One of the challenges of doing business is that you always have more work than time to complete it. Small businesses are in particular overwhelmed at times. Whether you’re running an SEO agency, offer dog walking services, or a lawyer, outsourcing many if not all of your tasks assures that you can focus more on your core business competency.
For instance, while you might be an excellent attorney with dozens of clients, it is just as important that you have a professional-looking website and a logo to go along with it. While you could try doing it yourself, learning Photoshop and Illustrator to pull it off, what could possibly be a pretty decent job, but should you be spending the time doing it? Not only will it become a massive source of stress, but at the end of the day, it isn’t worth doing when you can just as easily outsource it to an expert on a platform like Legiit for a few dollars.
In our experience, depending on your business, there are many facets of it (the business) that can easily be outsourced. You could choose to outsource blogging, website maintenance, SEO, even customer service, and data entry, which will save you, aka the business owner, a big chunk of time that can be put to good use.
Know Why You Are Choosing To Outsource?
One of the keys to successfully outsource your entire business is to know why you want to do it. For instance, do you want to make more money by outsourcing? While outsourcing is certainly exciting, it does not make sense unless you will benefit from it financially.
Outsourcing is a tool that should be used to drive sales and revenue instead of solely getting a few nonessential tasks done. For starters, you will want to look at ways to improve your efficiency and generate revenue through outsourcing those aspects of your business.
Regardless of your business type, outsourcing should help you achieve three primary goals:
• Increase profit
• Growing revenue or cash flow
• Bypassing the hassles associated with onboarding new employees
Make A List of Common Tasks
One of the ways to figure out what you should outsource is to make a list of all the common tasks you perform every week or every day even. For instance, you may take calls from clients, engage in live chat with prospective clients, check and reply to emails, update your social media page, maybe post a blog post on your website, etc.
Once you have a list of all the common tasks, it’s time to calculate how much time each one takes up every day.
• Drafting and posting a blog post may take – 2 hours
• A single social media post may take you – 30 minutes
• Live chat could take up – 4-5 hours.
• Responding to emails – 1-2 hours.
As you can see, all of the tasks above can add up to a pretty long day. However, none of these tasks have anything to do with your core competency, but they are just as important. Fortunately, outsourcing blogging, live chat, and social media posting save you around 4-5 hours.
The time saved can then be put to good use, like meeting with clients or researching for your day in court (if you’re an attorney). If anything, it could also mean being able to spend more time with your family. Outsourcing can effectively save you time and money.
What Can’t You Outsource?
We’ll start out by reiterating that it is possible to outsource your entire business, but it depends on your business. For instance, if you’re a digital marketer, you can outsource just about everything except for maybe dealing with clients. On the other hand, if you’re an attorney, you can’t outsource researching for a case or client consultations. That said, you can still outsource a good portion of your online advertising, design, marketing, SEO, etc., all of which can be pretty time-consuming.
Even though you can maybe outsource everything, the question is, should you even do it? If anything, your competitors may be a few freelancers away from beating you. That’s why business outsourcing needs to be well thought out.
You will want to start with something that isn’t your core competency. Some business people assume that their core competencies are the products produced which isn’t necessarily the case.
Many authors hire ghostwriters to write books and just put their names on it. Though they maintain the basic ideas and the overall outline of what the book is about, that’s what makes them successful. Also, many authors have an established name, so their fans will read just about anything.
The secret is knowing what sets you apart, aka your competitive advantage. Think about what makes your products, services, and business different from the competition?
Think Apple, yes, the company! Even though they outsource most of the manufacturing, they still design the iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks in-house. While anybody can manufacture an iPhone, only Apple makes it look like one.
If there is something that isn’t your core competency or not part of your competitive advantage, you need to ask two big questions:
What am I doing to save money?
Outsourcing can save you money. You may consider outsourcing your customer service to save money, but it could also lead to lots of frustration if you outsource overseas like computer manufacturing giant, Dell soon realized.
That said, not every task should be outsourced to save money because you could even lose money in the long-term if you focus on solely this one aspect of your business.
Are You Outsourcing If You Don’t Like Doing the Task?
Many business people will want to outsource tasks they don’t like doing, but that can be a mistake.
Critical aspects of your business like hiring and sales are not the fun parts but are something that’s best handled by the entrepreneur. If you outsource these tasks, you will start noticing a difference in often the quality of people hired or how the job is done. It’s best to learn these skills because outsourcing isn’t a viable long-term solution.
