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MBA 060: Free up your time by outsourcing with NATHAN HIRSCH
Nathan Hirsh, 28-year old serial entrepreneur. Apart from being involved in an e-commerce business, Nathan co-founded FreeeUp, where they connect businesses with skilled freelancers.
Elevator Pitch: Who is Nathan Hirsch?
Nathan refers to himself as a serial entrepreneur. As a way to make extra money as a student, he started an Amazon business 8 years ago. He had a dropshipping business long before the term was even coined. This resulted in a multi-million dollar business being run from his fraternity house. He needed to hire more and more employees to help him. He saw a need for an online hiring marketplace.
Nathan typically focuses on the sales and marketing of his online hiring platform as well as coordinating the internal processes of the business. The first part of his day is spent liaising with his employees whilst the rest of the day is usually set aside for meeting with potential customers.
In-house vs. Outsourced Employees
There are no in-house employees in Nathan’s businesses. He did have a more traditional setup based in an office when he was a young entrepreneur. Nowadays they only hire candidates who have made it into the FreeeUp network.
Making Mistakes and Learning From Them
Diversification. Nathan learned a valuable lesson when he went on holiday, leaving his company in the hands of his manager. On the first day of the holiday he was told that the supplier had dropped him and that his manager had quit. This taught him that your business should have more than one supplier.
This is their marketplace for freelancers and contractors. Only the top 1% of applicants are added to the network, so their clients know that they’re getting the best person for the job. Applicants apply online and they follow by an interview and a test. They need to constantly be aware of what skills are in demand.
Their clients and contractors are scattered all over the globe. Roughly 40% of the freelancers are based in the US, about 40% in the Philippines and the remaining 20% are spread over the world. The skills they offer on their network include everything from bookkeeping and graphic design to writing and Amazon experts.
FreeeUp takes a percentage of the freelancer’s hourly rate. From their side they do their best to source excellent contractors and continually add new customers. You are paid an ongoing referral fee if you refer a new candidate or client.
Systems and Toolsets
Skype, Trello and Jira are the tools that Nathan uses every day. Skype remains the quickest way to communicate with people all over the globe and it’s free. Trello is used to organise his short- and long-term projects with his team. It’s simple and easy to understand.
Nathan suggests that entrepreneurs who want to grow their business make a list of everything they do on a day-to-day, week-to-week and month-to-month basis. Then rank the tasks from easiest to hardest. Hire a virtual assistant to take some of those tasks off your plate. You should also make a list of your strengths and weaknesses then you can hire somebody in those areas where you are less strong. The onus rests on the employer to ask for feedback to continually try and improve the culture so that the employee is happy to work there.
Keeping a Freelancer Motivated
Communication is key, according to Nathan. If the client leaves too many grey areas, it can be confusing for the contractor to interpret. Spend some time to figure out what you want and then clearly communicate that. Acknowledgement and appreciation are just as important.
Reset Button: If you had to start over in a different industry, what would it be and why?
Nathan has always enjoyed selling things online and doesn’t foresee himself opening up a burger joint any time soon. If he had to do something else it would probably also be moving product or selling a service online.
Keep the mentality of “work hard, play hard”. When you’re at work, give it your all, and when you have fun, give it 100%.