Day: October 14, 2020

Election 2020: Mail-In Ballots, Drop Boxes and A Whole Lot of Lawsuits

Diane talks with election law professor Edward Foley about what we’re seeing and what to watch for as we approach the November 3rd general election.

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New comment by michalf6 in "Ask HN: Who wants to be hired? (October 2020)"

    Location: Europe/Poland (GMT+1/+2)
    Remote: Yes (preferred)
    Willing to relocate: Yes
    Technologies: C#, Rust, .NET, Javascript, AWS, DevOps, SQL
    Résumé/CV: https://mflak.eu/assets/resume-mf.pdf
    Email: michal@mflak.eu
    Website: https://mflak.eu
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mflak/

4 years of experience in software development, last 1.5 mostly doing DevOps. Experienced in remote work. Experience leading small teams. Used to being the generalist in a small startup.

Looking for a (mostly) development role, maybe with some infra / DevOps sprinkled in. Happy to try out things outside my expertise.

Check out my CV and let me know if I’m a good fit. Thanks!

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Is There Still Hope for the Trump Campaign?

Students debate whether the president has a path to re-election.

The Entrepreneur’s Guide of Outsourcing Work Without Losing Quality

No matter what industry you’re in, there’s always more work than time to do it.

This means that there is always something lacking, always more work to be done, and new companies often fall behind their expectations and deadlines.

One of the most insidious parts is that it leads to massive stress. According to business coach Michael Hyatt, 45% of entrepreneurs are stressed.

Outsourcing The Crazy Way We Work Infographic Michael Hyatt

So, what’s an overworked entrepreneur to do?

There are plenty of answers, and not everyone works for every type of entrepreneur. But the answer more and more business owners are turning to is a simple one: outsourcing.

Outsourcing is giving your work to someone else outside of your main business.

That could be through freelancing, or by hiring another firm (like a call center) to handle segments of your business.

You could even outsource by shipping a business process like manufacturing overseas.

For most small business owners, however, this simply means having someone outside the business do work.

But the inevitable question arises: how do you make sure the quality stays the same?

Other people outside your company don’t have the same understanding of your cultural values and the same drive to produce high-quality work, right?

Well, not so fast.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about outsourcing while avoiding mistakes that could cost you in quality.

But before we can cover specific strategies, you need to know why you want to outsource.

Understand Why You Want to Outsource

At the end of the day, the only reason you should outsource should be because you can make more money by outsourcing than by not outsourcing.

While it may sound exciting to outsource, it doesn’t make sense unless it makes financial sense.

In the same way, outsourcing isn’t a method to do more nonessential tasks. Use outsourcing as a tool to drive sales and revenue.

That said, it helps to look at where you could improve your efficiency and revenue generation through outsourcing.

According to Wasp Barcode Technologies, the five biggest challenges facing small businesses center around employee management and profit.

They are hiring new employees, increasing profit, employee healthcare, growing revenue, and cash flow.

outsourcing understand challenges

Any outsourcing you do should help you reach three of those goals (increasing profit, growing revenue, or increasing cash flow) while bypassing new employee hassles.

Here’s how to find out exactly what you can outsource and what you can’t.

Make a List of Common Tasks

I recommend taking a hard look at how you’re spending your time currently, and adjust based on what the data tells you.

To get started, I recommend you track your time with RescueTime. It’s a simple app that lives hidden on your computer and tracks your productivity.

Figure out what to outsource with RescueTime Time management software

After you’ve run it for a few months, find what tasks to outsource. To review where you’re spending your time, click on the RescueTime icon in the menu bar.

outsource how to use rescue time

Select “Go to Dashboard…” from the menu.

how to outsource using rescue time menu

On the dashboard, you’ll be presented with an overview of how you’ve spent your time.

Outsource RescueTime Your Daily dashboard

Click on the upper right-hand corner option for Reports. Select Applications & Websites.

Outsource with RescueTime Your Daily dashboard 1

Choose the timeframe you’d like to view.

outsource see RescueTime All Activities 1

From this, you can see what areas required most of your time earlier.

Typically, the biggest areas are your core competencies. Unless you’re massively mismanaging your time, these are areas where you excel.

As you look toward other programs that take up your time, however, you’ll probably notice activities with a lower overall quality.

These are activities with diminishing returns. Typically, these are your best candidates for outsourcing.

RescueTime All Activities

Find Tasks You’re Not Very Good At

The second method to understanding opportunities for outsourcing is by looking at areas where you (or your current employees) don’t excel.

This provides you with huge benefits.

First, you’ll be able to have these tasks done by someone who is more adept at them.

This means you won’t have to worry about your employees messing up on a task they truly don’t understand very well.

Second, you’ll be able to achieve these tasks with an economy of scale.

If you need help with paid ads, for example, you can hire an agency to handle the design, implementation, and testing.

This is more cost-efficient than hiring all of these employees on a part-time basis, or expecting one full-time employee at your company to understand each of these skills.

Third, you’ll be able to focus on what’s most important.

At its heart, focusing on the core competencies of your business and delegating the rest is really what makes for a successful company.

Most of the time, this will be the biggest benefit of your outsourcing. By letting someone else handle your payroll or other tasks, you can dedicate more time to shipping a better product.

Focusing on core issues was the top reason for outsourcing, tied with reducing operation costs, according to Link Vista Digital.

