With today’s turbulent economy and rising costs, it is becoming more and more difficult for families to make enough money to pay the bills, let alone enjoy life a little. With full-time jobs keeping people busy, and many households with both the husband and wife working, the financial and emotional stress can lead people to look for a legitimate way out of the rat race.
The Internet provides that alternative. With unprecedented opportunities for starting an online business, individuals have the ability to start in their spare time and learn as they go using the tools and services that are now available to everyone.
The fact is, there are many aspects of building an online business that you don’t need to know, and certainly many that you don’t need to do yourself. The key is to focus on the aspects of the online business that you are skilled at and enjoy doing. The rest you outsource.
Outsourcing has seen tremendous growth of late, and by outsourcing specific duties you put your online business on the fast track to success.
Outsourcing is simply hiring out, or subcontracting some of your work. Think of big corporations outsourcing their manufacturing overseas because of cheaper labor costs. For your online business, outsourcing allows you to pay an expert to do something much faster, and in the long run, much cheaper than you can do it yourself. This allows you to eliminate your learning curve by hiring a professional to do the job right the first time. It also helps you stop procrastinating on a task. Just get someone else to do it and move on to the tasks you are more efficient and effective at doing. If you aren’t a professional writer, don’t pretend to be one.
For all of your outsourcing needs, Elance.com provides the solutions. Over the past four years I have spent over $34,000 outsourcing more then 130 projects on Elance. This system, which brings buyers and providers together, offers a safe, convenient place to find excellent writers who can provide you with all the content you will ever need. These are people just like you and me, working from the comfort of their home doing what they love.
When outsourcing a writer on Elance, keep these 10 tips in mind and your online business will be fast-tracking to success in no time.
10 Tips to Outsourcing on Elance
1. Don’t Assume It Will Be “Too Expensive” - Many new online business owners assume outsourcing is expensive. As a result, they never get around to posting projects and their businesses suffer. Make steps to get things done and start outsourcing those projects you aren’t skilled at. You might be surprised at how little it costs, and more importantly, the time you save combined with the progress your business will make more than pays for itself. Post your projects, and if you aren’t happy with the bids you don’t have to accept any.
2. Clearly Describe Your Project - This is as simple as writing an email. Write in layman’s terms and describe your project needs as clearly and accurately as you can. The more accurate and detailed you are, the higher chance you will have finding a provider that will fulfill your needs at a reasonable price.
3. Set Milestones And Use Escrow - Elance’s escrow system is a key component for both the writer and buyer. It protects you and your money, but it also assures the provider that you are serious about paying for the job and it insures more high-quality bidders. Setting milestones also helps to keep the project on track. Break your project up into smaller milestones and pay into escrow and release payments at specific times, such as weekly payments upon completion of each milestone. This also helps with cash-flow.
4. Evaluate Feedback - Buyers and providers give feedback for many of the projects performed on Elance. Take a look at a provider’s feedback from completed projects to see what other buyers have experienced. The more positive feedback the more likely you will have a positive experience and get the quality of work you desire. If you have any questions, private message the provider to answer any questions prior to awarding the project.
5. Negotiate Price - Don’t be afraid to negotiate a better price. You may have several providers bidding on a job, and if one of them appears to be perfect for the project but their fee is too expensive, feel free to private message them and negotiate. They may not understand the project completely, and if you really want them there is a chance they will work with you on price, particularly if they feel there is a chance to build a long-term relationship with you.
6. Answer Messages - It is critical to answer provider’s messages quickly. Respond with detailed answers to help insure your project isn’t held up. Elance’s private message board system stores all communication between buyer and provider in case of any problems.
7. Pay Quickly - Providers are in the business of making money like the rest of us, and they appreciate prompt payment upon completion of their projects. This typically results in great feedback for you as well.
8. Stay Within The System - It is important to understand the power of the feedback and escrow system within Elance. Both buyers and providers gain protection when working within the system and it keeps everyone honest. There is a paper trail of all activities and communications archived on Elance and this helps in solving any disputes should they occur (they are rare - I have never had one). It is also important to leave accurate, honest feedback upon completion of projects.
9. Develop Relationships - When you come across a real gem of a provider, hire them again and again. The more they work with you and get to know you and your business, the better they will be at providing you with the quality of work you need.
10. Build Your Feedback - Make sure you ask for and provide feedback. Great feedback usually results in better prices. If providers see that you are easy to work with, communicate well and pay quickly from the feedback you earn, you will have instant trust with bidders and will have more people wanting to bid on your projects.
Elance has grown into arguably the best outsourcing site for online business owners by providing an easy way to find quality providers. They also offer great telephone support for any questions you may have.
Building your online business doesn’t have to be stressful and overwhelming. Finding outsourced talent at reasonable prices is a big step in building your business quickly and effectively.
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