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Entrepreneurs are passionate about their business; after pouring your heart and soul into a venture it can be difficult to trust that anyone else will bring the same level of enthusiasm. However, outsourcing those tasks that you do not enjoy or are not very good at creates tremendous growth potential for your business; it allows you to grow and move the needle at a rapid pace.
To get started, consider which tasks you will outsource and whether or not it will be cost-effective. In other words, can you find a talented resource to do a job as good as or better than you would at a price that makes good business sense?
Outsourcing for Skill
Being an entrepreneur does not mean that you have to know how to do it all. Instead, it is about finding the right people and giving them the tools and motivation they need to grow your business.
Foundr sees a positive ROI when outsourcing tasks like design, coding and writing. These are core tasks that need to be accomplished in order for the business to grow. There are many opportunities to find resources overseas that can complete this work at a rate that is far below the cost of on-shore talent. In most cases, costs are further offset by a positive exchange rate.
When interviewing for this type of position, ask to see examples of previous work. Getting a feel for what the candidate is capable of is key to understanding whether or not they will be a good fit for your business.
Outsourcing for Time
Your daily or weekly administrative tasks probably formed in your early days as an entrepreneur. These duties helped you establish a routine and became some of your first assignments. Now that the business is growing your time is better spent on creating new products, building relationships and/or finding new projects. Even if you enjoy doing these tasks, outsourcing in this area will benefit the business by freeing up your time.
Chris Ducker, the CEO of Live2Sell is a big fan of this strategy. He uses outsourcing to buy back his time; creating freedom that has afforded him the opportunity to accomplish amazing things in his business. Check out this podcast for the full interview!
Before hiring a new resource to handle administrative tasks, create training tools that clearly define how you want the work to be accomplished. This will significantly reduce the amount of time invested in training and micro-managing.
I am currently developing a ton of SOP’s (standard operating procedures) that will include a document and a video detailing each step I take to accomplish several of my administrative tasks. For example, each week I send an email to an interviewee to let he or she know that the podcast has gone live. This email includes: a click to Tweet and template Facebook post. I do the same thing each month when a new issue of the magazine is published. With an SOP in place, I can offload this task to a virtual assistant and free up more of my own time.
Outsourcing for Fun
One of the goals of entrepreneurship is to always be doing work that you love; getting bogged down in tasks that are not enjoyable zaps energy from your business. When cost-effective, I outsource anything that I do not feel passionate about but that still needs to be accomplished in order to support business growth.
At Foundr, we are beginning a move to Infusionsoft. This is a very powerful CRM/email marketing platform. Many of my friends have suggested that I hire a consultant to complete the implementation. However, consultants with this skillset are very expensive. To reduce my costs, I will setup the basics of the solution myself and then bring in a consultant to optimize its use for our purposes.
oDesk allows you to post a job listing and wait for candidates to apply or you can invite candidates to interview based on their profile. I sat down with Fabio Rosati, CEO of elance-oDesk, to discuss how this platform has changed an industry. Check out the full interview here!
99designs is an auction-style site in which multiple contractors provide you with designs (websites, logos, etc.) and you choose a contractor based on the results. On GrowthGeeks, contractors post their offerings and prices and you choose a project that fits your needs. Each of these resources has tons of great candidates from all over the globe.
After reviewing portfolio work, I generally set up a Skype call with the candidate. The questions I ask are dependent upon the work. When I was looking for a designer, I knew that I wanted to establish a long term relationship with an extremely talented designer that would deliver on-time and share our mission. During the interview, I asked about what he wanted: money, career growth, recognition? The best way to grow a long-term partnership is to understand what the person needs and try to give it to them.
In addition to understanding motivations, I want to know how the candidate will respond in certain situations. Can he keep commitments to deliver on time? Is she proactive? Most importantly, does he or she have character? Ideally, these are folks with whom you will build a long-term relationship. My favorite story on finding resources involves my search for a designer. The result was not only an epic designer but also an amazing friend! He invited me to his wedding in India where we met for the first time face-to-face. Building incredible relationships with your freelance team has a massive impact on your business; partnering with like-minded individuals is the first step.
Nathan and Karan (aka Our Epic Designer) – First Meeting
Press play to watch Karan and I meeting for the first time on Video 🙂
Bringing in talented resources to accomplish tasks that you either could not do on your own or do not enjoy doing can have a massive impact on your business growth. Evaluate which tasks could be outsourced for the most impact and then put in the time to prepare for your new addition by performing candidate research and developing training materials. Above all, look for candidates that share your vision and business values.