Does Your Offline Business Feel Like a JOB Sometimes?

by EMaria
23 replies
Hello everyone,

Lately I have been feeling that my business is starting to feel like a job, which is the last thing I want. It has made me start to question if I have chosen the right business model.

I have 10 clients so far, with 5 providing a monthly residual. Even with this handful of clients, I am beginning to feel that I'm bogged down with the actual "work" part.

I primarly provide five services which are:

Simple 3-5 page websites using WP
Facebook fan pages
Image advertising/directory listings
30-60 second video commercials
Lead generation

I offer a few other services if they are requested, and if I feel confident I can do it, but the above is pretty much it.

I would like to increase my client base, so I know I would need to put some sort of outsourcing system in place. This is the only way to do it as far as I can tell.

The thing is, I usually find it can get kind of messy when you have to depend on other people to do the actual work. Not all the time, but it happens.

What I'm asking is this ...

For those of you who have a larger client base, do you outsource most or all of the actual work? And if so, have you been able to come up with an effective outsourcing system that makes you happy as well as your clients?

Any feedback, ideas, etc., about this would be appreciated.

Ellen
#business #feel #job #offline
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Highly recommend you read "The Four Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss, if you haven't already. Lots of outsourcing advice in there.

    Check out your local public library before heading to amazon; that's where I found it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Seantrepreneur
    Absolutely look into outsourcing some tasks. You'll never be able to grow if you keep trying to do all the work yourself. I completely understand wanting to keep all the profits for yourself, but you're really only hurting yourself in the end by doing that.

    Don't be afraid to spend a little money to make money.

    Think about it this way. Would you rather spend $0 in outsourcing and make $2,000 a month because you are swamped and don't have time to take on any new clients. Or spend $1,000 in outsourcing and make $5,000 because you can take a bunch more clients.

    Hope that helps

    Sean
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  • Profile picture of the author EMaria
    Thanks Jason and Sean for your advice.

    As I said, I definitely realize that I will need to outsource eventually if I continue with this business.

    I suppose the reason I have reservations is because the few times I have tried outsourcing, it did not work out too great. That is what I was previously referring to about the "messy" part.

    I just need to put the time and effort into putting together a dependable and skilled outsourcing team so that I can concentrate on marketing.

    Jason, I am familiar with The Four Hour Workweek so I will definitely be getting a copy.

    Thanks again guys. You have been extremely helpful.

    Ellen
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  • Profile picture of the author mrmatt
    It's not the work for me. It's all the stupid time sucking meetings. I gotta do something about that one. It's killing me. Already spent 2/3 of this week in meetings. Arggggh! Time to read the NO BS Guide To Time Management Again.

    Emaria - Based on what you are doing you should be able to kick all that out in a day or two. Outsource the directory listings on Odesk. That will save you days if not weeks. I just had someone do that for me. 115 directories for $50. You can get it done cheaper I just pay her more as she does a great job, she is fast, communicates with me and does exactly what I ask.
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    • Profile picture of the author rbecklund
      I've done outsourcing and hiring local people who I can manage and I much prefer hiring local people. It might be a little more money, but I feel you can get them to do a better job. You might want to try that if you've had trouble with outsourcing.
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  • Profile picture of the author dminorfmajor
    Let's not forget all of the Warriors for Hire here and also Fiverr. I've found some GREAT gigs on Fiverr. I'm now in direct contact with one and now he's my Go-To Wordpress guy.

    Just sort the categories by the Rating and contact the guy who does the best work. Offer him a little extra for his work in return, you get quality work with a direct email/phone to that person. No "messaging" through middlemen like Fiverr.
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  • Profile picture of the author danielkanuck
    Originally Posted by EMaria View Post


    Simple 3-5 page websites using WP
    Facebook fan pages
    Image advertising/directory listings
    30-60 second video commercials
    Lead generation
    Out of all of these services, which one takes up most of your time. Is each service been proven to be effective for your clients for bringing in more new sales and profits? What does your "Image advertising" service consist of?
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    • Profile picture of the author EMaria
      Originally Posted by danielkanuck View Post

      Out of all of these services, which one takes up most of your time. Is each service been proven to be effective for your clients for bringing in more new sales and profits? What does your "Image advertising" service consist of?
      Hello Daniel,

      Out of the services I offer, the fan pages and building the websites take up the most time. Here's why ...

      For the fan pages, I don't believe in just building a fan page for a business, collecting the fee and saying "good luck". After all, that is no better than building a website and thinking people will flock there in droves, so the "time consuming" part for fan pages is helping/advising them on building a following for their fan page, offering incentives for likes, etc.

      In other words, the bottom line is to help them use Facebook as an effective marketing medium for their business.

      For this service, I am considering hiring a VA that specializes in social media. I don't know at this point how easy or difficult that will be.

      For the 3-5 page websites, I always stress to a business owner that it's important that they include critical info that people look for when seeking a local service. This includes basic info such as prominent placement of their address and phone number, services offered, and hours of operation.

      The time consuming part comes in when the owner wants to include stuff that local searchers could care less about such as their humble beginnings, boring info about their industry.

