It seems there is just never enough time to do everything we need to do as bloggers and business owners. But many times we also feel the need to control everything from the top. This means that we have to allow time for everything.
In reality, there are just not enough hours in the day to do it all. So what is the solution? The answer: Outsourcing!
In the famous book by Tim Ferris, The Four Hour Work Week, he talks about outsourcing in a way that convinces you that you should outsource many tasks that you do not have the time to do yourself. In fact, at one point in the book, he even suggests that you should “outsource everything.” This is a bit of a hyperbole, but the point is well taken. Anything that you don’t need to control and do yourself entirely can, theoretically, be outsourced.
But before you start throwing gigs to freelancers for most of your microtasks and other jobs, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Consider the importance of the task and the degree that you need to maintain control.
Most site and business owners know that you have to strike a balance between keeping control of your site and your company and freeing up your time to work on the essential things. Brainstorm the types of things you want to do yourself first. These would likely include the jobs that involve decision-making and executive decisions that you should be in charge of as a site owner. The more meticulous or “micro-tasks” should be delegated to others who have the time to devote to these tasks. This frees up your time to do the more high-level jobs so you can focus on your website and business.
2. Think about how much time you need to have at your disposal to stay productive and reach your goals for your site.
As a site owner, you need to know where you need to focus your time. When you have a large number of projects that are important to your business, you need to keep your time free so that you can focus on your website. For example, you may be a photographer who needs to create a portfolio of your work. You also need to market and promote it, drive traffic to your website, and produce new leads. Just take a look at the recent numbers in the blogging industry. With more than a billion active websites and blogs already online, you need to have a content creation and marketing strategy that works for both you and your business.
You may not have time to do all of this yourself. So you need to focus on your craft of photography. By focusing on just taking the best pictures possible, you can outsource the creation of the portfolio, the photo editing, and the promotion of your artistic portfolio to others who have the time, freeing up your time for other things. This scenario allows you to keep your time for the main tasks of taking great pictures and let others put your portfolio together and advertise it for you.
Time is always going to be a topic of discussion, not just for bloggers and businesses, but also for students as well. In fact, a whole new industry and business model has come out of nowhere, catering to high school and college students to help them get more work done. Sites like bid4papers.com, act as their own freelance content marketplace, but instead of providing content for site owners and bloggers, they focus on providing writing services to students and those in need of academic or high-level publications. To further address the issue and how they have focused on site a direct niche audience, they also promise that the majority of content is produced by educated professionals and professors that are familiar
3. Consider how many smaller tasks that you have that are distracting you from your productive time.
Make a list of all of the things that distract you from the core focus of your website and your business. By knowing what the distractors are, you may be able to give the smaller jobs to freelancers that may be distracting from your overall business tasks. Think about the types of people you need to perform these tasks for you and make sure you train them well. By spending some time at the front end in training, you may guarantee that you find the right people to do what you need to keep your business going in the way that you need to.
4. Have realistic expectations for your website and business goals.
Sometimes business owners have unrealistic goals for their business, or they may have an unrealistic expectation as to the timeline of when to expect to finish certain goals. If you have unrealistic expectations for your business, you may create stress for yourself as well a the freelancers that you get to help you with your business tasks. Create a sound business plan with a timeline that allows you to have a realistic goal in every category of your business. Then communicate your goals to your freelancers that you outsource to. If you understand your vision and have it set in your mind, you should be able to communicate it to your freelance contractors.
Something else to consider when outsourcing any type of content for your site or online business, is knowing who to hire and how much they can handle. This is something FreelanceMyWay continually addresses through their blog, which comes out with new and useful content daily. The key takeaway here is, hire as many freelance workers as needed, but at the same time, stay aware of what each is working on and that they aren’t just sitting around at times. This is where a platform like FreelanceMyWay can really come in handy, as they allow you to find and hire workers for individual products, while also looking at their previous work history as well.
5. Figure out what you should include in an “outsourcing checklist.”
One of the most important things you should do when planning what to outsource is to think about what you need the most help with.
- What drains the most of your time when planning your work week?
- What distractions do you have that might be minimized by having a contractor that will do some of these jobs for you?
Consider these things when making your list of jobs to outsource to cut down on the menial tasks and creating more focus for yourself.
Statistics on Outsourcing
Some people are “numbers” people. That’s not a bad thing. Statistics matter when it comes to making decisions regarding the outsourcing process. Below are some statistics regarding outsourcing. Take a look at these stats and think about how it will influence your situation with your website and business.
- It is estimated that there will be about 92.2 billion people needed in the “big data” IT space by the year 2026. (Statistica) This is an astounding number and illustrates how quickly the data industry is growing. This can have a significant impact on the demands that will be placed on your business in the coming years. Planning to avoid problems involves thinking about how you can outsource many of your IT data collection jobs to outsourced agents to avoid having to deal too much with this overload of tasks yourself.
- By the year 2025, it is estimated that blockchain adoption will be a mainstream method of dealing with people and data. The use of high-level technology such as drones and virtual chatbots will mean that you may need fewer people to handle these jobs, while the needs in other areas may increase.
- Looking at more current statistics, in 2017, there was a 31% rate of outsourcing being done regarding IT services. This is only expected to grow shortly due to the increasing demand for these jobs and the burden it puts on in-house staff.
How to Ensure Reliability When Hiring Outsourced Agents
One concern that business owners have is finding reliable contractors that they can depend on. Some sites have a lot of beginners and newbies who are just starting out, so you need to filter the candidates in a way that will help you to find the best people to do the work you need.
Here are a few tips to make sure you are getting the most reliable freelancers for your microtasks:
- Go to sites that have more experienced freelancers who charge more for their work. Remember the adage, “You get what you pay for,” and be ready to pay a bit more for higher quality.
- Interview possible freelancers via a phone call or email first before deciding to hire them for your jobs. It’s better to know more about the person before you do business rather than hiring them first and finding out later what they are like.
- Check their rating. Most freelance sites have a rating system that allows potential employers to see how well the freelancer does with their customers before hiring.
Looking at how others rate someone will help you to cut out the ones who just don’t make the grade.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Online Business and Outsourcing Journey
In the end, you don’t want to outsource everything. But there are probably many other jobs that you haven’t been outsourcing that you could outsource to save yourself more time. However, you do need to “do your homework,” get to know the person you are thinking of hiring and make a list of the types of jobs you want to outsource. Remember, it pays to plan!
Many site owners have already learned to outsource jobs such as product shipping, blogging, content writing, or promotions. The future only points to hiring freelancers even more, despite the rush to automate everything at a feverish pace.
No matter how many robots we put in charge, there will always be a need for people to input the information and to bring the human touch to a job well done.