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Outsourcing Requires Organization

You can’t do everything on your own – and you shouldn’t.  As a solopreneur, you are not looking for employees, your solution is outsourcing.  To get the most out of outsourcing, it requires organization.  You have to be able to keep track of the jobs you have assigned to what people, when the requested work will be completed, how much you paid for the job, etc.  And you will also need to be able to tell the person what you want done, and sometimes that will require step by step instructions.  

I truly believe you will not reach your highest business goals without getting your business organized.  As your business grows, being organized will become even more important, the sooner you get on top of this issue, the better off you will be.  

Online, we use VA’s or Virtual Assistants most commonly for our outsourcing needs.  You can find lots of great VA’s and some that are not so great.  Like anything, you may not find the right person the first try, that doesn’t mean quit, hopefully you will learn something from the experience and you will use that information to make a more informed choice the next time.  The best way to see if you are a good fit with a person you wish to hire, is to start with small tasks, or smaller jobs, as they prove themselves a good fit, then continue to add to their workload as you see fit.   A great way to find a good VA is to ask other solopreneurs who they use and/or who they would recommend, this will often get you a better match with fewer headaches.  And a great place to meet these other solopreneurs is Facebook groups.

In addition to VA’s there are many sites that offer specific services by the job.  Fiverr.com is a site that allows people offer services starting at $5.  Other sites like upwork.com have various levels of service, from individual jobs, to long term commitments.  These sites work best if you are specific in your needs.  If you are vague, you will not likely get the results you are looking for.  If you are looking for research on a topic, be as specific as possible, if you like to include stats, ask them to research stats related to the requested topic.  If you want articles from popular publications and not lesser known places, or vice versa, say so in your instructions.  I have used Fiverr in the past and had mixed results, so I stopped using them, but they have worked on improving the site and I have been meaning to give them another try, so I encourage you to as well.

So, now you have hired someone, now you need to tell them what to do, the easiest way to do this is to already have step by step instructions in place.  For example, publishing a blog post, sounds simple, but there are several steps involved.  I need to have a topic or research a topic, then I need a headline, from there, I actually have to write the blog post.  I like to add images to most of my posts, so after I write the post, I pick out the images I would like to add.  If there are links to be added, I do that right about here.  Then I check the SEO with a plug in I have installed on my site.  I also add my tags and categories, then once everything is done, then I hit the publish button.  So if I was going to have someone help me in this process, I would need to be able to know which steps and so perhaps all I do is the actual writing and I have my VA do all the other steps.  I’m free to do what I do best and they do what they do best.  A win for everybody, but if you aren’t organized, you will not be able to relay step by step instructions and you will likely be disappointed with the results.

As you can clearly see, getting your business organized will help you increase your bottom line and help you to outsource tasks to keep you loving your business.  Please let us know how you do with outsourcing in the comments below.

What’s Going On Behind You?

Have you given any thought to what appears behind you when you are recording videos or making Skype video calls?  These days, you need to be able to go live – and sometimes unexpectectedly.  All too often we are so worried about how we look – am I right ladies? – that we forget to think about how the room looks.  Some great options are to clean and tidy the space, get a folding screen that you use when making videos or even create a permanent backround/recording area.  Just make sure to think about what is behind you before you turn that camera on yourself.

The obvious is to make sure the space behind you within camera range be cleaned up so that you are not embarrassed by what is behind you.  Now if your subject matter is model airplanes and all you see behind you is model airplanes that is fine, if they are all piled up in heaps you may want to fix that, but the idea is that your customers will expect an expert in model airplanes to have model airplanes in his office.  Personally, I talk about being organized or getting organized all the time and right now my back drop includes a shelf of binder folders.  This makes sense for me and my audience, now the bottle of lotion I set down there as I started to write, will be gone when I leave the room too.

Now a nice folding screen can make a great instant backround.  If you have a large space you may want to do this even if the space behind you is neat as a pin.  You can find these a variety of folding screens at places like Amazon and Pier One Imports.  And if you are on a budget, you may be able to find one at a local garage sale or thrift store.  You can even use the screen to advertise your business if you want.  Make sure that what ever you choose is not too busy, you want a simple pattern or solid colors.  Another option is a white board as a screen, you can use it as a prop while talking or just have a message you want to share.  Again, the main idea is to be thinking about what is behind you when you are on camera.

Another option may be to have a specific recording “studio” or area that has a plain wall or minimal distractions.  We, myself included, often forget how mobile technology allows us to be.  We got used to working at the desk in the office and have often transferred that habit to our home based business, now we can change that habit.  Do you have a room that has a great place, that would look great on camera?  Then why can’t you make your video recordings there?   Have fun and get creative, you may have several wonderful spots that can be great for making your videos reflect your message, just remember to watch the light if you are recording near a window.

So, you have a great product to share with your customers, now you will be able to record videos that will look better that all those others that don’t take the time.  I know that you will not always be able to have the perfect back drop and you will just have to hit record on the fly sometimes, but the more you think about this, the more of a habit it will become.  

So share you best or worst video backround story in the comments below.