How To Outsource Your Business For Pennies
When I began my online career, I did everything myself. Even the stuff I wasn’t good at. I wrote all my own content; I spent hours figuring out how to use WordPress, hosting and how to buy domains. I also tried designing my own websites, creating my own logos and a lot of other stuff. Back then I had never even heard of the term outsourcing.
I thought if I wanted something done, I would have to do it myself or pay a full time guy in America like $2000-$3000/month which back then… was way out of my reach. The end result was me not getting nearly as much done as I wanted. Producing some awful content at times and having a crappy blog theme among many other things. Once I stumbled upon the idea of hiring someone in a 3rd world country to do the stuff I didn’t want to, I was stunned.
First of all I was shocked. Shocked that I could hire someone in the Philippines to do my dirty work… all while I was chilling out at the beach or working on stuff that I actually enjoyed doing. So I had to try outsourcing for myself. To begin with, I thought I’d try outsourcing some submissions or link building. As to be honest I always hated and still hate doing anything SEO related.
Link building is tedious and it doesn’t exactly require much skill. The only skill required is in creating a link building strategy which is pretty simple to do. So I thought why not pay someone else to do it? It would free up my time and also get stuff done that I hated doing. So I scuttled over to a well known outsourcing site and stuck up an ad for someone to build links for me.
Foolishly, I snapped up the first guy who applied to the job and he was well… awful. The guy could barely speak any English and I spent 1+ hours a day answering his damn questions. I was literally spending more time teaching him how to do the simple task than it actually took to do it. So that was a massive failure which made me revert back to my old plan of doing everything myself. Then after a few months someone found me who wanted some work to pay a few bills. The guy seemed pretty competent so I thought I’d give him a shot.
He was a tad more expensive, but he got the job done and saved me a crap load of time. I went on to hire multiple VA’s in the Philippines and one Indian dude who was pretty decent. All to do different jobs whenever I didn’t feel like doing them myself. So here’s how to outsource your business:
Find People To Hire
Before you do anything else, you need to find someone to hire. There are countless outsourcing sites out there that allow you to post jobs, but some suck. Overall, I’d recommend checking out the 3 sites listed below:
Paid option: onlinejobs.ph
Overall, I use Freelancer although it’s probably the worst one. The reason being is that it’s fast and simple to post a job and I usually get a few dozen bidders within 24 hours. Odesk seems to be pretty solid and I had a good experience with them. I think they’re a tad limiting though. They’re cheap to use and they have time tracking software inside the member’s area.
Elance is also good. I definitely think they have the highest quality people. I’ve used them 3 times and all 3 VA’s I’ve used from Elance have been pretty smart. So I haven’t had any problems with them… They also have a bunch features to make your “purchase” safe and they are slightly more expensive than the other two.
Freelancer isn’t bad as I said, and I use them often. Probably because it was the first site I came across. Most of their workers are cheap, but I’ve gotten some crappy incompetent people. But that’s not really a problem when you use the advice I’m about to give you.
So go ahead and create an account on one of those sites if you’re ready to dive into outsourcing. Here’s a huge tip:
Survey All Bidders Or Applicants
Generally you’ll get around 5-50 people apply to your job… so it can take a really long time to filter through them individually. Instead, I head over to SurveyMonkey.com and create a custom survey for each job I post. SurveyMonkey allows you to create your own surveys and analyze the results. Usually the surveys I create are all more or less the same. I ask things like:
- How Long Have You Been A VA?
- What’s Your Work Background?
- What Are Your Primary Skills?
- How Well Do You Speak And Write English?
- How Fast Can You Write A 500 Word Article In English With No Errors?
- What Kind of Work Have You Undertaken In The Past?
- May I Contact Your Clients For a Reference?
- What Are Your Working Hours?
You can create a survey like that with SurveyMoney in minutes. Then just send out the link to everyone who applied to your job listing. I usually get around 50% of applicants complete the entire survey. And a maximum of around 5-8ish potential VA’s.
Have A Personal Chat/Interview
Once you narrow the list down to at least 5 people, get them on Skype and CALL them up. It’s really important that you actually call them up to make sure their English is up to scratch. My biggest problem with hiring VA’s is them not being able to complete work fast enough in the English language. So have a 5-10 minute interview with your final candidates over the phone.
Doing this will allow you to weed out all the idiots who lied on the survey. It happens a lot, I’ve had guys who rated their English 10/10 when really… they could barely put a sentence together.
Give Them A 1 Week Test
Finally, I’ll give people a 1 week test. I’ll give the test to at least 3 people and if I’m lucky I’ll end up with 1 perfect VA. Something else you shouldn’t do, don’t get too friendly with your VA’s. As a lot of the time if they’re in 3rd world countries they tend to slack. I haven’t had this problem with people in the USA, but I’ve had VA’s in the Philippines go on the missing list for weeks.
If they disappear for more than a week with no contact, you have to be strong and fire them. Despite their current circumstances. In the past I’ve let people off with a week of uncompleted work, but sometimes you have to be hard and that’s why you shouldn’t build a personal relationship.
P.S. Feel free to leave me your thoughts, comments and questions in the box below.