Outsourcing can be a scary business …
Have you ever heard some of those nasty horror stories around about outsourcing? It’s enough to scare newbies away from giving it a try. You know the sort of thing … where people either didn’t get what they paid for, or the quality of work, left a lot to be desired.
Of course, outsourcing doesn’t have to be scary at all, but you do have to understand some basic rules. Below I have put together some helpful tips to help you be prepared to avoid some of the possible pitfalls, especially when you are just starting out.
At some point in your business you will come to the realization that you can’t do everything yourself for long … or even at all! Too often people in their enthusiasm start trying to ‘do it all’ and they very quickly start to get overwhelmed. They will often not even get their business off the ground in the first place!
Maybe you were sold on the idea that you could do everything yourself and that was a part of what appealed to you, working from home as a Solopreneur. Well it’s not all bad. You can pretty much achieve this goal where you become a Project Manager in your own business, and if you outsource, then you will still be working on your own. The big difference will be that you can take advantage of skilled virtual assistants.
It is a whole lot easier and less trouble than if you were employing people to come and sit in your office with you, and it can be very economical as well, when you do it the right way.
Getting the Right Information Before you Start
This is really a critical point. You don’t want to jump in too fast, which is why you should take advantage of the tips I’m going to share below.
1. Get recommendations from other people
When you’re on tight deadlines and you need to get things done properly, outsourcing work to the wrong people can push everything back and give your business a bad reputation. If you’re delivering items or services to a client and the person you’re outsourcing the work lets you down, it’s you that gets the bad reputation. Get recommendations from people you know and you’ll be able to narrow the search down a lot.
2. Start off small
Don’t start off by outsourcing everything you have, since it can quite easily go wrong. The temptation can be strong when you consider how much money you could save and how much extra time you’d get if you passed the work along to another person, but it’s very risky and could damage your business before you’ve even started. Start off small with each new person too in order to discover how well they work and if they’re suitable for you.
3. Communicate properly
Choose people who can communicate well and also make sure you’re communicating well with them. They need to know exactly what you need and how you like things to be done, and you need to know where they’re up to and if there are any important updates. Discuss terms of working before you start giving them tasks.
4. Protect your money
If you’re dealing with people online, there’s always the risk of losing money or being scammed if things aren’t properly in order. While invoices and agreements over email can only go so far, if you’re handing over lots of work or lots of money is at stake, you should take the time to get an agreement which is legally binding in order to protect both parties.
5. Remember you’re not an employer
When you outsource work to people, you are not employing them. You are using their services and they usually work on a freelance or self-employed basis. This means that while you can request certain things and tell them how you’d like things to be done, you don’t have a right to order them on how to run their own business. This is also a positive aspect of outsourcing to freelancers, since you don’t have to pay them sick pay or sort out their taxes either!