Outsourcing can be one of the best things to happen to an entrepreneur. When you’re starting a new business, you can’t do everything on your own, or with a small in-house staff. There are simply not enough hours in the day. Outsourcing can help a tiny start-up business function like a large, established brand—if it’s done wisely. Before you jump into outsourcing some of your business tasks, do some brainstorming and planning.
How to Make Smart Outsourcing Decisions
- Consider what can be outsourced. Only outsource tasks you understand well. You must know what you want in order to train your outsourcer and/or evaluate how they’re doing. Repetitive tasks are ideal for outsourcing, as are smaller, one-off tasks like designing a logo or building your website. Don’t (at least early on) outsource big chunks of your business—such as your sales or marketing strategies.
- Hire your outsourcing firm or consultant very carefully. Not just anyone will do. Plan to spend time researching and testing out the fit of your potential outsourcers. Check their references and ask for samples of their work for similar businesses to yours. Your due diligence will help you find quality performers you can stick with long term.
- Run a paid test on a smaller task before committing a large project. To make absolutely sure you’ve chosen the best outsourcer, you must do a test project. This is the only way to get an idea of how easy (or difficult) it will be to work with the company. Once you select your outsourcer, you’ll need to train them, and/or help them become familiar with your style. Even if they have the experience, your expectations and priorities may differ from their past clients.
- Be prepared to adapt and help your outsourcer succeed early on. You may have to invest time supervising or guiding at first. Your outsourcer may be well qualified but may need super clear communication, careful, detailed training and/or samples of work that they can follow. The best outsourcers will catch on quickly.
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