The entrepreneur's information to outsourcing work with out dropping high quality
No matter what industry you are in, there is always more work than time for it.
This means that there is always something missing, more and more work to be done, and new businesses often fall short of their expectations and deadlines.
One of the most insidious parts is that it leads to massive stress. According to business coach Michael Hyatt, 45% of entrepreneurs are stressed.
What Can an Overworked Entrepreneur Do?
The answers are many and not everyone works for every type of entrepreneur. But the answer that more and more entrepreneurs are turning to is simple: outsourcing.
Outsourcing means transferring your work to someone outside of your main business.
This can be done through freelance work or by hiring another company (such as a call center) to run business.
You can even outsource by shipping a business process like manufacturing overseas.
For most small business owners, however, this simply means someone is working outside of the company.
However, the inevitable question arises: How do you make sure the quality stays the same?
Other people outside of your company don't have the same understanding of your cultural values and the same drive to do quality work, do they?
Well, not that fast.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about outsourcing, while avoiding mistakes that could cost you quality.
However, before we can cover specific strategies, you need to know why you want to outsource.
Understand why you want to outsource
Ultimately, the only reason you should outsource should be because you can make more money by outsourcing than by non-outsourcing.
Outsourcing may sound exciting, but it only makes sense if it makes financial sense.
Similarly, outsourcing is not a way of doing non-essential tasks. Use outsourcing as a tool to increase sales and earnings.
However, it is helpful to consider where you can improve your efficiency and revenue generation by outsourcing.
According to Wasp Barcode Technologies, the top five small business challenges are focused on leadership and profit.
You hire new employees, increase profits, employee health care, increase sales and cash flow.
Any outsourcing you do should help you achieve three of these goals (increasing profits, increasing sales, or increasing cash flow) while avoiding the problems of new hires.
Here you will find out exactly what you can and cannot outsource.
Make a list of common tasks
I recommend taking a close look at how you are currently spending your time and adapting to the dates.
To start, I recommend that you track your time with RescueTime. It's a simple app that lives hidden on your computer and tracks your productivity.
After a few months, look for what tasks to outsource. Click the RescueTime icon in the menu bar to see where you are spending your time.
In the menu, select the option “Switch to Dashboard…”.
The dashboard shows an overview of how you've spent your time.
Click the option in the upper right corner for Reports. Choose Applications and Websites.
Select the timeframe you want to view.
From this you can see which areas were needed most of the time.
Usually your core competencies are the largest areas. These are areas that you excel in unless you are massively poorly managing your time.
However, if you look at other programs that are taking up your time, you will likely notice activities of lower overall quality.
These are activities with falling returns. Typically, these are your best candidates for outsourcing.
Find tasks that you are not very good at
The second way to understand outsourcing opportunities is to look at areas where you (or your current employees) are not excelling.
This offers you enormous advantages.
First, you can let someone who does them do these tasks better.
This means that you don't have to worry about your employees messing up a task that they really don't understand very well.
Second, you can accomplish these tasks with an efficiency of scale.
For example, if you need help with paid ads, you can hire an agency to do the design, implementation, and testing.
This is more cost-effective than hiring all of these part-time employees or expecting a full-time employee in your company to understand each of these skills.
Third, you can focus on what is most important.
At its core, it is really what makes a successful company to focus on your company's core competencies and delegate the rest.
In most cases, this is the biggest benefit of your outsourcing. By letting someone else do your payroll or other tasks, you can spend more time shipping a better product.
According to Link Vista Digital, the focus on core issues was the main reason for outsourcing, combined with reducing operating costs.
Now that you know what to outsource, there are some pitfalls that you need to be careful of.
In these areas, you should actively try to avoid outsourcing and keep them close to your main business.
Don't outsource what
There is such a thing as too much outsourcing. If you hire others to do the jobs that make your company stand out, you can lose ground.
When you can outsource it all, your freelance competitors are few freelancers away from beating you at your own game.
First of all, you should make sure that something is not your core competency. While you may think that this is your core business, a core competency is not necessarily included in the products you make.
There are many authors for whom ghostwriters write their books. However, because they maintain the basic ideas and framework that make the books successful, the model works for them.
The secret really lies in your competitive advantage.
