6 Outsourcing Mistakes To Avoid For Best Results

One of an entrepreneur’s greatest assets is a great outsourced team. This saves countless hours that you could use to build your business. Some never even try outsourcing because they’re afraid of something going wrong. By avoiding these common outsourcing mistakes, you’ll have a much better experience and even get better results than ever before.

Common Outsourcing Mistakes

Cheaper Rates Are Best

Outsourcing does help you save money versus hiring a full-time employee. This doesn’t mean you should go for the lowest rates. The old saying you get what you pay for is often true. Set a realistic budget for you outsourcing needs. You can find talented, reliable people at a rate that works for both you and them.

You Don’t Have To Manage Anyone

Would you leave a room full of five-year-olds alone to their own devices? No. The same is true with outsourcing. The people you hire need guidance. You still need to check in to see how projects are progressing, provide feedback, discuss how you want things done and ensure tasks are completed successfully.

Location Doesn’t Matter

It may be cheaper to hire someone in a different country, but is it right for your business? You have to consider time and culture differences before outsourcing projects. For instance, what if you need to Skype with your outsourced team? It’s not convenient for either party to be up at 3 A.M. because of time differences. The location may not matter for all entrepreneurs, but it does for some.

Outsourcing Everything Is More Cost Effective

This is one of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make when they first start reaping the benefits of outsourcing. Some tasks are best left to you and in-house employees. For instance, customer service, client meetings or tasks you excel at shouldn’t be outsourced. Small or regular tasks are best for outsourcing.

No Training Is Necessary

Many entrepreneurs expect outsourced staff to instantly know what to do and how to do it. Every business is different. Someone may have experience with data entry, but they still need to know how you like it done. No matter who you work with, some training is necessary. It can be a one-page guide on how to enter data in your system. It doesn’t have to be complex, but early training leads to fewer mistakes and more cost effective results.

You Don’t Need To Understand What You Outsource

It’s a common practice to outsource what you don’t understand or aren’t good at. You still need to understand it enough to know whether someone is skilled or not. Always research any tasks you’re not comfortable with such as web design before outsourcing. This prevents many of the horror stories of hiring someone who doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing.

Outsourcing is beneficial. Just do your research and don’t expect to outsource everything. When done right, outsourcing mistakes can be avoided and your business will grow and thrive.

Olinda Services
364 E. Main Street, Suite 136 MiddletownDelaware19709 USA 
 • 302-378-7564

The Best Tools For Creating Vision Boards

You know what vision boards are and you know you need to create one. The problem is where do you start? There’s no right or wrong way to make a board. There’s also no single tool to do it with. The only real rules are to be specific and make the board a reflection of your goals.

Vision boards are an extremely effective tool for truly understanding your goals, growing your business, helping with personal growth and achieving your entrepreneurial dreams…

Cape Code
U.S. Geological Survey

As I write this post I am creating a vision board for my upcoming vacation in Cape Code. The house we will be staying, where people will sleep, meals to be prepped, safety for the grandkids. My daughter-in-law and I are sharing documents through Google Docs on an itinerary, meals we want to have, things to do. I am envisioning some quiet time to reflect and be quiet mentally.

What is your vision?

Best Tools For Creating Vision Boards

Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the easier tools for making vision boards. You don’t need glue or posterboard or anything else. All you have to do is collect images that represent what you want to achieve. You can create different Pinterest boards for every goal. If you’d rather keep your boards private, create private Pinterest boards instead. The best part of this tool is your board is always with you.

Evernote

Evernote is another portable vision board creation tool. Most people think of it as strictly for note taking. Use it instead to create vision board pages complete with images and text. You can easily print them out if you want to hang them up in your office.

Labyrinth

Mind mapping tools are perfect for vision boards. The key is finding one that supports images. Labyrinth is not only free, but it supports uploading images and even drawing your own. You can create a central goal and add branches with images or text representing the steps it takes to achieve your goal. If Labyrinth doesn’t have enough features for you, there are numerous free alternatives and some paid alternatives as well.

Posterboard

Actual posterboard is a popular method for creating vision boards. You can hang the board on your wall to look at every day. Plus, it’s fun to get your hands dirty by gluing images or drawing with markers. Putting the hard work into creating the board makes it even more meaningful. If you need any inspiration on creating a physical board yourself, look no further than the Vision Board Samples Pinterest board.

Google Docs

Most people know the basics of using Google Docs. You can use Docs and Sheets for organizing your goals and then use Slides or Docs to create vision boards. You can share your boards with others, edit them whenever you want and print them to hang up. Plus, it’s free. Of course, any office suite works well for this purpose.

Picasa

Collect images and upload them to your Picasa account. The collage feature allows you to create vision boards full of images. If you want to use text, simply place text over a background image or a solid color image to create a text-based image. Arrange your images to customize your board. You can edit the collage as your needs change. Some people even create multiple collages, print them out and hang them together for a larger board.