Infographic How Outsourcing Works jpg 4058 8299

So now that you know what to outsource, there are a few pitfalls you need to be wary of.

These are areas where you should actively seek to avoid outsourcing and hold them close to your main business.

What Not to Outsource

There is such a thing as too much outsourcing. If you start letting others handle the tasks where your company excels, you can lose ground.

If you can outsource everything, then your competitors are only a few freelancers away from beating you at your own game.

First, you should make sure something isn’t your core competency. While you may think this is your core business, a core competency isn’t necessarily in the products you produce.

There are plenty of authors who have ghostwriters write their books. But since they maintain the basic ideas and framework that makes the books successful, the model works for them.

The secret is really in your competitive advantage.

What sets you apart? What makes your product different than everything else out there? What passion, focus, or choices define your business?

The perfect example of this is Apple. While Apple outsources most of its manufacturing, the design is still done in-house.

Anybody can make a smartphone, but only Apple can make it look like an iPhone.

If you know something is not a core competency or part of your competitive advantage, there are two questions you need to ask.

First, is this just something I’m doing to save money?

Oftentimes, there are good reasons to outsource that involve money. But there are also times when the money is well spent.

If you’re considering outsourcing your customer service to save money, for example, you’ll likely grow in frustration.

Not every task is purely based on the money at stake, and you may actually lose money in the long-term by only focusing on money in the short-term.

Finally, you need to ask if this is just because you don’t like doing a task.

While it can be nice to think of outsourcing a project that you don’t want to do, this is often a mistake.

Critical parts of your company, like sales or hiring, are often the least fun parts of an entrepreneur’s job.

But if you outsource these, you’ll start to notice a difference in the company.

These are skills you’ll need to learn (or hire someone who can learn them), and outsourcing simply isn’t a long-term solution.

Now that you know what to outsource, let’s start with the first level of outsourcing.

How To Outsource Your Work With Software

Technically, this isn’t hiring another person to handle your tasks for you, but it’s a great way to reduce the workload.

There are tons of advantages to outsourcing with software. It’s usually much more affordable than an employee, and technology won’t take breaks or stop working (usually).

You should always look for a software solution before a human solution. Here are three areas to look for when you’re considering outsourcing to computers.

Automate

A surprising number of rote processes can be automated, including marketing and notification tasks.

If you noticed that you’re spending any period of time doing something over and over again on the computer, there’s a good chance you can switch these over to software.

The time saving to be gained is no small feat. 94% of marketers who automate say it has improved their company’s performance, according to MDG Advertising.

Outsourcing: 7 Resolutions Every Marketer Should Make for 2017 Infographic

There are a handful of tools that can make your life simpler. For basic tasks, I recommend the free tool IFTTT.

Outsource with IFTTT 1

IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. It handles basic integrations with your email program, Google Docs, and hundreds of other pieces of software.

It’s a great way to record your invoices, share posts across social media, or get a text notification if an important client emails you.

While most of the tasks it handles seem small, they can add up quickly and save you countless hours each week.

More advanced tasks call for a more advanced tool, and that’s where Zapier comes in.

outsource with software The best apps Better together Zapier

Zapier is, at its heart, a more complex version of IFTTT. Unlike IFTTT, it’s not free, but the software functionality more than accounts for its price.

With Zapier, you can send bonuses to customers who email you, categorize and log customer feature request emails, and import new Stripe customers into your CRM.

If you spend a few weeks building frequent systems into Zapier, you can easily save an extra few hours or even a part-time position with automation.

But what is something truly require a human touch? Well, you might not be able to automate it, but you can probably shorten the time it takes to complete.

Shorten, Not Eliminate

Not every task has to be eliminated entirely for it to work at peak performance.

If you can use technology to shorten a task, it might transform it into something that doesn’t require outsourcing or another form of extra labor.

One of my favorite tools for this is TextExpander. This is a simple tool that will auto-expand snippets of text.

Outsource with TextExpander Productivity App Text Expander

If you use a common header for your articles, for example, you can type a few keys and have it auto-populate the phrase.

It’s a lifesaver that can shave off weeks, one minute at a time.

For example, if you write a common response to your most popular emails, you can reduce your email time from an unwieldy two hours to a manageable thirty minutes.

This takes a task that would otherwise need to be outsourced to an expensive employee and allows you to handle it with just a fraction of your workday.

There are other ways to do this as well.

Becoming familiar with common keyboard shortcuts and time-saving apps can save plenty of time and make some outsourcing tasks not necessary at all.

But there’s one more reason you might want to use technology to help: managing the asynchronicity problem.

Solve The Asynchronicity Problem

At its simplest, the asynchronicity problem is that you can’t work all the time. There’s a simple issue with being in real-time and not being able to work in real-time (at least not all the time!)

To fix this, you can use technology that mimics real-time interaction without you needing to be on the other end of a keyboard.

The most common example of this is social media. Social media needs constant interaction, but it is impossible to be online all the time.

I recommend using marketing automation to save hours of work, while getting the same amount done.

There are a variety of tools that make this easier. One I recommend is Hootsuite, which will allow you to prepare social media updates in advance.

Automate Social Media Marketing Management Dashboard Hootsuite 1

A more unique option is Edgar, which lets you schedule posts that continue even after your list of updates to send is empty by cycling through a library of content.

