4 Tips on Outsourcing Your Projects

4 Tips on Outsourcing Your Projects

The concept of outsourcing usually conjures up images of jobs leaving Europe and the US and going to Asia, but that this isn’t always the case. This myth is an oversimplification of how outsourcing works because paying a lower price is not the only factor that determines the decision to outsource.

Many employers running e-commerce and online businesses are keeping their options open when it comes to where they’re willing to hire workers, prioritizing the right balance of cost and talent versus just the cheapest rate.

If, for instance, you needed to hire a ghostwriter for conversational blog posts, it would make much more sense to hire someone who is a native speaker rather than someone who speaks English, German, or French (depending on your country) as a second language. The native speaker would write with familiar colloquialisms and build rapport with your audience. Alternatively, it makes perfect sense to hire a developer from India or Singapore who has had a university-level educating in programming and can do the work at a lower cost than a local programmer. When it comes to say, JavaScript, it’s the same all over the world.

Let’s take a look at some FAQs about outsourcing:


  1. How do you pay outsourced workers?

If you are hiring someone from overseas, an international money transfer can be done with relative ease. A system that is set up especially for this purpose makes the transaction much easier than the old-fashioned way of moving money between European or US banks to foreign countries. However, it’s fine to use traditional banking systems for paying independent contractors in your own country because there is no need to navigate currency exchange rates and different legalities.


  1. How do you manage projects?

With an employee working in your office you can see whether or not they are doing the work that you assigned. However, how do you supervise an outsourced worker? You do it by defining the scope of the project and scheduling due dates. You make sure that everyone is playing from the same playbook. The more accurate and comprehensive your project requirements, the easier it is for the service provider to give you what you want when you need it. In other words, be clear on the deliverables.


  1. How do you hire the right person?

Finding the right service provider is similar to hiring an employee. After you’ve evaluated their proposal for your bid, you have to ask questions. Talk to them on Skype to get a feel for their personality and to figure out if they have the knowledge, skills, and experience to do the work. Do you get a good gut feeling about them? You can also ask for references from past clients and contact them. Finally, you can have a probation period to see if they can deliver the work.


  1. What is the biggest mistake you can make when hiring a service provider?

It takes time to find the right service vendor. Simply having a good system of evaluation does not mean that you will always find the right person. You might have to go through quite a few service providers to find the right person.

However, assuming you’ve finally found the right person and they do the work just the way you want it done, you have to appreciate the fact that you may not be able to find someone else with their unique skill-sets.

If you don’t treat them well, then you will have to start all over again, because they may decide not to work for you.

Here are three common mistakes that employers use to lose good outsource-workers.

  • They are too critical. Under the guise of providing constructive feedback, they offer harsh criticism.
  • They are cheapskates, paying as little as possible while demanding a high quality of work. Many employers also never make any effort to raise their rates even after years of loyal effort and then are surprised when their outsourced worker quits.
  • They allow scope creep to destroy the relationship, expecting the worker to do things for free outside the defined project. For instance, they ask a ghostwriter to add keyword research to improve the article when they are still only paying them the original price per word. Sometimes scope creep is more subtle. They ask for extensive revisions without any compensation for the worker’s time.

While you may have found the perfect service provider, you also have to do your bit to be a fair and reasonable employer. You will only succeed in outsourcing if you focus on using a win-win approach.