My Favorite 13 Outsourcing Tips (After 8 Years Working with VAs and Writers)

(*13*)

I’ve labored with VAs and writers for years.  I’ve made each mistake underneath the solar. I’ve discovered a’lots. I’ve a GREAT workforce proper now of VAs, writers and managers.

Right here’s a listing of my favourite outsourcing ideas.

Desk of Contents

Specify each minimal AND most hours to work every week

My favourite lesson discovered from outsourcing makes me snicker now. It was fairly humorous when it occurred although it price me a number of hundred bucks.

I employed a graphic designer from Onlinejobs.ph. It was fairly a course of involving check tasks and shortlists. After one spherical of check tasks one individual surpassed all different candidates. His work was superb and he did it within the least period of time.

I supplied him the job. He accepted it.

I informed him the place required 40 hours per week. He was good with all phrases and was off to the races.

I had a backlog of graphic design tasks for him. I gave him the checklist. He had a number of work. I defined he didn’t need to get all of it performed immediately… simply chip away at as finest as he may. Again then I didn’t have a clue about how lengthy graphic design tasks took. I discovered they take fairly some time.

I pay everybody on the fifteenth and final day of the month.

When somebody begins I inform them what their prorated hourly price is and recommend their first bill mirror that price occasions the hours put in. Going ahead the pay is $X quantity every pay-period assuming 40 hours labored. Often if employed mid-pay-period they don’t hit the anticipated hours. This by no means posed an issue.

When he submitted his bill, it was double what the place paid.

I emailed him and defined the place paid $XXX quantity each two weeks.

He replied telling me that he figured he may work as many hours as he wished on the prorated price. Within the first two weeks he logged 100 hours per week.

I laughed. I paid up. I laughed once more.

It’s true I didn’t specify a most variety of hours to work.

I do now.

That’s the primary tip.

Prepare with video

Again within the day I meticulously write out directions. These took me endlessly and had been lengthy, lengthy, lengthy for the only process. They had been almost unattainable to observe.

Finally, I discovered there was such a factor as display share video software program. Wow, what a fantastic concept. There have been even free choices.

I signed up, created my first instruction video and by no means regarded again.

Lately, all directions, until it solely requires a sentence or two, are performed with a display share video.

A 2-minute video is the same as 30+ minutes of writing out directions.

I exploit Loom for this however any will do.

Require each day experiences from everybody

Day by day experiences make it attainable to rapidly see what’s been performed by everybody. It additionally helps preserve everybody accountable.

My managers like them too in order that they know the place issues are at.

I don’t want a long-winded report. Simply 3 to 8 bullet factors itemizing out key duties. For instance, in the event that they formatted and arrange 8 weblog posts, I ask that they checklist out the weblog put up titles.

I even have my managers ship me experiences so I do know what’s been performed at their degree.

These experiences make it simple for me to get a giant image snapshot as to what’s happening.

Use time-tracking software program

I don’t just like the idea of time-tracking software program however I exploit it as a measure to stop shirking.

About 5 years in the past I had paid somebody for a lot of months who did virtually no work. Yeah, I nonetheless don’t understand how that occurred. I used to be so busy then and had a number of VAs on board. I didn’t inspect their work set out within the experiences. She made up experiences and had performed just about nothing.

Again then VAs had been employed for some big tasks I used to be increase. They took months to complete. I didn’t supervise progress as carefully as I ought to have.

I had no checks and balances.

Finally, I found that she did virtually nothing and requested her about it. She stated she was having some points and apologized. In different phrases, she admitted she had performed nothing for months.

I needed to let her go.

I additionally wanted to implement checks and balances.

I promoted my finest VA to supervisor to oversee and began utilizing time-tracking software program.

I not often verify it.

My credit (I exploit Screenmeter) expired not too long ago. I requested one supervisor if she thought it was price utilizing. She stated “sure” as a result of she believed it helped with output. She’s tracked in it as effectively so it’s not like she will get a go.

Primarily based on her suggestions I fed the software program more cash for credit and will proceed utilizing it.

I ought to have promoted my present VA supervisor years earlier than I did.

It was one in all my finest selections I’ve made as VP of human assets.

She knew and is aware of virtually each facet of my area of interest websites. She’s depraved sensible. Unbelievably effectively organized. A natural-born supervisor. I bought fortunate hiring her many, a few years in the past.

She now manages a workforce of 5 VAs. She additionally does a lot of the hiring, tracks paid time without work… all the things besides pay them.

What this does for me is I now I would like solely talk with one individual as an alternative of 5.

It is a big time-saver for me.

Plus, as a result of she is aware of a lot, it’s uncommon she has a query for me.

Aside from hiring people within the first place, nothing I’ve performed has freed me up as a lot as implementing a administration degree of assist.

This yr I employed one other supervisor who does increased degree work together with some KW analysis, technical website positioning evaluation and cleanup, all content material administration, works with writers and the VAs and shouldn’t be spearheading my new web site (which isn’t simple at this level).