Outsource with Meet Edgar The Social Media Scheduling Tool That Manages Itself

And finally, Buffer allows you to set up a queue of posts that you want to share on a variety of social media channels.

Outsource with Social Media Management Platform Buffer

These tools allow you to work asynchronously with the time constraints you have. In other words, you can put in a set block of time and reap the results at other times later.

By batching these tasks, you may be able to reap the benefits without hiring a new employee.

Finally, you can work asynchronously on email as well. Using a tool like ContactMonkey, you can easily schedule emails to delay and send later.

This allows you to send new leads emails throughout the week without needing to schedule them each day.

Outsorce with Email Tracking Salesforce Integration for Outlook Gmail ContactMonkey

But software has its limitations, and you may find that you need to outsource your tasks to humans to do more advanced work.

Here’s where to start:

Outsourcing Business Systems

Sometimes there are processes and systems your business needs that you simply shouldn’t handle on your own.

For example, every business needs to file taxes every year. But most small businesses choose to outsource this to an accounting firm or CPA.

Why?

Because this kind of specialized tax know-how is something a small business only needs a few times a year!

It’s much cheaper to hire out that part of the business rather than hiring a new employee who doesn’t have enough to do most of the year.

How to Decide Who to Use for Outsourcing Your Business Systems

For each of these, I recommend looking into an established firm.

The level of expertise for each of these areas is important and may even have legal requirements, so it’s important to choose a company you trust.

For these areas, you should not browse freelancers online. Instead, look carefully for a firm that meets your needs.

Depending on your situation, consider the following criterion.

  • Local: If you’re a local business in need of constant communication, you should look for a company in the area. This is also applicable if you will need the firm to be physically present, whether it’s for setting up a new IT system or scanning last year’s tax documents.
  • Expertise: Sometimes, your industry is so specialized, you need a firm that serves your specific needs. Companies that work with a niche, like HR management for tech startups, will be able to understand your unique needs best.
  • Experience: This is a must for any company that deals with important information, like taxes or legal paperwork. Whatever firm you decide to use, look for a company that knows what they’re doing and has references and data to support their claims.

Finance & Accounting

The most common example of business outsourcing is finance and accounting, or F&A.

The problem isn’t just in the amount of time an in-house team has to dedicate to the work.

Larger accounting firms can afford software and resources that in-house employees will never have access to.

This lack of resources is a major struggle for teams with in-house F&A staff, according to Consero.

In house vs Outsource Infographic Consero Global

As a result, numerous small businesses outsource this kind of work.

While many pursue local options, like an accounting firm down the street or a CPA recommended by a friend, more and more businesses are using online services.

Timber Tax, for example, specializes in taxes for freelancers and consultants.

This specialization makes them a perfect fit for freelance entrepreneurs who may not have a specialized CPA in the area.

Outsource with Timber Tax

Human Resources

While it might seem crazy to outsource the management of the employees that make up your venture, human resources is quickly growing into a prominent outsourcing industry.

Outsourcing through HR service providers grew by 27% in 2016, and most HR service providers expect that growth to continue, according to Prism HR.

2017 HR Outsourcing Trends Infographic FINAL jpg 650 1596

If you’re a small company without a large staff, this not seem like the right place to start.

As any large company can attest to, however, HR can be a massive expense in terms of both time and money. Consider outsourcing this to focus on the core of your business.

Information Technology

While businesses of the past usually relied on in-house IT personnel, today’s companies see the value in outsourcing this part of the puzzle.

Though it’s nice to have a full-time employee handling issues when they arise, it can be an extra unnecessary expense.

Currently, outsourced IT work like project-based and statement of work (SOW) tasks are now equal to staff increases for IT work, according to TekSystems.

Outsourcing data 2017 forecast infographic jpg 850 2672

If you haven’t already started outsourcing some of your IT needs, go ahead and begin now.

Legal

Few small businesses have the legal expertise in-house to handle the increasing number of requirements local and national laws demand.

For the more challenging parts of your business, consider hiring an outside attorney for legal advice and consulting.

Legal process outsourcing is on the rise in almost every subsector, according to Cogneesol.

Legal Support Outsourcing jpg 1200 3880

This is one of the areas where experience and locality are critical.

Be sure to find a firm that is well-versed in the specifics of your local laws and has a track record of giving successful advice to businesses similar to yours.

Outsource Auxiliary Business Tasks

The best place to start with outsourcing is by letting someone else hand auxiliary business tasks.

These are tasks that are an integral part of your core business, but aren’t part of your competitive advantage.

While these don’t always have to be outsourced, it can be a wise idea to do so.

Repeatable Tasks

If you do something the same way every day, there’s a good chance you can find someone else who can do it for less, give it more focus, and improve your efficiency.

To calculate these tasks, I recommend calculating your wage per hour.

Estimate how much time you’re spending on your most important tasks, and whether or not you could hire someone for less than you’re effectively getting paid for those tasks.

Once you know what your least critical tasks are, and delegate as you see fit.

Simple projects like data entry, calculations, and formatting can be handled by others. To get this started, find a task you do often.

Then, create a screencast of the project. If you’re on a Mac, I recommend Tapes.

You can quickly create a screencast demonstrating the exact procedure.

Outsourcing Tapes for Mac Share Screencasts Fast

Once you have the procedure recorded, have another person write it up. This is a document you can use as a resource moving forward.

With this process, the person you outsource the work to can complete tasks quickly and painlessly — and get them off your plate!

