Outsourcing can be a viable option for startups. However there is plenty to consider before determining whether this strategy is right for you. I think you would agree with me when saying that any successful business model of 2014, is one that relies on continual learning and reinventing of its formula. Without that mindset a modern day startup is likely to fail. That is why I’ve outlined the top ten tips for your your business if the idea of outsourcing your products or services has crossed your mind. It’s true. outsourcing can save you both time and money but it is not without risk. When done right you can certainly begin to reap the rewards.
1. Clearly Communicate What Your Project Entails And It’s Timeframe: Let your team know exactly what needs done. Explain your vision, goal and desired end-result. Make sure that the scope of your project is well understood. This will help outline a realistic, actionable plan and related costs. The more your service provider knows ahead of time about your specific needs the better the chances you’ll be pleased with the results.
2. Make Sure You Get To Know The Team You’re Working With: Take a close look at the proposal given to you by your service providers. Ask questions and get all of your concerns out in the open. It is upto you to ensure that whoever you’re choosing to do the job is well qualified and has the experience to complete the tasks he or she is given. That is why feedback from previous clients as well as a face-to-face discussion with your service provider is always a must.
3. Choose Someone With The Know-How In Your Particular Industry: It’s crucial that you and your service provider is aware of what’s expected of them and that they have the credential and professional background to execute the project to your standards. The last thing you want is to become part of some trial and error experiment.
4. Don’t Rely On The Lowest Price: A rule of thumb is, don’t hire cheap labor or the most costly one. It’s best to lend somewhere in the middle, this will guarantee a thorough work ethic and pay off in value and quality of service. You want someone who will work for you and be invested in your success.
5. If Unsure, Ask For Work Samples: You can’t lose by asking for samples of past work or a mockup of what they will do for you. A reliable provider who is genuinely interested in your business will present you with creative solutions to your problem or work with you to achieve your goals. Keep in mind that asking for free work is a no-no, as no professional will do it for free.
6. Think Small: I would advise that to cultivate a level of trust and learn more about your service provider’s style start with a simple task or series of tasks. This will give you a better idea of what he or she can do for you in the future. It will also level off the playing field and give you both a fair advantage.
7. Pay It Forward: Have a plan and check in on the progress of your project Stay in continual discussion about the milestones achieved. This will ensure you remain on schedule and meet your expected deadline. Make a 40% payment with 60% to be paid upon completion of of a series of follow up tasks.
8. Own It: The terms of ownership for the completed work should be discussed in advance. Talk about how the work is to be used along with any deliverables agreed upon. The conditions of such an agreement largely depend on the product or service provided.
9. Before And After: As part of your agreement, include a post project support clause. It should say that you are entitled to additional guidance post project completion. For instance, let’s assume that you want to rethink the overall concept, rejig a strategy or reevaluate your current position. Such a clause ensures that you are covered, should you require further input from your provider. You should also discuss any changes in pricing and overall criteria for such an agreement.
10. Write It Down: This goes without saying. Any agreed upon changes, terms or objectives you discuss should be written down. Keep a record of all forms of communication between yourself and your service provider. Keep any such copies handy.
Access to experienced freelancers is right at your fingertips. Outsourcing can help you focus on what you do best and enable you to enter the larger market on your own terms and without hussle. All you have to do is follow these top ten outsourcing tips and you should be on your way to success.
If you’d rather hear firsthand from top notch outsourcing experts then join EntreBahn for our first in a series of exclusive events: On June 14, 2014 we will examine the topic of In-Near And Out-Sourcing-Which Is Right For You? Register now before it’s too late to take advantage of our early bird pricing!
We look forward to seeing you there,
The EntreBahn team.