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Outsourcing: The Secret to Small Business Success

outsourcing small businessI have a great plan to expand my online business, income and traffic this month and outsourcing is a great strategy I’m planning to utilize. This great guest post by Bridie Jenner is a great post on out outsourcing. If you’re interested in writing for WritersinCharge you can submit your guest post.

When you’re a solopreneur, micro or small business every minute counts. By outsourcing your administrative and secretarial tasks you’ll free up valuable time and can concentrate on your core business, plus it’s easier and more cost effective than taking on staff.

The three main advantages of outsourcing are:

Reduced overheads

From office space to computer equipment and business running costs, you’ll save on them all.

Virtual Assistants provide their own equipment and work from their own premises.

Reduced staff salaries

If you have staff you’re paying for productive time AND downtime. All those coffee breaks, lunch breaks and chats by the water-cooler add up, and that’s before you add on holidays and sick leave. And if you want your staff to keep up to date with the latest technology you’ll need to invest in regular training.

Virtual Assistants are highly skilled and keep themselves up to date with the latest industry changes. Plus, you only ever pay for the time spent on your tasks.

Increased revenue

Add up the savings on overheads, staff salaries etc. and you’ll quickly discover that by outsourcing your administrative and secretarial tasks your bottom line will increase.

How to choose a great Virtual Assistant

Never, ever choose a Virtual Assistant because they offer the cheapest rates.

Always consider what their value is, in other words what they’re bringing to your business, and consider these criteria:

Do they have sufficient experience?

If the Virtual Assistant has a website, spend some time checking it out. Does the website look professional? Are there any typos (never a good sign)? Is there a page detailing their qualifications and experience?

Are there testimonials from satisfied clients?

These days most people display testimonials on their site, although some prefer to keep them private and only share the details on request. Check up on testimonials, make sure the companies exist and, if your work is of a particularly sensitive or confidential nature, call and speak to the person who gave the testimonial.

Can they meet my required deadline?

Ensure that the Virtual Assistant is aware of your deadline and they have the capacity to meet it. It’s preferable to get email confirmation of the date you can expect your work returned so there’s no confusion.

Is there a time difference?

If your chosen Virtual Assistant is in a different country bear in mind time differences. A different time zone can work to your advantage – your Virtual Assistant can be working while you’re asleep – but it may limit you if you need to make regular phone contact.

Choose your Virtual Assistant wisely and you can enjoy a long and fruitful relationship.

Bridie Jenner has more than 20 years of experience in secretarial and administration positions and currently runs her own business, http://www.bridiestypingservices.com Since its establishment in 2003 she has served many clients from a wide range of industries by providing them with top quality audio transcriptions and copy typing. Born and raised in the UK she relocated to Bunbury, Western Australia in 2005 with her family.

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33 Comments on "Outsourcing: The Secret to Small Business Success"

  1. I liked the advice you gave on choosing a good virtual assistant. Not every expensive Virtual Assistant is a good one, but it’s important to not choose a virtual assistant just because they’re cheap.

    I agree, you should focus more on the value they can bring to your business. Thank you Bridie for sharing your thoughts on outsourcing, I am planning on outsourcing a few things soon and this has helped.

  2. Andreas says:

    I don’t know about other virtual administration assistance but if you outsource advanced programming tasks and do not have any tech knowledge than you are either extreme lucky to get a project done or actually pay more than you would if you would hire a local programmer.

    • Probably true, my post was focussed more on administration-type outsourcing rather than that of a very technical nature.

  3. William Tha Great says:

    Hey Bridie,

    Thanks for e awesome article!

    I have no experience in outsourcing. So this was a great read for me thanks for taking the time to share this with us youngprepro readers. Outsourcing seems like a great way to increase your productivity & income. I suppose it all relys on whether you pick a good virtual assistant?

    Thanks again!

    God bless,
    William Veasley

  4. Robert Dempsey says:

    I hired a VA almost a year ago and have been able to do so much more with her help. She does research, reporting, some writing, and many other things. She’s in the Philippines and I was living in the US, but now I’m in Thailand. The time difference has never been an issue and we’ve always been able to coordinate via Skype and email.

    I highly recommend hiring a VA to anyone that is self-employed and overloaded, which is pretty much everyone.

  5. tushar says:

    i have heard about outsourcing but your post has forced me more to think on it…thanks for the share

  6. samuel says:

    Awesome post Jenner,
    I’ve being thinking whether I should hire a VA or not. Nevertheless, your post really helps. Many do fake testimonials, that’s why you must take proper research. I love the point you shared! Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Dave Grimes II says:

    Bridie,

    These are great tips. I’ve found that the best way to be sure of an outsourcer is to test them out on a less-important task prior to letting them handle anything important or time-sensitive. That way you know if they’re reliable and capable before they get the chance to mess anything up. (I know it sounds insensitive that way, but prior to implementing this practice, I suffered some awful outsourcer-induced mishaps.)

  8. Outsourcing is a great business tool for mostly startup entrepreneurs, they certainly help you get ahead better and faster. A good thing to bear in mind is actually knowing when to outsource. The key thing about outsourcing is effectiveness and efficiency. You want the right things done [effectiveness] and you want them done right [efficiency]. Meaning,

    1) you should only outsource things you are NOT incredibly good at. Why does this matter? If you are passionate about a particular thing, you stand a greater chance of being more creative than the average person in that thing and this helps your business maintain its competitive edge. Just imagine for a second if Steve Jobs of Apples had to outsource the innovative product developments taking place at apple. would the company still be this relevant today? Absolutely not. So knowing when to outsource is greatly important. You should only outsource task that you know you SUCK at doing.