Consider this: 82% of companies that outsource data say it enhanced their overall management, according to Cogneesol.

Why is Outsourcing Data Entry So Popular Visual ly

Website Design and Maintenance

Unless you’re a website development firm, there’s really no reason to maintain your own website.

As mentioned earlier, this is something that another company can do for a better, more cost-effective measure and you can pay for with the economies of scale.

If you’ve already designed your own website, look to outsource this work next time you need to update.

Content Generation

Perhaps the biggest opportunity for outsourcing is through content generation. This is a great way to start with outsourcing,  especially if this is a new area for you.

The most common outsourced content marketing activity is writing, with 44% of marketers using it.

As I’ve mentioned before, it takes tons of work to write and promote content that goes viral. Having an experienced writer or promoter do the heavy lifting can save you tons of time.

However, there’s still room to grow, with two-thirds of marketers outsourcing less than one-third of their content, according to Fronetics.

2017 1 26 13 Stats About Outsourcing Content Marketing page 001 1 jpg 900 1749

If you currently have someone creating content for you — or if you do it yourself — you can almost always find a ghostwriter to produce content for a fraction of the price.

Again, keep in mind your hourly wage and the value of your activities. Chances are, writing isn’t the most valuable thing you could be doing with your time.

For starters, you should consider outsourcing an editor to make you a more productive writer.

The secret to success with outsourcing your content is to have a few examples of premade content to explain what you’re looking for.

You also need a clear content plan that you’d like to produce.

But how do you make sure you don’t get stuck with a freelancer who is a total flop?

How to Land a Killer Freelancer Every Time

If you want to get a great freelancer for a specific job, there are a few steps you can take to make sure the person you hire does an excellent job.

Use this three-part framework to ensure that you get someone who is not only well-qualified for your work, but will do it at a fair price.

1. Research Your Price

Before you look to hire a freelancer, you need to have a budget in mind. Understand that while outsourcing is cheaper, you shouldn’t be looking for the cheapest option.

Software outsourcing, for example, costs a minimum of $70/hour in North America, according to Accelerance.

outsourcing costs

And while you can go as low as $20-40 and hour in Asia, you will sacrifice important benefits such as English language fluency and workday overlap.

Before you get started, do your research. Understand exactly what you should pay for the project you want done, and know what a fair price range is.

It’s also a good idea to make a list of what features are most important to you.

Do you need someone proficient in English? Is clean code important, or do you only care if the final software project works?

These are important questions to decide before you start receiving bids from freelancers.

2. Explain Your Project Fully

What a lot of entrepreneurs don’t realize is that the success of freelancers often depends on the project specifications they write.

A pitch for a job with a vague description may end up with a variety of quotes.

Choosing the lowest price may ultimately mean choosing the freelancer with the least amount of understanding of what the project entails.

Rather than undergo this kind of chaos, explain the precise deliverables for the project you’d like the freelancer to complete for you.

The primary site for hiring freelancers is Upwork, and I’ll show you how to write a detailed description on there.

Upwork Hire Freelancers outsource work

If you’re using another platform, you can easily adapt these same principles.

To get started, sign up or log in to your Upwork account. Click on Post a New Job.

My Jobs Stephen Roe Upwork outsource tips

You’ll be presented with the Post a Job page. If you’ve posted before, you can reuse an old job. Otherwise, move to the next section.

Job Postings outsource tips

Choose a category and subcategory. Make sure you get this right, as you might not attract the right kind of freelancers if you post in the wrong category!

Job Postings outsource work

Now it’s time to describe the job. This is where you need to be as specific and detailed as possible.

Give your project a simple and clear heading. In the description section, provide as many details as you can.

If possible, I recommend attaching files to demonstrate inspirations for the project, current designs you want to emulate, or other resources for the freelancer.

Job Postings outsource work

For Upwork to accurately select the right kinds of freelancers for the job you have, you need to select a few different parameters about the project.

If you’re just starting, I would recommend doing a small piece-meal project.

If something goes wrong, it’s better to have it happen on a $100 presentation design task than a $30,000 website development project.

Select one-time project and one freelancer. Enter any skills they might need to complete your project successfully.

Finally, list when the project starts.

Job Postings for outsourcing

Next, you need to decide your Rate and Availability. This is where your earlier price research will come in handy.

Choose how you’d like to pay and the experience level you’re looking for.

You’ll also select the time frame for the job. Again, for the short job type I recommend you start with, choose a short time range (one month to one week).

Job Postings outsourcing example

Decide who can find and apply to your job. I recommend the default option, though you may have higher quality results with just Upwork users.

Don’t select only freelancers you invite unless you already have done a few projects. It’s best to see who’s interested first.

The other questions are optional. If you feel they are important, you can specify preferred qualifications, screening questions, and a cover letter.

I haven’t found these necessary for small jobs, though.

Job Postings outsourcing example

Finally, click Post Job.

Job Postings upwork outsourcing

Once your post is live for a few hours, you’ll start to get freelancers bidding for your job.

This is where the fun begins!

3. Learn About the Freelancers Who Bid

Once you post a job, freelancers on Upwork will post bids based on your specifications. Before you choose a freelancer, you need to do your research on him or her.

Here’s a candidate who bid on one of my projects. I’ve clicked on his profile to see all of his details.

outsourcing compare freelancers example

The three most important figures for me are his Job Success Score, work history, and languages.

