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I want to make a business that will outsource work?

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by iClick2Cash, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. iClick2Cash

    iClick2Cash Registered Member

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    I would want to start making money by outsourcing projects such as web design, seo, etc... and I was wondering if anyone would be able to give me any advice on this? What I wanted to do is find customers, locally, that need a website, ask them what they need and outsource the web design work to someone else for cheaper and get profit from the difference and I was wondering if this would be a good idea or bad? I was also wondering if I have to tell the customer that the work is being outsourced? And if they do ask would it be okay to just say that I've got an online team that will be doing the job? And how about tax purposes? How would I handle this? For example if I had a website to design I would pay the designer $100 and then charge the customer $200 would the $100 go for business expenses? turnover? and would I just be priced for the $100 profit? Any advice? Thanks.
     
  2. sykosiko

    sykosiko Registered Member

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    I'm doing this. It works. basically exactly as you described. I started with the hostgator method I found here on BHW (offering a free website in exchange for them to signup at HG)

    search for designers and seo help for reasonable rates, and if you work a deal with them you can lower costs. send them a steady stream of work and your costs will be low enough to make a good profit.
     
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  3. jstover77

    jstover77 Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    This is my whole business model. I sell all kinds of online advertising, and outsource 95% of the work.

    The main aspect of a successful company are:

    1) Need reliable, trustworthy, professional outsourcers****#1
    2) Need to be good with phone sales (if you go this route)
    3) Be organized
    4) If you have a good budget PPC works great (at least it does for me)

    This is a great business to be in. The online advertising and marketing industry is going to only get bigger and bigger. Plenty of money to be made.

    You can check out my site at WebTraffic2night.com to get an idea of how I do it.
     
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  4. remote2008

    remote2008 Newbie

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    The key again is to find good paying customers
     
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  5. colombiano

    colombiano Junior Member

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    Do a search for the courses on offline marketing here in the forum. If I remember right there is a very good one called "SEM Business Blueprint" You will find the info you just need.
     
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  6. 195471

    195471 Regular Member

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  7. iClick2Cash

    iClick2Cash Registered Member

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    thank you very much ppl, if i cld only rep u i wld some of these replies were really helpful, i was wondering if anyone would be able to give me any good advice on how to find ppl that would be good to outsource projects to and how to find cheap'ish yet reliable and quality ppl. thx.
     
  8. riekal

    riekal Junior Member

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    I second this. I actually outsource most of my work but it's nothing official...as I dont have a 'legal' company setup yet. Once I get my corporation up and running this info will be of much use.

     
  9. 195471

    195471 Regular Member

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    Try web development forums. There are active marketplaces at SitePoint, NetBuilders, V7N, etc. with people who are offering their services.

    Code:
    http://marketplace.sitepoint.com/
    http://www.netbuilders.org/marketplace/
    http://www.v7n.com/forums/webmaster-marketplace/
    Edit: There's also eBay "Want It Now" and Craigslist. You can advertise that you're looking for people who can do the work, and/or you can respond to people who have advertised that they offer web design or other services that you want to outsource.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  10. voidale

    voidale Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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  11. boussena

    boussena Junior Member

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    if you look for hourly freelancers try odesk
     
  12. moneyandhotgayguys

    moneyandhotgayguys Registered Member

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    The key is finding reliable people to do the work to ensure a smooth operation and to keep the clients happy. You don't want clients ask for refunds and not have the workers refund you.
     
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  13. agente808

    agente808 Regular Member

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    I do a fair amount of this, so I will put in my 2cents:

    1. There is a lot of project management / juggling - this is NOT a set-it and forget it business, you really have to be on top of deadlines.

    2. Finding customers is the easy part - and you'd better be charging more than $200 ;)
    There is a DEFINITE correlation in the customer's mind that if you charge more, then you are worth it - and most are looking to pay for quality, and know that they can get junk sites online cheap.

    3. Finding good freelancers (RELIABLE freelancers) is the hard part. Find some that you work well with, and treat them right to keep them around.

    4. You WILL waste some money (and a LOT of time) on freelancers who don't deliver, you need to keep this in mind when planning budgets and setting deadlines (give yourself LOTS of leeway for deadlines, no matter that you KNOW it could be done faster - I usually say 6-8 weeks even for a simple site).

    The freelance sources I use:
    DP forum BST threads (very wide variety of quality and price)
    rent-a-coder (I've gotten the best quality from here, especially graphics)
    scriptlance (mostly bad luck with graphics here, but some good coders)
    odesk (pricey, but best control of work actually being done)
    ... I have used others, but always end up back at these 4

    5. A slightly easier route is to find a good & reliable outsource company (google) and find out what they charge - then markup and sell their services (under your own brand)... The advantage to this when starting out is that you aren't doing nearly as much project management and you can use their portfolio to show potential clients (make sure they have a great portfolio), - The downside is that you will have a slimmer margin, but I think that especially when starting out, this is a better way to go until you know what you are doing well enough to consider sourcing it out in parts.

    --------------------------------

    My best advice for this: Stick to one type of site at first - whether that's commerce sites with Magneto or Joomla sites or Drupal sites or whatever. Find top quality providers for that ONE script then sell the heck outta that - this will make your portfolio more relevant (easier to get jobs) and make you look like an expert in your area.

