Running a business can be difficult— especially when you find yourself stuck on a job you aren’t proficiently trained to deal with. Let’s face it, nobody can do everything. So it’s no surprise that even business owners need a little help now and then.
Luckily, today’s business owners typically have an endless supply of resources within their local communities. That means that those pesky jobs people always stress over don’t actually have to be time-consuming headaches. Instead, many businessmen and women have turned to outsourcing as a means of efficiency.
But how do you know when to outsource a job? Here are 4 important things to know before reaching out to another person, firm, or agency for help.
1. Know That You Can’t Do It Yourself
The first thing you need to do before hiring an outside service provider for a job is make sure it can’t be done without them. Sounds pretty obvious, but it may be harder than you think to do a job yourself if it’s a major pain in the butt. When it comes to that specific job, really put your best effort into taking care of it on your own. In some cases, that can mean doing research, asking others in your professional circle for help/advice, or trying and failing multiple times before successfully completing the job.
Knowing 100% that it can’t be done on your own will reassure you that outsourcing isn’t a waste of time and money. Plus, if you aren’t sure whether you needed the help or just wanted it, you might regret your decision when a similar job rolls around in the future.
The last thing to consider here is why your approach to the job didn’t work. Explaining your course of action and asking the service provider what went wrong can prevent you from having to hire someone for the same job down the line. However, if you get the sense that the service provider doesn’t want to help you understand the problem, I recommend switching to someone else in the future. I think we can all appreciate that everyone needs to make a living, but that doesn’t mean you have to all but put that person on your own payroll.
2. Know What To Expect
Before outsourcing a job, it’s also important to know what you want from the service provider. By this, I mean it’s important to set and manage your expectations so that you don’t end up disappointed with the end result. This is especially true for any custom work or jobs that you plan to outsource. Not clearly stating your expectations can result in wasted time and money, while also putting you right back at the beginning of an unfinished job. Simply put, having a vision or goal for projects, tasks, and jobs makes it easier for everyone involved in the long run.
3. Know Your Price
Another thing to be aware of before outsourcing is price. In other words, you need to know how much you’re willing to pay for a specific service. In some cases, you may have to pay the first price the service provider offers, and there’s just not much you can do about it unless you prefer to go to someone else. Some freelancers and service providers have put a lot of time and energy into budgeting the exact cost-benefit ratio for the type of job you need done. However— and this is important— it never hurts to spend a few minutes researching the cost of the service for yourself, especially if it’s your first time outsourcing it. A little bit of research and a few minutes tracking down multiple quotes for the job can really pay off in the long run.
After that, ask yourself (and the service provider) a few important questions. For example, is the price set in stone or is it negotiable? Should you form a contract for the job (which is often beneficial for both parties)? If you do go the contract route, is a service level agreement appropriate? Or would a statement of work suffice? As you can see, there’s a plethora of information to educate yourself about before settling on a price.
4. Know The Service Provider
Lastly, it’s important to know the people or person you’re turning to for help. How can you do that if you’ve never hired them for a job before? Easy. With today’s access to the web, almost everyone has reviews, recommendations, case studies, or comments posted about them somewhere. Another quick few minutes of online research and voila! You’ve found someone dependable to invest your time, money, and trust in.If the service provider you’re interested in can’t provide a decent website, previous work samples, or any positive reviews or comments, it may be in your best interest to take the job elsewhere. Finding someone with excellent credentials really can be the difference between your outsourced work giving you a massive headache and quickly and easily boosting revenue.
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—Amanda Myers, Copywriter at BoydTech Design, Inc.