Whether you’re growing your business rapidly or your employees are out of bandwidth, you need help. And most businesses resort to outsourcing. Outsourcing is when you delegate tasks to freelancers or agencies outside your company.
The benefits of outsourcing are widely known, such as lower labour and capital costs, increased efficiency, and a lower chance of risk. Additionally, if you use a work hours tracker app, you can monitor their progress and pay them accurately for the time they worked.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to successfully outsource your tasks so you can continue focusing on business growth.
Find out what needs to be outsourced
Most of the time, when you need to outsource work, it’s because your business is scaling sustainably. And as a result, your employees can’t effectively manage the new load of work. However, needing to outsource isn’t proof of their work ethic, but rather of your growth.
With that being said, before you start looking for freelancers, see what tasks are hindering your employees from performing their best. Are they struggling with social media posting? Facebook ads? Finding relevant keywords? Optimizing software bugs?
Whatever the issue is, ensure that it’s of high-priority. You don’t want to outsource tasks if it could’ve been easily accomplished by one of your employees. And you also don’t want to outsource work that your employees are completing efficiently and with high-quality. Because you might not receive the same quality of work.
So when determining what you need outsourced, ensure that’ll help ease your employees’ workload without compromising quality.
Also Read: What Millennials Value Most at Work
Create a budget
Now that you know what tasks you need to be completed, you need to create an outsourcing budget. Your budget needs to include what quality of talent you’re willing to pay for.
Because it doesn’t matter what you need outsourced, you’ll find freelancers at various price points. And while the price isn’t the only component that matters, it’s a significant one.
Also, that doesn’t mean you’ll receive the same quality of work. Or within your deadline. And as the saying goes, you can’t have good, fast, and cheap – only two. While it’s possible to get all three, it rarely happens. And do you want to change your business growth on those odds?
This is important. One thing many businesses complain about outsourcing is that the work didn’t live up to their expectations. And many complaints expressed by freelancers is that companies they worked with didn’t have clear expectations and guidelines from the beginning.
When you outsource work, you’re asking someone who’s not familiar with your processes or expectations to work on your assignments. So, if you want them to work seamlessly on your project and live up to your expectations, you’ll need to clearly explain them.
Just remember that no one can read your mind. Even if you’re making an investment in the freelancer, they’re only as good as the guidelines you’ve laid out.
Use a test project
Even if you’ve evaluated a potential freelancer’s portfolio, there’s no guarantee that you’ll partner well together.
So, before committing them to a project with an extensive deadline, give them a paid test project. And then you’ll be able to see if they’re a good fit. If not, you can easily move on to the next freelancer that you think will work well with your business.
Set them up with a work hours tracker
If you’re paying your freelancer hourly, then a work hours tracker can show you what they were doing when on the clock. It’ll also help you monitor their progress. Then you’ll have insight into what they were doing and what tasks took up most of their time.
Using a work tracker can also help you accurately pay them for their hours worked. Because it’ll automatically track their time in the background, so you’ll know exactly what they were doing and for how long.
Communicating with freelancers isn’t optional. While a work hours tracker app can help you monitor their progress, you still need to be active during the project. You need to know:
- What they’re doing.
- If they’re struggling.
- What additional documents or resources they need.
- If they have questions.
Those situations are all relevant to your project’s success and require you to be in near-constant communication with your freelancer.
Respect their schedules
They’re freelancers for a reason. And that’s generally because of the freedom they get for working when and for who they want. You might want them to work from 9 am to 5 pm.
But they might work from 2 pm to 6 pm then from 8 pm to 10 pm. Trying to change their schedule so it can work around yours won’t work.
Especially if they’re in a different time zone. Don’t force them to align with your schedule. Instead, work with them and see what’s a good time for them to meet with you that works for both of you.
Treat them as an expert
While you might not do it intentionally, some business owners tend to treat their freelancers as one of their employees. Even if they are working on projects that your in-house team could’ve accomplished, they aren’t the same.
To be a successful freelancer, they have to see their career as a business. They nurture their leads, offer discounts, attend networking events, collaborate with other freelancers, etc.
And that’s not something your in-house employees do. Your employees answer to you. And while freelancers have to communicate with their clients, they don’t truly have someone over them.
Additionally, most freelancers are specialists. So, they might even offer you advice or a different perspective. While your employees might keep their opinions to themselves for the sake of keeping their job.
Ultimately, when done correctly, outsourcing has tremendous benefits for your business. You have to work with the freelancer to create an environment that mutually respects each other’s boundaries.
And with a robust work hours tracker, you’ll have the data you need to confidently and accurately pay them for their time.
How did you successfully outsource your work? Did you use a work hours tracker app? We’ll love to hear about it in the comments section below!