    FOCUS: If you try to sell anything people want, you have to find an appropriate freelancer each time (you will waste a lot of time), you wont know as much about prices when you make your quote, and it will be harder for you to deliver on-time and on-budget. If you have a team in place for one type of site, your costs will be lower and you will be able to produce finished sites faster.
    - basically: sell what you have - don't sell something then try to find it.

    Use a good invoicing script to bill your clients (I love freshbooks - free for limited account, but there are other good ones) - this way you won't loose track of the $$$

    Create a contract to have clients sign when you start a job (especially when doing offline sales) - make sure to include very specifically what your services include and do not include - "scope creep" is a huge problem when doing this sort of work - the client "one more thing"s you to death. - Google for contract examples or Site Point sells some.

    For offline clients - I have clients sign a "work is complete and accepted" letter (and a printed screenshot of the site itself) - before I make their site "live"

    This is a job and time constraints will limit your income (this is a very hands-on business, it will not work 100% with freelancers / on auto-pilot) but you can make a good, honest income - just don't expect to make 6 figures. (unless you pull off some crazy high-margin sales)

    Whew - hope that helps
    ;)
     
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    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  14. iClick2Cash

    iClick2Cash Registered Member

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    Some very nice replies, especially from agente808. Thank you very much.
     
  15. iClick2Cash

    iClick2Cash Registered Member

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  16. BenQs

    BenQs Regular Member

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    I think there's a local business money machine in the download section.
     
  17. 195471

    195471 Regular Member

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    Yes, some files are missing. However, the whole of Module 1 is there, and that's the part that talks about how to be a broker for services such as web design, graphics arts, etc.
     
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  18. viroid

    viroid Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    For the guys that use this biz model...

    How are you getting clients? Email, snail mail, classifieds?
     
  19. Weberster

    Weberster BANNED BANNED

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    This is a great recommendation if you're looking for trust-worthy staff. Freelancer.com people weren't bad, just a little more unreliable.
     
  20. agente808

    agente808 Regular Member

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    Classifieds: I never tried it, but I suspect that most people wouldn't look for website services in the classifieds :)

    If you are really looking to work the local angle - there are several things you can do:

    Look up your local chamber of commerce and see if they will let you list your services with them (most have some sort of directory) and especially older people will look here for services.

    Put up mini posters with a web-address at cafes and other popular community bulletin boards.

    One time when people were complaining that at a particular local bank, there were never pens, I printed up 100 custom pens and left them at the bank - they used my pens for a year there before a manager made them stop... I got a few sales from that - more than enough to justify the price of the pens. :)

    Print up postcards and just drop them off at every local business you go by. (they should be colorful and include a clear description of services)

    Don't forget online - if there are any local portal type websites or forums (if not, make one ;) )

    Local newspapers and weeklies - don't bother with classifieds, but a large, well placed ad will bring in clients.

    I actually got most of my sales by just letting people know what I was doing - everyone knows someone who wants to have a website, and especially older people still prefer to purchase from someone they see in person, rather than an online service.

    Once you get the lead:

    You are mostly selling to very small businesses - they like to get to know who they are buying from and get to trust you - you will need to be friendly and knowledgeable - not salesy / pushy - they will hire you based on if they like you & think you know a lot. So you really want to be friendly and helpful and genuine.

    Most won't really understand what the website can do for them, their expectations may be way off base - you want to explain that it's similar to having a yellow pages ad - you might not get tons of sales directly related to the ad, but you have to have one (something like a laundromat won't get lots of sales based on something like this, so you have to show them the value).
    The yellow pages analogy can help them to understand pricing as well - if you have them compare the website to the cost of 3 years worth of detailed yellow page ads and explain that it's similar in terms of reach, then $600 for a small website doesn't seem out-of-line (and you can, of course, produce something high-quality for half that).

    Be very conscious of producing high-quality sites - and put a tiny link to your own site at the bottom of every site you do - this will get you sales.

    If they say they can cheaper services / your prices are too high: tell them that your work is top quality and that if they can get a website cheaper somewhere else, and that's all they care about, then they should do that (DO NOT lower your prices, they are just sounding you out) - Also, remember: you can not compete with the cheapest stuff out there, don't try. (This tactic actually got me more sales, because when they were done wasting their money on garbage, they would then come back to me)

    It's a good idea to do an "all-inclusive" deal - explain to them that they have to get a domain name, hosting, point the DNS servers correctly, etc (you want to confuse them just enough to make them really not want to do it, but don't overdo it) - then explain that your service includes all of that, but that most services don't.

    If their ideas for the website are way off and you can't seem to get them down to reality WALK AWAY - you can get caught up in trying to get the sale and end up taking on projects which are unrealistic or not profitable.

    Once you get the sale:

    Expect to do a lot of hand-holding

    Because there's nothing for the buyer to "see" they will often get anxious that nothing seems to be happening.

    Make sure you get their email up and working quickly, and post a very simple page into their domain (rather than "under construction" I would post a blank white page with their logo centered on the page)

    Give them something tangible - an idea I stole from sitepoint - Print up a nice certificate that says something like "The domain: website.com is officially owned by john doe"
    Make it look nice, like the kind of thing a small business would frame and put on the wall.

    Don't forget to get a testimonial when the project is over :) - a simple letter on the business's stationary is a nice thing to show prospective clients.
     
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