What distinguishes you What makes your product different from everything else? Which passion, which focus or which decisions determine your company?
The perfect example of this is Apple. While Apple outsources most of its manufacturing, the design is still done in-house.
Anyone can make a smartphone, but only Apple can make it look like an iPhone.
When you know something is not a core competency or part of your competitive advantage, you need to ask two questions.
Is this just something I'm doing to save money?
Often there are good reasons for outsourcing money. But there are also times when the money is well invested.
For example, if you are considering outsourcing your customer service to save money, you are likely to become increasingly frustrated.
Not every task is based solely on the money in question, and you can actually lose money in the long run by only focusing on money for the short term.
Finally, you need to ask if this is just because you don't want to get a task done.
While it can help to outsource a project that you don't want to run, it is often a mistake.
Critical parts of your business, like selling or hiring, are often the least fun parts of an entrepreneur's job.
However, if you outsource this, you will see a difference in the company.
These skills need to be learned (or hire someone to learn them), and outsourcing just isn't a long-term solution.
Now that you know what to outsource, let's start with the first stage of outsourcing.
How to outsource your work with software
Technically, this doesn't hire another person to do your chores for you, but it's a great way to reduce the workload.
Outsourcing with software offers innumerable advantages. It's usually a lot cheaper than an employee, and the technology (usually) doesn't take breaks or stop working.
You should always look for a software solution before finding a human solution. Here are three areas to look for when considering computer outsourcing.
A surprising number of red processes can be automated, including marketing and notification tasks.
If you've noticed that you spend a period of time doing something on your computer over and over again, there's a good chance you can convert them to software.
The time saved is no small matter. According to MDG Advertising, 94% of automated marketers say they have improved their business' performance.
There are a handful of tools that can make your life easier. For basic tasks, I recommend the free IFTTT tool.
IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. It manages basic integrations with your email program, Google Docs, and hundreds of other software.
This allows you to record your bills, share posts on social media, or receive a text notification when an important customer emails you.
While most of the tasks it does seem small, they can add up quickly and save you countless hours every week.
More advanced tasks require a more advanced tool, and that's where Zapier comes in.
At its core, Zapier is a more complex version of IFTTT. Unlike IFTTT, it's not free, but the software functionality makes up more than the price.
Zapier allows you to send bonuses to customers who will email you, categorize and log customer feature request emails, and import new Stripe customers into your CRM.
If you spend a few weeks integrating common systems with Zapier, the automation can easily save you a few extra hours or even a part-time position.
But what really requires human touch? You may not be able to automate it, but you can probably cut the time it takes to get it done.
Shorten, not eliminate
Not every task has to be completely eliminated in order for it to work at its maximum performance.
If technology can help you speed up a task, it may turn it into something that doesn't require outsourcing or some other form of extra work.
One of my favorite tools for doing this is TextExpander. This is a simple tool that will automatically expand snippets of text.
For example, if you use a common header for your articles, you can put in some keys and have the phrase auto-fill.
It's a lifesaver that can shave for weeks.
For example, writing a general response to your most popular emails can cut email time from a cumbersome two hours to a manageable 30 minutes.
This requires a task that would otherwise have to be outsourced to an expensive employee, and allows you to get that job done in just a fraction of your work day.
There are other ways of doing this as well.
Familiarizing yourself with popular keyboard shortcuts and time-saving apps can save you a lot of time and eliminate the need for some outsourcing tasks at all.
However, there is another reason you might want to use technology to solve the asynchronicity problem.
Solve the asynchronicity problem
In the simplest case, the asynchronicity problem is that you cannot always work. Being in real time and not being able to work in real time (at least not always!) Is a simple problem.
To remedy this, you can use technology that mimics real-time interaction without having to be on the other end of a keyboard.
The most common example of this is social media. Social media needs constant interaction, but it is impossible to be online all the time.
I recommend using marketing automation to save man hours while getting the same amount done.
There are a variety of tools available to make this easier. One that I recommend is Hootsuite, which allows you to prepare social media updates in advance.
A more unique option is Edgar, which allows you to schedule posts that will continue even if your list of updates to be sent is empty by scrolling through a content library.