Job Success Score is an indicator of the feedback a freelancer receives from previous clients. At 93%, Goran J. has a solid rating.

His work history tells me that he’s spent over 500 hours on Upwork with 76 jobs, which is a good amount to have a process and track record for solid work.

And finally, he’s fluent in English. This makes the communication process much easier, and he’ll understand any revisions I need to make.

If you want to dive deeper into customer feedback, you can review the Work History and Feedback section of the freelancer.

I prefer to sort by lowest rated, to see what issues (if any) are common complaints.

Since most freelancers offer revisions, you shouldn’t see many negative reviews. A slew of negative feedback usually means the freelancer wasn’t very accommodating to clients.

Outsource example of looking for freelancers

Thankfully, Goran J. has excellent feedback. The lowest rating he’s received was “no feedback given,” and the lowest recorded score was 4.30.

He’s a solid candidate based on previous experience.

How to find a freelancer for outsourcing

Now that we know he’s qualified for the job, let’s make sure his work quality matches what clients have said.

Most freelancers on Upwork include a portfolio where you can review previous work.

Unlike a low Job Success Score or poor customer feedback, there’s no right or wrong answer with a portfolio.

You’re just making sure you like their style.

If you follow these steps to vetting the freelancers who apply for your job postings, you’re sure to get a killer job done each time.

How to Make Ongoing Outsourcing Projects Successful

When you first venture into the world of outsourcing, you might hear horror stories of ongoing freelancers who rack up massive bills, deliver work long past deadlines, or give up on a project halfway through.

This is easy to prevent for a quick foray into freelancing with a small task.

But what if you have a larger, ongoing project? How can you ensure quality work while still maintaining a fair price?

The answer is just as simple as landing a quality freelancer for a small project: there are a few key steps to ensure a perfect fit.

Invest More in the Outsourcing Selection Process

Since you’ll be working with someone for a longer period of time, it’s important that they are a good fit for your projects.

To do this, you’ll want to set up a more rigorous process for finding the right freelancers.

I recommend adding a random test question to your application to weed out anyone who won’t follow directions.

Requiring a unique subject line or another kind of “password” is a simple way to see who is willing to pay attention to small requests.

To get the right person, you also need to expand your entries. Have at least three people in your sights, then choose the one that works best for your project.

I recommend requiring a paid test project from at least three people. Yes, it can be expensive to pay multiple people for the same work, but think of it as an investment.

It’s better to find out early on that they aren’t able to handle a project before entrusting them with mission-critical work.

Finally, conduct a video chat interview with your shortlisted candidates. This ensures they can show up to an appointment and make sure you get along.

Communicate Regularly

Regular communication is vital to keeping your team aligned with the goals of your venture.

After having a video chat interview in the beginning, work to maintain this level of communication.

Make sure they jive with your process and can show up and be available. I use Skype for communication with my remote team.

Everyone seems to already know how to use it, and it’s simple to use.

Another tool helpful for work discussions with remote teams is Slack. If you’re unfamiliar with the tool, it’s a messaging and chat app for working teams.

Slack Where work happens outsource communication

This is a great way to stay updated with the newest developments on the project and make sure each freelancer is on the same page as the rest of the company.

Share Documents and Monitor Progress

Last but not least, you need the ability to share documents easily.

This is especially important in content marketing, where edits can quickly become tiresome if you need to send documents back and forth.

I recommend Google Docs for this, as it makes it easy to communicate with my editor and collaborate.

Google Drive is helpful for maintaining large file collections. This is helpful if you have a queue for content marketing and need to prepare content in advance.

Google Drive allows you to create shared folders that everyone in your editorial team (writers, editors, publishers, etc.) can all review.

outsource communication Google Drive Cloud Storage File Backup for Photos Docs More

Finally, Dropbox is a powerful tool that allows you to share a variety of files, from templates to logos, with other members of your team.

It’s a great way to keep the branding on point and prevent a freelancer from accidentally use an old version of your logo.

Dropbox to communicate with outsource freelancers

Before you begin a large project, make sure you onboard everyone with the tools you’ll be using. Provide them with accounts and teach them how to use the tools if necessary.

With those basic precautions in place, you can go about with an ongoing project that’s guaranteed massive success.

Conclusion

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to get more done in less time, outsourcing is a solution you should consider.

While it doesn’t work for every situation, outsourcing the least vital parts of your work is a surefire way to increase your efficiency.

If you use the right techniques and do your research, you can ensure that your outsourced work has the same impact of the projects you finish yourself.

What techniques will you use to outsource without losing quality?

The post The Entrepreneur’s Guide of Outsourcing Work Without Losing Quality appeared first on Neil Patel.

The Ultimate Guide to B2B Local SEO

Is your company tapping into its local customers through B2B local SEO?

Although business-to-consumer (B2C) brands often leverage local marketing, business-to-business (B2B) ones tend to take a broader approach.

B2B brands without storefronts are even more likely to have their local marketing strategies slip through the cracks.

That said, there are enormous opportunities for B2B companies to tap into the local market’s power. 

46% of all Google searches are local, so if you’re not targeting people in your area, you may be missing nearly half of your potential consumers.

Consumers regularly search online reviews and research businesses in which they’re interested. This trend continues to grow—a BrightLocal study showed 90% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 33% looking every day.

