Online Biz Owners: Avoid These 5 Outsourcing Mistakes

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For those considering outsourcing in their online businesses, the goal is to create a more profitable company while streamlining the owner’s work. Taking the time to avoid common outsourcing mistakes will make the process go more smoothly and avoid the feeling that you are spinning your wheels and getting nowhere. Or to quote Nicole Dean of “You must plan your outsourcing wisely. Otherwise, you’re simply throwing money into the wind.”

As with any part of business, outsourcing has its good and bad points, however if you are aware of the potential problems before hand, you increase your chances of an enjoyable experience.

Here are 5 potential outsourcing mistakes every online business owner should be aware of in order to avoid making them.

1. Not Knowing Who You Are Dealing With

Most business owners who outsource will tell you the biggest benefit of doing so is the fact that their assistants work remotely. The number one problem when it comes to outsourcing, though, is not thoroughly checking out the contractor or company who will be performing the work. Keep in mind that sometimes this independence can work in the opposite direction if not taken seriously. Make it a point to carefully interview the people you are considering working with before assigning tasks or project to them. The person or company should be someone you can trust to represent your business.

2. Non-Communication between Owner & Assistant

Whether you are outsourcing tech support, writing, web design or something else, there is a great deal of effort needed in order to keep the lines of communication open. If you allow your workers to do work for you without communicating your goals and what it is that you need, you will find that your work might not be done as you’d hoped. Assistants are not mind-readers and do need guidance. Take some time to make sure that you and the people you outsource to understand your expectations. This is an important part of making sure that you get what you need.

3. Forgetting to Budget Wisely

In order for outsourcing to work properly, you’ll need to keep a good eye on what you are spending for the work being done. While some projects will require single payments to your assistant, others may involve recurring or retainer payments and you will more than likely have some type of contract or agreement that binds you. Some of your assistants may charge by the hour while others may invoice by project or expect payment based on a commission of some sort. Take the time to figure out how much money you can afford to spend on certain tasks and budget appropriately.

4. Under Utilizing Your Contractor & Their Resources

When you choose to outsource certain tasks, make certain you are using your assistants to their fullest capabilities and not just outsourcing for the sake of outsourcing or splitting up work between two assistants when it makes more sense to have one handle both jobs. Sometimes you can find freelancers who are willing to work on a recurring basis or who will complete larger projects at a reduced rate in order to get and keep your business. Don’t be afraid to ask potential contractors if they have room for more than just one or two jobs and don’t outsource something just to say that you’re on the outsourcing wagon.

5. Misunderstanding Your Role as the Outsourcer

As the one doing the outsourcing, you need to understand your role. In order for the relationship between business owner and assistant to flourish, you’ll want to keep the lines of communication not only open, but clear as well. Be detailed in what you expect from your help. Also keep in mind that you are probably not their only client and as much as you would love to have them all to yourself, that probably isn’t the case. Be respectful of their time and give feedback on their work. This will help them do a better job and respect your time in return.

Making yourself aware of possible problems that often occur in the outsourcing relationship now allows your business to grow by leaps and bounds. Don’t be afraid to start your outsourcing journey, especially now that you are better prepared to do so.

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4 Responses to “Online Biz Owners: Avoid These 5 Outsourcing Mistakes”

  1. Laurie Hurley Says:

    This really hits home for me! I outsourced with two different programmers and was left in the lurch by both! I did my homework and background and reference check, but it wasn’t enough. Next time I outsource I will be way more diligent. These guidelines, although common sense, will help me.
    Laurie Hurley´s latest blog post And Why Don’t You Get My Business Growth Strategy

  2. Jan Tallent Says:

    thanks so much for reading and leaving feedback, Laurie.

    I *meet* a lot of unhappy biz owners who had chosen the wrong person or people to outsource to – I had even had a web design company start one of my sites and then disappear off the face of the net and they sure left me hanging!

    I WANT potential clients to check me out as much as they can and am lucky to have some awesome referances and testimonials plus their referrals. I encourage anyone who needs to outsource any aspect of his or her business to PLEASE do some homework and research. The time really will be well spent.

    After all, it pays both ways – Ann Evanston and I worked so well together with the occasional assignments she sent me that I ended up being her happy assistant :-)

    Jan Tallent´s latest blog post Online Biz Owners- Avoid These 5 Outsourcing Mistakes

  3. Julie Labes Says:

    Right now i don’t outsource but now if I ever do, i will know how and what to look out for

    Julie Labes,…The Fierce over 50 feels much younger point and click junkie loves to travel does not use a jogging stroller and before you ask this is NOT my granddaughter..Woman
    Julie Labes´s latest blog post Noshing In Vienna

  4. Jan Tallent Says:

    thanks, Julie – you know where to find me and if I don’t do what you need I know someone who does :-)
    Jan Tallent´s latest blog post Online Biz Owners- Avoid These 5 Outsourcing Mistakes

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Over the past 17+ years, Jan Tallent has spent countless hours providing writers and webmasters with free friendly tips on how to correct spelling and grammar errors in their written material.

From the feedback received she decided that since proofreading and editing help was so desperately needed, she should build a business around something she enjoys doing, while at the same time providing a valuable service to business owners and writers.

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Jan Tallent
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