Peter Drucker the management guru has said before, “Do what you do best, outsource the rest.” He is the best, because as superhuman as we like to think we are sometimes, we’re only human. Human is good at some things, and completely hopeless in other things. We learn to life with that fact, but have we learnt the same thing when it comes to our business?
There are many reasons why business owners want to do everything by themselves. First, they are concerned about the quality of the final result if they let other people do the work. Second, hiring people is not cheap. Third, they may be willing to hire people, but simply can’t find anyone matching their requirement for hire.
If you are one of the business owners who doesn’t want to hire for the last two reasons, maybe you should start trying online outsourcing.
First, outsourcing is far cheaper than hiring a full time employee. It’s not because you’re not appreciative of their work, but simply because you don’t have to pay them for the hidden idle work hours where full time employees usually use for chatting with coworkers, playing solitaire, or contacting old friends in Facebook.
Second, with online outsourcing, you can get a worker from all over the world, from a programmer in your city to an illustrator in Russia to a translator in Philippines. There are worker who just joined the freelance marketplace yesterday and there are workers who have more than 10 years experience. There are those with only high school diploma to those with a shining portfolio of past work that looks brighter than your own. With online outsourcing, not finding the people with your requirement becomes less an issue than before.
How to start outsourcing online
If you haven’t try outsourcing online before, it’s understandable if you are reluctant to try. After all, how can you trust someone you’ve never even meet before to do a job? Do they really as skilled as they claim to be? Do they understand what’s really needed to be done? Can you trust them? Are they even real people?
Of course, reading horror story about online outsourcing – people with bad experience meeting freelancers who ask for bonus when they deliver substandard result, or freelancers who pretend to be someone else, and so on – make you wonder if it’s really safe to outsource a job. But remember than horror story happens in every method of hiring people – even when you do a full CV screening, interview, and probation period for a new employee. If you get a bad worker after spending that much effort, you’ll be hesitant to fire them or cut the contract. With outsourcing, when you met bad freelancer, you don’t have to worry about exit strategy. If you don’t like the result, just don’t hire them next time. It’s as easy as that.
If it’s your first time outsourcing online, follow the guide below to avoid horror story the first time you try this.
Understand what you want to be done and how
Don’t go outsource someone to do a project that you still don’t know how the end result would be. Two people will always have different idea about how something is supposed to be. Moreover, in online outsourcing, your main method of communication is usually text or voice – email or video call. It makes it hard for your workers to see what you want them to do in detail, and they will have to resort to do it with their own standard, which may not match yours.
Always envision how the result would look like in the end, and communicate this to your worker. Don’t just say you want them to design a web for a pet clinic business, but show them the site map, the menu you want, the display you want, the overall feeling you want, and so on.
For an outsourcing first timer, always start small. This helps to reduce the shock factor if you by chance hire a difficult worker, and also because you still don’t have a good idea if this worker’s job is any good or not. Pick a project that is not so crucial to your business to be outsourced, so if there’s any undesirable mishaps, the impact will not be too big.
The example of starting small, is that instead of designing a website, post a job to design a small part of the website. Instead of asking them to translate a 100 pages document, ask them to translate a chapter. If their job is satisfactory, then you can gradually increase the importance of the job.
Post your job and select the right worker
There are many different outsourcing sites, and four most popular worldwide are Elance, oDesk, Freelancer, and Guru. You are expected to pay either a membership or every time you post a job. Check each site, find out how they work, and choose the one that will suit you the most, because they have different methods and rules.
Once you’ve registered in any of them, or other outsourcing site, you can start posting job. Workers will apply for the job if they are interested, and it’s your job to select the one you want. If you are posting a quite complex job, you may want to hire only those with five stars or equivalent. If you are posting a simple job that don’t require much skill, then you can compromise.
Enjoy the time you’ve freed up
Now that you’ve delegated the less important job to someone else, you have time to do more important thing. You can expand your business, build networking, or start other project. If possible, use the time to do something that creates income greater than those you spent on outsourcing workers. Once you’ve successfully complete your first experience on outsourcing, you will see it for yourself how it helps you and your business immensely, and you will always come back to hire more.