May 26


Outsourcing – Part II

By Paul Jordan

May 26, 2023

Hi, it's Paul Jordan again. Stop. My phone is making a funny noise. Sorry about that. Hi, it's Paul Jordan. Welcome to the second part of my video on Outsource thing about timescales. We are specifying the work done. It's pretty clear that you need to know when it's going to be finished by now because a lot of the contractors you'll be dealing with on the likes of Upwork, Fiverr, Guru and all the other kinds of places you need to be very, very specific on the timescales.

Don't just say Friday or Saturday. You need to say the work needs to be delivered by 1500 hours GMT. That's a very specific time. It's a very specific time zone. There's no room for ambiguity or misunderstanding that because people won't otherwise interpret it as being in their own time zone. But if you're in a hurry for something urgent, you said, I want it done by 3:00.

They might think that 3:00 and it might not case before your 3:00. So be absolutely specific about the time, the day, and also the time zone that you're referring to, because then there's no room to maneuver, no one room, no ambiguity. That's why that timescale being crystal clear to you and to the contractor. They should also be very crystal clear to the outsourcing site, the likes of Fiverr or whatever.

So in the unlikely event that you have a dispute with the contractor, your specification of work should be crystal clear. So there's no room for maneuver, as I was saying just now. But it also means that you're going to get the support of the outsourcing site because you've clearly specified the time that something had to be delivered. The outsourcing site can see that and they can look at the delivery time.

There's no you know, they've got nowhere to go. The evidence is there to support you. So that's another good reason to be really crystal clear in your timescales for delivery. Now, the other thing I really recommend is to select the select collaboration tools that allow you to work with the contractor remotely so that you can mark things up, you can uncomment, so you can provide feedback.

Now, Google Drive provides lots of fantastic free tools like Google Sheets, Google Docs, and then you actually have version control. So you can see who edited what. But I was also suggest that there's a really amazing product called Click Up. Now there is a free account. I click up, allows you to assign work to outsourcer, allows you to put comments on images, that kind of thing, and you can have a full audit trail of who said what when it was said.

You can keep track of comments, all that kind of stuff. So when you're working in a collaborative environment with outsourcers or other members of your team, then you need some kind of really good tool that will help you track comments, track versions, so that you have multiple versions delivered you can keep track of, which is the right one, which is the wrong one, and have a complete audit history of what was what was being done.

Now, if you're just doing occasional work, you probably don't need to go to that extreme. But if you're serious about running your online business, you're going to get images of work outsourced all the time. You're going to be doing it for years ahead. So it makes sense to have a really good system in place that you can coordinate all these things going forward now, as well as getting sort of things like graphics and videos and things like that.

And you can also get help with doing administrative tasks now and administrative tasks can be absolutely anything that can actually be quite complex tasks. One of the customers I worked with, he was looking for details of properties for sale, and we had to do quite an extensive sort of task to explain what had to be done. The conclusion is that whatever the administrative task is that you want to outsource, be absolutely crystal clear that you can properly do that task and fulfill yourself very accurately.

First, when you do it yourself, write down all the steps. Step one, step two, step three. Write down exactly what it is that you do. Also record what you do, share the screen, share video so you can actually record the screen, show the venues that you access, the tabs that you access, which browser types you have open, all that kind of thing, make sure you very, very thoroughly documented the entire process.

Not only would it make it a lot easier for you to train another person, but also ensure that you saw and understand your process yourself. And it also means that if you go through staff in the future, you've immediately got a document there to retrain. Once you set out to start from scratch and spend all that time, they can look at a document, watch a training video.

Stuart has some questions for you, but it's got to streamline the whole exercise really efficiently. That means you don't have to spend the same amount of time training up new people all the time. If you've got the kind of business you want to scale up, you've got particular processes that you want to multiply out by pushing more people to do those processes.

If it's well-defined, well documented, the easy to understand is going to be so much easier to just pull on more staff and not spend hours and hours going through that tedious training program. But it also means things that can be done consistently because you've written it all down, all your outsourcers, that they're all going to follow those same steps.

So all the deliverables should be done exactly to the same standard and exactly the same way that, you know, variation and consistency in business is really important. So that's something I really recommend that you do make sure that you've you can do the administrative process yourself, do it thoroughly, go through each step very clearly, record the screen of what you're doing.

I also suggest you give that instructions, instructions to a colleague or friend or someone who's not familiar with what you do and get them to follow through it. Because if they can't understand it, what chance is someone else you've got where English perhaps isn't their first language, so make sure you get it really clear first before outsourcing. Never outsource anything that's a problem.

If it's a problem activity, it ain't going to get solved magically by someone else trying to do it for you. Now, the other thing I say in outsourcing is be prepared to kiss a few frogs. So what do I mean by kissing frogs? What I mean by kissing folks is that you may have a disappointing experience with the first contract.