And finally, Buffer lets you set up a queue of posts that you want to share on various social media channels.
These tools allow you to work asynchronously with whatever time constraints you have. In other words, you can enter a fixed block of time and reap the results later at other times.
By stacking these tasks, you may be able to take advantage of them without hiring a new employee.
Finally, you can also work on emails asynchronously. With a tool like ContactMonkey, you can easily schedule emails to be delayed and sent later.
That way, you can send new lead emails all week without having to schedule them every day.
However, software has its limitations and you may need to outsource your tasks to people to do more advanced work.
Here you start:
Business systems outsourcing
Sometimes there are processes and systems that your company needs that you simply shouldn't be managing on your own.
For example, every company has to file taxes every year. Most small businesses, however, outsource this to an accounting firm or CPA.
Because a small company only needs this kind of specialized tax expertise a few times a year!
It's much cheaper to rent out this part of the business than to hire a new employee who doesn't have enough to do for most of the year.
This is how you decide who to use to outsource your business systems
For each of these companies, I recommend finding an established company.
The expertise in each of these areas is important and may even have legal requirements. Therefore, it is important to choose a company that you trust.
These are the areas in which you shouldn't search freelancers online. Instead, carefully look for a company that suits your needs.
Depending on your situation, consider the following criterion.
- Local: If you are a local business that needs constant communication, consider looking for a company in the area. This also applies if the company has to be physically present, be it to set up a new IT system or to scan the tax documents of the previous year.
- expertise:: Sometimes your industry is so specialized that you need a company that meets your specific needs. Companies working in a niche, like human resource management for tech startups, can best understand your unique needs.
- Experience: This is a must have for any business dealing with critical information like taxes or legal documents. Whichever company you choose, look for a company that knows what it's doing and has references and data to back up its claims.
The most common example of business outsourcing is finance and accounting, or F&A.
The problem isn't just in the time an in-house team has to spend on work.
Larger accounting firms can afford software and resources that internal staff never have access to.
That lack of resources is a huge struggle for teams with in-house Q&A staff, according to Consero.
As a result, numerous small businesses outsource this type of work.
While many are pursuing local options, like hiring an accounting firm down the road or a CPA recommended by a friend, more and more businesses are turning to online services.
The wood tax, for example, specializes in taxes for freelancers and consultants.
This specialization makes them perfect for freelance business owners who may not have a specialized CPA in the area.
While it may seem insane to outsource the management of the people who make up your company, the human resources department is fast becoming a significant outsourcing industry.
Outsourcing through HR service providers increased 27% in 2016, and most HR service providers expect continued growth, according to Prism HR.
If you're a small business with no large employees, this doesn't seem like the right place to start.
However, as any large company can attest, the HR department can be both time consuming and costly. Consider outsourcing this to focus on the core of your business.
While companies in the past typically relied on in-house IT staff, today's companies see the value in outsourcing that piece of the puzzle.
While it's nice for a full-time employee to have problems when they arise, it can be an additional unnecessary expense.
According to TekSystems, outsourced IT work such as project-based and SOW (Statement of Work) tasks corresponds to the increase in staff for IT work.
If you haven't started outsourcing some of your IT needs, start now.
Only a few small companies have the legal expertise in-house to meet the increasing requirements of local and national laws.
For the more difficult areas of your business, consider hiring an outside lawyer to provide legal advice and advice.
According to Cogneesol, the outsourcing of legal processes is increasing in almost all subsectors.
This is one of the areas where experience and location are critical.
Make sure you find a company that is knowledgeable about the specifics of your local laws and has a proven record of providing effective advice for businesses similar to yours.
Outsource additional business tasks
The best starting point for outsourcing is for someone else to take on additional business responsibilities.
These are tasks that are an integral part of your core business, but not part of your competitive advantage.
While these don't always have to be outsourced, it can be a smart idea to do so.
If you do something the same way every day, there is a good chance you can find someone who can do it for less money, focus more on it, and improve your efficiency.
To calculate these tasks, I recommend calculating your hourly wage.
Estimate how much time you spend on your most important tasks and whether you can hire someone for less than you actually get paid for those tasks.
Once you know what your least critical tasks are and delegate as you see fit.
