[ANALYSIS] Some great advice from Jeff Bezos to scale your business

With a fortune worth over 112 thousand million dollars, Jeff Bezos is the world’s wealthiest man, according to Forbes:

He founded Amazon in 1994. Starting from scratch, he used to work from his garage at home. Today his company is worth over 700 million dollars.

Take a look at his first office and you’ll picture how small he started:

When I saw this picture, I found it hard to believe. I thought it was a fake, that it had been tricked on some jokes site. However, this video from the CNBC chain shows Jeff Bezos working there:

How did he manage to turn such a simple enterprise into one of the most important companies of our times?

The elements are many. One of them, though, played a key role in this growth process. And today we’re going to analyze in detail which it was.

Jeff Bezos talked about it during a speech in 2006. He explained it very clearly so that just any entrepreneur could grasp the concept and apply it right immediately.

We use it for ourselves at Workana. Actually it has contributed a lot to our growth along the last 6 years.

Getting to know this amazing piece of advice from Jeff Bezos and seeing how it is put into practice will let you understand how to move a business forward both quickly and effectively.

Amazon’s growth is amazing

Their headquarters are located in Seattle, United States. Quite a change compared to its origins, right? The leap they’ve taken is huge. Below, you’ll find some updated data to help us address the dimension of the true size of this company:

The sharp business vision of its founder turned Amazon into a model company, with a steady growth since its origins.

Jeff Bezos’ management and business ideas are unique. Thanks to them, his company is nowadays the giant we know. Some of his highlighted quotes hold out the prospect of his strategy to lead a company towards growth:

You may have heard some of these quotes. Even so, these are only a leading edge, for the best piece of business advice ever given by Jeff Bezos is almost unknown and was revealed 12 years ago just to a small group of privileged people.

Really few people know about this great tip by Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos talked about this at a small event back in 2006. We haven’t found any record of it being mentioned on a later occasion.

Let’s go back to that year to understand what was going on. As from its foundation, Amazon had headed uphill. The company was growing at a strong pace, but hadn’t become yet one of the world’s largest.

In 2006 the influential MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) held the Emerging Technologies Conference and our man was invited over as a lecturer.

The attendants? A small group of undergraduates from one of the world’s leading universities.

If you’ve never heard of this before is because Google doesn’t show many results about the event when you search about it in Spanish.

However, not long ago we at Workana found an almost unknown video from that day.

The full lecture video lasts over an hour and, as you’ll see on the official MIT site, it only has 344 views:

Some moments of the keynote speech reveal that it was very interesting and special, probably as any other given by the founder of Amazon.

The business and management vision that Jeff Bezos used to have (and still has) is impressive, motivating and, above everything else, very innovative.

His big secret “to move a business forward both fast and effectively” was a perfect inspirational finish for that unique event at the MIT.

The big piece of advice from Jeff Bezos to move a business forward

At last we’ve reached the climax of his speech. He introduced the topic with these words:

“Your major bottleneck in developing your ideas and your successful products and service offerings turns out to be something that’s actually not unique to your business at all. It’s completely undifferentiated.

This is certainly true at Amazon.com, and it’s certainly been true from the very beginning from one person to twelve thousand people: that at least seventy percent of your time, energy and dollars, go into this back-end heavy-lifting infrastructure. I call this heavy-lifting, muck.

Following his idea, the “muck” are all those chores that somebody (or a company) spends time at but which could be readily carried out by others. That translates as OUTSOURCING.

There you are: Jeff Bezos revealed to the audience that if you want to increase your growth you have to outsource that 70% of “muck” instead of using  your own resources.

Outsourcing those tasks, the founder of Amazon explained, you save much time and energy. And then you can use that time and energy on developing what really matters to manage a successful company: strategic decisions on products, sales, marketing and advertising, etc.

So, which is the easiest way for a business to outsource this muck and save time and grow fast and at a low cost? The answer is clear: hiring freelancers.

We’ve done that ourselves at Workana and it’s worked really well. Below we’ll tell you more about it! We look forward to helping you visualize, through our experience, how to apply Jeff Bezos advice to your own enterprise and take it to the top at fast speed.

From theory to practice: the best advice to move a business forward

Let’s analyze how we’ve moved Workana forward, being true to Jeff Bezos’s words. And being true as well to our approach of the business world evolution and to our company culture.

We started in 2012. At the beginning it was just the 4 founding partners and nobody else. We wanted to become the largest Latin American online platform for freelancers. It was quite a challenge, but we were determined to achieve it.

We made use of some tailwind: our core business, freelancing, was on the rise and we knew it would become a booming trend:

In order to avoid the saying that goes “the tailor’s wife is the worst clad” we’ve counted on freelancers as from Day 1.