Hopefully, we’ve helped to prepare you for what should be outsourced. In the next section, we’ll go over how to outsource various aspects of your business.
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Signup As a Buyer On Legiit
Legiit is an online marketplace for service providers and those looking to outsource parts of their business. In a way, the platform is meant to bring both buyers and sellers together on a single platform. However, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill ‘per hour’ online marketplace.
Now that we assume you have a list of tasks you want to outsource, Legiit makes it immensely simple to find the right services. Take, for instance, if you want to outsource content writing, Press Release writing, or any other type of writing project, you head on over to the writing category to see a list of service providers.
Every service provider is different. Some service providers are cheaper than others. Also, some have more reviews than others. What a service provider charges may vary based on their experience.
Legiit allows business owners looking to outsource, read reviews, and get a feel for the quality of service offered. However, you also have the option of sending the service provider a message. You are free to ask as many questions as you want before deciding to hire any service provider on the platform.
Legiit enables business owners who are testing the waters to order from several different service providers. This approach helps to shortlist the best ones for ongoing work.
Most of the businesses that use the platform do so on a regular basis. Many service providers have regular clients, which they have built up by having a solid portfolio of reviews and living up to the expectations of their clients.
When choosing a service provider on Legiit, check for the following:
• Check reviews – Start by checking out the service provider’s reviews. Read both the 5-star reviews and the 1-star reviews to find out where the service provider has gone wrong. Many times, a late delivery will lead to a disgruntled client leaving 2 starts or a single star. At times it is going back and forth, that has frustrated a client.
• Check out samples – Many service providers have a portfolio with a bit of work history. Logo and web designers, in particular, upload their work for potential clients to browse through. Ideally, you will want to find a service provider that has done the type of work you need. So, if you are in the gardening industry and need a logo, checking if the service provider has designed logos for other businesses in your industry should tell you to want to expect. If you can’t find what you want in their portfolio, maybe send the service provider a message to see if they can show you a few samples. Many service providers on Legiit tend to respond relatively quickly, regardless of the time of day.
• Chat with the service provider – Legiit’s chat feature makes it very easy to engage with the service provider if they are online. You can ask questions and make requests while getting a response in real-time. The Legiit app enables buyers and sellers to even chat on the go, regardless of where they are, making the whole process of discussing important tasks simpler and quicker.
Legiit Vs. Other Marketplaces
As mentioned earlier, one of the most significant selling points of Legiit is that you’ll find a large pool of seasoned professionals. Many have been freelancing for years, while others have built up a team of writers, outreach specialists, and press release teams. However, Legiit isn’t just limited to a specific type of business model or professional. Business owners will find that it’s possible to find a professional on the platform for any job that can be outsourced.
Here are a few other benefits of Legiit versus other online marketplaces:
A Facebook Group – No other platform has a vibrant and growing Facebook group like Legiit. The conversation is often informative and insightful, making it an excellent resource for business people just starting to outsource parts of their business. It is also a place where buyers can directly engage with sellers, see what they are selling and interact with them beyond just doing business. So, you see the human side of many people who sell services on the platform, which is important if you want people working for you long-term or full time even.
No Hidden Fees – Legiit lays out all the fees you’ll be charged upfront. Whether you’re hiring an SEO professional on a reoccurring basis, a professional web designer, or even a palmist, you pay the sticker price. You can also see prices for all related services, which makes budgeting simpler.
Disputes Are Hashed Out Fast – Legiit’s dispute management system isn’t convoluted, requiring buyers and sellers to jump through hoops. If the service wasn’t provided as advertised, it’s easy to get your money back.
How to Land the Best Freelancer For Your Business?
Unfortunately, this is a question that businesses looking to outsource, especially via a platform like Legiit, don’t ask, but they should. It is an important question because a great freelancer isn’t going to work for a dollar an hour. But they aren’t also as expensive as a full-time employee.
If you are looking for the best freelancer, i.e. for web design, logo design, content writing or development, we assure you that the steps are going to be pretty much the same. The goal of the approach we outline below isn’t just to find someone whose qualified but also someone who will work for a fair price. It is a tricky balance, but an important one at that.
