A few weeks ago I wrote about the value of your time and how you should consider outsourcing in your online business. Of course, the ultimate goal of outsourcing should be to create a more profitable company while keeping the owner sane.
I find that many people are afraid of outsourcing. If you are one of those people (and even if you are not), you may be interested to hear about how to avoid common outsourcing mistakes. This will make the process go much smoother and keep you from spinning your wheels and getting nowhere.
One of my favorite PLR gurus, Nicole Dean of www.OutsourceWeekly.com says “You must plan your outsourcing wisely. Otherwise, you're simply throwing money into the wind.”
Just like anything, outsourcing has its good and bad points. If you are aware of the potential problems before hand, you dramatically increase your chances of an enjoyable experience.
So, without further delay, here are 5 potential outsourcing mistakes every online business owner should be aware of, in order to avoid making them.
Failure To “Know” Your Contractor
If you ask around, most business owners who outsource will tell you the biggest benefit of doing so is the fact that their assistants work remotely. But that usually means you have never met the person you are working with. So, the number one problem when it comes to outsourcing is not thoroughly checking out the contractor or company who will be performing the work. You need to keep in mind that sometimes this independence can work in the “wrong direction” if not taken seriously.
Action: 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.
Failure To Communicate
Whether you are outsourcing tech support, writing, web design or something else, you must 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.
Action: 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.
Failure To Budget
If you want 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.
Action: Take the time to figure out how much money you can afford to spend on certain tasks and budget appropriately.
Failure To Efficiently Use 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.
Action: 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. Set aggressive goals and have a plan.
Failure To Be The Owner
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.
Action: 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.
The Bottom Line
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.
If you want to learn more about oursourcing, Jimmy Brown and Nichole Dean have an outsourcing course that you can take. I have not taken the course mysely, but it comes hightly recommended. Check it out at www.OutsourceWeekly.com