I started my business eight years ago. At the time, I had approximately 18 years’ experience as an office manager and bookkeeper. Even though I had basic internet skills, I had a lot to learn about working virtually! Many entrepreneurs and small business people do not realize this when they first turn to internet marketing. Your business marketing is more than just surfing the internet and posting on Facebook. So, where do you turn for help? It depends on your skill level, the amount of time you have to devote to your new business and your budget. In my experience working with entrepreneurs it boils down to two options. Take the time to learn and become proficient at the tasks you need. Or outsource tasks to a professional.
Let’s look at the first option: Take the time to learn and become proficient. Obviously this takes a good chunk of your time. If you are working your new business full time, you may be able to devote the necessary time to learning new skills. The resources on the internet enable you to find tutorials on almost anything you need and many of these are free or low cost. Here’s an example.
Newsletters: You need to set up an opt-in form on your website and publish a monthly newsletter. After choosing the email marketing provider that best suits your needs, you can take advantage of their tutorials, user forums and support staff. Many providers also provide teleclasses to assist you. You can learn all you need to know about publishing your newsletter. Most email marketing providers will give you a code for your opt-in page but not provide instructions on getting it on your website. If your site is WordPress, you will then need to find tutorials on the internet regarding installing your opt-in. They are available and many will guide you step by step. YouTube is a great resource for these tutorials.
You see how this can take many hours of your valuable time? And I just touched the tip of the ice burg with my example – I didn’t even hint about the creation of your website itself! If you don’t have this kind of time or tenacity to educate yourself and you have monetary resources, then option two is for you.
Your second option is to outsource tasks to a professional. I have two confessions: This is my favorite because I am an outsourced professional. I used the first option for the first five years of my business. Outsourcing will not require a huge amount of your time. One qualifier to this is when you use a professional. Not an $8 an hour person from a third world country. Sorry but what you save in dollars you will eat up in communication problems and quite likely correcting errors especially if written content is involved.
Let’s go back to our example of newsletter creation and the pesky opt-in form. A professional Online Business Manager is an expert with most if not all of the most popular email marketing programs. She or he can also recommend a program that fits your needs both now and in the future which will save you money right from the starting line. They will also be proficient with the installation of your opt-in form on your WordPress site. What took you many hours to learn and implement can be accomplished in an hour by your professional, experienced Online Business Manager.
So which option is right for you? It depends on your skill level, the amount of time you have to devote to your new business and your budget. Having established a successful business using method one, I can tell you it’s not for everyone or every type of business. Only you can tell which option will be best for you.