Transcription: #16 - Kevin Dean: Outsourcing is NOT a Bad Thing
#16 - Kevin Dean: Outsourcing is NOT a Bad Thing


Aderson Oliveira: I've spoken with Kevin Dean about why outsourcing is not a bad thing, and you should outsource to a level that is comfortable to you. If you're not sleeping well because you don't know whether or not a project will be delivered on time because of the outsourcing provider, maybe you pushed it too far. On top of that, he also shared a horror story about a project getting lost in translation.

Hello, hello. Aderson Oliveira here. This is another interview for the OuchSourcing podcast where I talk to business, specialist, experts about outsourcing, and the do's and don’ts's and the lessons learned about outsourcing from those professionals. Today I have with me Kevin Dean. Kevin is an internet marketing consultant at WSI Net Advantage. Kevin, thank you very much for being here today. Welcome.

Kevin Dean: Aderson, thank you for inviting me. I appreciate the offer.

Aderson: My pleasure. The basics first, where are you located and what's your business all about?

Kevin: We're located in San Jose, California. We've been in business 14 years. We focus on small and mid-size companies looking to help and advance their business on the internet. We tend to specialize in search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, social media. We do website development and consulting. Sometimes, businesses just really don't understand what the next step is, and the internet move so fast. So, we try to take it backwards for them, understand what their business model is, what are they trying to achieve, and determine the best way we can try to help them.

Aderson: Got it. Let's link your business back to outsourcing. What role does outsourcing play on your business?

Kevin: Outsourcing plays a huge role in my business. We have developed a team of about 20 over time, over the 14 years that we've been doing this. We find specialists in different sections and provide us with great support, good pricing, communication skills, follow-up and providing our clients with the best services that we can. We kind of have a spoke-and-hub model where my office is the hub, and we'll have little islands of specializations, such as website support, content creation, editing, report writing, social media. But, everything comes through our main office, and then that way, we maintain control, specification, communications, and then consistency and delivery to the customer.

Aderson: Got it. You were in business for a long time as a consultant for 14 years. I can only assume that a lot has changed, and I'm not talking about the web itself. Of course, it has changed a lot, but when you apply those 14 years of experience that you have to outsourcing, what has changed there for you during those 14 years?

Kevin: I think the process has changed in a couple of different ways. One is definitely communications have improved. We work with a number of domestic, as well as international, outsourcing suppliers. They realize that, for us as the customer, we demand communications during our working hours versus their working hours. During the early days, I would be up at midnight, 1 o'clock, 2 o'clock trying to communicate with folks overseas, which ruined my next day.

So, what they've done is they provide talented, informed resources during our working hours that we can communicate, which helps so much. I think the level of quality has also increased a lot. There's been a lot of outsourcing organizations that have failed simply because they thought they could do low price and volume, when the reality -- at least our customers, for price sensitivity, is less, but the quality is good. We find that those that are always chasing low price, they're just never satisfied, and so that's an issue. We don't try to chase that low-end market. If you can supply me good services, I'll pay you a little bit more, and at the other end of it, the customer is more appreciative.

Aderson: You brought a good point, which is communication. I think it's really, not only on remote engagements on outsource engagements, but how important it is as a key component of the whole outsourcing process is really communication. Any struggles there with communication over the course of those 14 years?

Kevin: Oh my gosh, yes. Communication is probably the greatest downfall. Quality, you can always address, but communication, if you started to lose contact with a client, or they don't feel that you're supporting them in the best way, you can apologize and you can make up for it, and you can try to mend senses, but now you've got a chink in the armor. What you're always trying to do is stay ahead of the curb, and honestly that's a lesson that I've learned as well, because we've got multiple links of communication. So, if one them breaks down, the customer, at the end of the day, suffers for it.

I am trying to focus to be the face of the organization. The customers hire -- ultimately, they hire me. They like me because I'm a sales guy; I'm the face of the organization. They don't really care how the mechanics work at the end of the day so long as it’s delivered. They want me to be able to communicate to them. They don't always want to hear from someone, unless they're talented, knowledgeable, etcetera, and I might do that with a couple of clients, but ultimately, they want to know if their project's on time, what they received for their money, how their deliverables are.