Simple projects such as data entry, calculations and formatting can be edited by others. To do this, find a task that you do frequently.
Then create a screencast of the project. If you're using a Mac, I recommend tapes.
You can quickly create a screencast that demonstrates exactly how to do it.
When you have recorded the process, have someone else write it down. This is a document that you can use as a resource for the future.
With this process, the person you're outsourcing to can get things done quickly and painlessly – and get them off your plate!
Keep this in mind: 82% of companies that outsource data say they have improved their overall management, according to Cogneesol.
Website design and maintenance
Unless you are a website development company, there is really no need to maintain your own website.
As mentioned earlier, another company can do this for a better, more cost-effective measure, and you can pay with economies of scale.
If you've already created your own website, consider outsourcing this work with the next update.
Generation of content
Perhaps the greatest opportunity for outsourcing is in content generation. This is a great way to start outsourcing, especially if this is a new area for you.
The most common outsourced content marketing activity is writing. 44% of marketers use them.
As I mentioned earlier, it takes a lot of work to write and promote viral content. Having a skilled heavy lifting writer or promoter can save you tons of time.
However, according to Fronetics, there is still room for growth as two-thirds of marketers outsource less than a third of their content.
If you currently have someone creating content for you – or if you do it yourself – you can almost always find a ghostwriter who creates content for a fraction of the price.
Again, think about your hourly wages and the value of your activities. Writing is probably not the most valuable thing your time can do.
For starters, consider outsourcing an editor to make you a more productive writer.
The secret to success in outsourcing your content is to have some samples of pre-made content to explain what you are looking for.
You also need a clear content plan that you want to create.
But how do you make sure you don't get stuck with a freelancer who is a total flop?
How to Land a Killer Freelancer Every Time
If you want to find a great freelancer for a particular job, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that the person you hire does a great job.
Use this three part framework to ensure that you find someone who is not only well qualified for their job, but does it for a fair price.
1. Research your price
Before you want to hire a freelancer, you need to have a budget in mind. Understand that while outsourcing is cheaper, you shouldn't be looking for the cheapest option.
For example, according to Accelerance, software outsourcing in North America costs at least $ 70 an hour.
And while you can only save $ 20-40 an hour in Asia, you'll be sacrificing important benefits like fluency in English and the overlap of workdays.
Before you begin, do your research. Understand exactly what you should be paying for the project you want and know what a fair price range is.
It's also a good idea to make a list of the features that are most important to you.
Do you need someone who knows English? Is clean code important or do you just care if the final software project works?
These are important questions to ask before receiving any freelance quotes.
2. Explain your project in detail
What many business owners fail to realize is that freelance professionals' success often depends on the project specifications they write.
A pitch for a job with a vague description can end in a variety of quotes.
Ultimately, choosing the lowest price may mean choosing the freelancer with the least understanding of the project.
Instead of going through this type of chaos, explain the exact results for the project that the freelancer is supposed to complete for you.
The main website for hiring a freelancer is Upwork. I'll show you how to write a detailed description there.
If you are using a different platform, you can easily adapt these principles.
First, log in or sign in to your Upwork account. Click Publish New Job.
You will see the Publish Job page. If you've posted before, you can reuse an old job. Otherwise, skip to the next section.
Select a category and a sub-category. Make sure you get this right as you may not attract the right kind of freelancers if you post in the wrong category!
Now is the time to describe the job. Here you need to be as specific and detailed as possible.
Give your project a simple and clear heading. In the Description section, provide as much detail as possible.
If possible, I recommend attaching files to demonstrate inspiration for the project, current designs that you want to emulate, or other resources for the freelancer.
In order for Upwork to accurately select the right types of freelancers for your job, you need to select a few different parameters for the project.
If you are just starting out, I would recommend doing a small slice meal project.
When things go wrong, better if it happens on a $ 100 presentation design assignment than a $ 30,000 website development project.
Choose a one-time project and a freelancer. Enter any skills they may need to successfully complete your project.
Finally, list when the project will start.
Next, you need to determine your rate and availability. This is where your previous pricing research will come in handy.
Choose how you'd like to pay and what level of experience you're looking for.
You also choose the time frame for the job. Choose a short period of time (a month to a week) for the type of short job you want to start.
