The 12 Most Important Things You Need to Know About Outsourcing

Posted on February 26th, 2010 in Advice, Customers, PLR, Simple Cash Blog, Twitter | 2 Comments »

I’m giving you 12 amazing tips on outsourcing. These are the most important things that you need to know right now. This is advice you can take to the bank.

For the last 18 months, I’ve gone absolutely crazy with outsourcing. I make a huge investment in outsourcing every single month. If you’re serious about your online business, you must do the same.

Let’s jump into my 12 outsourcing tips:

First, you need to first filter people based on quality. There are many people available at many price points but quality can be harder to find. So, seek out people with strong skills and then start filtering on price. You can always negotiate prices lower by putting people in competition with each other. And, you can drive prices down by letting them know that you expect a quantity discount. Buy in bulk.

Second, you need to use outsourcing to augment your strengths. Just because you are good at something, don’t think you’re absolutely on top of your game. It never hurts to get outside advice. A good example is this: Get someone else to do tedious research on a topic, then use that report to clarify your ideas and your thinking. This is pure magic.

Third, seek to eliminate or reduce redundant tasks. Have someone else handle the routine tasks, even if you like those tasks. A good example is posting blog entries. There’s no reason you need to be in the blog updating business. Sure, you might write the content, but have someone else find a good image, develop the tags, choose the title, select the category and so on. For a few bucks you can get some real talent to handle this routine task.

Fourth, you really need a good project tracking system or the management of your workers will become your new job. Do you really want to spend hours and hours being a manager? Do yourself a favor and find smart ways to handle outsourced work and outsourced workers. Have smart systems in place. Get daily updates and ask for exception reports. Make it simple. Make it clean. But, don’t think for a minute these folks will manage themselves. Find a way to stay on top… with minimal effort.

Fifth, you should seek to build longer term relationships with workers. The cost of training is very high, both in terms of money and time. Especially time! So, try to find quality workers right out of the gate. This will absolutely drive higher quality. Also, as time goes on, you’ll become a top customer. That means better pricing, faster response time and higher quality from the same workers.

Sixth, always seek out people who pay attention to the details. I learned this one the hard way. I thought I should get more people who balanced operations and strategy. However, I operate quite differently now. You need to find people who are great at operations and execution. You want people who are detail oriented or downright anal about their work. I’d rather have someone obsess over quality and deadlines than coming up with the next big idea or fancy pants strategy. I can do that well enough, thank you very much.

Seventh, you must manage the basics first: requirements, ownership, timeframe, expectations. Don’t try to manage entire systems and don’t try to manage a vision, at least not a first. Instead, stick to the essentials and getting the job done. Manage outputs and delivery. Manage deliverables first and then time. This will keep your project on track at a reasonable cost. The greater you can focus on the details for your workers when they start, the great your return on investment and profits. Trust me on this.

Eighth, be prepared to do more work in the short term. This is because you will want to invest in training. If you think you can simply hand over work without some hand holding, you will be frustrated. You might even fail. Either way, without an upfront investment in time and energy, you want maximize your outsourcing opportunities. If you do this right, you’ll be extremely happy in the long run. I’ve learned this the hard way… but now I’m happy as a clam!

Ninth, you should always provide concrete, actionable advice. Don’t be vague. Don’t expect other people to read your mind. This is especially true if you’re only using email to communicate with your outsourcing team. If they can’t see you and hear you, they simply will not understand the nuances and ultra small details that really matter to you. So, buckle down and get as specific as possible, unless you’re willing to iterate several times. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for rework. If you’re not at least 90% happy, then ask for more work to be done. Ask for higher quality. But, be sure to be concrete.

Tenth, don’t throw “it” over the wall and expect miracles. In terms of an operational mode, it is smart to plan for several iterations and cycles. Instead of giving one date for a final product, ask for 2-3 checkpoints or updates along the way. Do this even with small projects that just take a few days. Ask for daily updates. Important: Ask to literally see the work. Get screenshots, samples and other tangibles. This will drive your team to deliver on time but it also gives you peace of mind and more material to manage them. Do this to work with your team vs. trying to just manage their outputs.