Finally, it's interesting that I've also learned over time is that people interpret communications differently. It's funny, ADD, a lot of CEOs, a lot of owners of their companies have very short attention spans. So, long reports, big pictures, you can put a ton of time into stuff, they never read it. There's others that will pour over data, and it's really trying hard to find the right balance, because as an organization, we have to provide information for many customers. Providing customized reports can be very difficult and time-consuming, and so we try to find a happy medium. Some clients will require quarterly review. Others, just so long as they see something in their mailbox and they know that we love them, we're continuing to work on their services. It's an interesting balance.

Aderson: It is, and as you were saying, different people and different professionals, and not only communicating with the client, but communicating with your outsourcing partners as well. Different people have different expectations of what is the right amount of communication, what is the right frequency of the communication, as well? So, again, you have to adjust that to each one of those situations. Here's another point. You mentioned at the beginning that you worked with partners that are local, assuming U.S.-based or North American-based, and some that are offshore. When do you opt for one or the other one?

Kevin: Where content is most important is where I stay onshore. So, if something is going to be read, text is most important. People want to be able to feel that the content is written domestically, and there's very subtle differences in content between American and, say, Canadian writers. Some of it is as subtle as spelling differences in the same words. Others have to do with terms of phrases that might be popular in, say, north of the border versus south of the border. At an international level, what I find as well is that the completeness of communications for folks working offshore, they may have English skills, but not to the point where they're comfortable and their sentences are complete, and they use punctuation properly.

I domestically use domestic writers and editors and I will use international for, say, development graphics, and social media is also domestic as well, because people's emotions of social media, and images, and colors can also be different based on their origins. I've tried to focus, and a lot of it comes from customer feedback where I may try a different supplier, they may be offshore. It doesn't quite work as well, so I pull it back onshore. There may be other things that I can push offshore, maybe, to save money or time, and that may work fine. So, a little bit is test and balance, but over time, what I find is that the written word should be done domestically, and then other stuff, I have a little bit more flexibility with.

Aderson: Got it. I assume that you run a very lean organization. If I'm not mistaken, correct me if I'm wrong, but it's yourself and you outsource the rest, is that correct?

Kevin: That's correct. I have no employees. It was a choice that I made 14 years ago. I had been in high-tech. I was a VP of operations in the semi-conductor industry. We were working pretty much seven days week, 24 hours a day, always on call, and when I had a career change, I said, "You know, I want to see what I can do on my own without having that type of overhead employee issues, all of those types of demands that having an organization demand of its owner or its president," and I've been able to do it.

Now, every year, I look at it and I go, "Okay. Is this the year that I have to hire? Is this the year that I have to bring in greater control?" So far, I've been able to grow the company, been successful at my level, and not have to worry about having those employees. I'm glad that I'm able to do it that way.

Aderson: Got it. Again, nothing wrong with going. It's lean there. Now, on that point, I'm usually curious, and I spoke with a few WSI consultants before, and I'm usually curious to see if they make it clear, or if that's a point that gets raised on conversation with your clients that, "Okay, so I'm working with partner to do that." Is that a conversation that comes up, and how do you handle that conversation?

Kevin: Very rarely. I don't think most care as long as the service is good, and the content is readable, the results are there. At the end of the day, the client is concerned with the results. From the very beginning, for our search engine optimization services, we've taken the white hat approach. We'll point out problems where people they may have hired in the past have tried to take shortcuts. We'll talk about promises that other organizations have made that really just can't be made if they're legitimate. We try to establish ourselves as experts in the field. We're not perfect by any stretch. We don't own Google, so I can't make any guarantees that they're going to be 100% raving successful, but that we put in best practices. At the end of the day, most of the clients really don't care what the mechanics are in the background. They just want to know that whatever we're doing is going to work best for them.

Aderson: What is it that you don't outsource? Is there an aspect of your business that, "Hey, this is so near and dear to my heart," or, "This is so key to my business that I will not outsource, I will not give that to somebody else to do on my behalf"?

Kevin: That's a really good question because it's something I always ask myself. There's only so much of me to go around. I always take a step back and say, "Do I add value?" Is there a reason that I can't ask someone else to do it with a high reliability or high likelihood of success? Over time, where I used to write all the reports and do all the mailings, and even I used to write some content, I used to edit the content, I used to create the tables, and all those types of things, what I say now is that, as my time gets tighter, is this something that I can hand off to someone successfully and be able to backfill that time that I buy with more profitable time spent?

