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Those of you who know me, know that I absolutely enjoy being self-employed. I love working with all my awesome clients and I love the freedom to pursue certain hobbies and causes that feed my soul. But let’s face it – being self-employed involves doing a lot more than just what we are passionate about. If you have your own business, you also have to:

  • handle marketing
  • do the books
  • manage finances
  • and much more.

For me, it’s not only about creating websites, which is what I enjoy most about my work. So what to do? I could find a job where that’s all I need to do, but then I wouldn’t have the freedom to pursue my other hobbies. Instead, I decided to outsource. That way, I get to do what I want to, but at the same time I enable someone else to do what they want to do.

What Can Be Outsourced?

These days, you can outsource just about anything:

  • marketing
  • design
  • accounting
  • customer service
  • development (apps, websites, product, etc.)
  • and much, much more.

Basically, you can find someone to do whatever you don’t want to do or whatever you don’t have time for.

Benefits of Outsourcing

When you outsource work to someone, it saves you time. If you find it hard to see the value in paying someone to do something you don’t want to do, think about how much time it would take you to do the same task, and place a value on your time. Outsourcing work to experienced, qualified, and well-reviewed freelancers offers many benefits:

  1. Your work is generally handled by a person who specializes in the field, which gives you the maximum return on investment.
  2. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to do it – your freelancer has the experience to do it right.
  3. You can use your time more productively. Instead of staring at the computer trying to summon the courage to get started, you can rest assured that the work is taken care of by an expert and you can go do something more productive.
  4. It is generally much more cost-effective to hire a specialist freelancer, even at a hefty hourly rate, than to employ an in-house, salaried general worker who does not really have the experience to handle specialist tasks.

How to Outsource Work to a Freelancer

To get started, talk with other business owners and get referrals. If you find the referrals don’t quite match your need, check out Upwork (previously Odesk). Before you hit Upwork and place a job post, first decide:

  1. What exactly you want to outsource.
  2. Is it once off or weekly / monthly.
  3. How much are you prepared to pay for it? Hourly, or a fixed rate?
  4. What are your expectations?
  5. When do you need the work done?

Using these questions, you can gain clarity before you create your job post. The one thing disadvantage about working with someone online rather than face-to-face, is that there is more scope for misunderstandings. Therefore, having a clear set of expectations and clarity about your project, will help you to better communicate that to your freelancer, thus resulting in a better working relationship, particularly if you are looking for a long-term arrangement.

As you continue to outsource work to a freelancer, you will reach a point where you develop a certain rhythm and understanding. Your freelancer will get to know your business and care about it as much as you do, bringing new ideas and perspectives that you have not considered, to the table.