Are you wondering how to attract local customers? The answer is deceptively simple: optimize your local search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

Let’s dive into critical areas and explore the best ways to enhance your B2B local SEO strategy.

What is B2B Local SEO?

B2B local SEO is about improving your online search visibility for nearby customers in your physical service area.

There are several ways in which local SEO varies from traditional SEO. Several ranking factors can move the needle in different ways.

Some of these include a searcher’s location, your Google My Business listing, online reviews, your website’s mobile optimization, and more.

Begin the process with a B2B local SEO audit. This will help you define which areas need enhancement.

When done right, local search engine optimization will help your website rank higher for specific, relevant searches.

When you rank higher, you become more visible to searchers. Higher visibility in local searches often leads to more sales, leads, conversions, and revenue.

Create and Optimize Business Listings

Once your audit is complete, you can focus on tactics to take your B2B local SEO presence to the next level.

Start the process of optimizing your business for B2B local SEO by getting everything squared away with Google.

First, audit your Google My Business listing. There are several guidelines for representing your business on Google.

Most importantly, to get a Google My Business profile, your company must engage with customers—in person. This means you need a physical address, not a P.O. box or virtual office address. Businesses that travel to customers may also qualify.

This may make it seem like only B2C companies qualify. But, this isn’t necessarily true. Google has an array of categories, and many apply to B2B brands.

Major categories include food establishments, attractions, professional services, personal services, entertainment, retailers, transportation, and more. If you provide any services to companies, your B2C is likely eligible for Google My Business.  

The way you represent your business on Google should be consistent with how you showcase your business to the world.

Ensuring all the information on your Google My Business page is accurate is also critical to local SEO for B2B marketing.

When someone searches for your business, if your Google My Business is set up correctly, your listing appears in a box on the right side of Google’s search results.

It contains all the basics about your business, along with reviews. If you don’t fill out your address, phone number, website, and hours, local customers won’t find you as easily.

Then, there are the results that appear at the top of a Google search when someone searches for something more general, like “printing services in Las Vegas.”

Ahrefs refers to these as “snack pack” results.

The “snack pack” box displays the top local business listings most relevant to the search, along with a map showing where each is located.

b2b local seo example

Google’s customer reviews are also vital. They help increase transparency and establish trust in your brand. You can also gain a lot of insights into your customers’ perceptions through them.

Both positive and negative feedback can tell you a great deal about how your business is faring in the “real world.” Use these reviews to improve your business.

Content Marketing and B2B Local SEO

Creating content is a great way to optimize for B2B local SEO. You want people to find you quickly, and there are many ways to get your business on page one of Google fast.  

Perhaps most importantly, you need to use specific keywords related to your industry, products, and area of expertise.

When people search for those terms, your website is more likely to show up if you included them.

Your homepage should clearly illustrate your business. Your “About” and “Contact Us” pages should also feature details your customers may want to know.

This goes for both front- and back-end content. Your title tags, header tags, and meta descriptions should also contain vital information about the business.

Conduct keyword research and determine which ones make the most sense for your business.

The keywords should be contextually relevant and make sense for the audience you’re targeting. In other words, quality matters over quantity.

Ensuring your keywords fit from a regional perspective is also important for b2b local SEO.

While using broad keywords may drive traffic, those visiting may not be the most suitable leads based on location.

This is where strategizing for local customers comes into play.

By integrating region-specific keywords—like city or landmark names—into your content, you’ll be better able to connect with the relevant audience in your area.

Think about how you can give value to this audience in particular. What might they, specifically, be searching for? Create content answering the questions they commonly ask.

Create such content in either written or video form—or a mix of both. Video content is becoming more expected by audiences.

Research by Valasys Media suggests visual storytelling may benefit B2B marketers because:

  1. It simplifies content for the users.
  2. It conveys lots of information quickly.
  3. It strikes a more emotional chord with prospects.
  4. It improves personalization and invokes a perceived “personal value.”
  5. It’s often timeless.

Take your region into consideration when creating your stories. How wide should you cast your net? Are you targeting a city or a whole state?

Additionally, research the most effective local base to target for the best ROI.

Link Building and B2B Local SEO

Link building is another pillar of local content marketing strategy. We touched upon link categories before, and they come into play with link building.

If possible, garner links back to your website and digital assets from a variety of local sources.

These may include local directories, industry-related sites, partner sites, chambers of commerce and other organizations, and newspapers’ sites.

A great way to have other sites link to you is to create and promote a useful resource. For example, say you’re a local medical clinic that provides flu shots to businesses, and flu season is approaching. You could create a guide about the best ways to avoid the flu at the office.

This type of guide is something from which anyone can learn, and it’d be beneficial for other sites to feature it.

Many chambers of commerce websites also have areas where local businesses can promote offers.

For example, the Newport Chamber of Commerce has a specials page where various B2B brands like office space and printing services offer deals.

Mobile Marketing and B2B Local SEO

Mobile marketing is a critical aspect of B2B local SEO, as 50% of B2B search queries are from mobile devices.

Since people have their phones with them all the time, they’re able to search more proactively than in the past.

Search Engine Journal compiled some fascinating stats on mobile search trends related to local SEO. Did you know 18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day? Or that 78% of local-based searches on a mobile device end in purchases made offline?

Keep these mobile trends in mind when boosting your local online presence. Make sure your website and landing pages are optimized for mobile devices.

