Would you like to make money while other people do all the work for you? Well, you can! While this may seem too good to be true, it's not. Outsourcing has been around since the 1980s and here's how you could benefit from it.
Freelancer is world's largest outsourcing marketplace. From this site you can outsource almost anything you can think of.
Getting started is easy and cheap: Projects start at $30 (average job is under $200). Get programmers, designers, content writers to do your work. There is virtually no risk, you only pay freelancers once you are happy with their work.
Read this article and you will understand what outsourcing is and how you can benefit from it (for example by lowering costs or make more efficient use of your time and energy). Furthermore, we'll provide you with tons of resources and services to help you outsource your work.
The Definition of Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is a term for subcontracting processes.
Basically what this means is that you pay a third-party company or individual to do your work, where "work" could be anything from product design and pruduct manufacturing to assisting in research, helping with answering the phone, etc.
There are almost no limits of what you could outsource. Any part of your business could be outsourced. The key question to ask is: What benefits will I get from outsourcing this particular process of my business? It's a smart decition to outsource when the benefits outweights whatever prize (labor, capital, technology and resources) you would have to pay.
Reasons to Outsource
Here are the main reasons to why you would want to do outsourcing:
- Lower costs: Bacause it can be done cheaper by others than by doing it yourself.
- Save time: Because others can do it faster than you.
- Compentence: Because you can't do it, or other can do it better than you. Get access to operational expertise and knowledge.
- Priority: Because you want to use your time and resources differently and allocate more time to other tasks. Makes it possible to concentrate on core functions
- Flexibility: Make it easy to adapt to different circumstances.
- Delegration of dependancy: Make internal systems less dependent.
- Geographical issues: Your customers may be in a different time zone, speak a different language etc.
- Arbitrage: Bacause you can make money directly from outsourcing by outsourcing all parts of the work involved.
- Laziness: Because you lack of desire of doing it yourself.
- Luxury and Wealth: Because you can.
This was not intended as a complete list as there are many other reasons to outsource. Most important though is usually lowering costs and saving time. The services below may help you to achieve this.
Case Study: How Elance Works
There's many services out there that will help you to succeed with outsourcing. Freelancer is the best site when it comes to getting work done, and also it is withouth doubt the best if you are searching for freelance jobs online.
STEP ONE: Search or Post For Work
First thing you need to do as an Elance user searching for work is to either (1) search for a service provider so that you can connect with them via phone, IM or email. OR, you may post your project and then receive proposals from qualified providers within hours
STEP TWO: Select Your Service Provider
After you have a list of providers, begin to review the proposals, and browse the providers work experience, skills, portfolio, customer feedback and ratings. Then decide which of them you're going to choose.
STEP THREE: Manage the Work
You can manage work through Elance by collaborating through private message board and manageing the work by setting milestones for your providers.
STEP FOUR: Pay the Provider
Once the work has been finished it's time to pay the privider, but don't do so unless you are satisfied with the work. Elance will handle the payment for you.
Elance is one of the biggest services for outsourcing on the web today, but there's many other great services you could use (See next paragraph).
Outsourcing Tools And Services
Below is the most important tools and services to help you outsource your work.
Outsourcing (General services)
- Agents Of Value
- Freelancer China
Outsourcing and Ethics
Outsourcing helps you drive cost down and become more profitable. It's almost too good to be true, but it's not. When outsourcing works as it should, the only possible drawback would be the ethic concerns. When people from the western world outsource work to India and China and some other asian countries they only pay a fraction of the costs compared to what they would have to pay to outsource the same work in their own country. Because of that they're able to reap huge profits from this type of outsourcing, while the workers who actually produce the products and services does not make a lot of money from our point of view.
However, the value of one U.S. dollar in the United States is not the same as one U.S. dollar in China, just as the value of one euro in Europe is not identical as the value of one euro in India. When done properly, everyone wins in outsourcing. As the outsourcer you simply exploit currency differences to make a profit. At the same time you create work and a source of income for others, while lowering cost for your customers. Everyone wins.
Ethical outsourcing can be easily summed up by the ethic of reciprocity (or "The Golden Rule"). This fundamental moral principle states that you should "treat others as you would like to be treated."
Outsourcing Your Life
A lot can be said about "outsourcing your life". Bussy people in the western world use virtual assistants, often from India or China, to help them with daily tasks like finding phone numbers, sending greeting cards, help them remember stuff, order products, write articles, research, travel plannner, etc.
If you're interested in how to outsource your life, we'd recommend you read The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferrisss. It's far from a perfect book, but it'll give you a lot of inspiration on how to use virtual assistants and how to outsource your life.
Finding the Right People For the Job
To learn the art of outsourcing takes time and practice. Use the services mentioned on this page, or simply find your workers through internet forums. However, outsourcing is not that difficult to handle. Once you've found an individual or a company to handle whatever you choose to outsource, make sure you treat them well and never let them go. The most difficult part in outsourcing is finding someone to handle the work you give them that delivers exactly what you want and that lives up to your expectations. Some eastern people and companies are really worth their weight in gold, and it's your job to find them.
If I could recommend just one book on the art of outsourcing, it would be The World Is Flat by the New York Times "Foreign Affairs" columist Thomas L. Friedman. I should probably warn you though: The book is a brick, and it's not one that you take all in in one sitting.
Everyone that have the posibillity to exploit global pricing can benefit from outsourcing. Most likely, that includes YOU.
While outsourcing aims to lower costs for the outsourcer, worldsourcing (still just mere buzzword) aim to add value for the customer. I didn't plan to write a lot about worldsourcing, but here's a short video that'll introduce you to the concept: CNN video about Worldsourcing.