Try each of these tools to see which ones work best for your needs. Many entrepreneurs find having a physical and digital board works best so they feel inspired no matter where they are.

Provide Training For More Effective Outsourcing

Training is often overlooked when it comes to outsourcing. You expect outsourced talent to already know what to do. Home builders know how to build homes, but everyone wants a different design. The same is true with entrepreneurs. You likely have your own ways of doing things. Limit errors in outsourced projects and save time by providing training along the way.

Training Outsourced Workers

Create Samples

For simple tasks, a few samples may be all the training you need. For example, if you’re hiring someone to write your email newsletters, give them samples of past newsletters to follow. They can then ask any questions and even make suggestions on how to improve. These samples give the outsourced employee an idea of what you want.

Meet With Them

While you likely won’t be able to physically meet your outsourced team, you can still have meetings. Schedule a few training sessions to discuss your expectations and methods. This can be done over video chat, phone calls or online chat. Video chat is often preferred so can be sure the other person is paying attention.

Encourage Questions

For tasks, you’re not experienced with yourself, encourage the person to ask you questions. Maybe you want a new theme for your WordPress site. You likely have some idea of what you want, but the other person might not fully understand it until they start asking questions. Ask them if there is anything they need from you to help them better understand your needs.

Correct Mistakes

You might not have realized any training was necessary until the first few tasks are complete. Suddenly, you’re spending more time fixing errors than the entire task should have taken to begin with. Don’t panic. Contact the person and politely explain what’s wrong and why. Work with them to fix errors and after a few tasks, mistakes dwindle drastically. Of course, if they don’t, it may be time to hire someone new.

Provide A Detailed Guide

Creating a guide might sound time-consuming and it sometimes is. Imagine how time-consuming it is to send messages back and forth for a week or more as you try to get your outsourced help on the same page as you. Creating the guide takes far less time and immediately gives the person everything they need to get started. You both save time and tasks are completed successfully the first time.

I recently wrote a newsletter about a task that I do every year.  I update my detailed guide or SOP every year to remember the tweaks that I do in the process. You can read more here.

Start With A Trial

Many entrepreneurs train based on a trial project. This is usually a paid task, but something quick and simple. For instance, hiring someone to design your website might start with asking for a single page or a sample of their previous work. The idea is to see their interpretation and style in action. You then tell them what you do and don’t like. It’s similar to correcting mistakes, but on a smaller scale.

Training does take time, but it saves money. The best way to create lasting outsourced relationships is through proper training. Start early for best results.

5 Essential Tips For Connecting With Other Entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. You don’t have to know everything or learn it all from scratch. Social media is full of entrepreneurs waiting to connect with like minded individuals. Whether you just want to talk to others you get the struggle or ask for advice, these tips will guide you to other entrepreneurs who’ll be happy to meet you.

Meet In Person With Meetup

Meetup is a unique type of social network. It’s designed to help people actually meet in person. It’s a novel concept in the online social world. The way the site works is you enter an interest, such as the type of business or just entrepreneur. You choose a location and distance range. The site then shows you any applicable local groups that may be of interest.

It’s a great site if you want to get out and socialize with entrepreneurs in your area. It’s also good if you want to run a local business. Others in the area might know tips for helping you get started.

Finding Entrepreneurs On Twitter

Entrepreneurs are constantly sharing advice and asking questions on Twitter. The hard part is finding those people. A little digging will quickly help you find the best people to follow.

To make your life easier, try doing a search for #entrepreneur and #yourindustry or profession. For instance, a dog groomer might search for #entrepreneur #doggroomer. Once you find industry leaders, see who they follow and who follows them.

Join Communities On LinkedIn

LinkedIn is still one of the most valuable tools for entrepreneurs to network with other entrepreneurs. Putting up a profile isn’t enough though. You have to join communities. Search the site for entrepreneur communities. You’ll get a ton of results, but searching by profession or industry helps narrow it down. Join several communities at least for better exposure and advice.

Follow Mentors

Do you have blogs you read often or entrepreneurs you admire? Odds are, they’re on social media. Check their site to see which sites they use. Follow them. Reach out to them. Talk to their other followers. Many popular entrepreneurs have created their own social communities. They encourage their followers to share advice and support each other.

Join Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are still popular though many entrepreneurs don’t realize they exist. They’re a little harder to find than on LinkedIn, but they’re worth the time. Start by looking up any fellow entrepreneurs you know and see which groups they’re a member of. You can also do a search for entrepreneur and filter to search only for groups. Active groups are an invaluable source of inspiration, advice, and friendship.

Other entrepreneurs are out there. You just have to find them. When you start talking to others like you, you’ll be amazed at the ideas you come up with.