Is Outsourcing the Way to Go? A great question that at some stage every online entrepreneur asks themselves. Sometimes, people dismiss this question because they believe to outsource any tasks requires huge dollars which they simply don't have. Other times, people might dip their toe in the water, and attempt to outsource some tasks only to receive mixed results for their hard earned dollars. Then there are others who jump in boots and all and simply splash the cash around without having any clue whether they are receiving value for money.
In many respects, each online entrepreneur is going to approach this question from their own unique circumstances. Hence, there is no one size fits all approach. However, in saying this, one can undertake their research and ensure they have a very good handle on the do's and don'ts of outsourcing.
Recently I shifted homes and like any person who has purchased a new home, there are some initial renovations that I would like to see undertaken, hence, began the outsourcing process. Yes, that's right. One doesn't think twice about outsourcing various home renovations and tasks to experts. Yet when it comes to online businesses, one starts to think: Why should I outsource? Why not learn to do things myself?
Therefore maybe the question can be approach from a different angle, re whether Is Outsourcing the Way to Go? If you're anything like me, I cannot even hold or use a drill properly due to lacking the strength in my hands to do so. Yes, I can screw in a screw or hammer in a nail, however, this is about where my building and carpentry and odd jobs skills reach the upper limits. Therefore, for any major renovations or handyman type jobs I want undertaken, I think nothing of outsourcing to the relevant tradesperson who has these talents and skills in abundance. Ask yourself, if you have a plumbing problem, do you fix it yourself or do you outsource to a plumber who has the talents and skills to isolate and fix the problem? If you want to fully renovate your home or build a new home, do you outsource the plans to an artitech; the building of the home to a builder, contract an electrician for the electrics, window glaziers for windows, plumbing aspects to a plumber - and so forth? The individual who can undertake all of the above themselves are in the minority not the majority.
Hence, why would you not consider outsourcing various tasks and activities for your online business to an outsourcer who has the specific talents and expertise required? Do you use an accountant for your business and also to pay your taxes due or do you do this yourself? If you utilise an accountant and a person to maintain the financial records, you are in fact Outsourcing?
Therefore the question really becomes, what tasks and activities do I want to outsource to an expert and what tasks and activities am I happy to undertake myself? Once you have the answer to this question then:
- What is my designated budget and how will I ensure I monitor my expenses and any income received to ensure I know I am receiving value for my hard earned $$$?
- What research do I need to undertake to ensure I am across all available options which are cost effective?
To give you another re house example. In my new home the hallway and bathroom are relatively dark. So, I started checking out options to increase light in these areas. First off, I considered a skylight, however, was advised this then cause leaks in wet weather. Then I came across Illume which is the alternative to a skylight however indoors and runs off a solar panel. I was quite enthused with this option, so checked out the local contractor for pricing etc. When I spoke to a friend re this, she said why not go to KMart and find some alternative lighting for the areas for a fraction of the price? Hence, I started my research on alternative lighting which did not require electricity. I'm a real tight arse when it comes to using electricity. In my travels I came across battery powered sensor lighting which booted up my imagination. Then it was a matter of sourcing the right provider for the relevant lighting and I eventually settled on an EBay seller who provides 3 lights for approximately $16 (batteries not included of course). Hence, for $16 rather than $600 I will manage to have not only a well lit hallway and bathroom but also a relatively well lit office/2nd bedroom. From my perspective I would rather spend $16 and see if this resolves the darkness issue than go for the most costly option and keep my fingers crossed I haven't wasted my hard earned dollars.
Basically what I'm saying is:
- Know what tasks and activities you want to outsource.
- Know what parameters and results you wish to achieve.
- Do your research on as many available options as possible.
- Ensure you know your budget limit and stick to this. If you can save more $$$ in the process for other activities then all the better.
- Sometimes cheap is not always best. At other times, there are more cost effective options then simply going with the outsourcers who charges the most.
- Research various outsourcing providers and negotiate the best deal possible, however, ensure you are at all times being fair to your outsourcer. You don't want a reputation of screwing people over.
- Ensure you monitor and evaluate your ROI (return on investment) to ensure you are receiving value for money.
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