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Archive for the category “Outsourcing”

How to Outsource – 3 Big Outsourcing Tips

By Alan Saltz

Wondering how to outsource work to a freelancer and how to find freelancers, either in the United States or abroad?

You’re not alone.

Outsourcing work to freelance workers, or virtual workers as some refer to it, doesn’t seem like an easy thing to. Especially the first time you do it.

For most people wondering how to outsource, a lot of questions come to mind:

  1. What kind of work do I outsource?
  2. Who should I hire?
  3. Where do I find freelancers?
  4. How do I hire a freelance worker?
  5. How do I communicate with my freelancer?
  6. How do I make sure my projects are being done correctly?
  7. How do I know what I’m paying for?
  8. How do I pay a freelancer?

It was questions like these that prevented me from outsourcing for a long time. I really wish they hadn’t. Now that I know how to outsource and have actually gone through the process, I can see tremendous value in it – in the form of significant time and cost savings. It’s also not nearly as difficult as I anticipated.   _

Here are 3 helpful tips to help you find freelancers and get started outsourcing.

1. Look to ONLINE freelance hubs.

I used to think that job boards and classified sites like Craigslist were the best places to find freelancers. I was wrong. I discovered that these were great ways to get lots of resumes… but ultimately I had no idea who these people were, or what I was getting myself into. People who looked great on paper proved to be awful in reality. It was an expensive mistake.

Then finally I came across what I’ll call “freelance hubs” – websites like oDesk and Scriptlance – whose SOLE purpose is to unite employers with freelancers all over the world.

These websites have thousands of programmers, writers, web developers, artists, and other freelance workers ready to take on projects. Beyond just a resume, you can see the projects they’ve taken on, how many hours they’ve logged, tests they’ve taken, language proficiency, and (perhaps best of all) REVIEWS from other companies who have hired them.

So before you outsource work, you can have a high level of confidence in the workers you choose.

That’s a lot of benefit.

It’s also great that these sites can help you learn how to outsource effectively, by streamlining steps in the process such as hiring, team management, and payment.

2. Start SMALL.

Seriously, outsourcing is much less difficult than it may seem.

What IS overwhelming is trying to outsource a major project, with lots of moving pieces, before you’ve gone through the process once. Besides, every freelance worker is different. So it pays to see how well you work with someone, and how they run projects, before you worry about figuring everything out yourself. The smaller the project you start with, the less pressure you’ll feel to micromanage and the more relaxed you’ll be. It’s a great “learn as you go” experience.

3. Have a Well DEFINED Project.

Before you get started, make sure you have your project well planned out. Know what you want to do. Know the skills that are necessary to complete that task. Know the scope of the project and the time you expect it to take.

The better you know what you want, the easier it is to find someone to complete the task, and the easier it is to communicate what you want done. A well-defined project also meshes your expectations with your freelancer’s, paving the way to a smooth and successful completion.

Also, by the time you have a larger project to outsource; many of your initial questions will be answered already. For example, you may already have a worker you trust, you’ll know the best way to communicate, you’ll know how payments are made, etc.

Conclusion

Outsourcing may seem like a difficult task, but it really does get easier as you go through the steps. When you start small, you reduce the risk of wasting time and money, and you improve your chances of finding someone you can work with for a long time to come.

Use online resources that help you through the process and you’ll find it can be a lot easier than you think!

An EASY way to outsource? —> Read this oDesk review.oDesk matches employers with freelancers all over the world and can help you easily find freelancers that are capable and trustworthy.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alan_Saltz

Try a Virtual Assistant

by Keridak Kae Silk

Virtual Assistants are usually home-based workers, who have a wide variety of expertise valuable to businesses.  In this way business can have the luxury of a secretary, a “Girl Friday”, a greeter, gate keeper, book keeper, social net-worker, techie… and on the list can go. Each VA has their own set of skills and abilities.

Owning and running any business is time consuming.   It is important to decide how best to spend your time.  Isn’t  it best spent making money, working directly with clients?  Wouldn’t you rather spend your time following your passion? If so, make a list of all the tasks that are needed to successfully run your business. Include all the tasks that you wish you had time to get to.

Perhaps, you’d like to start a blog or create a following with twitter. Perhaps, you are ready to create an event. (With all the possibilities of receiving payment, keeping track of ticket sales, marketing the event, and what if there is a chicken or fish option?) How to you find the time?

The great thing is that you don’t have to. Virtual Assistants fill the gaps and free you up to do the things that you do best.  Most businesses don’t think twice about hiring an accountant or book keeper.  Use that same freeing way of thinking for the other tasks you may have been avoiding or just haven’t had the time to get to.  Take your list and look for a VA to fill the gap.

Virtual Assistants range from the new & less experienced to those with strong, well managed, high tech skills.  Fees also have a wide range.  You need to decide your budget, the level of expertise you will need and the level of professionalism.  Is your business best served by a bargain basement VA or are you ready to work with higher end, high skilled professionals?

Once you have a list of needs; go through and rate each with how important it is to your business success.  Then go through the list again and place a star next to the things that you either love to do or feel you cannot let go of.  All the tasks that are left are possible tasks that a VA can take off your hands.

This article may be published in your blog or newsletter by including the following:

Authored by Keridak Kae Silk, MS, DTM: Virtual Freedom VA Services/Funding Success Grant Services, 866-279-8666, keri@fundingsuccess.us , http://www.fundingsuccess.us/wp/

Letting Go to Grow

by Patricia Guerzo

To achieve more, aspire to do less yourself, and more through others. This is such basic advice, why is it so hard to do?

One reason – you’re too close to the story to see the plot.  You have a one-man play instead of a production.

Another reason – you form new relationships with the service providers.  This takes time, yet results are needed right away.  Break-in time period can be awkward, and requires structure that might not exist.  More work!

Yet another reason – it takes time to locate the right resource for you.  Friends and family can be tempting, but carry high risks.  Do you really want your mother to be angry because you fired your payroll firm?

I help business owners see where their time is best spent, and what can be outsourced.  We create a plan to prepare for the transition.  I then work the plan to make the outsourcing successful.

What keeps businesses from outsourcing?  The answers may surprise you.  Here are a few that surprised the owners themselves.

  • If rules are communicated orally, contractors will produce inconsistent work.  Procedures must be written down, boring as that may sound.
  •  Owners become managers of the outsourced work.  This is a new skill for some, and requires some structure to help the owners succeed.
  • It is even more helpful to have an adviser after outsourcing.  The business is bigger.  New opportunities can now be pursued.

If you feel like there are not enough hours in the day, find someone to talk through your options.  There are many service providers with low minimum requirements and reasonable rates. Be sure to check out more than one option, and look on social media sites to validate the website and brochures.  Or contact your friendly business adviser, who specializes in knowing those providers.

What would you most like to outsource in your business?

To use this article in your newsletter or blog- you must include the following: Patricia Guerzo, President of GBSC, is an accomplished business executive with a proven record of enhancing bottom line results.  http://guerzo.com

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