As a business entrepreneur, you may have far more to do than you can possibly ever get done. Thankfully, with outsourcing, you can outsource specific projects or on-going work to any number of service providers. Outsourcing can be very effective, if you know how to communicate your requirements clearly.
With a lack of communication and coordination, outsourcing can get stressful, leaving you spending too much money and not getting what you needed, when you needed it. Here are ten practical tips that you can use to enjoy a smooth, easy, successful and stress-free outsourcing experience.
1. Provide the vendor with written instructions: Write down checklists and how-to process documents for all the recurring tasks that you plan on outsourcing. With everything documented, you can easily hand them over to your outsourcing partner. Your vendor can easily refer to them as and when needed and will not have to face any confusion.
2. Include a clear project title in your requests: Make sure the request sent to the outsourcing partner has a project title that is clear and descriptive. This makes it easy to keep all your outsourced tasks organized. You and your partner can also quickly find the right message later by looking at the title of the request.
3. Highlight the project due date: This small detail, though important, is often neglected. Put down the due date of your project in the title, subject and the body of the outsourcing contract and other documents. By reminding the vendor of the due date, you increase your chance of getting your work completed on schedule.
4. Include a short overview in your task request: Provide your vendor with a short overview of what your company is trying to accomplish. When your vendor understands the big picture, it will be easier for them to work better, make wise decisions and provide suggestions.
5. Give your vendor a numbered list of steps: When you outsource a task, do not make the mistake of assuming your vendor knows how you want things to be done. Provide details and specifications about each step or specific task that needs to be done in order to successfully complete the project.
6. Send a different email for each task or project: You can avoid a lot of stress and confusion, not to mention failed projects, all be sending a separate email or request for each project/ task. Remember to never assign two completely different projects in one email/request.
7. Be an active participant in the project: When you outsource a project, it doesn’t mean that you are not responsible for the outcome of the project. You must remember that you are responsible for making sure that project is taken care of as requested. Regularly reviewing the work of the vendor, communicating changes and holding meetings can ensure that your project has a successful outcome.
8. Clearly specify the maximum number of dollars or hours beforehand: By clearly stating such details, you can avoid the stress of getting handed a surprisingly large bill for the outsourced project.
9. State your expectations: Let your vendor know about your how and when you want your project reports and updates. Remember to always request for a reply or read receipt from the vendor. If you are outsourcing a large project, split it into phases and ask the vendor to send you an update when a particular phase gets completed.
10. Discuss details over the telephone: Though it is best to get all your project requests in writing for future tracking purposes, do not hesitate to discuss project details or specifications over the telephone. Discussing details over the phone can help your vendor deliver a successful project that meets your expectations.
The bottom line to a successful project is never to assume anything. The more specific, detailed and accurate you are about the outsourced work, the happier you will be with the end result of the completed work.
What tip do you follow to stay stress-free while outsourcing? Tell us about how you manage your outsourcing relationships.
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