A Comprehensive Guide to Outsourcing Expert Freelancers
Outsourcing is one of those aspects of a business that if utilized properly, can be useful in keeping down costs and getting more work done in the same amount of time. Today, more and more businesses are outsourcing tasks because technology has advanced to the point where professionals can work from anywhere in the world. These freelancers come on board as subcontractors, saving the business owner the burden of paying overheads associated with payroll taxes and expenses, as well as the space constrictions that growing a company in-house can present.
Are you looking to outsource expert freelancers? This comprehensive guide is for you. We discuss everything you need to know to hire top-quality freelancers and utilize their expertise in your business so you can focus more on revenue-driving tasks. Here’s some top considerations:
#1. What Should You Outsource?
Every company has those tasks that they can handle in-house and can be handled just as well elsewhere. So the first step is finding out what these tasks are in your company. Start by identifying why you need to outsource in the first place. This will give you a general idea of what you should outsource. Ask yourself these three questions:
Certain essential yet time-consuming tasks like data entry, competitor research, database building, and other back-office processes can be easily outsourced. For example, if your business marketing revolves heavily around infographics and graphic designs, you can simply find a freelance graphic designer to get it done without having to pay a full-time employee's rates. Hiring a freelancer to do these tasks can get you more time to focus on the core competencies of your business.
#2. Don't be Afraid to Specialize
A jack of all trades can be a valuable addition to your company, but a specialist in a particular area is equally important. In fact, this is one of the most common reasons to consider outsourcing. By filling in knowledge or skill gaps missing in your company, production can continue as scheduled. For instance, you may already have a developer on your payroll but it doesn't mean they can handle specialized tasks like app development and maintenance. In this case, you’re going to want to hire a freelance IOS developer to take on the task.
#3. Be ready to hit the ground running
The day you hire your expert freelancer is not the day you should come up with a plan and get your documentation in order. Freelancers, especially those with enough years of experience, are extremely busy people too so before making your hire, you’ll want to make sure you have already outlined what he or she needs to do, complete with instructions and documentation. For example, if you were looking for freelance content editors for hire, then you should already have a system in place for the workflow. Remember that you’re hiring them to edit content, so by the time you’re onboarding them, they should already have content ready to edit.
#4. Clarify project specifications and expectations
Now that you know exactly why you’re outsourcing and what your approach will be, it’s time to outline project specifications and define your expectations. One of the first things that you want to consider is the length of the project. If you’re looking to hire digital marketing experts, for instance, it’s likely to be a long-term contract.
However, if you’re outsourcing a one-time project, such as web design, you’ll definitely want to have a deadline by when you’d like the project completed. Be sure to clarify these deadlines, and the importance of them, to the person you’re outsourcing the task to. In some cases, you may have tasks that are without any time pressures, but it’s still a good idea to come up with some sort of deadline so the task doesn't drag along for a long time.
Once you have set your deadlines and timelines, you will then need to clarify the exact expectations from the freelancer you will work with.
#5. Keep the Essentials In-House
As your business starts to reap the benefits of outsourcing, you may begin wondering what else you can outsource, albeit to save you a few more overhead costs. As much as possible do not outsource the main focuses of your business. Think about it -- if you could outsource everything, then your competitors are only a few freelancers away from beating you at your own game.
A good example of this is Apple. While this company outsources most of its manufacturing, its design is done in-house. Anybody can make a mobile, but only Apple can make it look like an iPhone or iPad. You should also avoid outsourcing tasks that you are unable to track. The inability to track and measure task means you’re ultimately unable to manage it.
#6. Start Small
Don’t overextend. While it can be tempting to save money and free up your time, it always pays to start small. This way, you can gauge the quality of the work your new hire is submitting. Alternatively, you could set a trial for this freelancer to see how they perform. This is actually a better route when it comes to specific tasks that may need to be completed in one period.
Where to Find Outsourced Talents
Once you know what you need and why you need it and have specified the details, you’re ready to find the person to work with. There are a number of freelance work websites that allow you to connect with expert freelancers. A good example is Taskenator, a global freelancing marketplace that connects savvy business owners with freelancers all across the globe. Here you can find experts to outsource certain tasks, like data entry, web development, admin jobs, writing and editing jobs, and so much more.
There you have it! Now you’re ready to explore the exciting world of outsourcing and position your business better for growth.