The Outsourcing Experiment: Hiring Other People

May 13, 2013

When I got into freelancing, it was because I wanted a certain level of independence and flexibility. I enjoy the challenge of coding, but I didn’t want to manage people or have employees.

I had seen a lot of the headaches that can come from managing others from working for a large organization.

Doing it all myself

So in true bootstrapping fashion, I proceeded to do everything myself. I did the marketing, the programming, the bookkeeping, and pretty much everything except graphic design which I only hired out because I knew it would take me years to learn.

It worked well, up to a point

But one day I realized this mentality of “doing it all myself” limited the scope as well as the number of projects I could take on. This in turn meant my income was limited.

It also meant I couldn’t step away from the business to say, take a vacation, without losing income. Since it was just me, I couldn’t bill clients if I were on vacation and no work was being produced.

That’s when I was introduced to the concept of outsourcing

Outsourcing is simply purchasing goods or services from an outside vendor. I’ve always had a strong interest in entrepreneurship, and as a result, I came upon a free webinar on outsourcing to grow your business given by Amit Bhasavar, a fellow I met through an entrepreneurship course I was taking.

The idea is simple enough

You outsource tasks you don’t like to do or aren’t really all that great at doing in order to free up more of your time to focus on things that will bring in more revenue to the business. Hopefully, you hire the right people so that your revenue-cost = profit.

You outsource for 3 reasons

Reason #1: There’s only so much time in a day

You have 24 hours in a day. You have to sleep some. Now that you’re running a business, you have to attend to the accounting issues, marketing, and the actual value-producing work that your client is paying you for. You’ll eventually find you hit your upper limit, and if you want to be able to do more in a given day, you’ll find you have to hire people.

Reason #2: Being able to step away

To do your best work as a developer, I’m of the opinion that your brain needs periodic rest. I’ve heard stories of lots of developers getting burned out simply because they didn’t take the time off to refresh themselves. Programming takes a certain amount of intense concentration, so preventing mental burnout by resting is helpful to your business in the long run.

Reason #3: You can focus on the things you’re good at

I didn’t decided to become a freelance programmer so I could send emails to businesses asking if they were interested in my services or to do bookkeeping. It makes me so happy that I can outsource these things out.

The above 3 reasons are why I decided to take this course on outsourcing

I realized I could potentially offer more services (and hence more value) to clients, as well as take on projects I couldn’t previously due to a lack of help masquerading as a lack of time. Over the course of the coming months, I’m going to be sharing a few findings on what I’ve learned. I’m looking at this course as another experiment in entrepreneurship. It should be fun! If you’re interested in the free webinar because you want to take your business to the next level, I suggest you check it out.