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Top tips for outsourcing work

7th July 2011
Business start-ups and entrepreneurs are always looking for new and profitable ways to achieve their business goals for the cheapest financial outlay. Outsourcing can save a significant amount of time and money if you select reliable freelancers or external agencies to take the strain.

Online marketplaces are a great way for small businesses to interact and manage freelancers to meet your scope and expectations.

Every day hundreds of projects are outsourced to freelancers online from copywriting to software development and below are just some of the most effective tips for working with external service providers.

It’s all about the scope
The key to any successful outsourced project is to provide your chosen external provider with a watertight scope that makes a clear statement of what you are trying to accomplish. Treat your freelancer or external agency like you would a full-time employer - provide them with accurate proposals and a realistic timeframe in which he work can be delivered. It is important to be open about your time schedule as delays can cause unnecessary costs.

Don’t be influenced by price
When choosing a freelancer to outsource work to the temptation is to choose the cheapest quote. However, many experienced businesses have been stung by discarding the highest quotes in favour of cheaper external providers. Cheaper does not necessarily mean better particularly if the standard of their workmanship and timekeeping is below par. Be sure to find the right blend of value for money and high end results.

Examine applicants’ portfolios
No matter how important the project, it is important that any work your choose to outsource is assigned to a freelancer with expertise in the field. Take time to examine applicants’ portfolios carefully and if it is a particularly large project don’t be afraid to ask applicants for references from their previous clients. If they are a qualified professional they are unlikely to mind providing samples of previous work.

Build up to ‘major’ projects
Unless you have 100% confidence in your chosen freelancer it is highly recommended that you start them on a small scope project to receive a good idea of their capabilities and the speed they work. Working in this manner will ensure that you have no underlying concerns when handing your freelancer with a more crucial project down the line.

Get any service agreements in writing

After reaching service agreements with your chosen freelancer it is crucial that you get an agreement saved in writing. This covers you in the event of incomplete work within scope or late delivery of the project which would see your provider breaking their agreement without prior warning.
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