By John Rampton, founder of PPC.org.
Being an entrepreneur is hard, and finding great talent to help you scale your business can be especially difficult. However, having the right team is a major key to success in the startup world. But here’s a hint: you don’t have to be limited to people in your local area. Here is what I’ve learned about becoming a successful entrepreneur with online workers.
1. Entrepreneurs don't have time
My quest started about 3 months ago when I was searching for a researcher for my blog. I needed someone with expertise in pay-per-click marketing to write some killer posts and do research for me. I tried out several sites, but one day I was reading on a well-known affiliate marketing blog, zacjohnson.com, about oDesk. Zac said that he had used the site several times and had a lot of success finding great people to write killer posts. So I gave it a try.
I discovered that entrepreneurs like myself can leverage these talented online workers to manage their workflow more easily. The average job I post takes about two minutes to put up, and within 24 hours I typically have 30+ people that have applied for the job. The site makes it easy to navigate their profiles and choose the best contractor for each particular job, and as an entrepreneur this time in invaluable to me. Spending 30 minutes or less each day on things that I can hand over to my online team has been amazing and has helped me grow my business 10x in the past year.
2. Most entrepreneurs don’t have a lot of resources
The first project that I posted on oDesk was to find a couple of good people to write posts for my blog. I hired about 5 or 6 people, and found one in particular that worked out really well for me: a technical writer from Pakistan named Imran.
I started off having him write an article or two, then it turned into 10, then 20, then 100 articles for me. He's been one of the top writers that I have ever worked with, so I kept hiring him to complete my articles. oDesk has been there for me the whole time to facilitate the payment transactions, and one nice feature that works really well for many contractors is the ability to get paid through MoneyBookers. Many services out there don't allow this or only pay through Paypal. This has made my life very easy as Imran lives in Pakistan, where Paypal isn't accepted.
Without oDesk, I would have never been able to find the help for my blog. Since finding Imran, I have found countless other people willing to help me out and work with me on my projects and tasks, at a rate I can afford.
3. Entrepreneurs need major help, and most of the time they don't realize it
oDesk has been great for finding researchers, writers, and a variety of other helpful roles that have helped me and my business jump to the top of the search engine rankings. Entrepreneurs can benefit immensely from this. For example, the second person I hired through oDesk came to me the next day with 10 different things I needed to do with my website to make it better. I don't know if this is typical of every contractor, but I loved it. Some of his tips are still on my website today and have helped me convert many visitors.
Entrepreneurs think they can do everything, but unfortunately they can't. All they can do is work as hard as possible and do all that they can. Online teams can help take you to the next level, a level that you can't reach alone. Perhaps most importantly, with online contractors, your business can become scalable. Plus, some of the best relationships I have formed with my team have helped me realize things that I need to be doing to make my business grow, most of which I would have never known had I not found the amazing online team I have today.
So here’s my final, bonus tip: Let your business grow. Allow it to grow to be bigger than you. Build real relationships with your contractors and it will come back to you tenfold.