Common Outsourcing Mistakes
1) Focusing on Only Cost
While cost is an important factor in hiring anyone to help you, it should not be the only consideration. If you want expert help, you’ll be paying for expert help at expert prices. It’s important to realize that when you hire a contractor, you’re not hiring full-time help. So the initial hourly cost might seem high, but it will still be less than hiring that same expert full time.
2) Expecting a One-Stop-Shop
No contractor is going to be able to do everything for you expertly. Most contractors focus on one niche; therefore you should hire more than one person to handle most projects. The truth is, you’ll end up with better results if more than one person is working on any one project.
3) Not Getting Prepared First
Before you turn over work to anyone, you need to have developed procedures, examples of deliverables, and know how you’ll communicate with your contractor in a fast and easy manner.
4) Not Knowing What You Want
If you have no idea what you want a contractor to do, then you won’t be able to write a request for proposal that will get a good answer. Know exactly what you need before you even start advertising for anyone to help.
5) Outsourcing the Wrong Things
When you start outsourcing, you should never have anyone do the main thing that you’re considered the expert for. Nor should you, except in the case of customer service and lead generation, have anyone but you and highly trained employees dealing directly with your clients.
6) Not Communicating Clearly
A key to successful outsourcing is communication. Set up a project management system like Basecamp.com and/or Dropbox.com to communicate with the people you outsource to.
7) Not Evaluating Outsourcers Well Enough
When you start working with anyone new, start with a small project with a beginning and end first. That way you can determine how well you work with the contractor and work out any kinks before signing a long-term contract.
8) Not Focusing On Deliverables
When you hire a contractor to do something for you, the focus should be on what they deliver to you, not how they do it or even when they do it as long as they meet the deadlines that you set. Contractors focus on results, not your process. Outsourcing can be a great boost for your business, but not if you don’t make a plan, know what you want first, and communicate clearly with anyone you outsource to. If you really want outsourcing to work, don’t skip any of these points.
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