We all know that outsourcing has some major benefits; it frees us up to focus on more profitable avenues in our business. However, how many times have we heard a horror story about an outsourcing project gone wrong?
Since this month’s Tweak It and Profit Insider Memo is all about outsourcing on the cheap or for free. Here’s some common mistakes and some small tweaks that can make a difference to the outcome- even when you are using free help such as interns to get the job done.
1. Not Knowing Your Contractor. Many online business owners never meet their the person they are working with face to face but you still need to take the time and effort to determine if this is the right person to represent your company. Even if these contractors’ names are never associated with any particular project, if they produce shoddy work, it will reflect poorly on your company and will likely cost you more money to get the work done correctly.
Your Small Tweak: Always interview every potential contractor, including interns who are working for free. Ask as many questions as necessary so you feel comfortable making the right decision. In this month’s Tweak It and Profit Insider Memo, I share some of the ways I prescreen my prospective interns, even before I decide to interview them. This helps filter out the possibles from the probables much faster so I don’t waste my time.
2. Not Explaining Project Details Clearly To Your Contractor. No one can read your mind so having open communication about the job specifications and deadlines is imperative to outsourcing success. A sign of a good contractor is their ability to visualize the completed job and to ask the necessary questions to reach that goal.
Your Small Tweak: Explain your project with as much detail as possible to your contractor or intern. Write down the specs as a reference sheet or contractor job description so there is no confusion. (A sample is supplied in this month’s Tweak It and Profit as a bonus.) Encourage your contractor to ask questions as needed and insist on a weekly status meeting.
3. Not Being Available for Questions. If you are a business owner who has just outsourced some projects, is now the right time to go on vacation? If your contractor does not know how to reach you, chances are high that you will not be pleased with the end result, or the project will be past deadline because your contractor did not want to hand in unfinished work.
Your Small Tweak: Tell your contractor the best way to reach you and during what hours. Check your emails at least once per day for any lingering questions. If you have a vacation planned, put someone else in charge who can assist the contractor while you are away.
4. Not Budgeting Enough Money. While your contractors are asking you questions, you should also ask many budgetary questions of your contractor prior to hiring. Not having enough money on hand will reflect poorly on the quality of the product or will certainly delay the release of the product. In the end, poor budgeting reflects poorly on you as a business owner.
Your Small Tweak: Determine if your contractor works per project or per hour. Determine what the project will cost from start to finish. Insist on knowing about any hidden costs and clarify exactly which services your contractor is providing.
If you still can’t afford everything needed to complete the project, perhaps you can find an intern, who will work for free. The Tweak It and Profit Insider Memo shares the secrets on how to find, hire and work with interns to get the most benefit from them. Check it out at http://TweakItandProfit.com