The things that I bring and keep in-house are one in the hub-and-spoke model that I spoke about is that I create the specifications for the services being provided. We have written documents with version control that talks about here is what is relevant to this client, here is the tone that we're going to write, here is the way that their website is set-up, here's all the ways that we want to be able to do things. It's not a client-by-client basis. We also have a higher level standardization where this is a minimum level of service and deliverables that we expect.

Every once in a while, I fall into a trap where I feel that I can do something faster than asking someone else to do it, and if you that 10 times, suddenly now you're falling back into your old ways where you're trying to do everything yourself. Some if it is self-discipline as well. But, I try to keep the expertise, the consulting, the path that we're going down. I spend the most of the time on a client's account in the first month, trying to understand it, work with the client, communicate with them, develop the first reports, establish what the bench mark is, how are they doing, what do they need to have done, then I set the path, and usually, within our organization, we have the right tools and the right people in place to be able to complete the task at hand. It might not be immediate. The client may have a mess of a website, and a very competitive work environment. Their expectations may be set too high. But, without having gone through that review personally, I really can't talk to them at that level if I just get a written report by somebody who reviewed it.

So, that's why I try to dig in early, and then I determine exactly how much time I need to spend to dig them out, and then I try to work them into our standard process flow, because we've established the flow that ultimately benefits most clients. The most difficult ones may be the ones that do start in a whole, or work in a very competitive environment where they're not the first person in, and there's people who have been working on their websites for 15 years, and I have to make sure that I'm very, very clear with setting their expectations that they're going into a battle that's being fought for a long time, and we may not see results for a little while.

Again, where I add value, that's the things that I try to do. If I don't add value because of my knowledge, background, and expertise, then I usually find someone to help.

Aderson: On that note, what was one of the most recent, I'll say, experiences or projects that you said, "Hey, you know what? Maybe it's time for me to ship this over, and not do that myself, but trust that to this trusted partner here." Is there any example that you can give to us about a recent event or a recent project, or expertise that was required and you say, "Hey. Maybe it's time for me to walk away from this one here."

Kevin: I can probably even relate it on a broader scale. We provide pay-per-click services, Google AdWords services on the consulting, and then we also offer some semi-automated tools that can help clients post their ads. We have a couple of different platforms that we can work with. As a Google partner, I have access to Google team that can answer questions and things like that. When we set up, Google is not a set up and run type of environment. You have to go back, and you have to check, and you have to manage it. But, over time, we've also learned that you can't micromanage it because Google's system doesn't turn on a dime. It requires data to be able to make changes.

So, as we've added more and more pay-per-click clients. I find the amount of time that I spend babysitting the accounts, getting the things right, adding the negative keywords, checking the ads, verifying the landing pages, or functioning properly, checking on bids, placements, recommendations is that someone with AdWord specialties, but maybe not with the same overarching understanding of what the client needs can do 75 or 80 percent of it, and then elevate the red flags where they say, "Kevin, here is something that you really need to look at."

In that way, I can service more clients at a higher level where, again, somewhat to our optimization model where we kept the wheel going, and we understand the things that we need to do. With AdWords, we're doing the same things, so I don't need to delve into the day-to-day issues where I have someone now who is knowledgeable and offshore that can review, report, and then, again, raise red flags if there's problems.

Aderson: That person that you are talking about, Kevin, does he or she have direct access to your clients or everything channels and falls back through you?

Kevin: Everything falls back through me. I'm the primary contact source, and a lot of that is, I guess, my fear of someone saying something wrong to the client that doesn't represent my approach, something getting lost in translation, the turn of a phrase that just doesn't ring true, and a lot of what we built over time is credibility. I would not allow, in my opinion, the offshore folks to deal directly with clients just for that. Don't need that problem. So, instead I take the communications on my shoulders, but I try to make sure that everything that I have to talk to them about is covered in facts and I can produce the information to back it up.