      They try to make it about them instead of thinking about what a potential customer is looking for. It's my own fault because I have made the mistake of catering to requests about local websites that I KNOW will not help them, but trying to keep them happy by including things that are totally useless.

      To remedy this problem, I am going to make it crystal clear that I build websites to help them get more leads and customers. period. If they can't see or appreciate the benefit of that, I will just refer them to someone else.

      For the image advertising portion of my services, I create attractive image ads, clickable or non-clickable, depending on if they have an existing website. I provide a "how-to" video and special report that shows them how to post their new ad(s) on Craigslist and Backpage. I provide the video and report because it is against the TOU (in CL and BP) to post for someone else.

      With other online classified sites this isn't an issue (TOU) so I post those on selected sites for them. This is an effective way to get more leads and traffic to their business because in a lot of cases, these ads show up in the search engines because they have been optimized using search terms that people use locally.

      In general, people who visit online classifieds are there to find a bargain on furniture or a washing machine. It is unlikely that someone needing a chiropractor or a roofer will head straight for an online classified site. They are going to head for Google.

      What image advertising does is create optimized content based on keyword terms that WILL show up in the search engines. It's effective. Two of my clients have told me that they are getting more daily inquiries, AND more importantly, new customers just by implementing this simple method.
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      • Profile picture of the author linebelowdigital
        Outsourcing has always been trial and error for me. No matter if I'm trying to find a VA or a programmer, web designer or some other job type. My advice would be to figure out exactly what you want to outsource. Come up with a small job that's related to the overall task. Post that job on odesk. Then search for qualified contractors and invite them. Go through all your responses, invited and not invited. Message them and gauge the amount of time it takes for each to respond. Pick 3-5 and assign them to the task. Finally choose the person who completed the task the "best" to work with on a long term basis. This may sound like a bit much, but trust me it's worth the extra time to do this funneling approach upfront rather than wasting time correcting the mistake(s) of an unreliable or unqualified outsourcer later on.

        Hope this helps... take care.
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  • Profile picture of the author ExpertAdviser
    If you don't mind me asking. How much are you making from each client?
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    • Profile picture of the author EMaria
      Originally Posted by ExpertAdviser View Post

      If you don't mind me asking. How much are you making from each client?

      Hello ExpertAdviser,

      For the "non-residual" services

      • 3-5 page websites
      • Video commercials
      I charge a one time fee of $697.00.

      For residual services ...

      • FB fanpage
      • Image advertising
      • Lead generation
      FB fanpage -initial set-up $500, + $200/mo
      Image advertising - initial set-up $300 + $100/mo.
      Lead generation - initial set-up $500 + $150/mo.
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  • Profile picture of the author JayBay
    I recommend http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...tsourcing.html

    Also, Dr. Dan said somewhere that in his contract to clients he offers 1 or 2 one hour meetings per month with his clients and after that it's $90 or more an hour.
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    What can I do to be more helpful to you?

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    • Profile picture of the author EMaria
      Originally Posted by JayBay View Post

      I recommend http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...tsourcing.html

      Also, Dr. Dan said somewhere that in his contract to clients he offers 1 or 2 one hour meetings per month with his clients and after that it's $90 or more an hour.
      Hi JayBay,

      That WSO looks like it may be what I'm looking for. Thank you.

      Are you outsourcing? If so, how is it working out for you ... in positive/negative aspects?
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  • Profile picture of the author TopKat22
    There is owning a "job" and owning a business.

    When you are self employed and your income entirely depends on you, you own your job.

    When you are self employed because you manage others to do work, you run a business.

    Some professions will mostly own their job like attorneys, doctors, dentists, etc.

    If you want to go from owning your "job" to running a business, you have to hire others to help you at a lower rate than what you charge clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author andiirawan
    it's pretty nice read your thread can you pm'me your contact detail? i'm interst at your fan page service.... thank
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  • Profile picture of the author RussellRead
    The only way that you will be able to grow is if you duplicate yourself by outsourcing. Sure you might have to go through some bad apples to find the good ones. But once you do your life will change for the better! Good Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben_R
    its all about teh way you reframe it - remember your part of teh luck y few who have the opportunity at IM and be thankful
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  • Profile picture of the author danielkanuck
    If your work really does seem like a burden, maybe you should consider selling info products and automate it, instead of working with clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author rsabian
    even 40 hours a week without a boss makes it well worth it
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    • Profile picture of the author ukcarl
      Originally Posted by rsabian View Post

      even 40 hours a week without a boss makes it well worth it
      I'll second that

      I dont mind working 60+ hours a week on my own business, its working hard for someone else for much less money and lining there pockets and building their business I dont like
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  • Profile picture of the author Dexx

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  • I was talking about this earler this afternoon with a fellow Internet Marketer and he suggested that we should do the tasks we love, enjoy and are passionate about...the rest simple outsource it.
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  • Profile picture of the author chrisnotes
    I have ben thinking about this very topic. It has helped my vision to help shape my business model. I can see where things could get messy with outsourcing if you have many customers/clients plus offering each of them many different services, that to me seems like the difficult part. Managing all of the customers specifics in another words like; account info, and all the other little odds and ends. Is there a any great free customer service software anybody is using? Or at a good price?
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