18 Tips For Better Results When You Outsource Work to Freelancers and Contractors
by Janet Attard
Outsourcing is often seen as a bad word, but for small businesses it can be what makes the difference between meeting a deadline and losing a client. To get the best results from outsourcing, follow these 18 guidelines.
Image source: Photospin.com
Outsourcing is a term that's gotten a bad rap in some circles because it's associated with job losses that occur when large corporations "export" jobs to countries with much lower labor costs than the US.
But those of us who run small and home businesses have a different perspective on outsourcing.
For us, outsourcing is the "secret sauce" that lets us pull together the resources to handle temporary work overloads, reduce fixed costs, speed products to market, simplify distribution, provide more or better service to our customers and compete with our deeper-pocketed competitors.
Much of the business that small businesses outsource, goes to other small and home businesses within our own country. Often those freelancers or subcontractors are business owners we've met at local business meetings or events we've attended. Sometimes they're people we've "met" by participating in a mailing list or forum.
RELATED: 25 Tasks to Outsource to Freelancers
But the key to successful outsourcing has little to do with where you meet the subcontractors and freelancers you work with. Like anything else, it takes planning. Here are 18 things you need to do to get the best results when you outsource work to service providers, independent contractors or freelancers or consultants.
- Think through the scope of the project
- Identify the skills and resources you'll need to outsource to complete the project.
- Know the results you want to achieve.
- Use a formal statement of work for big projects you plan to subcontract out. For smaller tasks, clearly outline what is expected of each contractor.
- Rely on contracts, not memory to be sure work is done as you expected.