There comes a time in every entrepreneur’s life when they face the decision of outsourcing projects to others. This is no easy decision to come to, especially for people who consider their business their baby, believing no one could do it the same justice. That’s probably true, no one will ever know your business quite as well as you. Unless you take the time to teach them, that is.
The goal of outsourcing is to create a seamless, hopefully undetectable, transition from yourself doing the bulk of the work, to trusted employees carrying out the same work, in the same way. Developing a system is not only necessary, it provides the foundation for making outsourcing less of a headache.
What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate
Failure to communicate your needs effectively, or failure on the part of your contractor to fully understand your needs, often results in a project running right into the ground. Leading many entrepreneurs to abandon outsourcing before they’re really able to test the waters. Rather than give up before you even get started, why not apply some tried-and-true methods to your hiring practices?
Details – More than a Glossy Magazine for Men
- Be Detailed in Your Job Description– providing a significant amount of detail about the scope, needs, and details of your project gives potential contractors plenty of insight into what to expect from you as a client, allowing them to cater their proposal to your needs.
- Read the Proposal Thoroughly – Comb over each proposal you receive, are there any typos or glaring grammar mistakes? A poorly composed proposal could spell trouble in a potential candidate. Sloppiness at this stage generally equates to sloppiness as the project progresses.
- Then Be Even More Thorough When Reading Feedback – It’s hard to judge new contractors, especially if they haven’t received any feedback. Don’t go by the pretty stars expecting the contractor will shine just as brightly, instead look for any negative feedback received as well as the contractor’s reaction to that negative review. A contractor that responds with anger, rather than grace, could turn into trouble when it’s time to ask for edits and corrections to submitted work.
- Comb Through the Portfolio Too – Even if samples were provided as part of the proposal, see if your potential contractor has any other items in their portfolio as well, this is often a great indicator of their style and how well it meshes with your own expectations.
- Create Multiple Milestones – Don’t set a single date for all work to be submitted, instead schedule an early deadline for one or two articles, then more deadlines along the way. This allows you the chance to nip any problems in the bud rather than trying to fix an entire project completely. Reviewing work in the early stages also gives an opportunity to see how well your contractor understands the full details of the work order.
- Provide a Detailed Work Order – To avoid confusion, miscommunication, and headaches, be detailed in your work order. Even if it takes a solid ten minutes for your contractor to read and absorb the information, providing too many details is far better than providing too few. Answer any and all questions that could come up before they have a chance to be asked.
- Ask For Referrals – Once you’ve found some really great writers ask them if they have any friends they feel would make suitable team members. Not only will they appreciate the value you see in them, they will likely have reliable sources for you to contact. Making sorting through proposals less of a team
- Keep Coming Back – Finding a great writer is difficult, finding a half dozen of them even more so, especially if you have exacting specifications for your work orders that must be followed to the letter. Don’t let these writers get away, invite them to work with you as often as their schedule allows.
You’re the Boss, Be Bossy!
I’ve managed a team of writers, and believe me, it’s a challenge. However, it’s a very rewarding challenge once everyone fully understands the scope of the project and how they’re expected to proceed with achieving these goals. It’s consistently proven that daily updates of quality content can make a website or break it, which is why it’s vital to have a quality team. Remember, just because something seems natural and intuitive to you doesn’t mean your writing team is comprised of psychics who will instantly “get it” without being told. If delegating authority doesn’t appeal to you neither will outsourcing.
About the Author: Rachel Cook is a freelance writer who enjoys being an influential leader as much as she enjoys following in the footsteps of great leaders. Often taking time out of her busy schedule to mentor a group of women towards empowerment and personal growth, Rachel tends to find fulfillment in seeing others fulfilled. A fan of all things that could lead to fostering her personal best, Rachel enjoys browsing the information available at www.openwebsitetutorials.com when she’s not busy indulging the demands of her cat, Patches.