If you’re new to internet marketing you might be just a tad overwhelmed. It all started with a great idea…your idea, and now you have an appreciation for all that is required to successfully launch an internet enterprise.
You have an appreciation but if you’re like most people, you don’t have sufficient knowledge and experience to open up a viable business and start seeing sales roll in. It’s going to take time and it’s going to take persistence on your part. The more you know about the business, the more experience you have testing ideas the closer you are to success.
But there’s a way to speed up that process.
What you don’t know can’t hurt you unless”¦
Lets face it, not everyone who jumps into this business is a skilled website developer or designer, few if any have a strong working knowledge of SEO, some can’t string two sentences together much less create compelling and engaging content. What most new people to internet marketing do have is a strong entrepreneurial spirit and at least a basic knowledge of marketing.
So how do you overcome for your shortcomings?
Well you have two choices. You can put off launching that camping tent site or online piano lesson website or whatever your passion is and spend the time (and money) to learn all of the skills required and quite frankly that may take years to become completely proficient. Or you can outsource those functions that you’re not comfortable with.
Done correctly, outsourcing is the fastest and most efficient method to get your business up and running. If you don’t have the skill, tools or time to perform a task you can find someone else to do it for you.
What you don’t know can be purchased, but buyers beware.
New roof for half the price
Outsourcing makes an incredible amount of sense in today’s economic environment particularly for small businesses that don’t want, nor can afford, new employees. Freelance contractors can be found for virtually any business task from accounting, to web design to telemarketing and usually at competitive rates.
But like all businesses, not all freelance contractors are equal.
Let me share a quick story with you to illustrate what I mean.
I was sitting on my deck one day when a chap approached me and proposed that he should fix the damage on my roof. He was kind of down and out explaining that he was a roofer but had not worked in over 3 months and he really needed the job and would give me a smoking hot price.
Well in fact my roof did need to be replaced and I had shopped around and found the going price was about $4,000. This chap was offering to do the job for $1,500 or 65% less than I would have to pay a local contractor. He gave me references which I checked out and then awarded him the project.
On the first day he advised me that he would need an advance as he didn’t have gas for his truck. I gave him $100.
He worked for about a half day and then advised me that he had a sore back (he was out of shape from not working) and that he would have to take a couple of days off to heal.
When he showed up three days later he again needed an advance and I reluctantly gave it to him. He worked the day and then disappeared. I was able to contact him by phone and advised him that I was leaving for a week
This can’t be happening to me….
Upon returning from a relaxing week of vacation I pulled into my drive, looked up at the roof, and discovered that absolutely nothing had been done. Goodbye relaxed vacation feeling hello frustration and disappointment.
Eventually he did show up and he completed the job. And the job was perfect. He actually was a talented roofer but he was a horrible service provider.
Now take a moment and think if my roof was my “business”. It needed repairs and it got repaired for relatively next to nothing. However it took much longer than planned, my contractor was non-responsive, my personal frustration was through the roof so to speak and if my roof was a “business” it wouldn’t have been making me sales during the extended amount of time that it took to get the repair done.
Cheap outsourcing can be very expensive
Now my roof experience was a personal inconvenience but had that roof been my business my $1500 “deal” could have cost me much more in lost business.
There are thousands of highly qualified, professional freelance contractors available. Unfortunately there are tens of thousands of freelancers that aren’t so professional but usually are incredibly cheap. If you decide to use an out sourcing service based principally on price then you could very well experience your own “fix the roof” scenario.
That’s not to say that you absolutely will. There is some incredible technical talent available from freelancers who live in countries where the cost of living is a fraction of yours. But even in these cases if the contractor is not fluent in English your project may be delayed or flawed simply because of communication problems.
A quick guide to trouble free outsourcing
Quite frankly I learned the challenges associated with outsourcing when I used freelance contractors for my online business which was well before my “roof repair” experience. Why I didn’t apply the lessons I learned online to my offline life I’ll never know.
But to help you avoid some of the potential pitfalls of outsourcing projects, here’s a quick “to do” list:
- Get specific. Know exactly what you want done. Don’t use generalities that leave interpretation open. Write a detailed job description in your posting. Insufficient information about a job often will be viewed as a “red flag” by professional contractors and they will pass on the job.
- Pre-Award communication. Once you’ve decided on a contractor communicate by email or telephone before you actually award the project. Doing this allows you to see how fast they respond to your message, if they have a grasp for what you want done and let’s you know if there are going to be language problems.
- Monitor progress. On larger projects set milestones for the completion of certain tasks and tie payment for that task to the milestone. This provides a financial motive to complete the work on time and lets you see the quality of the work as it progresses.
- Pay on time. The contractor is not the only person building a reputation; you as a buyer are as well. Nothing says “good buyer to work for” more than timely payment for work done.
Done right outsourcing can really boost your business and it doesn’t matter what your business is. You can have a photography website promoting infrared cameras or an outdoor adventure site featuring the best family tent for camping. It simply doesn’t matter. What does matter is if you don’t have the talent, tools or time to do a task then it’s not going to get done unless you outsource a pro to do it.