Outsourcing for Your Business

A Simple 5 Step Process to Outsourcing for Your Business [Contributed Blog]

February 21, 2019 - 13 minutes read - Guest Post, Outsourcing

If you’re running a business be it online or offline, chances are you’re also going through what other CEOs consider an irresistible urge: to try to do everything yourself. Whether it’s because of pure perfectionism or trust issues, the decision to do tasks you should otherwise be delegating is something that will come back to haunt you. This will especially prove true when your business starts gaining momentum and that to truly scale, you will need to start outsourcing for your business.

The good news is the gig economy has arrived and there is a freelancer out there for just about anything you need to be done for your business. You can outsource anything your heart desires these days, from marketing and graphics to accounting and even replying to your emails!

The point of doing this is to not only to lighten your load but also to give you the breathing room you need to focus on more important tasks – your CEO tasks.

So how do you go about it? How do you start outsourcing for your business? Follow these 5 simple steps:

5 Steps to Outsourcing for Your Business:

1. Identify the Tasks On Your Plate

The first thing you need to do to get the ball rolling is to identify which tasks to delegate.  Think of the most mundane yet important tasks you have on your to-do list, like checking and replying to emails (which can take hours depending on the volume!), scheduling meetings with potential clients, or bookkeeping.

While these tasks may be easy, they do take hours to complete — hours that you should be spending on more important matters like overseeing your business’ daily operations.

We’re just talking here about the simple tasks that any rockstar virtual assistant can handle — but what about the tasks that require more specialized skills, like social media management, graphic design, inventory management, or programming?

A good way to begin is to write all of the tasks down and divide them into categories. Clerical tasks can certainly be handled by a general virtual assistant, but the specialized ones require experts.

Once you’ve defined them, you’ll be ready for the next step.

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What Tasks to Outsource for Small Business Owners [Contributed Blog]

2. Identify the Perfect Hire

While it’s true that you can outsource anything nowadays, getting the right person for each task is easier said than done.

You need to make sure that you understand what each task entails and that you have an avatar for the perfect candidate to handle them.

  • How many years of experience must he or she have?
  • Does he or she have an impressive portfolio?
  • Does he or she have a reputable track record in terms of the clients he or she has worked with in the past?
  • What skills does he or she have to possess to be considered?
  • Are these skills aligned with your business needs?

These are just some of the questions you should be asking yourself.  Of course, the more specific you can be, the better. Although there are lots of options to choose from, getting the right fit will save you both time and money.

Establishing your requirements as early as possible is essential so you’ll know the right fit when you speak to them during the interview.

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3. Post the Task and Schedule Interviews

Once you have determined what it is you’re looking for in a freelancer, the next step is to actually start looking.

With all the freelance marketplaces you can find on the internet today, hiring remote freelancers has never been this easy. Most of them have their own systems for hooking you up with freelancers from their deep talent pools, the most common of which is by allowing clients to post a project on the marketplace website and waiting for potential candidates with matching skills to apply.

If you’re the hands-on type and you want to be in control of the interview and most of the hiring process, this system is perfect for you. Be warned, however — sifting through several resumes and conducting multiple interviews can take a considerable amount of time.

There are also marketplaces that do all the dirty work for you so all you have to do is wait for them to send you the most suitable candidate.  These marketplaces already have freelancers of varying skills and expertise in their pool who have gone through a thorough vetting process. You therefore no longer have to review resumes or conduct in-depth interviews after you’ve sent in your requirements.

Another system you may encounter is that of buying services posted by freelancers on marketplace sites.  You’ll have direct access to freelancers if you prefer this system, which means you’ll be able to talk to them immediately and hire them on the spot once you have both agreed to the terms of the project.

It should be noted that no system is generally better than another when it comes to hiring remote freelancers.  It all comes down to what you are comfortable with and what will fit your preferences.

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4. Hire the Best Option

Deciding which candidate to pick may be the toughest part, but the criteria by which you choose them is entirely up to you. Skills and talent are usually the primary focus, other factors like experience, attitude, rate, and reviews are also significant in making the right choice.

You would want to get your money’s worth in terms of quality, wouldn’t you? Paying someone hourly can become expensive, so getting the right person is something you cannot take for granted.

Once you’ve decided on the candidate, the marketplace will set the system up so you can start working together.  Most marketplaces use a tool that will let you monitor the freelancer’s activity since you’ll be working with someone remotely.

As soon as everything’s set up, the freelancer should be ready to begin working on your project.

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5. Set Up Clear Expectations and Onboard the Individual

Beginning on the right foot is essential to the success of your project so before letting them jump into action, make sure to lay out your cards and set your expectations.  Be as clear as you possibly can so you can avoid any misunderstandings while in the middle of the project.

  • Would you like them to work alongside you, based on your timezone?
  • Do you have a weekly budget they should be working within?
  • How often do you expect them to update you on the status of the project, and through which channels?
  • Would you be requiring them to submit reports weekly or monthly?
  • Which file format do you expect the final output to be in upon submission?

Being the client, you have complete control over how you want the project to proceed, as long as you’re not defying any of the marketplace’s policies.

It’s important to be upfront with what you’re expecting from the individual you hired before you begin so you can wrap the project up immediately without wasting time going back and forth because of misunderstandings.

After you have clearly communicated your expectations, the next step is to formally onboard the freelancer.  

If you use specific tools for communication and project management like Skype, Slack, Asana, or Trello, and others that are relevant to the project, you need to provide them access to such tools.

You also need to provide them access to the files they’ll be working on, the social media channels they’ll be managing, or to the blogging platform, they’ll be using.

That’s it! You should now be ready to outsource anything to the individual you hired.

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Benefits of Outsourcing for Your Business

With the gig economy thriving, there’s almost no limit to the kind of tasks you can delegate to freelancers.  Today, you can outsource anything from the most mundane and repetitive to the more complicated and specialized tasks.

With a massive talent pool of highly-skilled remote freelancers to choose from, getting things done within your business is no longer a problem.  You no longer have to carry the burden when you have individuals who can do the work even better than you can, giving you the time to concentrate on your high-value tasks.

Outsourcing tasks shouldn’t be difficult if you follow this simple 5-step process that you can lean on as your business grows and the need for more talented individuals increases.  If you’re getting overwhelmed with the number of tasks you have to do, outsourcing for your business is one of the best decisions you will ever make.

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Outsourcing for Your Business Connor Gillivan FreeeUpConnor Gillivan is the CMO and co-owner of FreeeUp.com, a rapidly growing freelance marketplace making hiring online simpler. He has sold over $30 million online, has hired hundreds of freelancers to build his companies, is a published author, and is the owner of ConnorGillivan.com. He currently lives in Denver, CO.

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