Decide who can find and advertise your job. I recommend the default option, although you may get better quality results with just Upwork users.
Don't just pick freelancers to invite unless you've already done some projects. It is best to see who is interested first.
The other questions are optional. If you think they are important, include preferred qualifications, screening questions, and a cover letter.
However, I did not find these necessary for small jobs.
Finally click on Publish Job.
Once your post has been active for a few hours, you will get freelancers bidding for your job.
This is where the fun begins!
3. Learn about the freelancers that are offering
Once you've posted a job, Upwork freelancers post bids based on your specifications. Bevor Sie sich für einen Freiberufler entscheiden, müssen Sie ihn oder sie recherchieren.
Hier ist ein Kandidat, der für eines meiner Projekte bietet. Ich habe auf sein Profil geklickt, um alle seine Details anzuzeigen.
Die drei wichtigsten Zahlen für mich sind sein Job Success Score, seine Arbeitshistorie und seine Sprachen.
Der Job Success Score ist ein Indikator für das Feedback, das ein Freiberufler von früheren Kunden erhält. Goran J. hat mit 93% eine solide Bewertung.
Aus seiner Arbeitshistorie geht hervor, dass er über 500 Stunden mit 76 Jobs für Upwork aufgewendet hat. Dies ist eine gute Summe, um einen Prozess und eine Erfolgsbilanz für solide Arbeit zu haben.
Und schließlich spricht er fließend Englisch. Dies erleichtert den Kommunikationsprozess erheblich und er wird alle Änderungen verstehen, die ich vornehmen muss.
Wenn Sie tiefer in das Kundenfeedback eintauchen möchten, können Sie den Abschnitt Arbeitshistorie und Feedback des Freiberuflers lesen.
Ich bevorzuge es, nach der niedrigsten Bewertung zu sortieren, um zu sehen, welche Probleme (falls vorhanden) häufige Beschwerden sind.
Da die meisten Freiberufler Revisionen anbieten, sollten Sie nicht viele negative Bewertungen sehen. Eine Menge negativer Rückmeldungen bedeutet normalerweise, dass der Freiberufler den Kunden nicht sehr entgegenkam.
Zum Glück hat Goran J. ein ausgezeichnetes Feedback. Die niedrigste Bewertung, die er erhalten hat, war "kein Feedback gegeben", und die niedrigste aufgezeichnete Bewertung war 4,30.
Er ist ein solider Kandidat, basierend auf früheren Erfahrungen.
Nachdem wir wissen, dass er für den Job qualifiziert ist, stellen wir sicher, dass seine Arbeitsqualität mit den Aussagen der Kunden übereinstimmt.
Die meisten Freiberufler bei Upwork enthalten ein Portfolio, in dem Sie frühere Arbeiten überprüfen können.
Im Gegensatz zu einem niedrigen Job Success Score oder einem schlechten Kundenfeedback gibt es bei einem Portfolio keine richtige oder falsche Antwort.
Sie stellen nur sicher, dass Sie ihren Stil mögen.
Wenn Sie diese Schritte ausführen, um die Freiberufler zu überprüfen, die sich für Ihre Stellenausschreibungen bewerben, werden Sie mit Sicherheit jedes Mal einen Killerjob erledigen.
So machen Sie laufende Outsourcing-Projekte erfolgreich
Wenn Sie sich zum ersten Mal in die Welt des Outsourcings wagen, hören Sie möglicherweise Horrorgeschichten von laufenden Freiberuflern, die massive Rechnungen sammeln, Arbeiten lange nach Ablauf der Fristen liefern oder ein Projekt auf halbem Weg aufgeben.
Dies ist leicht zu verhindern, um mit einer kleinen Aufgabe schnell freiberuflich tätig zu werden.
Aber was ist, wenn Sie ein größeres, laufendes Projekt haben? Wie können Sie eine qualitativ hochwertige Arbeit sicherstellen und gleichzeitig einen fairen Preis erzielen?
Die Antwort ist genauso einfach wie die Landung eines qualifizierten Freiberuflers für ein kleines Projekt: Es gibt einige wichtige Schritte, um eine perfekte Passform sicherzustellen.
