31 May 2018 in The Call Takers Blog

When Is The Right Time To Begin Outsourcing?

When Is The Right Time To Begin Outsourcing?

By Yaro Starak 
49 Comments

There was an interesting discussion in the Blog Mastermind forums that began with a question about when you should start outsourcing.

The impression this particular student had was that outsourcing is the key for success, and it is something that I emphasize over and over again inside Blog Mastermind. The problem in this case was the lack of cash flow to pay for outsourcing and whether it is worth going into debt to pay for help if it is indeed that important.

I was quick to explain that outsourcing is important and it’s worth paying a few hundred dollars to get your blog set up with a nice theme, a domain name and get a few key plug-ins installed for you if you can’t do it yourself, but beyond that you don’t really want to start using credit to pay for outsourcing.

What Do You Do When You Have No Money?

I explained that during my early days, when I didn’t have much money to throw around without being absolutely sure there would be a return to make it worthwhile, I did most things by myself.

I actually got a little carried away with how tight I was with money, meaning my growth curve was ridiculously slow and I was very frustrated many times as I struggled to get off the ground. I can’t remember how many times I walked around Brisbane wondering if I should just throw it all in and do something else.

If you look at some of the first year posts at this blog you might even notice in the tone of my writing and the topics I covered that I wasn’t always sure of my direction.

I did eventually establish enough cash flow that I finally felt comfortable enough to bring on help, but it was long overdue by then. I would never have considered going into debt in order to pay for help, however that shouldn’t be looked at as the answer for all situations, that was only a representation of where I was at with my mindset at the time.

When Do You Seek Investors?

People seek investors all the time, both for financial support and strategic guidance. Often the money is spent hiring help in order to expand the business. This is an option for any person starting an Internet business too, but it’s rare for a person with a blog or focusing on affiliate marketing or other low-entry cost online businesses to consider investors as part of their plan.

Most bloggers or individuals looking to make a living from the Internet want simple solutions. They don’t have plans for creating a multi-million dollar enterprise, with staff and offices. They want a nice small business they can run independently, travel with, earn enough to live comfortably and choose when they work. Taking on investors in this case serves to complicate the process, and is rarely considered by any but the very ambitious.

If you are not going to sell a share of your business to investors to free up some funds to outsource, how can you establish the cash flow necessary to grow your business? Well, that’s a good question, but it’s the wrong question at this time. This is what you need to ask yourself next…

What Do You Need To Outsource First?

The first question you need to ask yourself is what exactly are you going to outsource as your immediate priority?

It’s amazing how many people realize that outsourcing is important yet haven’t taken a look at what they actually need to get done to eliminate their most pressing constraint, and what parts of the process necessary to get that job done can be outsourced.

Internet businesses contain all kinds of parts, most of which can be handled by other people, however handing them over to others all at once won’t achieve your goal, you will just make yourself broke from all the fees you have to pay your outsourcers.

Projects develop in a sequence, like a house constructed from the ground up on a budget, you build the foundation long before you head out and buy furniture to keep costs at any one point in time as low as possible.

What Are Your Goals?

When considering what to outsource first you need to look at your goals from two levels –

  1. What does this project need to do for my business NOW? (In other words, are you focusing on the right objectives for what your business needs today?)
  2. What components are required to take the next step towards completing this particular project?

As an example, right now I’m planning a product I’m going to release at the start of 2009. It’s my coaching program called Membership Site Mastermind, a program to teach people how to launch a membership site using your blog as a launchpad, which has been running in BETA during 2008.

The project is a fairly significant product release for me in 2009 and something I’ve already poured many hours of my time into. The purpose, in terms of what this project will do for my business, is to expand my sales funnel, secure another source of cash flow, increase my customer base and further establish my presence in the Internet marketing industry. This is a list of some of the objectives of this project for my business – I’m not trying to sell it to you, so I’m not talking about the benefits of the product for potential customers, which would be a completely different list of characteristics.

This project makes sense for me to focus on it because I’ve built a foundation where I’m in a position to release it. I have the cash flow, the time and the expertise to create this product and make it a success. In your case you need to choose your projects based on business goals that make sense to you and your present situation.

For people just starting a business, the very first projects are focused almost entirely on establishing cash flow. Cash flow is the blood of your business, granting freedoms critical for success.

You can quit your job with cash flow. You can make outsourcing decisions that require you take on more risk with cash flow, which when successful, usually result in the greatest increases to your business bottom line (with greater risk comes greater reward). You can also enjoy many personal life freedoms thanks to cash flow (how about not worrying about where the money will come from next time you plan a trip overseas?).

I should also note that your ambition factors in here as those with lofty goals tend to shoot for loftier outcomes, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide how big you want to become and what you want to work towards in your immediate future.

 

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