How busy are you? Do you get overwhelmed with your day-to-day tasks in your business? We have all been there, especially in the small business world where we need extra hands, but don’t want to take on extra staff to cover the extra workload.
Sometimes you have small projects or tasks that you would be better off having someone else performing that you don’t want to do yourself. Don’t take time away from you from your main focus, which is making money. In cases like these outsourcing projects is a very real option.
In this article I’m going to share some very powerful tips to help you avoid the pitfalls of using an outsourcer as well as how you can get the most bang for your buck and save a lot of time and effort that can rob you of your profits.
Now, with a business of our size, we deal with a lot of different outsourcers and have created a core team of virtual assistants that we work with on a regular basis that we can trust. However, it can take a while to weed out the good outsources from those that will purely waste your time and resources.
When you find a good outsourcer, hold on to them, because having a valuable resource like this at your disposal will help you focus on growing and developing your business.
So, here are several tips and nuggets of advice (some learned the hard way) that you can use right now when looking for and hiring an outsourcer.
Always be very Clear and Concise About What your Expectations are for the Project
You need to make sure you detail exactly what you want and expect from the outsourcer who is bidding and offering to complete your task. You don’t have to give explicit details that will reveal pertinent information, but you can be specific enough with the costs required.
For example if you are dealing with article marketing, say that the project involves article marketing and requires a good grasp of the English language, correct grammar, and high quality content.
Always State that you are Looking for Long-Term Relationships with Quality Outsources
This tip alone has saved me thousands of dollars in wasted time and money. By stating this, any serious outsourcer who wants repeat work (and most do) will always try to do the best job for you because they want to develop a long-term relationship that will save them hunting down and bidding on new projects.
Make Sure you Post your Project in the Right Place Based on your Expectations and Budget
There are many different freelance sites out there. The quality of the freelancer depends on the arena you are advertising in. For example, elance.com is a pretty expensive place to post a project and tends to attract a higher caliber of outsourcer.
That being said, sites like getsafreelancer.com are mid-level sites and the quality of the outsourcer can vary dramatically. No matter what site you are looking to post your project on, always check the sites for comparable projects to yours. You want to do this to look at the responses and budgets as well as the bids to determine if the site you are looking at is the right place for you to place your project.
Always Check the Reviews of an Outsourcer Before you Accept a Bid
This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised how many people overlook this vital step. Even if a bid comes in higher than the lowest price, you are often better off going with someone who has a better reputation and costs slightly more, rather than going for the lowest bid.
These are obviously people who have been involved with a lot of projects and have gained reputation based on results. I would always go with someone like this rather than an unknown entity, especially with a project I need completed quickly and expect it to be done correctly.
If a Project is More “Technical” then Make Sure your Potential Freelancer is Up to the Job
First of all, if you’re dealing with proprietary data, make sure your freelancer signs an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) to protect your data and, if possible, work with a freelancer in your country or state, since it is easier to enforce these NDAs.
Make sure you have regular backups of the data and ask for progress reports on a regular basis. Also, I always check potential outsourcers to if they have worked on similar projects and ask if they can provide examples of their work so I can examine the quality of their workmanship. Ask for referrals and references of previous clients so you can ask them if they are satisfied first hand.
Use a Code Word in your Project Posting to Make Sure Outsourcers Read the Entire Project Post
I actually learned this tip from another marketer who deals with outsourcing on a regular basis and this is a pure gold tip. He uses a bolded code word at the bottom of his project post and has a sentence that specifies:
“If you do not use the special codeword shown here in your bid title, your bid will automatically be rejected regardless of your skill, experience and bid.”
This powerful little tip will help you weed out the people who don’t read the full project posting and place bids without really paying attention to your project. Weeding out these people can save you a lot of time and make sure you only get people who fully understand the scope of your project.
So, there you go! If you have to deal with outsourcing in any way shape or form, then keep these little tips in mind. It will save you a lot of effort messing around so you can focus on getting a project completed within budget and on time. Outsourcing, when managed correctly, can help you can proceed with the day-to-day running of your business without the stress and worry.
Working with outsourcers is incredibly nerve-racking the first time you need do it. However, when you find the right outsourcing team, your productivity will increase dramatically and you will start to push more and more of your day-to-day projects to your outsources, which gives you more time to grow your business.
Anyway, that’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed these tips and, as always, let me know what you think…