Everyone has unique strengths and weaknesses. Even if your work-from-home business was planned and set up all by yourself and is managed well by yourself, there are some things that you feel reluctant to do or you just don't enjoy. When you've started to receive substantial monthly income, perhaps you might want to consider delegating a task or two to others. Outsourcing in work-from-home business is possible.
Ideally... By hiring people to do the things that they love to do but you hate, you will have less stress and more spare time. But of course, things may not always work out in the way you want them to.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing
Depending on the type of task, the person you hire, how you can evaluate their job and how helpful the agency is, outsourcing can be both advantageous and disadvantageous. Here are some points to consider - they are often two sides of the same coin.
- Expertise - By outsourcing a particular area of tasks, you can simply rely on their work (as long as they provide impeccable services). So you no longer have to spend a lot of time trying to improve the skills that you're not good at.
- Reduce Stress - By getting someone else to do the job you don't want to do.
- Time-Saving - The spare time that you've made by outsourcing can be used to focus on other areas of the business, or spent for yourself.
- Get Inspired - Work by someone else for your business can develop a synergy. Through interactions, you might get inspirations from their personality, work ethics, or the finished work itself.
- Cost or Quality - Jobs by the experts can cost a lot, but if you hire someone cheaper, the quality will suffer. It's hard to find an adequate level of service for your work-at-home business.
- If the quality of the job is unsatisfactory, you'll end up reworking it yourself, which defeats the purpose of outsourcing.
- Managing Work Relationship - If the person you hired is reliable, that's great. But it actually takes a lot to consider when getting someone to work for you. Time to spend on messaging each other, negotiations (with the agency, if you use), if you're not happy with their work, make a complaint. If the person is from a different country, miscommunication problems may often arise.
Many freelancers and outsourcing agencies are available and, although they can assist in reducing your workload in the long term, you may have to carefully select the right person/people in the beginning to avoid tedious troubles. Now here are some tips to plan your outsourcing project.
Be Clear About What You Need
Firstly you want to identify what you are good at and what needs to be outsourced. Then how you work around the service you receive from them. It's best to list up what you require pretty much in detail, because what you need to get done is not always necessarily what they can do, and vice versa. For example;
- If the job requires you and the person you hire to message each other regularly, the time difference will matter. Consider where in the world they reside and make sure your accessible hours match each other.
- If the person you hire needs access to the system that you use (e.g. web tool), take the security aspects into account. Is it okay to share your password, or create another user account?
Others include the level of skills they have, how much they're willing to learn if the task requires a specific skill, as well as what you are willing to pay to get the job completed.
Reevaluate What The Business Needs
Because this is your work-from-home business and your budget may be limited, you first tend to consider outsourcing tasks that you currently do. But from your business point of view, there may be some operations that you're missing out - what your competitors do but you're neglecting.
Marketing, for example. You may not know how to do it effectively. You know there are many advertising options and alternative marketing methods available, but you may be afraid of exploring. So outsource these tasks to people who specialize in them. You don't have to use expensive advertising agents but you can look for marketing and sales specialists who work as freelancers instead.
Hire a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant is a freelancer who can cover your everyday tasks. General, universal "secretarial" tasks include meeting scheduling, emailing on your behalf, data entry, creating presentation documents. But there are specialty virtual assistants who can, for example;
- optimize images for your blog
- interact with your social followers on your behalf
- monitor your spends and do bookkeeping
- do market research
They may offer an hourly rate or monthly fixed rate if they are to work full-time for you. It might take a while until you find the right virtual assistant because you're delegating several tasks to one person. You need them to understand the nature and goal of your business, target audience, your work ethics and so on.
Establish Long-Term Relationships
In fact, not only virtual assistants but finding any kind of freelancer who can work for you on a long term basis can be tricky. Outsourcing agencies can pick good candidates for you, but their box-checking approach doesn't always help you find a freelancer who is a good fit for the role. Even if the freelancer has a good rating, they may not be able to complete the job in the way you expected them to. Or, they may be great at doing a variety of tasks but the communication difficulties can waste considerable resources, too.
Hiring freelancers for your work-from-home business is no different from hiring someone for any kind of job. Interviewing and hiring may take time, you might have to make some compromises. And once hired, you might need to bring them up to speed on job specifications. This is why it is important to build relationships with freelancers so you can hire them on an ad hoc basis as needed. You know the quality of their work and that they can be relied on to complete it within the specified time period.