So that you get some work too. And it may be that you have a poor second experience, but it's part of the learning curve. There are an amazing set of people out there across the world who do incredible work for a very, very reasonable price. You do not always get what you pay for. Well, I've had some extremely high quality work where it's been right first time, which is rare, but it has happened for an extremely good price.

I've also been ripped off in the past. I've paid a lot of money and I've had shocking results, shocking deliverable. Now let's rewind the clock. Seven years when I was new to this. And, you know, I was kind of quite naive. I've learned a hell of a lot since then, but be sure that you specify things very accurately and be prepared to work through some contractors.

You will find the person that's really good at what they do, where you have a good rapport, the trust is that they honor their commitments and they do quality work and they're passionate about what they do and they really care about what they do. These people are out there, but you may have to go through some people on the likes of fire artwork and so forth before you feel that you know, that you can trust that you would like to employ going forward in the future.

You will find the person that's really good at what they do, where you have a good rapport, the trust is that they honor their commitments and they do quality work and they're passionate about what they do and they really care about what they do. These people are out there, but you may have to go through some people on the likes of fire artwork and so forth before you feel that you know, that you can trust that you would like to employ going forward in the future.

So just be prepared to kiss a few frogs. Now the other thing I would talk about is template specifications of work, if you like, depending what nature for your business is and there may be things that you do again and again and again and again. And you can have a template for this where you have a blank document, all the placeholders, and you just fill out the necessary bits and pieces every time as you go forward.

You should be refining your template again and again every time you might find another little point to add something to change. So by the time you've gone through the process, let's say ten or 12 times, you're going to have a really solid process that's really clearly defined and that takes everything into account specific, a really clearly defined process that takes everything into account that you refining continually process of continually improve it very, very important.

But once you've got a template to do the next task, next time is going to be so quick. You just fill out the fills, submit, submitted and you know the jobs can be done to the right specification and to the right standard. So as you move through your business traveling forward, the repetitive tasks, have a template, refine it, make it better each time.

Now when you post when you post work on these outsourcing sites, there are basically two approaches you can you can take you can either have your specification of work posted on the site and invite people to things, and then you'll get dozens and dozens of bids coming in some of the sites they allow contractors to auto bid. So if you push the specification for a website, you just start to see the bids coming in for ridiculously low prices.

They'll be well over the place. You'll get probably get inundated like flies to a honeypot. So I would suggest that's not the best approach. The other approach is that you don't actually post the job out there for people to bid on that you can actually go through and use the filters on the sites to find the people with the right skills and experience.

Look at their profiles and look at their references and pick the ones that you like to look of and then invite those very specific people to come and bid on your work. I would suggest that that's a much more efficient way of doing things, because when you post a job like a guarantee, you're going to get possibly dozens and dozens of applications and you've got to sift through them all.

Look at the profiles. It is quite hard work. I took that approach in my naive statement years ago, but now I prefer to look through the profiles and look for interviews, maybe have a bit of interaction with that contractor, and then invite the ones that I like to look after a bit for the work and work that way.

And it gets easier as you go onto the site because once you've got into a contractor that you know and like and trust, you don't have to go through that process. You just contact them directly, say, Hey, I've got some work, give me a price and a way you go much easier. Now, the other key thing with when you're dealing with outsourcing and chances are you're going to have to share things with them.

Of course, the outsourcer, you may have to give them access to your WordPress website. Now the way to do that is to not share your past passwords. Using things like WordPress. You can set them up as a separate user so they can log in with their own details. But you may have other websites such as Canva and so on, and depending on the subscription, you may have teams where you can add people, take them off, but they'll also be things where you just need to share your log in details.

Now, we need to be very cautious about that. Obviously, if you're sharing something, it's very sensitive, but there's a fantastic tool called LastPass. Now you should be using a lot, so you should be using a password manager anyway to keep track of all your passwords and the different websites you have, your banking for, Amazon, all of that kind of thing.

I would suggest you should have that anyway as part of your busy life. But when you're sharing access to websites with your contractors, LastPass will enable you to do that very easily. LastPass will allow you to share login credentials, but it does so in such a way that it doesn't actually expose what the password is unless you have to do that.

Because what will happen is when the contractor locks into the website, LastPass will automatically populate the username and password filled with asterisks. The underlying password is not revealed and that's how it works. So LastPass is not a fantastic tool that you should be using in order to share credentials with your contractors so they can access the systems you use, get the work done.

So that's that's the end of the second video on outsourcing. I hope I've covered quite a few really important points that for you. I hope you got some value from it once again, it's Paul Jordan and look forward to seeing you in the next video. Thanks for your time by now.

About the author

Specialising in helping you create and run webinars to get more clients

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