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Why Partnering is Better Than Outsourcing

Brian Clark and Jon Morrow from Copyblogger recently released a new ebook, The Outsourcing Conspiracy. It’s a quick read (only 31 pages) and you don’t have to give your email address to get the pdf file.

After reading Tim Ferriss’ bestselling book, The 4-Hour Workweek, many people have looked to outsourcing to improve their work life. Entrepreneurs especially have given outsourcing a go. However, in The Outsourcing Conspiracy, Brian and Jon talk about the drawbacks of outsourcing that many people have not thought of.

They highlight these five obstacles.

  1. Higher cost than expected
  2. Creation of a new role, the managerial role, that you may not like or be skilled in
  3. Mediocre results
  4. Frequent turnover
  5. Risk of intellectual property theft

Because of these obstacles, they argue that for many people outsourcing is not the best solution.  So, if outsourcing is not cracked up as it was meant to be, what’s the solution?

Brian and Jon believe that partnering is the solution.

By partnering, they mean working with other individuals to create profitable products, services, and ultimately businesses.  While outsourcing is paying others to work for you, partnering is working with other gifted people and sharing equity with them in the business.

There are many benefits to partnering.  In fact, the benefits actually overcome the obstacles of outsourcing.  Here is how Brian and Jon explain it.

  1. Partnering keeps the costs low because you’re sharing equity rather than spending money.
  2. It keeps you from being a manager because the most qualified partners don’t need to be managed.  They’re self-starters.
  3. You won’t have to worry about getting mediocre results since you choose partners that deliver quality work.
  4. Partnerships are more permanent than outsourcing workers since partners have a long-term stake in the project.
  5. The risk of intellectual property theft is lower with partnering.  Partners are more open than a freelancer to being vetted thoroughly.  A comprehensive vetting process makes sense in a long term project like a partnership.  However, since freelancers mostly work on short term projects, they’ll see that type of process as extreme.

Of course, with partnering, you have to bring something to the table.  You need to prove your work ethic and your competence in your role.  And if you’re looking for partners, you need to have a good idea for a project to attract quality partners.

If you’re at all interested in creating a successful small business or you have your own business and want to improve it, I highly recommend The Outsourcing Conspiracy.

In my next post, I’ll talk about some practical examples of partnerships.


  1. By Bingo Codes posted on April 28, 2009 at 1:39 am
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    Hey there, have recently been experiencing your five obstacles, so found your post refreshing to read – partnering definitely seems like the way forward for some of our projects. Of course problems arise with this too… Am downloading the outsourcing e-book. cheers.

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