, Odesk is hard to beat.
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  • Profile picture of the author vCr8
    Outsourcing is important if you want to scale up your business, however I think it will only be effective once you have your system rolling and you have planned out where and who to hire. Finding the right people maybe the most challenging task... But nevertheless once you find them and as they fit perfectly with your system running your business will be much enjoyable.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    Hit and miss experiences over the years, some people I've found have been really good. Other's a complete nightmare. I hired someone a while back to do some work for me, they appeared knowledgeable at the interview and convinced me they knew what they were talking about, I think they must have blagged the whole thing because they turned out not to have a clue.
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  • Profile picture of the author jpdeanadams
    Hey Brian,

    Outsourcing is amazing if you use it well. I recently hired 27 workers and plan on keeping only about 5 of them. Here's what I suggest, based on a lot of trial and error:

    1) Use oDesk
    2) Timing to post your job posting is critical, target a market and post when it is morning for them. (For example, if you choose India, make sure it is 8am in India when you post).
    3) Make sure your job description is complete and ask for a few questions.
    4) Make a search for contractors based on your criteria. Invite them all to apply to your job posting. (There's a max of 200 per day).
    5) Make a selection based on what you are willing to pay and reject all others.
    6) If your pool of candidate is still too big. Ask for even more precise questions and rank them based on their answers.
    7) Gage their level of written english.
    8) Do a test job with a lot of them. For example, give 10 of them a 10 hours task with a short deadline.
    9) You will see straight away who has potential.

    If you are looking for higher end workers, you can ask for a Video-chat Skype interview.

    Hope it helps.

    Good luck.

    JP
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    • Profile picture of the author D8MM3
      Originally Posted by jpdeanadams View Post

      Hey Brian,

      Outsourcing is amazing if you use it well. I recently hired 27 workers and plan on keeping only about 5 of them. Here's what I suggest, based on a lot of trial and error:

      1) Use oDesk
      2) Timing to post your job posting is critical, target a market and post when it is morning for them. (For example, if you choose India, make sure it is 8am in India when you post).
      3) Make sure your job description is complete and ask for a few questions.
      4) Make a search for contractors based on your criteria. Invite them all to apply to your job posting. (There's a max of 200 per day).
      5) Make a selection based on what you are willing to pay and reject all others.
      6) If your pool of candidate is still too big. Ask for even more precise questions and rank them based on their answers.
      7) Gage their level of written english.
      8) Do a test job with a lot of them. For example, give 10 of them a 10 hours task with a short deadline.
      9) You will see straight away who has potential.

      If you are looking for higher end workers, you can ask for a Video-chat Skype interview.

      Hope it helps.

      Good luck.

      JP
      This is a straightforward how-to on finding good people to use for outsourcing. Thank you for taking the time to write out a simple and (hopefully) effective way of finding people without having to take the risk of making poor choices over and over to "find" the right ones.
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  • Hi! I would like to give you guys my perspective on this, as a VA, in order to correct a few misconception on VAs and outsourcing in general.

    1. If you want your business to grow, you do need to outsource. More business means more work and short of cloning yourself, you will need to more people to do the work for you.
    2. VAs can't solve your business problems. VAs can help business that work to grow and expand. It's better if you work on your business model first, make sure it works and it's making you money before you get a VA to work on your business.
    3. It takes time to train a VA to take over your business. It probably took you months to find a business model that works for you and a few more months to adapt that model to your needs. Don't expect your VA to learn everything and pick up the reins in just a few weeks. Train them and show them the ropes slowly. Make sure they get each step right before you more on to the next step. That's the only way you'll get the quality of work that you want.
    4. Outsourcing IS a working relationship. You should pay more for a good VA but to keep a good VA you have to build a relationship with them. Encourage them, compliment them, and be tact when criticizing them. Employees look for high paying jobs but they stay for bosses that treat them well.

