When you’re running your own business, you might be tempted to handle everything on your own. After all, you don’t have to pay yourself to do things, so the more you do, the more profitable you are, right? Wrong.
When you’re struggling to do everything, there is a great cost to your business and profitability. You see, when you’re spreading yourself too thin, you’re not going to be able to spend time on the business-critical things that you do so well. These things are often in your “Zone of Genius,” but when you don’t have time to even think, they just become tasks on your to-do list.
But when you’re struggling to get high-quality work from outsourced tasks, this can also feel counterproductive. You’ll end up spending too much time training and reworking tasks that were supposed to be outsourced and done well.
So, in this post, we’re going to uncover how to improve your outsourced work tasks.
Before you even outsource any task, run through the task once or twice on your own and write down every step of the process. You want your instructions to be clear and concise.
Too much information can be confusing and not enough can leave much room for error. Instead, try to find that sweet spot where you’re outlining exactly what the person needs to know in order to perform the outsourced work task well and in as few steps as possible.
Create a list of questions that you can ask most freelancers and company representatives, so you can get a feel for their work ethic, process and turnaround time. It’s important to have a clear understanding of how the other person works before you do any hiring for outsourced work.
Remember that when you’re outsourcing, you aren’t the person’s boss, so you may have to work around their schedule instead of the other way around. But when you ask these questions up front, you’ll get a clear understanding of whether the relationship is a good fit or not.
For example, if you need work turned around in 24-hours or less, this must be part of your screening process. If a freelancer can’t guarantee this, it’s not a good fit regardless of other qualifications.
Provide some clarity on what you expect during the interview process. If you require a resume or formal interview, the freelancer should be prepared for a phone interview and have their resume polished before they apply.
Contracts may seem like overkill on some outsourced projects, but they can really help both sides understand what’s expected of them. For example, what if you pay a freelancer and they don’t deliver? A contract can help protect you and give you some legal rights.
In another scenario, what if a freelancer doesn’t deliver when they promise to? You may offer flexibility, or you may start discounting their rate. It all depends on what’s outlined in the contract.
What happens if the work is of subpar quality? Your contract should outline any specific quality standard and spell out what will happen in the event those standards aren’t met. You don’t want any surprises once you’ve started working together, and a contract can help both parties remain on the same page. A freelancer is less likely to deliver late if they know there are financial consequences.
If you get an outsourced task back and it’s not completely to your liking, it’s important to provide constructive feedback to the freelancer or outsourcing company. This may seem obvious, but many solopreneurs skip this step because they find it’s easier to just make adjustments on their own.
And if this is a one-off task, that’s probably true. But if you’re looking to outsource the same task to the same freelancer multiple times, it’s best to provide constructive feedback and allow the freelancer to make the changes and resubmit the work.
When you teach the person how you’d like the work done, you’ll get a much better result that will save you time and frustration in the long term. And if you realize there’s any confusion about how to perform the task, you may want to update your instructions. Having clear and concise instructions will go a long way towards getting the results you want from multiple workers.
Outsourcing is an amazing resource for business owners, but it can become a headache if you aren’t clear about your expectations. Follow these tips to get a better result from your outsourced tasks every time.