Aderson: Got it. I'm going to poke you a little bit more on that point because what I've seen not so much consultants, but outside of the WSI space is organizations like digital agencies that what they have is account managers. They have account managers that the account manager has a portfolio of clients, and then the offshore outsourcing partner reports back to the account manager who then reports back to the client. Is that the model that you eventually see yourself going into?

Kevin: Maybe, when we get to that certain size. Like I said, when we reach that point where my added value is no longer there, that's when I look to be able to outsource further. In the early days, I did try to use program managers. But, in this industry that's moving so fast, just because a young person understands and plays with social media all day long doesn't make them a social media expert. And just because they've graduated college or have life experience doesn't mean that they communicate well with people.

Without that core infrastructure of managers, or training, or something like that, I'm really trusting that these people can come in and represent my little company as well as I can. Some of it is really an intense ownership that I have to make sure that our outward face communicates clearly, is well understood by the clients, and the problem is that 95% success rate is the 5% failure rate, and I don't really want to have that.

If we're going to screw up, I want it to be my fault, and if we're going to have the responsibility of communicating, getting things done, I want to have the systems in place so that they're done to my level of satisfaction. If I have an employee here in the United States, it's difficult to fire them if they haven't done a great job, and so now the results are training and additional things.

Like I said, I've continued just to try outsource the things and don't need to be customer-facing, identify and standardize the processes so that when I receive information that is consistent from client to client, I know where to look. Clients give us feedback to make sure that things are understood at their end. Sometimes, I need to change processes. But, in the meantime, I'm still very focused on being the center point for communicating to my clients.

Aderson: Good. What would you say for someone new? Maybe a new consultant, or maybe a small organization that is considering outsourcing some of their work, but is still resisting a lot because they don't know who to trust, they think that they can do better than anybody else, those common barriers of people against outsourcing. What would you say to someone like that to get their feet wet, get started? What would you say to someone new trying to outsource a project for the first time?

Kevin: That's a really good question, because I've worked with a number of new ICs in the WSI organization over time, and that always comes up. How do you get started? First of all --

Aderson: I will stop you just for a second. IC is internet consultant. That's the lingo that is used within the WSI network. So, whenever we mention IC, we mean really internet consultant, which is a professional that helps businesses bring their business online and improving their online presence. Sorry for interrupting. Go ahead, Kevin.

Kevin: No, I'm glad you brought that up, and within our organization, each WSI office is independently run, so they have the ability to either bring in employees or use outsourcing. It's up to you as the manager to be able to do that. What I recommended them is to talk to experienced folks like myself or any of the others that have been in the business for a while.

Don't chase price. That was the first mistake that I made. Low price does not guarantee anything except low price. At the end of the day, low price often cost more because you've sacrificed something there. Whether it might be quality, it might be communications, it might be the number of people that are available in the account. Low price means nothing, and so at the end of the day, what you want to be able to do is you want to have someone that you can trust. An experience outsourcing company should have customers that rave about them, and customers that can work with them in difficult circumstances.

Now, at the same time you need to be able to speak their language. If you think of the outsourcing model where they have very similar models to what I have is the hub-and-spoke. So, the orders come into them, they process them through their project managers, or whoever account managers, whoever they might be, and then they have people within their organization that complete them. To complete a projects, come back through, and then come back to me.

You want to make sure that they have those systems of accountability, communication. If something goes wrong, how do you get it fixed quickly and in a reliable manner? Usually, someone with experience has addressed those problems and those issues, and therefore, I always recommend is to tag along with someone, ask them about it, work on another project with them, see how it works, and understand what the lingo is

I think the hardest part that outsourcing companies have is that what I call something, and maybe what you call something, and what another person would call something, we mean the same thing, but we're saying different things. So, at the of the day, we risk the level of confusion on their inbox because they're looking at it, and I'm sending an email because I'm frustrated, and I told them that, "This is really what I meant," when, in reality, everybody else calls them something else, and they're trying to read my mind, and it just doesn't work.

So, if you work with someone that's experienced, they can work you through it, they can identify with the project, they have systems in place that can walk you through each of the steps so that there's measurements before you get too far and identify, "Oh no, we've gone in the wrong direction."

So, in the early days of our business, we didn't have a lot of that support, so we learned by the School of Hard Knocks, and it's very heard. We had projects that blew up in our faces because our primary contact had left, and there was nobody to back it up, or they were in a foreign country, and when you try to call them, there was nobody there who spoke English.

