By Michele Scism
The Results Lady
For those considering outsourcing in their online business, the goal is to create a more profitable company while streamlining the owner’s work. Taking the time to avoid common outsourcing mistakes will make the process go much smoother and avoid the feeling that you are spinning your wheels and getting nowhere. Or to quote Nicole Dean of EasyPLR.com “You must plan your outsourcing wisely. Otherwise, you’re simply throwing money into the wind.”
As with any part of business, outsourcing has its good and bad points, however if you are aware of the potential problems before hand, you increase your chances of an enjoyable experience.
Here are 5 potential outsourcing mistakes every online business owner should be aware of, in order to avoid making them.
1. Not Knowing Who You Are Dealing With
Most business owners who outsource will tell you the biggest benefit of doing so is the fact that their assistants work remotely. The number one problem when it comes to outsourcing, though, is not thoroughly checking out the contractor or company who will be performing the work. Keep in mind that sometimes this independence can work in the opposite direction if not taken seriously. Make it a point to carefully interview the people you are considering working with before assigning a task or project to them. The person or company should be someone you can trust to represent your business.
2. Non-Communication between Owner & Assistant
Whether you are outsourcing tech support, writing, web design or something else, there is a great deal of effort needed in order to keep the lines of communication open. If you allow your workers to do work for you without communicating your goals and what it is that you need, you will find that they your work will not be done as you’d hoped. Assistants are not mind-readers and do need guidance. Take some time to make sure that you and the people you outsource to understand your expectations. This is an important part of making sure that you get what you need.
3. Forgetting to Budget Wisely
In order for outsourcing to work properly, you’ll need to keep a good eye on what you are spending for the work being done. While some projects will require single payments to your assistant, others may involve recurring or retainer payments and you will more than likely have some type of contract or agreement that binds you. Some of your assistants may charge by the hour while others may invoice by project or expect payment based on a commission of some sort. Take the time to figure out how much money you can afford to spend on certain tasks and budget appropriately.
4. Under Utilizing Your Contractor & Their Resources
When you choose to outsource certain tasks, make certain you are using your assistant to their fullest capabilities and not just outsourcing for the sake of outsourcing or splitting up work between two assistants when it makes more sense to have one handle both jobs. Sometimes you can find freelancers who are willing to work on a recurring basis or who will complete larger projects at a reduced rate in order to get and keep your business. Don’t be afraid to ask potential contractors if they have room for more than just one or two jobs and don’t outsource something just to say that you’re on the outsourcing wagon.
5. Misunderstanding Your Role as the Outsourcer
As the one doing the outsourcing, you need to understand your role. In order for the relationship between business owner and assistant to flourish, you’ll want to keep the lines of communication not only open, but clear as well. Be detailed in what you expect from your help. Also keep in mind that you are probably not their only client and as much as you would love to have them all to yourself, that probably isn’t the case. Be respectful of their time and give feedback on their work. This will help them do a better job and respect your time in return.
Making yourself aware of possible problems that often occur in the outsourcing relationship now allows your business to grow by leaps and bounds. Don’t be afraid to start your outsourcing journey, especially that you are now better prepared to do so.
Awesome Paul and I am definitely one of those who have been sending people to you. I always hear great things back.
Great post as always Michelle. As a VA Matchmaker, we screen our VA’s thoroughly before they begin working with any of our clients but I feel that it’s equally as important that the client can identify exactly who their ideal VA is before we begin a search.
I also recommend to my clients to invest some extra time in the beginning in order to get this relationship off to a good start and to be very clear when it comes to communication and setting expectations as well as providing feedback to the VA so they know if they are doing a good job or if improvements can be made.
I thoroughly enjoy your blog posts, thank you