Eleventh, develop systems and templates and examples. If you don’t have these materials, it’s time to get to work. You want to have tools and processes in place for others to use and exploit. Rather than trying to explain what you want done, set up a mini “factory” that allows your team to crank out high quality without a ton of thinking. You want to focus on work and execution, not puzzle solving and mind reading. Be smart about developing those systems and you’ll make a killing. This is golden advice.

Lastly, I strongly encourage you to ask your workers for advice on increasing efficiency. Since they are doing tasks over and over again, they will develop shortcuts. It’s human nature. Listen to your team and they will help you drive up profits. They will become more “invested” in you and your business. Plus, if they create a breakthrough, you can move them to a zone of higher profit. That is, for the same amount of effort, they can help you make more money!

Here’s a nice summary of my points above. This is your cheat sheet. It’s your checklist…

1. Go for quality first and price second. I’m talking about filtering people.
2. Seek to augment your strengths (e.g., research to feed your thinking)
3. Seek to get rid of your redundant tasks (e.g., posting content to your blog)
4. You need a good tracking system or management of workers is your new job
5. Seek to build longer term relationships; higher quality and preference
6. Always seek out people who pay attention to the details; operations vs. strategy
7. Manage the basics first: requirements, ownership, timeframe, expectations
8. Be prepared to do more work in the short term; invest in training
9. Always provide concrete, actionable advice; don’t be afraid to ask for rework
10. Don’t throw it over the wall; iterations and cycles; work with your team
11. If you don’t have systems and templates and examples, get to work
12. Always, always, always ask your workers for advice on increasing efficiency

IMPORTANT! If you want to apply these ideas with “razor sharp” precision, and you have a ton of private label rights (PLR) content on your hard drive… you need the PLR Bonecrusher.

Download the PLR Bonecrusher (free to Simple Cash Blog members!)

Or, you can grab a copy on the Warrior Forum right now. (The price keeps going up, up, up.)

And finally… I think you would agree that these are some of the best tips on outsourcing you’ve ever seen. I would really appreciate comments. But more importantly, please Twitter about this blog entry and post to your Facebook page. Or, link to this posting from your own blog. It would really mean a lot to me.

Take care!

~ John

One Million Dollars?

Posted on October 27th, 2008 in 10x, 7.77 Club, Adsense, EzineArticles, PLR Club, Strategies, Traffic Drill, Web Traffic | 15 Comments »

Want One Million Dollars?Do you really want one million dollars? Here’s a plan that will work…

Out of necessity, I will make some assumptions. You can very easily put this entire plan into a spreadsheet and work the numbers. That is, you can create a speadsheet that has plenty of simple variables in it and adjust as you want.

Here’s what you need to do first: Generate $1 of profit. It doesn’t matter how you generate that first $1 but you need to do it. Try article marketing, affiliate marketing, or freelancing. Write a report and WSO it. It simply doesn’t matter. Just generate that first $1.

Next, focus like crazy (see: 10x Method) until you reach $100. If you can make $1 you can make $100. Do the same thing that worked again and again. Get to $100 cash in your account.

Third, invest the $100. This $100 is not for fun and games. It’s seed cash for your $1,000,000 empire. You can only spend this money to make more money. If you spend it on that caramel macchiato, then don’t ever plan on doing a JV with me. Don’t ever plan on hitting the $1,000,000 because you’re wasting your opportunity. You are just a consumer not a producer — you need to produce and invest like a wild animal on wild animal crack cocaine. Insane focus to win…

So, what do you invest in? I don’t care as long as it throws off cash every single month. You need to buy assets. For our little $1,000,000 journey let’s stick with something I love dearly: CONTENT. You really can’t own too much content. Used correctly, content is money. It’s always possible to generate cash from lot’s of content. You can sell content. You can re-sell it (think: PLR, MRR). You can use it for pulling in eyeballs; customers with a burning want or need and they have cash.

What kind of content should you buy? For this journey, let’s talk about straight up articles. The kind you’d use for a high quality blog entry or a submission to EzineArticles.

Hint: You can set up review sites in various niches quite easily. You can follow any number of methods and use any style of marketing. There’s no magic here.

Fourth, we’re going to do some math. We’re going to assume that you can buy a smashing good article (high quality and 500+ words) for $10. (This is something you can adjust up or down. I can buy content for $4-5, but that’s a topic for another day.)