That's why you really want to identify with folks that have started with the company, have worked with them, have the relationships, can bring you along over time. Sure, your experience tells you that you can try new places. There's no problem with that, because they may have skill sets, or offerings, or capabilities that you want to be able to offer to your clients. But, when you're starting out, you really want to get that success. So, that is why I always stress is work with someone who's done it before.

Aderson: You know, you brought a good point in what comes to mind, Kevin, is I would love to see outsourcing partners, outsourcing providers that have a good onboarding process, onboarding of a new professional, like a consultant, or an agency. How do they onboard those people? How do they let them know that, "Okay, this is our process," and again, they educate them back. They say, "Hey, this is what we are expecting, this is what you should expect from us, this is how frequently we are going to communicate back to you." As you said though, this is what we called this and that, and you have, in our terminology - and I have a different terminology - but this how we call things like that here. So, again, just an onboarding, an introduction of how they do business, so you, as a client of the outsourcing partner know how to deal with them. Just a good onboarding process, that's really it.

Kevin: It's part of it, for sure. The problem that I think that a lot of the outsourcing partners face is that it's still the responsibility of the business owner that's going to use them to listen to what the partner says, to take advantage of the resources that they supply, to understand the forms, or pattern, or paths that that company wants to use. It's still up to me to realize that, "Hey, if I'm going to work with them well, I've still got to work down those items."

But, a small business owner, their first job is to get sales in the door. So, the customer doesn't always fit into that onboarding process, and so you've got a customer that needs something from over here, and something from over here, and maybe they're really good here that doesn't match the funnel that that production center might require, or that offshore, or that outsourced environment may like as their very smooth path coming it.

Sometimes, even just closing a deal to be able to see that that outsource partner can supply those services, and if they don't, are they the right outsourcing partner or can they do 70% of it, and now we've got to find some who would be able to do 30%. It would be great to have one complete package at the end of the day where that outsourcing partner can do it all. But, you don't really know until you get into it.

So, being able to provide that path for outsource companies to be able to make it easier for people to use their services, absolutely, it would be great. But, not all demands from potential customers come in in that nice package either. So, how do they respond to differences in the process? Similar to what I talked about earlier with a customer that comes into our organization that might need something different. How do we react, how do we pull together the pieces so that we're successful at the start?

Aderson: My next point, Kevin, is that I'm from the opinion that one of the ways that we learn, as people, as the organizations, is with the mistakes and horror stories. I can only imagine, after 14 years of business, doing this business, that you have a lot of horror stories that you can share with us. But, I'd like you to pick one, or maybe two that maybe evolves an outsourcing partner of yours, and if you are okay with sharing that with us, I would really appreciate that.

Kevin: Yeah, we try to avoid the horror stories. There's no doubt about it, but they do come up. Early in our business, we were focusing on -- we saw an opportunity for online learning. So, e-learning was just an infancy. We saw it as a niche. Our organization offered a tool that, though basic, had a lot of great number of options. It was called the eLearning System, and I had found a client, or prospect, who had a really neat business model, where as he was training insurance salesman how to standardize the insurance sales flow.

So, the insurance companies would take these people through the consistent measurements. People have done online learning now, but think about 12 years ago or 13 years ago, that was very, very new. There had not been established standards, there hadn't been the grading process, a lot of the ways of taking your grades from a system into an HR system. Those types of things hadn't been worked out yet.

So, we were really kind of on the cutting edge. When I found a customer who was interested in doing that, and he wanted, ultimately, at the of the day, he wanted as many as 16 systems. For us, that was like, "Holy cow, this is great! Let's go in, let's dive in and do it." So, we met -- because it was a standard product that was available through our network, we had a variety of folks who could provide it to us, and the salesperson from an organization in Spain had perfect English - wonderful, understanding the technology, "Yes, we can do that" "Oh, that's what the customer needs? Let me go back," within a short amount of time, "Yes, we can do that, and here's how we will all break out," and he provided with us, after some back and forth.

