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  #1  
Old June 6, 2015, 10:05 PM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
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Default Outsourcing... Any experiences?

Outsourcing can be a great way to "leverage" your time and business...

I've outsourced various things... I've hired writers, editors, transcriptionists, and graphics people over the years.

What have you outsourced, and what was your experience like? Any tips you'd care to share?

Thanks...!

Best wishes,

Dien
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  #2  
Old June 6, 2015, 10:36 PM
spyglass spyglass is offline
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Default Re: Outsourcing... Any experiences?

Well a few years ago I outsourced a website embedded with my Amazon affiliate code for DSL cameras. Fairly nice site, but it didn't make a single penny.

More recently, I outsourced the design of a logo for my LLC. I was pleased, at the time, but I now know after being exposed to higher end graphic design styles that it is only mediocre level design quality. So I will get it redone by a more skilled designer next go round. Live and learn.

Interesting you bring this question up at this time because I am just starting to build an online service that will rely heavily on outsourcing. The good part is skilled and dependable outsource workers have already been identified and all I have to do is drum up the customers. If things progresses as I expect them to, I will scale the service enough to absorb the investment of hiring a project manager who will manage the day to day operations and I will manage he or she. I give this twenty months to build up to the project manager level. Maybe sooner if I snag more recurring business clients than I anticipate getting the first twenty months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dien Rice View Post
Outsourcing can be a great way to "leverage" your time and business...

I've outsourced various things... I've hired writers, editors, transcriptionists, and graphics people over the years.

What have you outsourced, and what was your experience like? Any tips you'd care to share?

Thanks...!

Best wishes,

Dien
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  #3  
Old June 6, 2015, 11:54 PM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
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Posts: 2,591
Default Re: Outsourcing... Any experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spyglass View Post
Well a few years ago I outsourced a website embedded with my Amazon affiliate code for DSL cameras. Fairly nice site, but it didn't make a single penny.

More recently, I outsourced the design of a logo for my LLC. I was pleased, at the time, but I now know after being exposed to higher end graphic design styles that it is only mediocre level design quality. So I will get it redone by a more skilled designer next go round. Live and learn.

Interesting you bring this question up at this time because I am just starting to build an online service that will rely heavily on outsourcing. The good part is skilled and dependable outsource workers have already been identified and all I have to do is drum up the customers. If things progresses as I expect them to, I will scale the service enough to absorb the investment of hiring a project manager who will manage the day to day operations and I will manage he or she. I give this twenty months to build up to the project manager level. Maybe sooner if I snag more recurring business clients than I anticipate getting the first twenty months.
Hi Spyglass,

I agree, that's the way to do it!

In one of the projects I'm involved with, we're planning to do that too... We're setting everything up, but the plan is, hopefully later this year, we'll hire a manager to manage it all once it's "chugging along" smoothly...!

I know a guy who started a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) business, well over 10 years ago... He set it all up as a "virtual" business, in the sense that there was no office for people to go to, everybody worked from home. He hired at least one sales person (I think he got paid salary + commission), an admin/customer relations person, and an SEO person, who did all the SEO stuff. My friend, the founder, mainly wrote the sales copy for the website, as well as setting it all up. Everybody lived in a different city (though in his business, all lived in the USA or Canada). I think it was (and is) quite a profitable operation...

The HB-type of "virtual organization" outsources too, but in a different way. He partners. So, for example, if he wants a product manufactured, he partners with a company who can do the manufacturing. The manufacturer then sends the products, as needed, in bulk directly to the customers (who, in his case, are big chain stores like Ace Hardware and Home Depot). He just sets it up and oversees it, he never touches the product.

In his case, his "toll positions" protect him from being ripped off. (The manufacturers can't manufacture their own version of his product, since they would be violating his patent protection, for example. Without "toll position" protections, they might just manufacture their own version of the product, and go into competition against him... and it would all be legal.)

Thanks for sharing Spyglass... Very illuminating, and great discussion!

Best wishes,

Dien

Last edited by Dien Rice : June 7, 2015 at 12:10 AM.
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  #4  
Old June 10, 2015, 06:32 PM
MichaelWinicki MichaelWinicki is offline
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Default Re: Outsourcing... Any experiences?

I've outsourced tons of stuff from web research to web design and cold calling to small businesses... and the results are almost always directly proportional to the amount of instruction you give and the guidelines that come with the project.

The old hiring/firing line use to be "Hire slow/fire fast" but in the outsourcing world is "Hire fast/fire faster". You simply can't research candidates to death.
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  #5  
Old June 11, 2015, 02:11 AM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
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Default Re: Outsourcing... Any experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post
I've outsourced tons of stuff from web research to web design and cold calling to small businesses... and the results are almost always directly proportional to the amount of instruction you give and the guidelines that come with the project.
Hi Michael,

This is something I'm only starting to learn... Giving good instructions and guidelines!

I've hired several writers in the past. My policy was to hire a number of them, then keep hiring the ones who did a good job to my liking...

However, I think hiring writers is relatively easy. I've been thinking for a while of hiring some kind of "virtual assistant" type of person... However, to do it right, I think I should take into account the kind of training I might have to give this person, so they will be able to do all the things I'd like them to do. (In my case, it might involve some customer relations work, sending out email broadcasts, some calendar organization, some research work, possibly liaising with other freelancers to ensure other things get done...)

Quote:
The old hiring/firing line use to be "Hire slow/fire fast" but in the outsourcing world is "Hire fast/fire faster". You simply can't research candidates to death.
Yes, the strategy I use at the moment, where it's feasible, is to hire multiple people to do a similar job (e.g. write an article, create a graphic, etc.). Then, I keep using the best ones for future work, and don't re-hire the ones who weren't quite as good...

