Are you outsourcing any tasks?
Do you want to improve the results you’re getting?
Outsourcing is a popular way of working in today’s global world and it can really impact your business, when you do it right.
To help you get better at outsourcing I asked the following question from the experts:
Q: Would you like to share your biggest “outsourcing” mistake?
I’m so thankful for all the experts who took the time to share their biggest outsourcing mistake. I hope this will help many people who are new to outsourcing or want to improve their results.
Enjoy their answers.
#1 Steve Chou
Steve started an online store that made over 100K in its first year of business which has grown every year since. Now he teaches others how to replicate my success.
My biggest outsourcing mistake was not fully understanding what I was outsourcing. As a result, I had no idea what to expect and of course got subpar results.
#2 Fraser Cain
My biggest outsourcing mistake was not outsourcing early enough and with enough projects. I didn’t learn to delegate early on, and kept on too many time-wasting projects for myself when I should have been able to get this stuff into the hands of other people. That would have cleared up my time to focus on the direction of the business, and not get bogged down in so many of the details.
#3 Sean Platt
Sean is a publisher and online entrepreneur. Co-author of groundbreaking series Yesterday’s Gone. He helps good writers make a GREAT living
The biggest outsourcing mistake, I think, is assuming you don’t need it, or believing you can do everything yourself. If you’re not focused on your core competency, you are costing yourself money.
Sunil is a hard working professional who has established multiple streams of passive income over time on the side mostly leveraging the internet
Three things specifically:
1) Not taking the time to conduct video interviews, emails, resumes and frankly any type of written communication can be fabricated or prepared with a lot of time, effort and numerous iterations. Speaking to someone live (Skype) gives a better idea of one’s true communication skills. Many write better than they speak and I get that, but speaking to someone gives a good idea of their command over English, use of the grammar, etc.
2) Not providing detailed instructions / task list easy enough to follow and execute step by step without needing much hand holding.
3) Not coming up with “plug in” tasks that full time assistants can do once the “main” task on hand is done. Instead of sitting idle during down time, plug in tasks can help maximize productivity. For example, when idle, one of my virtual assistants has been trained to contact vendors and solicit potential direct advertising on my sites.
#5 Dan Andrews
Dan and Ian started the Lifestyle Business Podcast in late 2009 as an outlet to share their experiences with other entrepreneurs. In 2007 they began building a product development and e-commerce business that currently employs 13 people worldwide and does 7-figures in annual sales
By far the biggest outsourcing mistake I see people making is hiring for un-demonstrated cash-flows. In other words, they expect their VAs or outsourced staff to go out and develop a new source of revenue. Good luck with that! That’s the entrepreneur’s job. Once you’ve determined a solid source of cash, the next step is to determine the process by which you manage it, and that’s the ideal time to get outsourced staff involved.
#6 Leslie Samuel
Leslie is the main guy behind Become A Blogger. In his Podcast, “Learning With Leslie“, He teaches solid lessons about how to build a blog that will have an impact, in addition to interviewing other successful bloggers that we can all learn from.
My biggest outsourcing mistake is hiring people without having clear guidelines as to what I wanted them to do. What ended up happening is that I’d get people who would start working on a project for a while and then sending me something that was totally different than I had anticipated. The result is an expensive mistake.
Now, I’ve created details manuals that I provide to my outsourcers so that they know EXACTLY what I want them to do at every step of the way. You can see examples of my manuals here – http://www.becomeablogger.com/manuals. Feel free to adapt them to your needs.
The biggest mistake that most people make when it comes to outsourcing is that they think that one person can do it all. It’s not possible to find someone to handle your calendar, manage your blogging post your videos, build SEO strategies, edit videos and podcasts, promote your social media channels, write all your content and sales pages, build your websites and landing pages, and so on… It doesn’t happen in the ‘real world’, so why should it work in the virtual world?
Hiring the RIGHT person for the right role should be the focus – not hiring one person to handle all the jobs, of an entire team!
#8 James Wedmore
James is the founder of Video Traffic Academy. James shows others how to use the tools and skills they already possess to harness the power of video to grow their business.
The BIGGEST Outsourcing mistake I see “start up” entrepreneurs make (besides NOT outsourcing at all) is a failure to discern the difference between paying for a “service” and paying for “manpower.”
All too often, business owners will hire their first “virtual assistant,” and send them a short email assignment, like: ”Do my SEO, thanks.” That doesn’t work.
When you pay a SERVICE-provider-like an SEO company, thousands of dollars, you have the luxury of having the company handle all of your SEO needs for you. That’s not what you are getting with an overseas employee. You are simply getting “manpower.”
You have to be able to give specific, “action-oriented” instructions to your new team member. You must already have a SYSTEM in place (the step-by-step process), and you simply plug your Virtual Assistant into that existing system. This often means a lot of training, communication and mistakes on the front end…until you get it right.
When Outsourcing, you have to understand that YOU as the business owner are creating an INTERNAL structure of inter-connected systems, and your virtual assistants help to make those systems run. They don’t create the systems for you.
Did you find the answers helpful?
You can share any of the mistake you did when outsourcing in the comments below to help others.