If you are considering venturing into the world of online entrepreneurship, in my experience, outsourcing a lot of your work to virtual assistants or other freelancers make a lot of sense.
It is intuitive that you outsource work that you may not have any knowledge in. Whether that be building a website, programming, accounting, graphics design, and so on.
Outsourcing makes a lot of logical sense in today’s world, where you can have access to so many experts on the internet – all just a few clicks away.
Why Does Outsourcing Make Sense?
Consider the differences in standard of living, where hiring a Filipino or Indian programmer will cost you substantially less than hiring someone in North America or in Western Europe, for example.
A lot of freelancers are just as equally capable and are fully literate in English. The only challenge is that you would be working with service providers in different time zones which isn’t a huge deal since most people correspond via email and Skype (your time zones will always overlap during some part of the day).
Sometimes it’s not just a matter of economics. The amounts of time you save from teaching yourself how to do accounting, create / edit images in Photoshop, build a database, etc is well worth the effort to outsource.
Time is money, and even more so, I’m willing to pay someone if they could relieve me of headaches of learning!
But I Can Do A Better Job!
“Why?” You might ask. “I’m fully capable of doing a lot of things myself, and in some cases, my skills are better than the service providers.”
While this is a valid argument and that I have personally been through this same thinking and have lived through the experience, here are some key points on why outsourcing made sense for me, EVEN when I knew I could do a better job than the service providers:
- There were too many tasks to do so I really had no time
- There were other tasks that needed my focused attention that were higher on my priority list. For example, it was wiser for me to focus on growing my business and its strategic direction, rather than getting bogged down on other tasks
- I wanted to achieve a more balanced approach. A burnt out entrepreneur, is an entrepreneur that’s heading towards the wonderful land of failure
It was very difficult for me to “let go” at the beginning. I questioned why I should pay someone to do something that I believed that I could do better.
Thankfully, I decided to test out outsourcing and I have not looked back.
My Personal Experience
Just as an example, a few years ago I outsourced a task to someone in Ukraine through ODesk and it cost me approximately US$150.
Since I have launched the product, I believe I have generated a return of more than 10 times my outsourcing investment.
In addition (and MORE importantly), I have also freed up 2 – 3 days of my time back then to focus on other tasks that were also critical in growing my other business.
Outsourcing, if executed correctly, makes terrific sense for online entrepreneurs. Give it a shot, take a chance, it can help you focus on the more important tasks and also achieve a bit more balance. If you’re interested in understanding how much it costs to build a website, we have a more indepth discussion here.