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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The Perks of Outsourcing

I went for a surf yesterday and never stopped working. I went to sleep last night and never stopped working. I watched a movie with my wife and never stopped working. All because I am outsourcing.

Sometimes I go through days where my mind is not really in the game, so instead I will do other fun things that fill my time. But when this happens I feel bad because I get no work done. But with outsourcing I can have these days and it is fine, because someone is still working on my behalf…for just $1/hour.

Here are some things I am thinking of outsourcing once my suburb profiles are done.

– Collecting data and creating ebooks or email responder lessons from rewriting that data (thanks for that idea Casey)
– Looking for positive cashflow properties
– I will draw up a template email so that my VA can make offers on properties on my behalf (then I only have to deal with the properties where my offer gets accepted…if it turns out I don’t like the property then I withdraw my offer at no cost)
– Uploading articles of mine to EzineArticles.com and other article databases
– Finding affiliate products for my email newsletter list
– Researching property stuff such as DA approval, subdividing, development etc…anything I need to know
– Bookeeping (Dont worry I don’t need to give them access to my bank account)
– Finding possible joint venture partners for property deals
– Finding real estate investors who have done what I want to do

There is so much fun with this. I think the main perk of having a VA is that I can give them things to do which I don’t have the headspace for.

For example, for ages I have wanted to create a course on making money with aweber, but don’t have the headspace for it. So now I can outsource it and I will probably outsource it with loads of products I want to create.

Another perk is that you can find more opportunities in less time. For example, if I hire someone to research properties for me they can simply sift through the chaff and email me properties that fit into my criteria. They can email agents and find out rents and other details before passing the information onto me. I might be able to look for property 5-10 hours per week without pulling my hair out and going insane. But now I can pay someone $10 and I can spend just 1 hour per week looking at the best properties. Or I can pay someone $40 per week and I can find loads of opportunities to do myself or to present to my investors. Way more than I ever could achieve myself.

If that works I may even take it to the next level and get my VA to make offers for me. Then I don’t have to email 100 agents, all I have to do is email the agents who are considering my offer. But I will do the previous one first and see how it goes.

For $20/week I have complete peace of mind because I am working hard even when I do nothing. If one property deal comes out of that $20/week then it completely pays for itself. Two property deals might make me $40/week and I can hire someone full time. I will start small (maybe 10 hours per week) and learn the ropes of having a VA and then work my way up. I can afford $10 per week. $10 buys me a tub of icecream, or it buys a teeny tiny bottle of fake tan for my wife, or 2 beers at the pub, or a meal at Maccas. $10 is cheap and what it buys me is worth so much more. It buys me time and peace of mind.

I encourage anyone to at least try using a VA. I found mine on www.oDesk.com. Before you start using a Virtual Assistant you won’t think you have anything to outsource, but once you start using one you find more things to outsource.

Think of it, how many opportunities could you take if it didn’t take up any of your time? The answer is near unlimited!

The more you outsource the more opportunities you have because they don’t have to run through you as a bottleneck. So the more you use a VA the more you will need one.

Why not try for fun. $10/week can buy you 10 hours of someones time. Have fun with it, get them to send emails for you or plan imaginary holidays to the Maldives. Give it a go.

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