While most think about how difficult it can be to work for someone, few think about the opposite. It can sometimes be very difficult to have someone work for you. You know things need to get done a certain way, but sometimes communicating this is very difficult. One of the hardest jobs a boss has is to communicate their vision to employees, and while most succeed, there are a few instances where it’s just easier to do things on your own. If you’re starting a company, these problems are even more apparent because every employee is new to the business.
Getting through to someone is even more difficult when they aren’t sitting right next to you—when you’re outsourcing. Starting a small business is often very financially challenging, so business owners are often unable to hire a full staff. For this reason, many owners outsource all of the work that needs to be done. For those who are unfamiliar, outsourcing simply means using a third party to complete a specific task.
Outsourcing is great for a few reasons:
- These workers can focus on specific projects and therefore get them done quickly.
- Those who work as independent contractors are generally experts in specific skills.
- Outsourcing is more cost efficient because you do not need to supply an office space, buy special software, spend resources training, and the workers typically work for less than a full time employee.
- You will have flexibility when it comes to staffing. No need to worry about hiring and firing. A contract worker doesn’t expect to work longer than you need them.
Although outsourcing is great, it is extremely important that they understand the goals of your company and what is expected out of their work. This can sometimes cause a lot of stress for an employer; especially one who has never outsourced work before. If you’re thinking about outsourcing at the start of the New Year, consider a few of these tips:
5 Tips to Outsourcing Effectively
- Create checklists and step by step directions.
This may seem elementary, but it is necessary. If you lay out what is expected of the company or individuals you’re working with, then there will be no room for confusion. This will help both parties stay organized, and it will help you realize exactly what you want. It shouldn’t take long to create a checklist and a “how-to” document, and it will make the work much easier for those you’ve hired.
- Put the due date in the “Subject” line and the body of your email.
Even if you spoke with those doing the extra work for you, send them an email. It is extremely important that you have everything in writing through an email. This will ensure that no one will try and say they didn’t get your instructions or they didn’t know about a specific requirement. Bosses typically have the most problems when it comes to due dates. For this reason, be sure to put the due date in as many places as possible.
- Keep your projects separated.
Many businesses have a few different projects they need completed. It is a good idea to send these projects in two separate emails and keep all other documents for the projects separated. You do not want a company to accidentally combine both your projects. Remember, they cannot see your vision as clearly as you can.
- Check-up on the work regularly.
Just because you are outsourcing does not mean that you can ignore the projects. Check back on the progress and the work that is being completed every few days. This will ensure that if there is a problem or a miscommunication, you can set the record straight before it goes too far.
- Discuss payment upfront and be prepared for extra charges.
This may seem obvious, but many company owners (especially new owners) are not prepared for hidden costs. The most common hidden cost amongst outsourced companies or individuals happens when the project takes longer than expected. Make sure you know how long your project should take, and then stand your ground. Discuss what will happen if they need to work longer so that you are not hit with overtime charges.
It is important to do your research when working with a third party. Just as you would complete a background check with an employee, you need to check-up on your outsourced workers. Look at their social networks, talk with people who have worked with them before, and pay attention to previous projects they’ve completed. In the end, outsourcing should be a great way to get all of that extra work finished quickly and efficiently.
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to workers compensation insurance. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including document software to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.
Category: Startup Advice