Your digital strategy for B2B local SEO should also include social media, which is primarily accessed through mobile devices. Facebook and Instagram have local components that let you include instructions and allow customers to geo-tag your business when they post about it.

There are many ways people search for businesses on their smartphones. This is why having your Google My Business listing up to date is imperative.

Whether your customer is planning in advance or already on the way, you want to make sure to reach them wherever they are.

The Benefits of B2B Local SEO          

Why is b2b local SEO important? Because you have a greater potential of driving in-person traffic to your business when you target your local audience.

For a relatively low-cost, you can draw in people who are searching for your type of business.

Diversifying your online presence across various channels has further benefits as well. Many third-party websites and platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other similar directory-like sites are becoming more advanced.

They also have their own audiences, who wouldn’t find you as easily if those directories are their go-to search options.

In addition to maximizing your presence on Google and other websites, optimize your website for local search.

For example, if you’re a dog groomer in San Diego, integrate keywords like “dog groomer in San Diego” so you have specifically mentioned your location.

When people in your region are conducting local searches for “dog groomers near me,” you’ll rank for those, too—but only if Google knows where you’re located.

The key to ranking for “[your term] near me” is to start by Googling that specific phrase or your local-specific phrase that you want to rank for.

When you do that, you’ll be able to see all the localized sites from which Google is pulling. Make sure you’re listed there—if you’re not, you need to figure out why. Have you made your location clear?

If you live in Boston, for instance, there are many suburbs, landmarks, etc. On your website, list different nearby features like these. It could also be beneficial to include directions to your business from those specific places.

Ensure you also have a localized number and not just an 800 number, so people know you’re really there.

Furthermore, when people look for a specific service, they’ll often visit various touchpoints.

For instance, they may land on your website and then go to Yelp to read reviews. This is why having a listing there is essential.

After providing services, ask customers to leave reviews.

Conclusion       

Local businesses can hugely benefit from strategic SEO plans.

Think about how many people use their mobile devices to search for local businesses.

There are many ways to get your business found online, from keyword optimization to link building tactics and local listings.

Which b2b local SEO tactics have been most fruitful for your B2B business?

The post The Ultimate Guide to B2B Local SEO appeared first on Neil Patel.

100 Relaxing Music Youtube Channels To Follow in 2020

Top 100 Relaxing Music Youtube Channels Submit Your Channel SUBMIT BLOG Contents [show] ⋅About this list & ranking Relaxing Music Youtube Channels Soothing Relaxation Yellow Brick Cinema – Relaxing Music Meditation Relax Music 321 Relaxing – Meditation Relax Clips Relax Music relaxdaily OCB Relax Music Meditation & Relaxation – Music channel Balu – Relaxing Nature SleepMusicRelaxZone – […]

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Best Recession Business Credit Cards for Average Credit

Are you looking for recession business credit cards for average credit? It may seem harder with the novel coronavirus changing our society. But it can still be done! Average personal credit does not have to be an obstacle to getting credit. Yes, you can get funding even now, and it does not have to come from the Small Business Administration.

Check out how – we can show you how.

Get the Recession Best Business Credit Cards for Average Credit

Are you searching for the best recession business credit cards for average credit? Then look no further, for we have done the research on cards and a number of different perks, too!

Per the SBA, business credit card limits are a whopping 10 – 100 times that of consumer cards!

This demonstrates you can get a lot more money with small business credit. And it also means you can have personal credit cards at retailers. So you would now have an extra card at the same stores for your company.

And you will not need collateral, cash flow, or financial data in order to get business credit.

Business Credit Card Benefits

Benefits can differ. So, make certain to pick the perk you like from this selection of options.

Secure Recession Business Credit Cards for Fair to Poor Credit, Not Requiring a Personal Guarantee

Brex Card for Startups

Have a look at the Brex Card for Startups. It has no annual fee.

You will not need to provide your Social Security number to apply. And you will not need to supply a personal guarantee. They will take your EIN.

Nevertheless, they do not accept every industry.

Likewise, there are some industries they will not work with, as well as others where they want more paperwork. For a list, go here: https://brex.com/legal/prohibited_activities/.

To determine creditworthiness, Brex checks a business’s cash balance, spending patterns, and investors.

You can get 7x points on rideshare. Get 4x on Brex Travel. Likewise, get triple points on restaurants. And get double points on recurring software payments. Get 1x points on everything else.

You can have bad credit (even a 300 FICO) to qualify.

Find it here: https://brex.com/lp/startups-higher-limits/

Establish business credit fast and beat the recession with our research-backed guide to 12 business credit cards and lines. Improve your average credit!

Recession Business Credit Cards with a 0% Introductory APR – Pay Zero!

Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Check out the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. It has no yearly fee. There is a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months. Afterwards, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.

Get double Membership Rewards® points on day to day business purchases like office supplies or client dinners for the initial $50,000 spent per year. Get 1 point per dollar afterwards.

You will need great to superb credit scores to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/bluebusinessplus-credit-card/

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

Also take a look at the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card. Note: the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card is identical to the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. Yet its rewards are in cash rather than points.

Get 2% cash back on all qualified purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year. After that get 1%.

It has no yearly fee. There is a 0% introductory APR for the initial one year. Afterwards, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.

You will need great to exceptional credit to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/business-bluecash-credit-card/

Establish business credit fast and beat the recession with our research-backed guide to 12 business credit cards and lines. Improve your average credit!

