outsourcing tips
Outsourcing tips for small business
Whether you are a single small business owner or part of a major global company, outsourcing work to freelancers and overseas workers can provide you with more time in the day to get to work on more important matters.

Outsourcing is still regarded as a challenge for many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), however the internet is making it much easier to find professionals on your doorstep as well as overseas.

While there are potential pitfalls involved in outsourcing work for your business, these five top tips will help you find workers with the exact skillsets you require.

Know what you want

Quite possibly the most important factor to outsourcing work is to ensure you know exactly the results you need. One of the biggest mistakes SMEs make when outsourcing work is to provide freelancers with vague, open-ended instructions. Be sure to provide your freelancer with as much information so they can engage with your vision for the project.

Use a contract

It is highly recommended to draw up a working agreement that details the terms of employment. Be sure that your service provider understands how you intend to use the deliverables they are agreeing to provide. SMEs should also never agree to pay their provider in full until the job is complete.

Review portfolios and testimonials

Before accepting the proposal of a freelance professional, be sure to examine their previous work or portfolio. It is important to check their work meets your expectations for quality and style. You may find a professional that is very keen to win your business may consider providing you with an initial concept of what they can provide. However, no professional expects to work for free!

Maintain a strictly working relationship

Another mistake some small business owners make is to become friends with freelance professionals. It can be much more awkward to hire and fire a freelancer you have become emotionally attached to over the course of several months of projects. As cold-hearted as this may seem, if you are truly planning on being successful, you need to be sure your livelihood is not harmed for the sake of a friendship.

Never hire just by price

Although the temptation is there for small businesses with smaller budgets to outsource their work to the cheapest vendor, it often transpires to be the most frustrating option. If work from cheaper providers arrives in your inbox requiring amendments at your end this only adds to your time and money invested in the project.

Successful outsourcing can be a very fast, easy way of expanding your business, allowing you to focus on what you do best, competing with larger organisations whilst maintaining your independence.

About the Author

Lewis Mitchel is a journalism graduate from De Montfort University with a background in regional press, digital media and specialises in providing business guidance to SME’s. Lewis Mitchell is a contributing writer for Workspace Group and anyspacedirect.co.uk.