How to take the ouch out of outsourcing work and getting a poor result

Who hasn’t been let down by someone before? The fact is, at some point in life, this becomes a reality, but when it happens in a professional environment it can be very frustrating – and this is what puts a lot of business mums off outsourcing their work.

What’s more frustrating than spending the time (and money) to show someone the work that you need done, on,y to be let down, again and again?

But you can avoid that if you define the ‘what’ in your outsourcing.

Say what?
So you need someone to do your admin, your bookkeeping or to manage your online activity. That is very vague…and if that’s all you have to say, it’s little wonder you’ve been burnt in the past, or are about to get burnt again.

Before you pass on your precious business’ needs to another person, you need to let them get a very intimate understanding of how your business is handling that piece of work, and what you hope to change and/or improve.

Define your process(s)
You need to list all your requirements, so that there is no ambiguity. Don’t take anything as a given – you’d be amazed at some of the detail that can be lost or ignored by a third party because it wasn’t asked of them. And it’s not because their trying to pull a fast one, or are incompetent; it’s because you didn’t ask. How do they know that you aren’t going to cover that area yourself?

So the first order of business when considering outsourcing is:

How to be specific
When you define your requirements you need to make then as clear as possible. Asking for something to be done quickly and efficiently is not clear enough – we all have different standards, after all. Responding to customer emails within 24 hours is a clear requirement. See the difference?

When you start to define your current process, it will allow you to understand the details of what actually needs done in that role. This information is crucial when/if transferring that process over to whoever you employ to do that work for you.

It I’ll also give you a good idea about how feasible the work is for the amount of time and money you are going to pay to have it done.

So the key to outsourcing success is to know your process and your budget prior to considering offshoring any project. By being armed with solid information, it becomes much easier to select the right person to carry out the work, and you’ll get the work you need done to the standard you need it to be.

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