Outsourcing in 2022 - Can You Afford NOT to?
Last Update: Dec 29, 2021
When it comes to things like content or product creation, nothing beats outsourcing in terms of getting it done with ease.
To make it work, you need to do some planning and upfront work - first to find and hire a competent freelancer and secondly to prepare what I like to call an RFQ (that is what we called these in the Army) or in layman's terms a "Request for Quote.".
In reality, what you are doing is getting a statement of requirements together, and the more detailed you are when preparing that document the better results you will get from the freelancer you outsource the work to.
Once you have found someone that you can trust to create deliverables to the standard you are looking for, you have a match made in heaven!
How Does This Work?
The process can look something like this:
(1) You think up a profitable idea for content (or anything else that will help your business) …In the case of content for your websites, you do some research and get your title, keywords, style, and affiliate links to the related product or service together...
(2) You create that statement of requirements laying everything out for the freelancer...
(3) Your freelancer does all the rest of the work while you take all the credit after it is published!.
Tell me the truth - It doesn’t get much better than that, does it! This is pie-in-the-sky stuff!
These days, I am doing a lot more outsourcing but to our in-house team. It works. Because the Freelancers do multi-functional duties for the company, they are working full-time essentially.
There are tasks that I used to do (that took up a lot of time, BTW) I now can farm out to free up my time. This is proving to be extremely useful, as my task list hasn't gotten any smaller, but the tasks are on a different level...
Why Bring This Subject Up Here?
I think my take on outsourcing may help some members here get more done and with less work. I have even developed a course to discuss and teach the ins and outs of outsourcing.
There comes a time...
Our approach is that we teach students how to pick a good freelancer and they as the client can conduct due diligence to make sure that they are not disappointed.
It can be easy to get less than satisfactory work unless you take steps to ensure quality.
Rather than go into all that (it is a more detailed process than what I can cover in this short blog post), I'll just add some general tips when and if you decide to go down this road.
I say when because over time, as you start to grow your business, you may NOT be able to not afford one (tongue twister!)...
Crunch the Numbers...
You may be thinking that you shouldn’t outsource because you can’t afford it.
But if you run the numbers (I am talking cost here) and crunch them a bit, you may very well be surprised to find out that it costs you more to do the work yourself.
Let me expand on that…
I think you would agree that your time is one of your most valuable assets. Every moment that passes is one less moment on this planet.
So when you do all the work yourself, you are paying a cost - a time cost. It is not free...
So tell me, how much is your time worth per hour?
Maybe you’ve never really given it much thought, but let's take a moment right now and figure it out…
First, set a goal for how much money you want to make this coming year (A great time to go through this exercise as we start 2022).
Do you want to make $50,000? $100,000? More? Whatever it is, write that number down on some paper and we'll move on to the next step.
Your second step is to figure out how many hours you are willing to work to achieve that earnings goal.
Can you do 40 hours per week and keep that up for 50 weeks per year?
If so, you are looking at spending 2000 hours to achieve your earnings goal...
Perhaps you don’t want to work that many hours or that hard. A more realistic number of hours might be 1000 hours per year.
This way you are giving yourself more free time to enjoy life and do other things with your family, your loved ones, or for yourself
There are no right or wrong figures for the numbers you plug in here...
You select the numbers that best suit your unique situation and your goals and lifestyle
Do try to be real with yourself and be willing to stick with the numbers and figures...
The third step is to calculate what your time is worth on a per-hour basis.
Take your income goal and divide it by the number of hours you intend to work in the coming year.
As an example, say you want to make $100,000 in the coming year, and you will work a total of 1500 hours over the year.
Simply take 100,000 and divide it by 1500, and the result is that your time is worth $66.66 per hour..
Remember, that’s just an example – you need to plug in your own numbers as your situation dictates..
Your next step: Figure out how much it costs you to create your content, to create a product or service, or to complete a task.
You can do this for any area in your business operation, and then determine the real cost to you when you do it yourself.
Let’s look at content creation...Suppose it takes you 10 hours a week. At $66.66 per hour, it costs you $666 per week to do it yourself.
Over a month the cost is $1998.
Now go do a little research to see what a good freelancer will cost.
There’s a very good chance you can find someone who can do it at less cost AND likely do it better than you can because that is all they do.
Maybe with some due diligence, you find someone who’ll do the job of content creation for you for $800 - $1000 per month.
That frees up your time to work on high-value tasks that will help you grow your business faster.
The point here is this: Sometimes it’s not a question of the expense to outsource…
In the bigger picture (to achieve that income goal) you can’t afford to do it yourself!
Wait, there's more to consider too...
It Is Time To "Let Go Of the Reins"
If you have been doing everything yourself, it can be tough to let go a bit and trust others to do the tasks you have a standard for...
One criticism I hear a lot is that the freelancers never get it completely right, many edits are required to get a product that meets the client's standard.
So, is your freelancer going to complete a task just exactly the way you would have done it?
Nope, that is not going to happen. Of course not.
Even if that freelancer is VERY good, they are not going to create content exactly as you would.
So If you want outsourcing to really work for you, I want to be clear that you need to be willing to let go of the reins (control) just a bit.
Of course, you don't need to settle for subpar results either. That is not what I am getting at...
It means you stop being a control freak and set some targets that allow the freelancer to work magic using their skills.
You might be pleasantly surprised at what you get.
Even if what is created is not exactly the way you would have done it.
Seek Out The Freelancer That Cares
Over and above the skill level of a freelancer, you need to look for ones that actually are concerned with you, the client. Many are skilled but lack that trait. You are just a number to them, and it will cause problems maybe. Not all of them are good fits for your business.
Here’s what I think you need to look for when you consider adding outsourcing and freelancers to your workflow…
Find someone who cares about your business not just their business. That person will be eager to do a good job for you. They need to have passion for what they do that exceeds their interest in a paycheck.
If you just browse through sites like Fiverr and scroll through portfolios you are going to miss this aspect. I think in most cases, you’re going to need to talk to the person, either via a phone call, a video conference, or worst case, via messaging (i.e. WhatsApp).
Good work upfront is essential to make the freelancer and outsourcing process work for you and your business. It can seem like extra work for you and maybe it is something you think you cannot afford.
But looking at it from the perspective of the cost per hour for you to create content, or create products or services, or to have someone take care of another area of your business such as social marketing or bookkeeping, etc. it can make sense.
Especially if you want to get out of the weeds of the daily tasks and move to a perspective where you are leading and guiding the business to the level of income that you plan to reach over the coming year.
Especially if you want a chance of really achieving those numbers you are setting for yourself over the coming year in earnings, consider this tactic. If you are not serious about achieving the goals then disregard this post and advice.
But if you ARE serious and are willing to put in the effort as you plan your next years of business activity, and you do want to achieve that far-off goal (right now anyway), then I urge you to consider outsourcing.
Think about it and let me know what your plans are for outsourcing if you have any, and why not if you are not planning to do so, please. I know that for me, I can't afford NOT to outsource!
Coach Dave : ).
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