How Outsourcing Can Help You
Small business and entrepreneurs are always looking for new creative ways to achieve more with their goals for a lower cost. One strategy that can help to save money, time, and a lot of frustration on your part as you are starting to build your business is to use external service providers to outsource as much of your work as possible.
Hiring skilled service providers can be cost-effective and can help a small business outsource just about any type of project. Diverse projects such as graphic design, administrative support, web design and development, business strategy, as well as writing and developing software are all projects that can be outsourced.
How To Effectively Manage Your Outsourcing Endeavor
In order to effectively manage an external service provider there are a few tips that you can implement to be sure everything goes as planned.
1. Make sure that the schedule for your project as well as the scope of the project is clearly defined.
This may seem somewhat obvious, but any successful project will start with a very clear statement of what your business is hoping to accomplish. Defining the requirements for the project up front will provide complete and accurate information so the service provider will be able to give you a realistic quote and proposal.
2. Be sure to evaluate the service provider like you are hiring them as an employee.
When you are going through proposals and evaluating them, do not be afraid to ask questions.
Selecting the right vendor for your business can be very subjective. Get feedback from other clients who have utilized their services in the past, and check their references.
Try to find a specific experience fit. Ideally, you would like to match provider that has specific experience with the project type that you are undertaking for your business. This is especially critical when you are outsourcing software development for complex technical projects.
3. Never consider the price as the basis of your choice in picking the right service provider.
Choosing a provider solely based on price is tempting, but should not be the determining factor. After evaluating hundreds of proposals take the highest and lowest priced bids and discard them. Typically the most successful projects will be from a provider that offered a good balance of quality and value.
The agreed upon price, deliverables, or the scope of the project can all change over the course of a service engagement. You need to be sure that any changes with payment, schedule, or otherwise are very clearly communicated and you have them confirmed in writing that everything is understood and agreed to.
Keep good records of any requested changes and whether you have accepted or rejected the modifications. Save copies of all the email exchanges that you have with your service provider.
4. Make sure that you review the samples and portfolios from the vendor.
You want to see what their previous work has been to be sure that it meets the style, quality, and expectations of your project.
5. If using a service provider for the first time, start with a simple relatively small project.
This will help to give you a better idea of their capabilities and style before you entrust them with a more “crucial” project.
Using a service provider to outsource your small business project can be cost-effective, as well as save you time that you can then take and dedicate to your other business endeavors. Discover more helpful outsourcing tips here.