What Is Outsourcing?
I’m sure that over a few years you have heard a little or a lot about outsourcing. There are marketing experts out there that have written books and created whole programs around the concept of outsourcing, and you may have run across one or two wondering if the whole concept even applied to you and your business.
By definition, outsourcing is when you take a business function that you normally do in-house (for us that means ourselves!), and you contract it out to a 3rd party person or business to do it.
Examples For Coaches & Consultants:
1. You outsource customer service emails and calls to a virtual assistant
2. You may outsource the writing of your sales copy to a copywriter
3. You may outsource your sales/customer service calls to a call center outsourcing company
4. You may outsource article & ezine writing to a ghost writer (although that isn’t my first choice:)
5. You may want to outsource the creation of ebook covers, logos, and banners to a graphic designer
Now the reason why I was moved to write this article is that I have recently and finally embraced the idea of outsourcing. I tried it a few years ago but outsourced some work to a few friends who said they wanted to help me out. Let me say that that is called a “favor”, that is not outsourcing.
To effectively outsource a function in your business, the person or business needs to be professional & have experience doing the task. They also should be charging you a fair rate. If it’s too low, I wouldn’t trust the quality of the work, but of course if you have a little money to play with you can do a bit of trial and error in that department.
Many large businesses in North America & Europe have been known to outsource work to companies in other countries like India. The same goes for solo entrepreneurs as well. Many coaches and consultants outsource work to people in both India and the Phillipines usually because the hourly rate or rate per project is lower.
Now that I’ve realized the error of my earlier outsourcing ways, I now choose the right person for the job I am outsourcing and that person is a professional who can be located here in the U.S. or in another country. For programming, I have often used people in India because the rate was affordable and the work was high-quality. For virtual assistant work I rather work with people in the U.S. so that there are no language barriers and I tend to favor an older person because they have a lifetime of work experience, work ethics, and are reliable.
Can You Afford To Outsource?
My answer is absolutely yes and in fact you probably can’t afford not to. I did everything in my business for a very long time and paid dearly for it. There just isn’t enough hours in the day and if you ever want to take your business to the next income level.
You need to work on income generating activities in your business and outsource as much of the “busy work” & time consuming activities that you can. And sure you may have the hang of Photoshop, but you probably spend double the time creating a banner for your site then someone who does it all day, everyday.
So consider what is the true cost to you? What is an hour of your time worth in your business? If you charge a client 100, 200, 300, or more dollars for an hour of your time, could you try spending that same amount on outsourcing a month? I think so. You’d be surprised just how much a virtual assistant can do for you in a few hours.
Outsourcing rates vary depending on who you are hiring and what you are hiring them for. When you hire in a competitive environment for a project such as on sites like: Odesk.com, elance.com, freelancer.com, guru.com, scriptlance.com the chances are great that you will pay a great rate for your project.
Virtual assistant rates vary quite a bit so you’ll have to look around, but most professional VA’s are working on several projects or with a few people at a time, so they can probably work with you on the rate depending on your budget.
When Are You Ready To Outsource?
Every 7 figure mentor I’ve worked with have always shared stories about how they outsourced way before they could afford to. They didn’t know how they were going to make ends meet and now they don’t know how they would of every achieved their success without outsourcing.
If you find that you end the day with 10 more things on your to-do list, it’s time to outsource. At this point you are just running on a treadmill and not gaining any distance in your business. Get the support and help you need. Invest in yourself and your business and you will start to see the tangible results that you are looking for.