November 1, 2010
In a comment on our article about starting a new website, Trevor Harris wrote:
I myself would not hire a whole company to build my websites. I would outsource from the Phillipines, from a quality outsourcing site. But if you do decide to outsource you could pay them monthly, to also do all that other stuff you don’t like to do; like getting backlinks. And people from the Phillipines are very reliable and efficient, and make sure they finish the job. But you could also just hire them for the one job, and be done. It would also be much cheaper as well.
That got me to thinking. Offshore outsourcing for small businesses (especially internet marketing related ones) has been a growing area. Personally, we don’t participate in offshore outsourcing, although we do outsource within the United States. But as I was looking for information to reply to Trevor, I found it difficult to find unbiased information on outsourcing to another country, such as India or the Philipines. So, I decided to gather some links on the sites that I found that offered some of the pros and cons, so that if you are considering this path, you’ll have some resources to read.
Here they are, in no particular order:
Outsource2India.com— a good list of advantages and disadvantages. One advantage listed: Outsourcing can help your organization to free up its cash flow. One disadvantage listed: In outsourcing, you may lose your control over the process that is outsourced.
Lovetoknow.com—a lot of the same information as the above list but expanded a bit with more examples.
Outsourcingprosandcons.net— over 70 articles on the topic, including ones about specific industries or process. Some of my favorites: Pros and Cons of Help Desk Outsourcing, Outsourcing Human Resources – Pros and Cons, and Outsourcing Help: Pros And Cons Of Outsourcing. Please note that while many of the articles are listed under pros and cons, they neglect to mention the cons. Also, many are written by people who own, operate or promote outsourcing services.
Entrepreneur.com— a slightly older article, it still contains good information about what, when and why to outsource.
WebProWorld.com— a good forum discussion on the topic.
I’m sure there are other articles and websites that do a good job of addressing the question of offshore outsourcing from a neutral perspective. If you know of any, please be sure to post them in the comments.
January 20, 2009
On occasion, online entrepreneurs have to outsource potions of their latest projects. No one can do everything well, and sooner or later, they’ll have to hire someone to do it for them. Things like web design, programming, writing, or video creation are examples of things that get outsourced. If you can do one or more of those things, you can make money by being the outsourced help.
There are some ups and downs to this technique. The biggest up side is that you get paid regardless of the success or failure of the clients. You do a good job for them, of course, but once you’ve given them what you were hired to create, your part in the matter is done. This cuts your risk considerably, and insures that any work you do will be paid no matter what happens afterwords.
The down side is that you don’t have the opportunity to make as much as you would with direct sales or promoting someone else’s products. Business people takes those risks for a reason, and that’s the chance to make large sums of money. You can still make money, but you’re potential may not be quite as much as another type of entrepreneur.
Still, freelancing is a good way to monetize a skill, and if you want to go this route, here are a few things you’ll need:
- A web site decribing what you do and other things to help sell your services. Those would include automated lead collection, samples of your previous work, and easy navigation so you don’t annoy potential customers away.
- Some means of promotion, especially those that let you build credibility for your expertise.
- A reliable form of payment collection that takes credit cards, like PayPal. Furthermore, never create a project until you have payment in hand. Some people may hire you frivolously, but you can minimize the risk they’ll waste your time by getting paid in advance.
If you have skills, you can put them to use for others to make money online. You took the time to learn them, and using them to make some extra cash is a perfectly legitimate way to go.
September 4, 2008
My latest project is a book that I wrote, and edited, and rewrote again and again. Despite all my efforts, I still can’t get it quite right. I’ve looked at it and messed with it, and finally, I’ve come to a conclusion. Sometimes, you just have to outsource, and in my case, I’m sending it to a freelance editor for a professional critique.
Now, in online business, you’ll find you’re better at some things than others. You may also find that no matter how much you try, you’ll never get as good as you have to be at something you absolutely, positively need. Fortunately, outsourcing is the way to get around that, and while you’ll have to spend some money, you can still get it done.
When outsourcing, remember a few things:
- Not all freelancing is created equal. If you find someone that can do a really good job, employ a little networking and keep that freelancer on file for when you need their services again.
- If at all possible, try to get a sample of work before you buy. In the case of my ebook covers, I could see a preview of my graphic designer’s work before I purchased from him. This will give you a good idea of what you’ll be getting before you spend money for it.
- If the work or service is substandard, remember there is more than one freelancer available in the talent pool. There is almost certainly more than one for whatever kind of work you need, so don’t think you have to go back to someone who fell short.
- When hiring a freelancer, be specific. The more you tell them beforehand, the closer they’ll get to giving you what you want the first time around.
- Freelancers can be found in search engines, or on sites like elance.com, guru.com, and others.
You can’t do it all, as much as you might want to be a jack-of-all-trades. So if you ever need something done better than you can do it, outsource.