Thanks for sharing that great advice!

Best wishes!

Dien
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  #6  
Old June 11, 2015, 09:46 AM
Rob Yaggie Rob Yaggie is offline
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Default Where to hire? Any recommendations?

Does anyone have a good list of places to find outsourced help.

Of course, fiverr.com would be one but what about for a Virtual Assistant? or programmer?

Just a very brief search turned up:

http://www.easyoutsource.com (owned by OnlineJobs.ph)
http://www.onlinejobs.ph/

Thanks,
Rob Yaggie
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  #7  
Old June 11, 2015, 02:36 PM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
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Default Re: Where to hire? Any recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Yaggie View Post
Does anyone have a good list of places to find outsourced help.

Of course, fiverr.com would be one but what about for a Virtual Assistant? or programmer?
Hi Rob,

I've used oDesk before, which has recently changed its name to Upwork, after oDesk merged with Elance...

https://www.upwork.com

I've hired writers and editors there. One of my brothers has hired programmers there for his projects.

Although I've never (yet) hired a virtual assistant, I have on occasion looked through potential virtual assistants to hire on oDesk - now Upwork...

I've hired graphics people through Fiverr https://www.fiverr.com before. I've hired a transcriptionist through Fiverr too, as well as (prior to that) through a couple of specific online transcriptionist companies...

I've generally found them all to be good experiences. As I wrote earlier, my "strategy" is to hire multiple people initially (and give them similar tasks), then choose the best and continue to hire those people for ongoing work...

I hope that helps!

Best wishes,

Dien
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  #8  
Old June 11, 2015, 02:54 PM
trevord92 trevord92 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 30
Default Re: Outsourcing... Any experiences?

Not used a VA, sorry.

I've used iWriter for articles - be very specific about what you want. The basic level writers usually need a bit of editing but their quality seems to improve as the article gets longer (because they only get paid if you approve).

Transcription: Fiverr. A couple of years back it cost me $5 per 15 minutes.

Some graphics: Fiverr but it can be hit & miss so I also use Freelancer. Again, be specific. For instance I'll spell out that 3 different designs doesn't mean the same design in 3 different colours. I've had most success on graphics on Freelander with Eastern Europeans.

Simple bug fixes on websites: Fiverr. Including fixing scripts, scary htaccess stuff and more.

Programming can be hit and miss on Freelancer and you have to know what you're talking about otherwise they can try to pull the wool over your eyes. Same goes for website design.

I had a database tuned up on Freelancer and the guy was really good (a Russian living in New Zealand).

PeoplePerHour I've recently had some success with on a website redesign. As with Freelancer, take the time to read the reviews (not just the star ratings) and talk with two or three that you shortlist before awarding the project.
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  #9  
Old June 11, 2015, 09:51 PM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,591
Default Re: Outsourcing... Any experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trevord92 View Post
Not used a VA, sorry.

I've used iWriter for articles - be very specific about what you want. The basic level writers usually need a bit of editing but their quality seems to improve as the article gets longer (because they only get paid if you approve).

Transcription: Fiverr. A couple of years back it cost me $5 per 15 minutes.

Some graphics: Fiverr but it can be hit & miss so I also use Freelancer. Again, be specific. For instance I'll spell out that 3 different designs doesn't mean the same design in 3 different colours. I've had most success on graphics on Freelander with Eastern Europeans.

Simple bug fixes on websites: Fiverr. Including fixing scripts, scary htaccess stuff and more.

Programming can be hit and miss on Freelancer and you have to know what you're talking about otherwise they can try to pull the wool over your eyes. Same goes for website design.

I had a database tuned up on Freelancer and the guy was really good (a Russian living in New Zealand).

PeoplePerHour I've recently had some success with on a website redesign. As with Freelancer, take the time to read the reviews (not just the star ratings) and talk with two or three that you shortlist before awarding the project.
Thanks Trevor,

That's great advice!

While I haven't hired programmers myself (yet), one of my brothers has... I know he had "hit and miss" experiences too.

In his experience, he found some of the programmers he hired from Eastern Europe wrote what they call "spaghetti code"... Which means it works, but it's a nightmare for another programmer to come in later to try to fix it, because it's a nightmare trying to figure out what's going on!

On the other hand, for another project he hired a (much more expensive) American programmer, and the code was well-commented, well-structured, etc. You might not notice the difference at first, but if someone has to go in later to modify it or fix it, that's when you'll notice the difference!

Fantastic advice... I'm going to have to "jump in" further and do a lot more outsourcing (since it also expands what you're capable of as an entrepreneur)...!

Best wishes,

Dien
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  #10  
Old June 11, 2015, 09:57 PM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,591
Default "Men are cheaper than guns"...

Hi,

This chapter/article is about hiring employees, but it applies to outsourcing too...

"Men are cheaper than guns"...

The gist of it is, it's often "cheaper" to hire someone to do something, rather than to try to learn how to do it yourself. It's not only cheaper, but they'll often do a better job, too...

He uses an example from the Yul Brynner movie "The Magnificent Seven" (along with his own experiences)...

"Men Are Cheaper Than Guns"
http://www.hcmpublishing.com/Chapter3excerpt.html

(It's chapter 3 of the book, "Thinking Like an Entrepreneur" by Peter I. Hupalo. I believe Peter Hupalo made his money in the software industry.)

Best wishes,

Dien
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