Recession Business Credit Cards for Average Credit for Low APR/Balance Transfers

+Discover it® Cash Back

Take a look at the Discover it® Cash Back card. There is a 10.99% introductory APR for six months from date of first transfer. So, this is for transfers under this offer which post to your account by January 10, 2019.

After the introductory APR expires, your APR will be 14.99% to 23.99%. So, this is based on your creditworthiness. Your APR will vary with the market, which is based upon the Prime Rate.

Details

You can earn 5% cash back at different places every quarter. So, these are establishments like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs. But this is up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, automatically earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

You will get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you have gotten at the end of your first year, automatically.

Get it here: https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/cash-back/it-card.html

Terrific Recession Business Credit Cards for Cash Back

Flat-Rate Rewards

Capital One ® Spark® Cash for Business

Take a look at the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. It has an introductory $0 annual fee for the first year. After that, this card costs $95 annually. There is no introductory APR deal. The regular APR is a variable 18.49%.

You can get a $500 one-time cash bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. Get unlimited 2% cash back. Redeem any time without any minimums.

You will need good to exceptional credit scores to qualify.

Find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-cash/

Flat-Rate Rewards and No Annual Fee

Discover it® Business Card

Check out the Discover it® Business Card. It has no annual fee. There is an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for year. After that the regular APR is a variable 14.49 – 22.49%.

Get unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no category restrictions or bonuses. They double the 1.5% Cashback Match™ at the end of the first year. There is no minimum spend requirement.

You can download transactions| quickly to Quicken, QuickBooks, and Excel. Note: you will need good to superb credit scores to get approval for this card.

https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/business/

Boosted Cash Back Categories

Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards MasterCard® credit card

Check out the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards MasterCard® credit card. Get an 0% introductory APR for the first 9 billing cycles of the account. Afterwards, the APR is 13.74% – 23.74% variable. There is no annual fee. You can get a $300 statement credit offer.

Get 3% cash back in the category of your choice. So these are filling stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services. Get 2% cash back on dining. So this is for the initial $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year. Then earn 1% after, with no limits.Recession Business Credit Cards for Fair Credit Suite

You will need excellent credit to qualify.

Find it here: https://promo.bankofamerica.com/smallbusinesscards2/

Recession Business Credit Cards for Fair Credit Scores

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Have a look at the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business. It has no annual fee. There is no introductory APR offer. The regular APR is a variable 24.49%. You can get unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase for your company, without any minimum to redeem.

While this card is within reach if you have fair credit scores, beware of the APR. But if you can pay on schedule, and in full, then it’s a bargain.

Find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-classic/

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Recession Business Credit Cards for Average Credit for Jackpot Rewards That Never Expire

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Have a look at the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business. It has no yearly fee. You can get 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There is no limit on the cash back you can get. And earn a one-time $200 cash bonus as soon as you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rewards never expire.

Pay a 0% introductory APR for 9 months. Then pay 14.49% – 22.49% variable APR after that.

You will need good to excellent credit scores to qualify.

Find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-cash-select/

Recession Business Credit Cards for Average Credit with No Annual Fee

No Annual Fee/Flat Rate Cash Back

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Have a look at the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card. Beyond no yearly fee, get an introductory 0% APR for the first 12 months. After that, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.

You can earn unlimited 1.5% Cash Back rewards on every purchase made for your business. And get $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first three months from account opening. You can redeem your rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more using Chase Ultimate Rewards®. You will need superb credit scores to qualify for this card.

Find it here: https://creditcards.chase.com/business-credit-cards/ink/unlimited

Establish business credit fast and beat the recession with our research-backed guide to 12 business credit cards and lines. Improve your average credit!

Flexible Recession Business Credit Cards – Check Out Your Options!

The Plum Card® from American Express

Have a look at the Plum Card® from American Express. It has an initial annual fee of $0 for the first year. Afterwards, pay $250 per year.

Get a 1.5% early pay discount cash back bonus when you pay within 10 days. You can take up to 60 days to pay without interest when you pay the minimum due by the payment due date.

You will need great to exceptional credit scores to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/the-plum-card-business-charge-card/

Your Best Recession Business Credit Cards for Average Credit

Your outright best recession business credit cards for average credit will hinge on your credit history and scores.

Only you can select which features you want and need. So make sure to do your homework. What is outstanding for you could be disastrous for another person.

And, as always, be sure to develop credit in the recommended order for the best, quickest benefits. The COVID-19 situation will not last forever.

The post Best Recession Business Credit Cards for Average Credit appeared first on Credit Suite.

The Ultimate Guide to B2B Local SEO

Is your company tapping into its local customers through B2B local SEO? Although business-to-consumer (B2C) brands often leverage local marketing, business-to-business (B2B) ones tend to take a broader approach. B2B brands without storefronts are even more likely to have their local marketing strategies slip through the cracks. That said, there are enormous opportunities for B2B …

The post The Ultimate Guide to B2B Local SEO first appeared on Online Web Store Site.

Red Bull had Hulkenberg on stand-by for Eifel Grand Prix

Red Bull has confirmed it sounded out Nico Hulkenberg ahead of the Eifel Grand Prix after an inconclusive COVID test for Alex Albon.

The post Red Bull had Hulkenberg on stand-by for Eifel Grand Prix appeared first on Buy It At A Bargain – Deals And Reviews.

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