Honestly, I wasn't making that ton of money at that time because I didn't understand how to price something like this, but I thought it was great way to get my foot in the door, multiply it out, etcetera, etcetera, and well, the projects got started. Now, the system itself was pretty bare-bones, and so there was a lot of opportunities for customization, so there was a lot of decisions to be made. The system itself was written offshore. So, the English was kind of broken, and the commands, and the structure, it was written in older language, and so, it was a little bit bulky. There was a front end, there was a back end, there were the graphics, there were the templates, there were -- it blossomed into a huge project.

We're working with the customer, and then the first versions come out and don't quite work right, and you cannot get to a log into a test that there's too many things that aren't working. So, we said "Okay, that's a problem." So, we started working with the guy in between us until he left the company. So now, we got four systems in flow in a company in Spain, and no one that speaks English. You know how I mentioned earlier about talking on my time zone, well l I have to call them at 11, because they don't have anybody that works - I'm in California - California time.

So, you have nobody that speaks English, and you have nobody that is on my time. I'm up late at night trying to, I guess, yell English to someone who understands Spanish hoping that they understand English better by the time that I'm done. So, we documented the issues, and they find someone who has a little bit of English, and I start working with him, and I provide him with PowerPoints, and I show him all of the information.

The customer, at the end of the day, said, "Kevin, you said you knew what you were doing. You said that these production centers could put it all together." So, I've got the customer on one side, and I've got the production center on the other side trying to make what seems to me to be pretty straightforward. But, the software in the middle was not as straightforward, it was not as customizable, and had so many different things going on that it was ultimately just a real mess.

At the end of the day, it was successful, believe it or not. We actually produced product. Now, it was a year late. I essentially was writing checks to my client in time, not in dollar amount, but I kept my pricing, I was able to get some options in there to cover a little bit of my cost. But, ultimately, those were the last projects that I did with that production center, and they didn't really care, because most of their business was in Europe anyway, where they might speak Spanish or something like that. But, they were trying to break into the U.S. market where they had a very limited English-speaking staff, and I just happened to be one of those guys that fell for their low prices, and their great service, and the guy who was really friendly. But, as you move behind the curtain, it was the mechanism that wouldn't have supported me long-term.

Aderson: Got it. So, based on that, Kevin, what would you do differently if that situation or something similar to that comes up nowadays. What would you do differently from the get-go or in the middle of the process there?

Kevin: Well, I learned an awful lot from that experience, and it's carried me through now. Instead of being, say, a leading-edge service provider for tools that are new, and edgy, and coming out, I wait. I let everybody else try to make those mistakes, try to define what are the right service providers for them. Does it have legs? Is it something that's actually going to last. I look at a number of versions that have come through, and are we still working on version 1 or a beta, or have they gone through several iterations?.

I take a look at the suppliers. Who are the suppliers that are coming out? What is their response to me? In several times, I've actually lucked out, because as I've waited during that incubation period, it's blown up, or it's gone away, or other people have gotten burned. I have one lesson where I did not learn that, and I got into, again, a customization, longly protracted, early version software that I was kicking myself, because I didn't do that homework, but I saw this as an opportunity to get in, and they were actually a referred supplier by someone in WSI.

The problem was, I didn't know that the software they were putting us on had not been thoroughly tested. We were client number 3 on it. So, it had been shoved up from the developers into our production environment without knowing all the bugs were. Luckily, my client was patient. He honestly never yelled at me, because he understood where I was coming from because I communicated and told him what was going on. I didn't lay total blame on the service providers, but at the same time, we were communicating enough back and forth that, at least, he was comfortable that the project was moving forward rather than just kind of blowing up in his face.

I've learned about the ability to let things play out a little bit. I've done that with social media. I did not jump on the social media wagon early because nobody knew if Facebook was going to be around. There was a lot of folks out there that say it's the next biggest thing, all of a sudden, they're specialists in social media, and a lot of the stuff that they were touting is not around anymore.

I always kind of just kind of fell back with -- and my thing was Google, because Google had now been established, they were the largest search engine, the advertising had been proven, the optimization was there. They have their problems; there's no doubt about it. But, I didn't chase things, and I didn't chase some of the other little ones that were coming in hot and going to be the next greatest thing. Because, in a little organization like ours, if we put all of our eggs in one basket that blows off, then we've blown up.

