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Logistics of Outsourcing for Your Brand
by Amanda Green Fri, 10/07/2016 - 10:28
The number of brands outsourcing their work is growing as the benefits of outsourcing become better known. By outsourcing, you can save money, relieve some of the pressure on your main staff, and focus more of your efforts on growing your brand and meeting your goals. But you can’t just decide to outsource and go to a single outsourcing website and create a successful strategy. You need to make sure that certain logistics are in place first.
Here are a few things you’ll need:
The Right Tech Tools
The people you outsource your work to might live several continents away. You won’t be able to call these people in for meetings or pass off work at cafes. You will need the right tech tools to communicate and to conduct your business.
Before you even start looking for your freelance workers, you need to make sure you have these tech tools in place. You’ll need Skype or another video conferencing tool to conduct interviews and meetings. You will need a reliable host and internet connection. You will also need a service to send money online for when you need to pay your contractors.
You may find that you need more tools, depending on the nature of the work you need. Think through these logistics before you get started.
A Great Freelancing Service
You can advertise for your own freelancing opportunities from your site, but if you don’t have a huge following, you’ll find that you get better results by advertising your jobs through a great freelancing service. Some popular choices include sites like elance, odesk and UpWork.
Evaluate all of the services available to you to determine what kind of workers they attract. Then determine the reputation of each to find out if you’ll be able to get the quality of work that you want, you’ll be able to stay on budget, and you’ll have measures in place for disputes.
An Extensive Interviewing and Vetting Process
When you hire employees, a lot of your decision is based on your gut instinct – how the person seemed when you met them and what you felt about the kind of person they are and the kind of worker they would be. You can rely on that same sense of intuition when you are interviewing someone you’ve never even met.
Instead, you have to develop an extensive interviewing and vetting process that will find all the information you need. Come up with a long list of questions that cover every type of eventuality you might encounter in your working relationship together. Don’t wait until you’re actually working together to find out how the person handles different situations.
Also, make sure you ask for a long list of project samples and references (and be sure you check them).
Clear Expectations and Guidelines
Again, since you won’t be seeing your new “employees” every day in the office to check in or answer questions where needed, you need to establish clear expectations and guidelines at the start. And, of course, you still need to be available online or by phone for those check-ins and questions.
Create an online training program for each of the jobs and have a manual with clear guidelines available for reference. Establish criteria for how performance will be evaluated, such as rubics for grading or quotas for how much needs to be completed and when.
Making these things clear at the outset will help you to avoid disappointment and conflict. Your freelancers will have a better idea of what you need, and you won’t have to waste time asking for revisions or explaining yourself over and over again.
A Project Management System
Sure, you can manage your freelancers over email, but you can easily lose details that way. Using a project management system can help you keep track of all the important information you need, such as who is handling what assignment, where they are in the process, whether they have been paid, and so on.
Evaluate a project management system and get a free trial if you can so you know exactly what to expect from the system. You may not even realize what features you need until you start using it and see how it performs in real time. Doing a trial will help you avoid getting locked into a contract for a system that doesn’t ultimately prove to be beneficial to you.
Outsourcing work can help you start your business even when you have limited resources, or it can help you grow your business without having to invest a lot of money you don’t have. You just need to make sure that you have the right logistics in place before you get started to ensure that you are successful. Use these tips to lay the right foundation for your outsourcing efforts.
About the author
Amanda Green is a site contributor that often writes on personal finance, marketing and business. In her free time she enjoys reading and playing volleyball with family and friends. Her work may also be found on http://www.paidtwice.com