Outsourcing refers to delegating tasks to people outside of the business. Often these tasks are handled in-house, but a need for more efficiency or specialized skills calls for outside assistance. This leads to two parties entering into a contractual arrangement in which skills and payments are transferred between them.
Knowing how to outsource certain aspects of your business functions effectively can yield a great deal of rewards and benefits. In the end, you understand your business needs better than anyone else. Therefore, while it makes sense to take advantage of outsourcing, it is still your duty to ensure that your business goals are not being compromised when you delegate tasks outside the company walls.
During the life of your outsourced project, it is vital that you correctly convey your vision to the team that you are working with. Include as much detail as possible when you relaying your expectations, so everyone has a concise plan to follow. It is worth the time you devote to developing an in-depth description of your goals. Provide your outsourcing team with your rules, benchmarks, expectations, and completion date. When you take the time to plan everything out ahead of time, there is less left to chance.
Make your team aware of objectives by maintaining open lines of communication and assuming nothing. Establish milestones and deadlines to better track the progress of each outsourced task. Give your team members access to checklists and progress reports that they can use to document their progress. Require them to turn in these reports at fairly frequent intervals.
Communication is the lifeline of any business organization. Schedule regular meetings or virtual conferences with your team to ensure communication flows freely among all participants. While email works, it is better to have a face-to-face meeting, use Skype, or chat with instant messaging services to communicate in real time. Another thing that can help ensure effective communication of the latest information related to the project is an online project management tool.
Outsourcing does not mean relinquishing yourself of all responsibility. As the main person in charge of managing the project, you need to ensure that it remains on track and all team members are working effectively towards this goal. Make your presence felt in the online management platform, or assign someone from your own company to handle the management task. Hold regular webinars, teleconferences, or meetings to give constant feedback and discuss quality concerns or revisions that you may need to make to the project schedule.
Your relationship with your team will affect their overall morale and performance. While you are undoubtedly the leader of your team, consider your team members as equals rather than as your subordinates. When you show them appreciation and respect, they are likely to treat you the same way. Tell them how much you value their contributions, which will motivate them to continue their good work. This kind of encouragement and positive feedback will ensure that the team surpasses your expectations in their performance.
Whether they are in-house employees or outsourced providers, a common set of rules governs any work relationship, and that applies to owners and managers as well. Outsourcing does not mean you can remove yourself from the scenario. With proper dedication, you will be able to enjoy success with your outsourcing ventures.
With outsourcing, you have the great opportunity to work with talented professionals who are not on the employee roster. It also keeps you from having to pay them a full-time salary with benefits when you only need them occasionally or are satisfied working with them as freelancers. As long as you manage it well, getting a skilled outsourced team will help expand your business potential.