Last month I wrote a post about the pros and cons of outsourcing that attracted quite a bit of comments from you. This led me to believe that many of you are currently outsourcing some or all aspects of your business while others yet are hesitating (yet dreaming about it).
If you read that post then you already know how I relate to the concept of leverage. Outsourcing simply rocks! Why would you want to do all the work yourself when you can command a great team of capable professionals to do it for you?
For all it’s worth, outsourcing your business tasks can give you more time with the family, or indulging moments with your favorite book.
Nothing will guarantee success unless you use your own proven power tools to make life easier
One thing I have learned is to never type the same email or record the same video tutorial twice if you handle a growing team of workers. The aim of the game is to save time – not waste it by doing common tasks more than once.
Your own personal power tools could differ from mine so please keep this in mind, but I wanted to give you guys some insights into some of the tools I use each day to train my team and to keep them ticking to the same tune.
Jing is an awesome video recording tool that lets you record training videos up to 5 minutes (free version and paid versions). Initially I didn’t like this because my videos were often longer and never fit the time slot given. Luckily I realized that this was actually a blessing in disguise because it stopped me from waffling on while trying to show a team member how to do a certain task.
Jing also lets you take screenshots with annotations and upload to YouTube and FTP (paid version only). Read more about Jing. The secret to using this tool effectively is to build up a library with the commonly used tasks in your business. If ever you lose a team member it is very easy to get a new person up to scratch with your system by giving them access to your videos.
Generic PDF tutorials
I like to create systems that are broken down into individual tasks and PDF guides help me do just that. Say you want to teach one of your writers how to effectively write an SEO article. It’s easy if you have a template in place that shows them how.
You can create templates like this for just about any of your tasks, and group them into sections based on your business (tech, support, customer service, product creation, etc). Use Open Office to generate your PDFs on the fly.
Google Doc Spreadsheets
I manage a large team of writers with the help of Google Docs Spreadsheets. Each writer has his/her own assigned sheet that is only accessible to them and myself. Collaboration is so easy with this system because it requires minimal time input to check the schedule while giving you total control over your business.
Do you have projects that require team access? No problem, use the public folder on Dropbox.com and name it something strange that is hard to guess. Whenever you need to share a document with one of your team members, simply send them the link. I would advise against sharing sensitive information with others that way. Bots can easily access the data if it isn’t protected with some kick-ass passwords.
Win Automation is a Windows-based software and won’t work on a Mac. Despite that fact I found it worthy to be included here because it allows you to record your very own macros’ and then share them with your team. This is especially helpful if your team does a lot of backlink work.
I actually own that software myself but failed at the implementation of the macros’ and other tech aspects. Eventually when I moved to Mac it become obsolete – at least for the time being. WA can be an awesome power tool for people who outsource, because if used correctly it can save you (and your team) a ton of time. If you are on a Mac there are other ways to make your own macros’ but I suck at that so never bothered to venture further.
Feel free to share your own outsourcing power tools with us. I’m always excited to discover new things that might help me to simplify my life even more.