So, take your $100 and buy 10 articles. That’s about 1/3 to 1/2 of a pretty decent web site. Note: You can easily set up a blog or a nice static web site using a free blogging tool and free HTML/CSS templates. This is baby food stuff you can figure out. Got it?

Hint: You’re going to set everything up as fast as possible. You might need to burn $10-20 of your first $100 on hosting and a domain. Don’t fight this. Just do it. Or, again, forget about hitting $1,000,000.

Fifth, you’re going to get your site indexed by Google. You’re going to submit your RSS feed. You going to use free services to get higher rankings. You’re going to submit some good comments on niche-related blogs. You’re going to consider generating a little more cash and joining traffic generation memberships and services, e.g., Traffic Drill. Again, this is all Internet Marketing 101.

Sixth, you’re going to repeat all of the early steps again. You’re going to generate another $100-300 and you’re going to buy more content for your site. The key is reinvesting and focusing to grow, grow, grow.

Note: These 6 steps should only take you 3-4 weeks at most. The truth is that you can do it in 3-4 days. Simply do some work for some other internet marketers. Some freelance work will get you all the seed cash you need. You can generate the seed cash offline too if you really want…

====== TAKE A DEEP BREATH

At this point you’ve done what seems like a lot of work and you’re not rich. Well, get used to it. Getting to $1,000,000 takes time. Some folks can do it extremely fast, but they are in the top 1% and mostly lucky. You’re in for a battle. It’s one you can win, but you have to be ready for a serious uphill fight. If you’re *sincere* about wanting $1,000,000 then keep reading. If not, then pack up and go home.

Listen up. There is plenty of opportunity to make $100 to $5,000 per month for part-timers. You can generate $10-100K per year without being too deadly serious. But, if you want that $1,000,000 there’s some punishment ahead. I’m just warning you.

Note: Some internet marketers will disagree with what I just said. Great! I’ll leave it at that. I welcome disagreement and logical discourse.

====== EXHALE AND GET READY

Seventh, now your niche site is fully operational. Time to really focus on the monetization and working the numbers. Sure, you could have already pulled some cash from your site, but if you haven’t this is how it works. (Note: Replace “niche site” with “blog”. It doesn’t matter.)

I’m going to assume that you know something about Google Adsense. (Experienced folks: Don’t groan. I don’t want to hear it. Just replace “Google Adsense” with Clickbank, pay per lead, eBay affiliate program, or whatever money-making special juice you use. I’m going to use Google Adsense because it’s so monkey simple.)

Assuming you put a couple of ads on each of your pages or on your blog entries, you can do something AMAZING.

What’s this amazing thing? Well, you can easily track and monitor your investment and success. (See why Google Adsense makes sense Mr. Advanced Marketing Pro? Sales metrics right at your finger tips.) You can see exactly how well you’re doing or not.

* How much does each page, on average generate?
* How much money am I making per day?
* What days are better than other days?
* How am I doing from month to month?

Eighth, you’re going to figure out what each page is worth re: Adsense. For example, let’s say that one page, on average, is worth $5 per month in Adsense revenue. This is achievable. But, again, you can manipulate this in your spreadsheet.

Your 30 page niche site generates $150 per month. ($5 per page x 30 pages, got it?) Now, I want you to think about that…

In just 2 months you’ll earn back your initial seed investment of $300. Remember that you struggled to hit the $300 mark, but now eyeballs are paying you back in just 2 months.

From the very start of your $1,000,000 quest, in just about 3 months you’ll be 100% EVEN in terms of your investment. Plus, you now have an asset that throws off, on average, $150 every single month.

Doesn’t that feel pretty good? I mean, really, that’s getting pretty close to a car payment. Do 3 months of work and you can get a FREE CAR.

Yes yes yes yes yes, I hear you. That’s not exactly how things work. It’s not “reality” but listen to me, it’s damn close. This is how internet marketing really works folks…

FREE CAR (with just 3 months of work)

You’ve got to love this game.

====== SIDEBAR START

Here’s something you must learn from this posting. Throw out all of my advice. All of it. But remember this…

I bet you would be willing to buy something from me right now. You are officially sold, my Marketing Friend. Go on, you can admit it.

The lesson? Provide the right value the right way to the right people and they will kill to buy from you.

