Ryan McLean : Slightly Unconventional

Thing I Have Learned About Outsourcing

So I have been outsourcing work for about 2 weeks now and am starting to get into the groove of how it all works. It is an interesting process learning how to have someone work for you. It is something I have never done before so I am having a lot of fun learning.

Eventually I want to be a businessman and own multiple businesses which other people run for me. In order to do this I need to learn how to have people work for me, and outsourcing has been the perfect opportunity to learn that. I just want to jot down a few of the things I have learned about outsourcing. If they help you they help you, if not it helps me to write things down anyway.

A Native English Speaker Will Make Your Life One Million Times Easier

It seems everyone these days speaks English, and you may not notice a big difference between a native English speaker and a non native when you are just talking to them. But when you are outsourcing work, having a native English speaker is a Godsend.

The first task I outsourced was to someone from India, and they only spoke broken English. Luckily I was smart enough to request an update after 1 hour of work. It turned out he didn’t understand exactly what I wanted him to do and he was doing something slightly different. It was very difficult to communicate with him and to get my message across. It made me so frustrated that I decided not to rehire him.

The next person I hired spoke English as their native language. I hired him for 8 hours and first and it proved so easy that now the same person is my Virtual Assistant. He is currently working 40 hours per week for me. This will drop to 10 hours for the next few weeks, then if the business I am testing works he will be back to 40 hours per week indefinitely.

People Will Only Do What You Tell Them To Do

Even people who speak perfect English only do what you tell them to do. They will not go out of their way to get you exactly what you wanted if you didn’t ask for it. You have to tell them exactly what you want, and exactly what you want them to do.

For example, I want to find cheap bugaboo prams overseas, because I want to buy one but I don’t want to pay the $700-$1,000+ it costs in Australia. I simply asked my outsourcer to find me cheap bugaboo prams. I didn’t tell him anything else.

He must have just done a simple Google search, and maybe have gone to the bugaboo website. He came back with figures MORE than what I would pay in Australia. It’s not his fault, he only did what I asked him to do. You need to give more exact instructions. If you have no idea what to do, be honest and tell them that it is their job to work it out. Don’t just expect them to know what you want them to do.

It Is Your Job To Think Outside The Box

As an entrepreneur it is your job to think outside the box in order to achieve the most you can for your business or your life. When you outsource it is not their job to think outside the box for you, unless of course you tell them to.

For example, I am trying to plan a holiday overseas for the same cost as living in Australia. This involves thinking outside of the box. I outsourced the task of planning this holiday with my outsourcer and expected him to think outside the box for me. Obviously, this wasn’t the case. He came back with expensive figures for expensive holidays.

It is my job to think outside the box and to direct my workers so they can achieve the best result possible for me.

You Are Responsible For Refining The Way Work Is Done

A lot of the tasks I give out I give out because they are menial and take a lot of time. I am sure that there are ways to fast track the task, but I don’t know how. So instead I outsource it.

Someone who works by the hour generally doesn’t care how fast they get it done. In fact the slower they get it done the better because it means more money for them. So as the person paying the wages you need to direct how things are done to get the best results.

Outsourcing has been awesome for my life. What I am learning is worth the $40/week or whatever I am paying the person I am hiring. I now need to work hard to think of things to outsource. If my business model that I am microtesting proves successful then I will be looking to outsource a couple of people full time. It might cost me $200/week but hopefully I will be making more than that. If I hire a few people then in one gets sick and can’t work for two weeks I have others to back him up (Casey!).

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MicroTesting Is Harder Than I Thought

Well I have set up the website for my business idea (it is currently on the DL so I am not saying what the website or business is) and I have started microtesting.

In case you don’t know what microtesting is, it is basically setting up the sales funnel and marketing for a product without actually making or selling the product. For me I have set up a sales pages to which I am sending potential customers. I have a registration form almost exactly the same as a real registration form. Only when they register they are send to a page that tells them the product is not in stock at the moment. Obviously we don’t charge them or keep any of their payment details.

This way you can see how many people buy your product and whether or not it will be profitable before you spend a lot of time and/or money on making the product.

One of the best ways to microtest (apparently) is through PayPerClick (PPC) marketing. When you search in Google often there are search terms highlighted in yellow, or ads on the sides of the page. These are PPC ads. Whenever someone clicks on your ad you pay Google a certain amount of money.

The reason microtesting is proving more difficult than I first imagined is that it is quite difficult to get a lot of traffic for a small cost. I want to spend about $0.05-$0.10 per click. So for around $150 I will get about 1500-3000 hits to my site. Some of the keywords in Google cost $3.00 per click in order to place your ad under that keyword. That means for $150 you would get 50 people visiting your site, not nearly as many as the 1,500-3,000 I want to achieve.

So far the hardest part about the microtesting is finding cheap traffic to come to my site. I have been running my ads for 2 days and my ads have had 33 impressions and absolutely zero clicks. I really don’t want to spend more than 10c per click so I think I will be working this week adding more keywords to my marketing campaign.

I was thinking about maybe doing some article marketing in order to get more traffic, but I don’t really want to be spending ridiculous amounts of time writing articles that might not even get any traffic or make me any money. So I will keep trying to refine my PPC marketing campaign and see if I can start getting some decent traffic to my site.

I want to microtest my site for about a month. Then if it turns out it has a good chance of being profitable it will probably take me another month to get it up to the standard I want to start actually charging people (I won’t actually do any of the work myself I will completely outsource it using Virtual Assistants on oDesk for just $1-$1.50/hour). Then once that is done I can launch it and hopefully take a small profit as I continue to build it up, or at least break even. Breaking even or making a small profit will then give me the time I need to build up my product without it costing me any money (because I don’t have money to burn). So that is what I am aiming for. If it turns out no one is interested I will either can the project completely or sell the idea to someone else who could make it profitable.

If I can work out PPC and get cheap clicks then I can test a whole bunch of different products and business ideas, that I have floating around in my head, without taking a lot of time and effort making the product. This could change my life.

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