    Hope the tips above help you guys with your outsourcing efforts!
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  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    I've gone to hell and back in terms of outsourcing. I've seen the good, the bad, and everything in between. But I have learned my lesson and so far am doing great with outsourcing and am happy with my team.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisDH
    Finding your team that you trust is a massive part of it but well worth it when you get that built.

    Like said above Fiverr is a good place to find some good quick workers but I believe if you spend the time to go through them and weed out the rough you can get more work done for a better price from Odesk and other freelancing sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author kazim
    Actually outsourching is really important for students.
    Few days ago outsourching was the main source of income.
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  • Profile picture of the author MobiDev
    Outsourcing is a good way to spare your time, costs and efforts. If you find a trusted development team, you will really gain from outsourcing. I heard lots of different feedbacks about it. Some business owners had a negative experience with outsourcing to India, Pakistan and Philippines. That happens because of cultural misunderstandings, problems with communication, time difference etc. I would suggest working with East-European countries like Poland or Ukraine. They provide high-quality services and are easy to work with.
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  • Profile picture of the author CylonWriter
    I need to outsource occasionally, but it's very hard in my experience to find the right people.

    I hired this guy who was even overqualified for an editing job in English language (I hired him because I'm not a native English speaker), he was a published writer on the topic giving speeches... you know, you'd think you can't go wrong.

    Well, I had to re-edit a lot of the text in a language different than mine. Plus he missed the deadline (believe me, I gave him plenty of time because I wanted quality).

    Lesson learned: No matter their qualifications, give them a short project or a small part, and see the results. Set milestones for big projects so you can assess quality during the whole project.

    I didn't let this experience discourage me, so I'm still looking for other freelancers like me to team up with so we can help each other and maybe approach new clients offering a more complete service package.
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  • Profile picture of the author FantaMan
    In my view there's no amount of reading or preparation that will compare to actually using different freelancers and seeing how you get on with them. Expect to find about 1 in 5 who are actually any good - But hold on to them like gold dust! FM
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    • Originally Posted by FantaMan View Post

      In my view there's no amount of reading or preparation that will compare to actually using different freelancers and seeing how you get on with them. Expect to find about 1 in 5 who are actually any good - But hold on to them like gold dust! FM
      I agree, you have to sift through a lot of crap to find the gold. Giving them a small project to start with, then a medium size project if they did the small one well, then maybe a larger project. If they do all three well, you may have found a goo outsourced worker...
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  • Profile picture of the author bhmseoservices
    I can't trust outsourcing. I've had a project come back to me completely wrong and the client was none to pleased either.

    If it's little things or little operations I have I'll likely outsource but I will not outsource company files/clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    Frankly the first thing I do before looking for a new VA is to contact folks I know to see if they have any recommendations. Usually I get some pretty darn good recommendations and they usually end up in a long term outsource relationship.

    Its seldom that this method backfires on me. Just as others have said above, its going to be training and respect to keep a good Va.

    Ken


    The Old Geezer
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    • Profile picture of the author websparkles
      Outsourcing works if you find the right person and it is a complete waste of time and money if you hire and try to train the wrong person. Your best bet is to try looking for candidates on sites like oDesk and review their past work history and feedback very carefully. Also see the number of tests they have taken in the related field. Once you short list candiddates, ask them some precise questions. You will weed out 80% of them that way and then you can use your best judgement to shortlist at least 3 . Hire one of them and start with a small task. I believe that one task can give you an insight of the skills and work ethics of the worker. If you are satisfied, great. And if not, you can move on to the next candidate. There is a good chance that you will find a good fit among the 3 shortlisted candidates

      Personally I have been on the both sides - people outsource work to me and sometimes I hire other people to do some odd jobs for me or help me with extra workload. So I can testify to the above process. Also a tip for an ongoing relation with your outsourcee - Treat them with respect and don't underpay if you are getting great output.
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  • Originally Posted by BrianCampbelldotcom View Post

    There's a lot of talk about outsourcing. I've bought some great courses on it. It makes a lot of sense leveraging other people's time to grow your business.

    What is your experience with Outsourcing? Is it all it's cracked up to be?

