Outsourcing 101 Course Podcast

Create and launch an outsourcing project

Episode 10 of The Outsourcing 101 Course Podcast


In this episode James Mackay dives right into getting an outsourcing project launched – from the setup to the execution and the follow up using a simple step-by-step process. 

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Do you go for a fixed price or pay by the hour? This question is the cornerstone of the whole process of hiring someone. Obviously, it depends on the task that you need completing. If you wanted to compile a list of all the beauty therapists in your city you might agree to work on a piece rate, ie you pay a researcher 20 cents for each entry they add to the list. But if you have an ongoing job – say for a graphic artist, you might pay them by the hour.

Why? Well, if you’re continually giving them new jobs to work on it’s just unrealistic to expect someone to work on a fixed rate. Also, things like graphics are so subjective that you might need 6 changes made… and that isn’t fair to work on a fixed rate per project either.

At all times you need to remember our overriding principle – freelancers are people too. You should treat them with respect and acknowledge they are adding value to your company or your project.

Some examples of things you might do on a fixed rate would be:

  1. Designing a logo
  2. Having a new form built on your website
  3. Researching addresses of businesses – that would be a fixed rate per address
  4. Writing a legal letter or contract

When you are paying by the hour you might consider the following as examples:

  1. Ongoing graphic design
  2. Content writing for a website
  3. Search Engine Optimisation
  4. Customer support email answering

Of course, you’re not the only person in this business relationship. You have to consider the position of the freelancer as much as yourself. Just because you want to do a fixed price doesn’t mean you’ll be able to find someone to work on that arrangement.

You might be forced to put people on an hourly basis. Of course, you might not want to do this for a number of reasons, the primary being: you don’t want to pay someone in case they don’t do the work!

Fair point! Who does want to pay in that case? But sometimes the freelancer won’t want to do a fixed price for exactly the same reason you DO want to do a fixed rate: sometimes it’s just too difficult to quantify exactly how much work is involved!

Of course, human beings can be unpredictable, so you might get a freelancer come along and offer fixed prices for work. Who knows what their motivations might be? Maybe they are trying to rack up as many jobs on Upwork as they can and they don’t care about the hours? Maybe they are desperate for the job and just want to impress you.

Be mindful, of course, that it is absolutely essential that you let the freelancers know exactly what you expect from them. The last thing you want is some misunderstanding and then a dispute over pricing. It’s the perfect and possibly most important reason to get a contract brief between employer and freelancer.

Sometimes you might need to negotiate to get to the right outcome. Same as anything else, right?

The takeaway here is to figure out what you want and how that can be interpreted. If it’s the kind of job that can be clearly defined, then a fixed price might work.

If neither you nor the freelancer can accurately determine how much work is actually going to be involved, then you might settle for an hourly rate. It can be hard.

So there you have it. Thanks again for joining me, my fellow and future outsourcers! I hope this information has been somewhat helpful on your journey into outsourcing. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast so you can get all the tips and tricks on how to outsource work so you’ve got more time to do what you love.

See you next time.