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For entrepreneurs that are building their business on the internet, the main question tends to be whether or not there are benefits to outsourcing. Let’s just take a quick look at a few now, then we will go into more detail later:
1. Outsourcing is a powerful way for expanding your online company with minimal stress on your financial resources.
2. By Outsourcing your support needs, this allows you to spend more time focusing on the expansion of your business, and not the day to day details of running it.
3. Using outside agents to promote your presence and to stimulate sales makes it possible for you as an owner to do what you need to do, which is to GROW your company.
Outsourcing – A Drain or a Gain?
Outsourcing is something that has an instant appeal to many people. The interesting aspect is the idea of being able to pay someone to perform various tasks associated with a business, leaving less work for you. However – with all that new found free time, what should you be doing?
Once you’ve built up your business to the point where you can, reliably, automate a lot of it by outsourcing, why not just sit back and enjoy the fruits of your efforts? Then again, this isn’t exactly going to help you very much in the long run.
One of the downsides with outsourcing is that it invariably ends up cutting into your profit margins. Where you might have had a 90% return on your investment previously, after outsourcing you may very well find that it is cut down to 40% or something less.
Needless to say, this represents a huge loss of income, which is part of the reason why some people end up stopping their outsourcing efforts after finding that it is affecting their profits too much.
But why is it that outsourcing is still so popular, if it can be such a huge profit drain?
Well, the answer is quite simple: Outsourcing is only going to ever be a profit drain if you just sit back and do nothing with all the time that you’ve freed up for yourself!
So instead of doing nothing, if you go out there with the goal of building and strengthening your business with all the free time that you have, you’ll find that your outsourcing could instead help you increase your profits!
Unfortunately, this is the key piece of information that so many people leave out when they talk about outsourcing.
At the end of the day, outsourcing should be accompanied by business building efforts, so that instead of just stagnating, and giving away a portion of the profits via outsourcing, your business is actually getting stronger.
And in this case, stronger definitely implies more profitability.
Over the course of this book, we’re going to be dealing with the huge variety of actions that you should be taking while you outsource.
By maximizing the use of your new found free time, you will find that you’re able to kick your business into overdrive, and really start raking in more profits than you imagined possible.
In fact, you will also find that by doing this, and really going about it with the right approach, you may still end up with more free time left over! So the only question left is: Are you ready to find out what you should be doing while you outsource the bulk of your tasks?
Don’t answer that just yet though. First, we’re going to go over a rough overview of the possibilities that await you with outsourcing itself…
Are you one of those business owners that have to do it all? Do you switch hats more than you take a breath? Are you the manager, the administrative assistant, the customer service department, the bookkeeper, the techie, the sales representative, the marketing manager, the designer, and so on and so on and so on?
Wearing all those hats is both challenging and exhausting. Chances are that you are not strong in every single aspect of running a business, unless of course your superman. But don’t worry. You’re great at many things, and those are the things that you want to focus on. In areas that you’re not so skilled in, outsource them!
I’ve found that the majority of business owners wait way too long to outsource their work. They become stressed out and crazy, and their health and personal relationships suffer. Why do they wait so long to finally do it? Because it can be uncomfortable and hard for the business owner to let go of some of the business related tasks and functions. Let’s take a closer look and go over the top three reasons business owners don’t outsource:
1. A Tight Budget – Especially in the beginning, many small business owners tend to be on a tight budget. It can be difficult to find the financial means to manage the day to day tasks, let alone find the money to hire a contractor. Yet, spending money on outsourcing can often mean faster and bigger profits.
2. Trouble Letting Go – Your business is something you created. It represents your hard work and ambition, not to mention it may be tied to your identity. You feel that if you give away some of the jobs in your business, you’re giving away control, and/or the quality and brand may suffer.
3. Trust Issues – Do you have trouble trusting anyone else to handle your business affairs? Do you worry about mistakes, theft and dishonesty? These are reasonable fears, and there are risks to outsourcing. However, a well-planned outsourcing strategy and a few legal and financial steps can help protect you from these risks.
If these three outsourcing concerns sound familiar, you’re not alone. They’re the most common hurdles to taking the first step. Yet with the right plan and outsourcing strategy they’re all fairly easy to overcome, and you’ll be reaping the benefits of outsourcing without experiencing the risks.
Ask any business expert when you should begin to outsource and chances are you will hear the same thing from all of them – right away! But, if you’re like many business owners, outsourcing doesn’t feel as if it’s in the budget right away. This is when it’s important to look at your time and business from a larger perspective.
First of all, it makes sense to look at your personal productivity and your financial goals.
For example, if you’re an information marketer, you make money on the information products you sell, right?
Therefore it makes sense that the more information products you have to sell, the more money you’ll make.
Instead of doing all the work on the info product yourself and only producing one new information product every two or three months, you could outsource some or all of the content creation, graphics, sales letter, etc. and have two or three new products to sell each month. Outsourcing means you can often make more money in less time.
Secondly, think about how much you make on an hourly basis. This number is easy to determine. Take a look at how many hours you work each day, week, or month. Then take a look at how much you make each day, week, or month.
For example, if you work 40 hours a week and your weekly profits are $1,000, then you’re making $25/hour before taxes. Knowing your hourly value can help you set financial goals for yourself. It can also help you decide which tasks make sense to outsource.
For example, if answering emails take several hours a day and doesn’t result in any profits, then it is reducing your hourly value. Answering emails may be a great task to outsource. You gain hours in your day, plus the opportunity to focus that newly found time on tasks that do generate profits.
So take a hard look at your business plan and your daily routine and ask yourself the following questions:
1. What is your hourly value?
2. Are you reaching your business goals in a timely manner?
3. Are you making as much money as you’d like to be making with your business?
4. What is your hourly value?
5. Are you feeling burnt out and unsatisfied with your results?
The honest answers to these questions can help you decide if you’re ready to outsource. They can also begin to help you decide what area of your business you would like to outsource first.