Learn New Skills Or Outsource?

There are plenty of marketers out there saying that you should outsource as much as you can rather than learning to do it yourself.

I tend to agree – to a point. Trying to do everything yourself is going to end up in a disaster one way or another. If you’re not a creative type then you’re going to have an ugly website. If HTML, CSS and site layout are things that you are only just learning then there’s a good chance your site will be a bit of a mess (though those of us using WordPress don’t have to worry too much about that as WP takes care of the layout).

I think you just have to be sensible. If you owned a retail store you would most likely know most of the basics – how and where to order stock, how to balance the books, how to track and maintain stock levels etc. If you plan on running your online business then you should know the basics of that business. You shouldn’t have to rely totally on outsourcing. Here’s my list of the minimum skills I think are necessary for an online business owner:

Update your site content – if you have to rely on a contractor to fix every spelling mistake, update your weekly news or make other minor content changes then it could get quite expensive. There are times when you need to be able to make changes straight away without waiting for a friendly freelancer to get the job done. If you are using Worpdress then updating your site content is as easy as using a simple word processor. If not, then you may need to learn some basic HTML.

Add/Remove affiliate links – someone might be running a weekend special or other short term promotion – you should be able to react straight away and make the necessary changes.

Update your own products – if you are selling products online then you should be able to update or change those products.

Know what’s going on – this is probably the most important. Giving control of your site to someone else who has no real interest in your site isn’t necessarily the smartest thing to do. If you are outsourcing then you need to be able to check and approve all work that is done by others on your website.

Outsourcing is a very logical step once your site is humming along and making some money. Farming out some of the day to day tasks will give you more time to concentrate on your site content, your products or services and your customers. Don’t outsource too early though. Spend enough time on your site to know the ‘ins and outs’ of it before you place those day to day tasks in someone elses hands. And always check on the work that is being done by contractors and/or freelancers.

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