I’m not selling anything here. Put your wallet away. But never forget the lesson I just taught you. This posting had a hidden lesson that I exposed for nothing. I just put it out there for you to devour…

====== SIDEBAR END

Where were we?

Oh yes, back to your $1,000,000. Here’s what’s next.

Ninth, you’re going to keep working and investing as if your very life depends on it. You’ll sacrifice and work like a beaten dog. You’ll smile and wake up every day ready to pound through any obstacle.

The End.

Just kidding. You’re going to take the $150 you generate each month and you’re going to re-invest in more content. And, you’re going to still work to continue to add more to the “pool” of money for buying even more content on top.

Let’s do the math…

Month 4 (remember, we’ve put in about 3 months of work at this point.)
30 pages of content –> $150 in Adsense per month –> buy 15 more pages = 45 total pages

Month 5
45 pages of content –> $225 –> 22 more pages = 67 total pages

Month 6
67 pages of content –> $335 –> 33 more pages = 100 pages (wow)

Month 7
100 pages of content –> $500 –> 50 more pages = 150 pages

Month 8
150 pages of content –> $750 –> 75 more pages = 225 pages

Month 9
225 pages of content –> $1,125 –> 112 more pages = 337 pages

Month 10
337 pages of content –> $1,685 –> 112 more pages = 449 pages

Month 11
449 pages of content –> $2,245 –> 224 more pages = 673 pages

Month 12
673 pages of content –> $3,365 –> 336 more pages = 1,009 pages (wow)

Month 13
1,009 pages of content –> $5,045 –> 505 more pages = 1,514 pages

Month 14
1,514 pages of content –> $7,570 –> 757 more pages = 2,271 pages

Month 15
2,271 pages of content –> $11,355 –> 1,135 more pages = 3,406 pages

Month 16
3,406 pages of content –> $17,030 –> 1,703 more pages = 5,109 pages

Next month you generate $25,545 from those pages. That’s right…

After 1.5 years of intense work you now generate a staggering $25K per month. Just from content, advertising, and reinvesting your profits. The power of compounding is obvious.

========= PAUSE

Now, before any Experienced Marketers bite my head off please understand that I know the limitations here. This is an idealistic model. Issues include:

1. Finding that many writers and coordinating them.
2. Editing, updating, and posting the content.
3. Potential fall off in advertising
4. Technical issues and downtime.
5. Competition or death-by-Google-exclusion or sandboxin’

There are plenty of reasons why this is complete hogwash. But, you can adjust this in any way that you want. The basic principles apply. This is a model that makes sense and folks can follow it.

========= PLAY

To make everyone happy, let’s do this. Let’s assume that you simply cannot grow beyond 5,000 pages. Fair enough, right? You just can’t. It makes this more fun…

Now you’re generating $25,000 per month. It takes work, but you’re doing it. Bravo!

Now it’s time to end the story…

Take $25K and simply divide it by $1,000,000. (I’m ignoring the fact that you’ve made money along the way, for a moment.)

$1,000,000 / $25,000 is 40. What’s the “40” really mean? That’s 40 months. $25K per month x 40 months is $1,000,000.

To cut to the end, that’s less than 4 years — START TO FINISH — to hit $1,000,000 in profit.

Now, you can talk about taxes, cost of living, and anything else. I will simply respond with a “So what?” and tell you to squeeze out more profits or outsource better or do something else clever.

The point is that, roughly speaking, you can hit $1,000,000 in about 4-5 years if you’re deadly serious.

My advice? Print this out and tear it apart. Figure out why I am right and why I’m wrong. Take notes on what YOU can do. Make a plan to hit $1,000,000 starting today — knowing with full confidence that you can do it. The numbers simply don’t lie.

Hint: Keep in mind that there are many “wealth accelerators” such as JVs, spending money on high quality traffic generation services, smart outsourcing, under-exploited niches and keywords, and more.

I’m assuming plug-n-chug “take the hill” actions that aren’t very risky or interesting. It’s your job to improve on my model and get rich a lot faster, ethically and responsibly.

The best way to pay me back for this posting is to write something even better. Improve my model and tell every single marketer how you would do it. Pass this knowledge around to those people that deserve and desire success.

(My friend, this is not a dream.)

I sincerely wish that you hit one million dollars in 3-4 years, or less.

~ John