So, I've played it much more conservative, because most clients that I've worked with don't need that leading edge, and if they're talking about that type of stuff, they probably don't understand the risk/reward factors, and if they want to go off that cliff, I usually -- I don't give them a push, but I give them a direction where they may want to talk to someone that I'm familiar with who has a little bit of expertise and can walk with them. But, I usually back away from those, because there's just too much risk and the reward isn't always there.

Aderson: Got it. Okay. So Kevin, we're coming towards the end here of our conversation. Before we say our goodbyes, I'd like to ask you, what is one thing - you still have your plug there as well - but what is one thing that you'd like people that watch this conversation to leave this conversation knowing about? What is the one thing that you say, "Hey, if you can take one thing from here about outsourcing, this is it"?

Kevin: Well, I think that to really understand that outsourcing is not a bad thing, and it really depends on the relationship that you feel that you have with your business. I've met people who have pushed so much out of the outsourcing is that they don't do -- it's hard to say they don't work, maybe, as hard as I do to keep all of the things moving in the right direction. They trust the outsource partners. You have to do it at a level that's comfortable to you, and that's what I've tried to achieve is that, as I continue to move more of the core basic helpful services to outsource service providers, I can still sleep at night.

When you finally reach that stage where you're really uncomfortable because you're trusting other people to get your job done, and you're not really sure that they can do it, then maybe you've pushed too far. My big goal is just to make sure that my customers are happy at the end of the day, that I can sleep well at night, that they can be relatively successful with a growing business, and that outsourcing can play a big part of my business.

Aderson: I want to dig a little bit deeper for a second. You said, "Outsourcing is a not bad thing," and I have this impression that a lot of people, a lot businesses have a bad taste when it comes to outsourcing. I'm trying to find the reason why and to pinpoint why is that. My question is, why did you feel the need of saying that outsource is not a bad thing? Why did you feel that need?

Kevin: Well, I've been able to turn outsourcing into a good thing. So, for me, it's been a big part of our business growth. I think people who look at outsourcing as a bad thing is because they've jumped at promises. They've got an email from someone who said, "Hey, we can do it faster, better, cheaper. Call us today," and it's like the Nigerian king who has millions of dollars that wants to give you money, right? You're going to send them your credit card information and bank account because you think they're going to give you money.

Well, as a business owner, you have to kind of think twice about that that there's not all the best people out there. There are the spammers and the scammers. So, you want to do your homework, and that's why, to one of your earlier questions you asked about how do you determine, how do you get started? Is that find someone who's, maybe, crossed those hot stones before you have. Understand what the capabilities and the issues are going in. Go in with your eyes open. Don't fall for the lowest price, don't fall for the latest offer.

At the end of the day, once you've got experience and you've got an established business and certainly, you can go and test that. But, right out of the gate, if you want to be -- in my opinion, if you want to be successful, is follow down the path a little bit of where someone else has been successful, because your likelihood is much greater than it would be to try to go down that path alone.

Aderson: Perfect. That answers that. Kevin, just want to thank you so much for your time here. But, before I let you go, I would like you to plug your site, your business, how people can reach out to you if they have questions, or if they want to engage on some of your services as well.

Kevin: Sure. Thank you, Aderson. Our business is WSI Net Advantage. We're located in San Jose, California. We've been in business 14 years. We specialize with small and mid-sized companies working with search engine optimization, local business search, Google advertising. We are a Google partner. We do social media, we do reputation management, we do build websites. What we've learned over time, hopefully, we can share with your business. We'd like to be able to consult and advise. We work with larger companies just to be able to give them guidance and help train their teams. We like to work with projects where the customer wants to be involved. We like customers who are interested in their success, because we like to make them successful. You can go to our website, You can call me at 510-687-9737, and you can e-mail me at And Aderson, thank you so much for the time today. It was great.

Aderson: My pleasure, and as usual, all the links that were mentioned by Kevin here will be posted in the show notes, and you'll be able to find everything there. Kevin, thank you very much for your time, for your expertise and for your willingness to share your knowledge with us. Thank you very much. Talk to you soon.

I'm an Outsourcerer. I'm a DNN Geek. I help people with their sites @ DeskPal. I'm a #Pomodoro practitioner. I'm a husband and a father of 2 beautiful girls.

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Aderson Oliveira
Aderson Oliveira