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!).

7 responses to “Thing I Have Learned About Outsourcing”

  1. That is great to hear Ryan. I am looking into outsourcing a few jobs myself and being able to learn from your mistakes will save me a lot of time and effort!

  2. Kevin says:

    Hey Ryan

    God hearing some infomation about your outsourcing projekt.

    But it will help reading the post with some headlines along.

  3. casey says:

    heheh – yep.

    backfill is key. i outsourced a 1200 hour dev project to india and my project leader has a baby in the middle of it. the organization i had engaged hadn’t duplicated the leader so i became responsible for project managing a team of indian developers. not what i had gone into it for.

    you’ve covered some very good stuff here mate. i think the path your taking on this is a brilliant one – hack around and find out what works and doesn’t work, then take those lessons to build a business on.

  4. casey says:

    ps… one thing that i realised in the dev project i mention above is that even if someone speaks english, it doesnt mean they THINK in english. when it comes to indians, the syntax and structure of indian dialect is TOTALLY different from english.

    this means that communicating creative, abstract, out of the box, or otherwise fuzzy logic concepts basically won’t work. i hit my head against this particular brick wall for about 6 months before i figured out what was going wrong =)

    i think the ideal, especially for dev projects and bigger project style tasks would be to makes friends with or hire an australian born indian who you can get on the same page as you, and get them to do project management.

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