Investieren Sie mehr in den Outsourcing-Auswahlprozess
Da Sie längere Zeit mit jemandem zusammenarbeiten, ist es wichtig, dass er gut zu Ihren Projekten passt.
Zu diesem Zweck sollten Sie einen strengeren Prozess einrichten, um die richtigen Freiberufler zu finden.
Ich empfehle, Ihrer Anwendung eine zufällige Testfrage hinzuzufügen, um alle auszusondern, die den Anweisungen nicht folgen.
Das Erfordernis einer eindeutigen Betreffzeile oder einer anderen Art von „Passwort“ ist eine einfache Möglichkeit, um festzustellen, wer bereit ist, auf kleine Anfragen zu achten.
Um die richtige Person zu finden, müssen Sie auch Ihre Einträge erweitern. Haben Sie mindestens drei Personen im Visier und wählen Sie dann die Person aus, die für Ihr Projekt am besten geeignet ist.
Ich empfehle, ein bezahltes Testprojekt von mindestens drei Personen zu verlangen. Ja, es kann teuer sein, mehrere Personen für dieselbe Arbeit zu bezahlen, aber stellen Sie sich das als Investition vor.
Es ist besser, frühzeitig herauszufinden, dass sie ein Projekt nicht bearbeiten können, bevor sie mit unternehmenskritischer Arbeit betraut werden.
Führen Sie abschließend ein Video-Chat-Interview mit Ihren ausgewählten Kandidaten durch. Dies stellt sicher, dass sie zu einem Termin erscheinen können und dass Sie miteinander auskommen.
Kommunizieren Sie regelmäßig
Regelmäßige Kommunikation ist wichtig, um Ihr Team an den Zielen Ihres Unternehmens auszurichten.
Arbeiten Sie nach einem Video-Chat-Interview am Anfang daran, dieses Kommunikationsniveau aufrechtzuerhalten.
Stellen Sie sicher, dass sie mit Ihrem Prozess übereinstimmen und angezeigt werden und verfügbar sind. Ich verwende Skype für die Kommunikation mit meinem Remote-Team.
Jeder scheint bereits zu wissen, wie man es benutzt, und es ist einfach zu bedienen.
Ein weiteres hilfreiches Tool für Arbeitsgespräche mit Remote-Teams ist Slack. Wenn Sie mit dem Tool nicht vertraut sind, handelt es sich um eine Messaging- und Chat-App für Arbeitsteams.
Dies ist eine großartige Möglichkeit, um über die neuesten Entwicklungen im Projekt auf dem Laufenden zu bleiben und sicherzustellen, dass sich jeder Freiberufler auf derselben Seite befindet wie der Rest des Unternehmens.
Dokumente freigeben und Fortschritt überwachen
Zu guter Letzt müssen Sie in der Lage sein, Dokumente einfach zu teilen.
Dies ist besonders wichtig im Content-Marketing, wo Änderungen schnell mühsam werden können, wenn Sie Dokumente hin und her senden müssen.
Ich empfehle hierfür Google Text & Tabellen, da es einfach ist, mit meinem Editor zu kommunizieren und zusammenzuarbeiten.
Google Drive ist hilfreich für die Verwaltung großer Dateisammlungen. Dies ist hilfreich, wenn Sie eine Warteschlange für Content-Marketing haben und Inhalte im Voraus vorbereiten müssen.
Google Drive allows you to create shared folders that everyone in your editorial team (writers, editors, publishers, etc.) can all review.
Finally, Dropbox is a powerful tool that allows you to share a variety of files, from templates to logos, with other members of your team.
It’s a great way to keep the branding on point and prevent a freelancer from accidentally use an old version of your logo.
Before you begin a large project, make sure you onboard everyone with the tools you’ll be using. Provide them with accounts and teach them how to use the tools if necessary.
With those basic precautions in place, you can go about with an ongoing project that’s guaranteed massive success.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to get more done in less time, outsourcing is a solution you should consider.
While it doesn’t work for every situation, outsourcing the least vital parts of your work is a surefire way to increase your efficiency.
If you use the right techniques and do your research, you can ensure that your outsourced work has the same impact of the projects you finish yourself.
What techniques will you use to outsource without losing quality?