    Honestly, my experience has been mixed. I've outsourced entire information products that I made six figures on, but I've also had a lot of nightmare experience. What's your opinion on outsourcing? What's your most valuable tip?
    I've had only great experiences outsourcing.

    And I think I'd attribute it to the fact that I am completely anal about 2 things.

    First, I'm anal about my job postings. I am very detailed, and I make sure I am explicit in telling potential interviewees that I'm not looking for a 'templated reply' and I only want people that have actually READ the job posting--that I write very detailed.

    Secondly, I make sure I'm very detailed in my interview process and I'm not afraid to say 'no'. There are plenty of people that are more qualified then the people I'm talking to.

    Just follow this mantra -

    "Hire slow - fire fast"

    With that, my favorite venue is odesk.com
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    • Profile picture of the author mikeac
      Outsourcing has been a dream come true to me. Since ive found out about sites such as Fiverr and Odesk, hiring someone that know how to do something then me spending hours trying to figure it out has saved me both time and money. I encourage everyone to outsource so you can spend your time making money, then doing other grunt work tasks.
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      • Originally Posted by Mike Currie View Post

        Outsourcing has been a dream come true to me. Since ive found out about sites such as Fiverr and Odesk, hiring someone that know how to do something then me spending hours trying to figure it out has saved me both time and money. I encourage everyone to outsource so you can spend your time making money, then doing other grunt work tasks.
        I like your attitude mike. I can also add that even if you've had bad experiences it's WORTH taking the time to find good outsourced workers. It may be temporarily more work for you to find them, but it'll save you thousands of hours over the next few years.
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  • Profile picture of the author pawlu68
    Same as most other people, I have had good and bad experiences ... Be sure to look at previous customer feedback ... and people with large numbers of jobs completed.
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  • Profile picture of the author mknowles2262
    I have way too many things I want to do.....does using your kids to prebuild apps count as outsourcing? lol They enjoy it though and are learning how to be future business owners and not have to work for anyone else.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Lanning
    This discussion has been very helpful to me. As a tech wannabe I've developed the National Association of Business coaches through others...I'm still suffering the pangs of seller's remorse on selling NABC in 2002, but business coaches and consultants are in many ways akin to VAs. They need to a) prove their worth; and b) establish the relationship beyond that first check.

    I'm bookmarking this page. There are several posters here with whom I would like to have a follow-on, win-win chat. Lot of solid wisdom here.

    Keep on keeping on,
    Steve
    (Another old Geezer!)
    www.BoomerBusinessBuildersNetwork.com
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    you have to kiss alot of frog before you find your best workers.

    But once you do treat them well and use camtasia and show them exactly what they should do. You will find people follow order well, or they dont. Fire the ones taht dont work well.
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  • Profile picture of the author julesw
    Not a lot of luck so far, I think there is a secret village somewhere full of outsourcers that have gone missing - mine is MIA
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  • Profile picture of the author EdVictor791
    Yes it works. You are only one person capable of working so many hours so attempt to team up with many people who have strengths where you have weaknesses and you will grow your empire fast.
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  • Profile picture of the author upnorth
    Some great experiences over the years and also a few I would prefer to forget.

    But the positives far outweight the negatives.
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  • Profile picture of the author OutsourceFactor
    Originally Posted by BrianCampbelldotcom View Post

    There's a lot of talk about outsourcing. I've bought some great courses on it. It makes a lot of sense leveraging other people's time to grow your business.

    What is your experience with Outsourcing? Is it all it's cracked up to be?

    Honestly, my experience has been mixed. I've outsourced entire information products that I made six figures on, but I've also had a lot of nightmare experience. What's your opinion on outsourcing? What's your most valuable tip?
    Has outsourcing worked for me? YES! I don't really outsource myself but I work for a company that provides outsourced tasks for people like me

    Outsourcing does have its dark sides but I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages (when done right of course). The best advice that I can give (as someone who's on the other side of the process):

    -Take time to work on your hiring process because there's a dime a dozen people out there that don't really deliver what they say they can.
    -Go to skill merchant sites that have had great reviews in the past

    I have more but that's all I can think of for now...
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  • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
    Outsourcing is the best! (apart from automation it's pretty hard to scale without it)

    That said, i've found that my successes with outsourcing were directly proportionate to my systems and processes around what the tasks needed.