Now I would like solely obtain and reply to emails from two individuals.

Specify that everybody should work on a laptop computer or desktop

Are there choices apart from a laptop computer or desktop?

Yup. Whereas laborious to imagine, you possibly can rent somebody who does this work on their cellphone. You’ll in all probability determine it out after they get 1/10 the quantity performed in comparison with different VAs. It may occur.

In different phrases, specify they need to work on a laptop computer or desktop NOT a pill or cellphone.

I do know it sounds ludicrous that this ought to be specified however you by no means know.

Work in direction of automation

Arrange your delegated workflow in order that finally individuals know what to do and have entry to what they should do their jobs with out you getting concerned.

A part of that is having a supervisor however it additionally means making certain your workforce can entry all instruments and work with out you getting concerned.

For instance, I don’t wish to obtain photos from Shutterstock for anybody. I added workforce seats to my account. They’ll get the photographs. When you’re frightened about whether or not they’ll choose good photos, monitor their decisions for a number of weeks with suggestions. Finally they’ll get a way of what you need.

One other instance is getting them entry to Canva, wherever content material is delivered (in my case it’s in WriterAccess), and so forth.

You wish to get your self out of the manufacturing as a lot as attainable.

This received’t occur in a single day. It takes some trial and error.

It takes trusting your workforce to an extent (though see the following tip on by no means giving out the keys to the dominion).

I do set everybody’s position in WordPress to admin. I’ve by no means as soon as had an issue doing so.

In addition to, my internet hosting service does each day backups. If one thing went actually improper, I’ve a backup from 24 hours in the past.

Don’t give away keys to the dominion

There are some accounts and entry I don’t give anybody. Two truly. They’re:

  1. Internet hosting account entry (apart from person position with restricted entry); and
  2. Something with entry to cash resembling Paypal, bank cards and financial institution accounts.

​Sure, this implies I’ve to deal with receiving, reviewing and paying invoices twice per thirty days. Not my favourite job however the potential draw back of handing it off to another person could be very, very dangerous.

Have lifelike expectations

Anybody you rent in all probability received’t get as a lot performed in eight hours as you.

Settle for that.

Maybe in 3 months they’ll be as quick as you however not to start with.

(*8*)Be content material in the event that they get 50% of what you do in a shift

It’ll enhance over time.

As soon as they get within the swing of issues, their work will develop into intuitive, they’ll work out good methods to hurry up the method and finally could also be sooner than you.

Simply don’t get tremendous annoyed to start with and fireplace everybody as a result of they didn’t match your output.

Throughout the first week I’m completely satisfied in the event that they kind of grasp the work even when they’re fairly gradual at it. In the event that they perceive it and do it proper, they’ll get sooner.

What for those who run out of labor for VAs and others?

This generally is a downside. For instance, it might probably occur when ready on content material to be delivered.

One answer is to have some long-term, non-urgent or necessary duties/jobs deliberate out that you just’d prefer to have performed however provided that there’s further time.

I’ve a number of of those jobs. It by no means ends so there’s at all times one thing for people to do.

One just about each web site proprietor has is inner linking. I’ve but to fulfill a writer who publishes steadily who is completely up-to-date with inner linking. That is a kind of nice backup duties.

Monitor new duties/hires carefully

Once you prepare somebody new or assign a brand new kind of process, take the time to evaluation their work/new duties fastidiously.

It’s necessary you iron out the kinks as quickly as you may.

It’s simple to ship directions, return to your personal work or return to doing nothing assuming everybody will do it proper. That isn’t the case. Generally they are going to nail it the primary time however generally they received’t.

My MO is after I implement a brand new workflow or process, I ship it to a supervisor. I then ask that after a few the duties are performed to e-mail me so I can evaluation it.

Often, I simply must ship refinement suggestions as soon as and the workforce is aware of precisely easy methods to do it.

Be careful for overhead creep

Overhead creep is widespread in enterprise. You could have a number of good months with a number of further bucks in your pocket and go on a hiring spree. Every rent doesn’t look like all that a lot cash however earlier than you realize it, you’ve added 1000’s to your overhead.

I’m very cautious earlier than deciding to rent somebody as a result of I don’t wish to lay anybody off. I’ve let overhead creep get uncontrolled previously. I don’t prefer it.

That is one more reason I like getting an excellent chunk of my content material from WriterAccess. I can cut back or enhance how a lot I spend on content material very simply. Whereas I think a few of my common writers recognize common work from me, there’s not almost the expectation of standard work on WA as there’s with employed in-house people.

What for those who don’t wish to rent anybody?

There’s no rule that claims it is advisable rent somebody.

Many bloggers have constructed up extremely profitable blogs and different channels on their very own with no assist from anybody.

I favor organising programs and workflows however I get the “going it solo” desire.