By doing so we’ve dealt with the “muck”: all the tasks we had to do but which were consuming the time and energy that would be better destined somewhere else.

We then outsourced many tasks to freelancers. For instance, everything related to graphic design and visual identity. Our trademark was designed by a freelancer from our platform:

But we went beyond that.

Another specific example: as our startup is based online, we knew that digital marketing would be key to attract new users to the site (both freelancers and clients hiring them). So we needed to advertise on Google Adwords to help us reach quick results. To this we also hired a freelancer.

And the results were amazing!

We held ad campaigns on Adwords to attract freelancers to sign up with our platform and start working with us. They were crucial to increase the number of users along the first few years. Remember the big leap shown on the chart at the beginning of the article:

On the other hand, we developed ad campaigns to attract clients, i.e. users to create projects on Workana for freelancers. The increasing projects exceeded all expectations.

The increasing use of the platform led to a direct increase of our billing. Something we needed to go ahead and that we could initially achieve just by outsourcing the “muck” to freelancers:

We’re still true to this business approach

We strongly believe in the outsourcing of projects that take time and energy from us, which would be made the most on other tasks. Then, our teams can focus on certain aspects of Workana which should be only managed internally.

As regards online marketing, for instance, today we have a team formed by 4 fixed employees working at our premises. One of them is precisely one of the first freelancers to ever work with us 🙂

Anyway, we continue working with external freelancers to do advertising on Facebook, a part-time community manager to be on top of our social media and to write blog posts, for instance.

Counting on freelancers for those tasks that used to use up our time and energy has allowed us to focus 100% on other critical aspects of our business. That’s how we could help move Workana forward fast, flexible and within a budget in line with the needs of each stage of our history.

Thanks to this, aligned with Jeff Bezos, Workana continued growing, always a step further. We’re present in Latin America and Asia with over 40 employees, and we get US$9 million funding from our partners SEEK, one of Australia’s largest multinationals.

The world’s largest companies follow advice from Jeff Bezos too

The University of Oxford has recently published a report called How Fortune 500 Firms Are Adopting Online Freelancing Platforms. They’ve researched why large companies are increasingly contacting freelancers through online platform (such as Workana).

It seems that everybody is adopting this strategy after witnessing Amazon success, reaching quick results with flexible teams that can adapt to whatever is needed every time. 

There’s no doubt that Jeff Bezos was right. Tercerizar tareas para poder dedicarle tiempo y energía a otros aspectos de nuestro negocio es una manera inteligente de hacerlo crecer rápido.

Don’t be mistaken –this strategy is not just for big multinationals or tech startups. In fact, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can also profit from it. To account for this, below we share the opinion of some outstanding Workana users who lead a self-owned enterprise.

 

“Thanks to Workana we’ve reached amazing results, in a short period of time, avoiding the cost of an on-site worker or investing on training sessions.”

Juan Martitegui – Founder and CEO at Educatemia (AR)

 

“Workana’s work model has facilitated us the development of many projects. Without this tool, we wouldn’t have achieved our goals timely, in due form and within the estimated costs”.

Daniel Venegas – DaKve (MX)

 

“Working with freelancers I’ve discovered how hard they work to do their best, since their work continuity depends on the quality they offer and on meeting their clients’ expectations.”

Federico Gorga – Founder of Redactar (AR)

If you want to try it out and start working with freelancers, we invite you to start using our platform completely for free.

Conclusion: Why is advice from Jeff Bezos so good? Because it works!

Multinationals, SMEs, and Startups seem to be increasingly aligned with the notion of outsourcing through freelancers. If it’s used so much is because of the positive impact it has on their business.

If we come to think about Jeff Bezos’ speech at the MIT, it’s really amazing how bright his vision was back in 2006, when he mentioned the importance of finding support on external teams to scale a business.

It’s rather curious, however, that almost no results can be found on the internet about Amazon’s founder speaking about this trend.

I don’t get why he keeps silent about this topic but I don’t think it’s worth wasting our time finding out either.

However, you’ll find it more fruitful to use that time to analyze which tasks you should outsource from your business. That’s the best solution you have within the reach of your hand if you want to save time and energy and scale your business in record time.

The piece of advice from Jeff Bezos today is more relevant than ever because it works and because finding freelancers is increasingly available. You can try clicking here.

At Workana we’ll be very happy to help you put into practice this amazing tip from Jeff Bezos. We know that thanks to our freelancers you’ll drop the “muck” and focus on a faster business growth, much more carefree.

See you back soon,

Best!

Luis

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