    So the better prepared I was before I hired them, the better it all worked out.

    If you grab a copy of Jing and do a quick video of each step of the job that they have to do (including reporting back to you), makes it so much easier.

    (also means that if one outsourcer moves on, the training up of the new staff member is a LOT easier.)
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    • Originally Posted by johndetlefs View Post

      Outsourcing is the best! (apart from automation it's pretty hard to scale without it)

      That said, i've found that my successes with outsourcing were directly proportionate to my systems and processes around what the tasks needed.

      So the better prepared I was before I hired them, the better it all worked out.

      If you grab a copy of Jing and do a quick video of each step of the job that they have to do (including reporting back to you), makes it so much easier.

      (also means that if one outsourcer moves on, the training up of the new staff member is a LOT easier.)
      Hey John, GREAT TIPS! I think I bought a $47 eBook on outsourcing back in 2005 that didn't have as much useful tips on outsourcing as your comment on this thread did. That's great advice for anyone. Have good systems in place, including the system that trains your outsourcers!
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  • Profile picture of the author fredJ
    Any idea where to start ?I meant any course or training that anyone here can recommended?
    Thanks
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    Fred J.

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  • Profile picture of the author ucables
    Fred: this is a recently publish book about outsourcing that could help you.

    The Definitive Guide to Outsourcing to the Philippine
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  • Profile picture of the author ratracegrad
    If you trade dollars for time then there will be a cap on how big you can grow your business because there is a finite amount of time in a day. The only way to get around this is to outsource.

    You will run into challenges finding quality va just like hiring for any position. I wrote a detailed review of all the places I have used to hire a va and my results. You can read it here
    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...g-hire-va.html
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  • Profile picture of the author malcsimm
    Outsourcing HAS to be done to apply leverage - once you have a system in place. But don't underestimate the amount of time it takes to systemise properly - and unambiguously. It's amazing to me in just how many ways my instructions can be misunderstood :-|

    And as everyone says, you have to search for the gold - or, as you might say, you have to: "kiss a lot of frogs"!

    The other thing is, outsourcers can change. They can be great for months and then something happens - and PING they go off the rails for some reason.

    But if what you do is systemisable, outsourcing is a "must".

    Malc
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  • Profile picture of the author Fox30
    I've had a lot of success with outsourcing and I've also had some bad experiences. What I have learned in the process is asking the right questions to potential VAs and hiring on a trial basis.

    In my opinion, hiring outsources is not much different than hiring a good employee.
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  • Profile picture of the author greenowl123
    Only outsource when you already have techniques that are profitable for you...

    An example : if you know that by placing 100 free classified ads online will make you a profit (because you have already done it for yourself and gotten results) - then you can pay someone to do that task for you (providing they charge you less than your profit).

    The key is that you need to test and experiment by your own efforts first, find something that gets results, then scale it up by outsourcing.

    Fiverr is a great place to outsource all kinds of different tasks, such as SEO, building backlinks, article writing, placing classified ads, distributing videos, etc.

    Good luck !
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  • Profile picture of the author The_Idea_Gal
    I've had success outsourcing, but I think you have to give good direction to who you're working with. Also, if I outsource writing, I still do the final review, grammar check and editing, but it still makes the process much faster, than not outsourcing.
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  • Profile picture of the author srodoks
    outsourching is very important.
    few days ago outsousching was the main source of income
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  • Profile picture of the author RachelLily
    Yes. Lower costs are perhaps the prime benefit of offshore outsourcing. You can get work done at a fraction of the cost that you would have to spend locally, while getting better quality as well. Because of the differences in pay and standard of living that exist between Asian and Western countries, labor costs are much lower in Asia. On an average, you can expect about 60% cost savings if you outsource to countries like India.
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