The top 5 ways to make outsourcing work for you
Episode 18 of The Outsourcing 101 Course Podcast
In this episode James Mackay shares the top 5 ways to set yourself up with an efficient and effective workforce. Check out http://outsourcing101course.com to sign up for The Free Outsourcing 101 Course that includes 15 video tutorials and much more!
Hello, hello, hello. I am the host of the show, James Mackay. As always thanks for joining me. Today I am going to drop some knowledge bombs on you. Today I’m going to give you some information that you can put away in your long term memory and try to remember as you progress through your outsourcing journey.
I want to talk to you in this episode about the 5 ways to set yourself up with an efficient and effective workforce. This is how to get the most out of having freelancers work for you.
Outsourcing doesn’t have to be difficult. Sure, it can be hard to jump in if you don’t know what you’re doing but as the philosopher Goethe said: “Everything is hard until it is easy.” And as a million people have said: “The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
So here today I want to give you 5 little gems that you can use in your path to outsourcing success.
The first is: Manage your expectations.
You can’t expect to walk straight into this and walk out ten minutes later with a perfect solution. You can’t expect to be able to find a freelancer who can do absolutely everything you want, all wrapped up into a special little package that you can pay 8 bucks an hour for. Manage your expectation and be realistic. This might take you a little while to get sorted but once it is, you can reap the benefits.
The second thing to keep in mind is to leave a reasonable amount of time for the projects you want done. If you think you could achieve a certain project in 5 hours, then that’s great. But depending on the project, the freelancer you hire starts with one distinct disadvantage: all the corporate knowledge and intellectual property is in your head. It is not reasonable to expect a total stranger to be able to walk up to a new project and pick up the job and perform it as well as you would have done.
As I say over and over, freelancers can work magic but they are not mind readers. If you choose the right freelancer with great skills and references you reduce your chance of problems. If you set clear and concise instructions, that helps too. But – be realistic with timeframes.
Number three in the list of 5 things to keep in mind is to start small and grow. If you have never used a freelancer to complete a job, it’s in your best interests to do a test project so you can understand the lay of the land and see how things work.
Of course, because you can outsource nearly anything these days, I can not being to tell you if the project you want done is small or large for your particular situation. What I can tell you is that you should look at your project and evaluate if you think you could clearly communicate the entire project to someone to such an extent that they could tell a third person. If they can tell the third person without the instructions getting totally jumbled and distorted, then give it a shot.
However, I do suggest you exercise caution. You can waste a lot of time and money by jumping into large projects without really knowing what you are doing. You might be tempted to hire the cheapest freelancer you can find. You might be tempted to post a job ad with not much substance because it’s faster to do that. But what you are actually doing is starting off on the wrong foot right from the beginning. The take away from this is to “test and measure”.
The fourth point leads on from the third: always give concise instructions. It’s always tempting to cut corners by giving an overview of what you are expecting. Don’t do that. Don’t assume your freelancers will understand what you want, just because you think it is simple. Even if a talented freelancer replies “yes” when you ask them if they understand, don’t think that’s enough. These people are eager to please you so they make you happy, they keep their job and they get a good review. A better way to handle it is to ask them to reply to questions you ask them, so you can fish out of them exactly what they understand the instructions to be.
The fifth and final point I would like to mention to you is to always outsource jobs you can’t do or shouldn’t be doing. It might take a while to get to that point but once you do it you will have more time on your hands to put towards whatever takes your fancy.
So what do I mean by jobs that you “shouldn’t be doing”? At the end of the day, that’s your call. But my suggestion would be to get a freelancer or virtual assistant to do the jobs that are repetitive, methodical and similar. An example might be your electronic filing. There are plenty of examples – in fact in podcast episode 14 I gave an example of a man who could save more than $2,000 by getting a virtual assistant to help with doing his invoicing. Look around – you’ll find many example.
That brings us to the end of yet another outsourcing 101 course podcast episode. As always, thanks for joining me. If you’re enjoying this podcast season I would love for you to spread the word to your network. The more people who get on board, the more efficient we can all become.
Don’t forget to stop by outsourcing101course.com/18 to get the transcript of this podcast and check out what else is on the page. And if you haven’t by now already, join the free outsourcing 101 course at outsourcing101course.com
Next time we’re talking all about the top 3 ways to get success with outsourcing. Until then, stay awesome!