    2) Outsource because you want to use the time spared to focus on your core areas of strength. Don’t just outsource because it is cheaper than doing it yourself, outsource because you can save time and get greater returns by so doing. Meaning, as your outsourced work gets done, you are also busy doing your own thing. In the end, you get a multiplied result by achieving two things with the same time.

  9. Latief says:

    Yeah, they’re cool, thanks a lot for sharing this secret. They usually respect the deadline as I know. Cheers!

  10. Lily Tomlin says:

    i have not seen a better information on this topic on internet. I’m glad i stumbled upon your blog. keep posting.

  11. alamin says:

    good point here. I am also planning to do some outsourcing for some of my small business
    thanks

  12. you must also take are of the availability of the virtual assistant, i.e. some messenger or e-mail

    Anyway nice share

  13. Alex says:

    Hey Bridie,

    You are so right, having someone that can take the load off your shoulders is definitely something that can help you in your business a lot. You can always assign time consuming and monotones task your your assitants while you do the more important work like expading your business and make it thrive.
    Also, I have to agree with Dave! The best way to determine if a company/assistant is “worthy” you should test them with simple jobs that require a minimum investment. That way you can determine their response time, the quality of their work without losing to much money if their performance is poor.

  14. Ali Mujtaba says:

    What about a small niche website or blog. I mean starting from scratch, with no important or real connections, or for that matter….skills.
    How can I start the right way?

  15. Hector Avellaneda says:

    Bridie

    Great post. I think its amazing how affordable a VA actually can be. Most people would turn down a consideration to hire a VA for their business due to cost. As I mentioned in on of my articles discussing Pareto’s Law we need to start by replacing the very deceptive metric of Annual Income with Hourly Income.

    For example:

    If your income is $45,000 per year, knock out the last 3 zeros and divide by 2 to get your hourly rate. In this case $45/2 = $22.50/hour (assuming you work 40-hours per week and get 2 weeks vacation per year).

    Second, let’s say that you can hire a virtual assistant (VA) at a cost of $25/hour for 1 work day of 8 hours. This means your cost per hours is $2.50: VAcost of $25 minus your per hour income of $22.50.

    That means that outsourcing a full day worth of activities to a VA will cost you $20 ($2.5 x 8-hours).

    $20 for a full day of freedom! How awesome is that?

  16. Bryan says:

    Hey Bridie,

    If I did not outsource any of my work to do I think I would be so flat out working on everything. I think outsourcing is a must for every entrepreneur. It is really difficult to juggle and divide yourself with the time you have to spend on your business equally. Inevitably you will lose focus and lose productivity.

  17. TsarShu says:

    Outsourcing is a very popular situation in modern business world. I think it’s rather stupid for a company spending much money first on learning new technology and then on developing something that you are not an expert in. It can lead to many mistakes and loss of reputation.

  18. DiNaRa says:

    Although having many advantages, outsourcing can be dangerous – you have to be sure of the company who will perform your task. It should be a reliable company in order not to spoil your reputation. I agree with the point of checking the outsourcing company at some small tasks before trusting some global projects.

  19. monurohila says:

    It is really difficult to juggle and divide yourself with the time you have to spend on your business equally. Inevitably you will lose focus and lose productivity.

  20. monurohila says:

    outsourcing can be dangerous – you have to be sure of the company who will perform your task. It should be a reliable company in order not to spoil your reputation.

  21. Maria Pavel says:

    It’s very important to start outsourcing, you’ve got to be rezonable, you can’t do it all and good by yourself. You need some outsourcing help, outsourcers can have a lot of (good) ideas. Good luck outsourcers !

    Best regards,

    Maria

  22. Andrew Murray says:

    Outsourcing is key to scaling up your business. It’s VERY hard for most people to go from 1 employee to 2. I think the [url=http://internprofitshq.com]Intern Profits[/url] course can also help with doing this on a tight budget.

  23. Vert Studios says:

    We have a copywriter we turn to when we’re building a site. Other than that, we prefer to do things ourselves.

  24. Drug Rehab says:

    Yes, Great info, You have mentioned in your article.

  25. Tinh says:

    Outsourcing work is very interesting and many of my friends have earned a lot doing this too. Thanks

  26. symfony says:

    Some time ago i was doing some research concerning outsourcing for small businesses and my main conclusion was the following: every company should offer on the market only those services and products where it is an expert. If you are not expert in some sphere, outsource this part of work to others. In this case you’ll win much more and, what is more important, your reputation won’t be damaged because of poorly done work.

  27. John Papers says:

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful article with us.

  28. Make Money Online says:

    thank you bridie. I think outsourcing has many benefits and even for big businesses. It’s important to outsource if you can!

  29. semmy @ Make Money Online says:

    Hi Bridie thanks for your article, I always love outsourcing topic. I agree with you, we need outsourcing our business. We don’t have to work everything by our self.

  30. Yeremi Akpan says:

    As long as you do not outsource your freelance writing in itself, I think outsourcing can be a useful tool for your business growth.

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Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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