Related: Service Arbitrage: How You Can Get Started Today
Research Your Budget
Before you start searching for a freelancer on Legiit, you need to have a budget in mind. Keep in mind that while it is cheaper to outsource, you shouldn’t be in the market for the cheapest option.
Take outsourcing software development, for instance. The minimum cost in North America is an average of $70 an hour. On Legiit, it is possible to hire someone for as little as $20 an hour, mainly because they might be based in a cheaper part of the world. But you may have to sacrifice important benefits such as the developer’s ability to speak English or work when you’re available.
Your research should help highlight what you can expect to pay for the project. Once you have a fair price range in mind, that makes sorting through all the developers on Legiit easier.
You might want to make a list of all the features that matter to you. For instance, do you want to hire a developer who can speak good English? Can optimize code? And will continue to hone the app or website after it is completed.
These are important things to consider before you start speaking with developers or freelancers in general on Legiit.
Outline Your Project in Detail
As a business owner, you already understand the importance of being clear. However, what might be clear to you may not be as apparent to a freelancer, who probably never worked with you before.
Freelancers on platforms like Legiit complete dozens of orders a week. That’s why so much hinges on you, i.e. the buyer providing the seller with detailed project specifications.
The specifications and the depth of details you provide will depend on the task you’re outsourcing. For instance, if you’ve hired a freelancer to design a logo for you, ideally, make sure that you provide the designer with the following information:
• The designs in their portfolio that you like.
• Logos of competing businesses that you like.
• Your company’s colors.
• Tell the designer if you’d like a minimalist logo or something more whimsical, etc.
• If you want a specific file type, mention that too in the order.
If there are potential mistakes you want the designer to avoid making sure to list those things too, like:
• Don’t use block letters in the logo.
• “I don’t want a cartoonish logo.”
• “I don’t want more than 3 Pantone colors used.”
Many sellers on Legiit have a list of requirements of their own. More seasoned sellers are very thorough about what information they want, and it makes sense to provide that information before the order starts.
If you think that there is something missing or would like an extra like perhaps business cards designed after the logo is complete, you can buy an ‘add-on’ to the logo design service. Not all designers or service providers have add-ons, so if you don’t see one, maybe ask them via the chat feature and send them a custom offer.
However, we’d advise that you send a custom offer only after you both (seller and you) have decided on a price for the project or the extra you need.
Use the Feedback System Honestly
You should always try providing sellers with feedback. Legiit gives buyers the option to rate a seller anywhere from a single star for a poor job to 5-stars for a job well done.
An accurate rating will help other buyers determine if this is the right freelancer for them. Plus, if you find a freelancer who has good communication and has done exceptional work, you can always hire them on a reoccurring basis, something that Legiit makes very easy too.
How To Guarantee the Success of Ongoing Outsourcing Projects?
When many business owners first venture into the often strange world of outsourcing, they will hear horror stories of freelancers ranking up huge bills, not delivering work on time, or quitting halfway through the project. We do not deny that it does not happen. All of these issues are real; trust me, we’ve had to deal with them too.
However, the only way you’re going to outsource your entire business is to invest more in the process.
Investing More in the Selection Process
If you are going to work with someone for a long time, they need to be a good fit for the project. To do this, why not set up a rigorous process of finding the best freelancers.
Here are a few recommendations:
• In the test, order mention specific directions that need to be followed. That way, if they don’t follow them, you know that they aren’t good at following directions.
• Make a list of small requests. Often someone willing to go a little further for you values your time and business.
• Shortlist at least 3-4 services, and then choose one that does the best work. However, maintain a relationship with others just so that you have them to fall back on if the primary freelancer disappears for some odd reason.
• You will want to hire the three best freelancers and have them do a test project. Sure, it can be expensive, paying multiple people for the same job, but consider it an investment. Finding out early on if they can handle projects is important before entrusting them with often mission-critical work.
Small Business Owners Should Communicate Regularly
Finally, make sure that you continue to communicate with everyone on your team. Everyone should jive with your process and be available when you need them.
Work discussions with remote teams can take place on Slack. Zoom can be used for video chat, maybe once a day so that everyone is on the same page. Again, this is project-dependent.
Outsourcing your entire business may seem like an uphill task that’s going to require time and effort. But on the flip side, it will save you a great deal of time and effort moving forward.
When you hire experts to do what they do best, it leaves you to do what you do best; it is a win-win, where you make more money and have more time to accomplish a lot more.