Outsourcing work is something a lot of us hear about in our research about how to build online businesses. You may have read 'The 4 Hour Work Week', or seen on someone's blog about how they have writers and coders do all the work for them while they vacation in Bali.
Hiring contractors to take care of part of your business can definitely lighten your work load. Best of all, it means your business becomes more scalable, meaning that you can get more work done, but actually spend less time doing it.
Outsourcing done right can help you grow your income significantly. However, outsourcing done wrong can be a huge money pit. I've wasted thousands of dollars on projects things over the years that made me think afterwards, "Wow, I could be $1000 richer right now and my business would be no different." At the same time, I've spent money on things that made me think, "OMG I'm so glad I spent money paying someone else to do that."
The main two pieces of advice for anyone thinking that they want to start outsourcing some work is:
- As a business owner, you need a plan. A contractor will not build your business for you
- Start slowly, especially if you are on a budget.
I know there's a quote floating around about how Henry Ford said that he didn't have to know everything to be successful and he just had to hire the right people to get the job done. There's some truth to that. But as a complete newbie to online business, it's also very easy to spend money on stuff you don't understand, and therefore cannot provide clear instructions about.
Plus, I'm sure lots of you will start out hiring from the cheap labor pool rather than the professionals, so it's very important that you have a clear idea of what you want, and how much it's worth to you.