Being able to properly manage your online (and offline) business may be the key to successful outsourcing & profitability. Nobody can do everything, but there are tools to manage everything.
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37Signals has been known for producing some amazing online software tools for business in the past. Does BaseCamp, their project management...(Read More)
Let me tell you a little bit of story about when I first started to build my online business...
Yes, I was a one-man team and for about a year, I grew my online ventures into a full-time career. Growth and progress were going well and then WHAM! It was like hitting a wall!
I was trying to do everything myself, but there simply was not time in the day to do it all. Plus, I wanted my stuff to look and feel more "professional". I couldn\'t be a master at everything and therefore took the leap into outsourcing tasks such as article writing, graphic design, website development, and customer support, just to name a few.
So I went on Elance (for example) and started hiring people. I hit some home runs with some great freelancers (and I had a few duds, too). But the all-stars I wanted to keep.
And for close to 2 years, I managed this team of freelancers via email and sometimes using Google Documents.
It kind of worked. But emails were missed. Deadlines were always being missed. Deliverables were getting lost. My task requests were getting forgotten.
Worse, one of my best article writers quit because she was getting fed up with the inconsistancy of the tasks I was giving her and the ultra-informal way that she was to deliver me the articles.
Further, there were a handful of incidents of missed payments on my part and unreceived deliverables on their part resulting in lost time, lost money and a crippling relationship with my designer.
I was familiar with project management tools (because Elance and Odesk have them built in), but using it with my general freelancers and people I hire on classified boards (like Craigslist) never crossed my mind.
Until I met up with a business strategist and he almost pulled out his hair because I WASN\'T using any type of project management software (not only for my freelancers, but for myself, as well).
Ever since then, I have "seen the light" and rely on my project management software to direct virtually everything in my business. The tools are not expensive and they are very simple to use. Check out the tools that I currently use to manage my businesses on a day-to-day basis.
A project management and online colloboration software should be a MUST for anyone trying to make money online.