Outsourcing - maximising benefits while minimising the risks

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This presentation talks about how to do outsourcing the right way. It needs a proper time investment and commitment, but can really help the small business owner.


  • 1. Polaris Centre Outsourcing Maximising benefits while minimising the risks
  • 2. What is Outsourcing? Wikipedia the contracting out of a business process to a third-party
  • 3. Why Outsourcing? Eternal Small Biz Owner Dilemma As small biz owners, we are often our own marketing, accounts, business development & production departments as well as providers of actual goods and services
  • 4. Why Outsourcing?
  • 5. In the room tonight (show of hands) What type of outsourcing are you considering? Outsourcing a role locally (eg. Social media marketing) Outsourcing a task locally Outsourcing a role overseas Outsourcing a task overseas
  • 6. Benefits of Outsourcing It doesnt have to be you doing the work! Dont need to employ someone but hire them as required and on demand (saving employment on costs) Offshore can be considerably cheaper
  • 7. Risks of Outsourcing Outsourcing can expose your business to a range of risks Frustration, wasting time Incompetence Misunderstandings (language / culture) Timeliness Unrealistic expectations Risk to those with malicious intent (eg. Misuse of databases). Unlikely but possible.
  • 8. Internal or Overseas Internal Standards, culture, legislation, shared understanding more likely Overseas This cannot be assumed, and is more difficult to verify. Need to take time to establish or train.
  • 9. The One Thing If there is one thing which is required for ANY outsourcing to work it is That you understand the job well yourself That you can communicate what is to be done That you can assess whether it has been completed successfully
  • 10. Example SEO/Ad Words outsourcing to a colleague I have done a lot of research about it I know it should not be outsourced overseas I know how important it is to client sites and why I tested her with small jobs, not just to see if she could do them, but in the manner of working together I now give her large jobs I keep on top of it & keep learning
  • 11. Mitigating Risks from Outsourcer Using an agency manages some communication, reporting and payments Use a traceable project management / feedback system Take time time to interview Provide enough access to complete the task but no more, especially at the beginning
  • 12. Your part in the success formula Provide very clear instructions Be a good project manager Have fair expectations (does the task suit their abilities?) Understand the context of the outsourcer working conditions, infrastructure, culture Outsourcing the right jobs to the right people (certain things should not be outsourced overseas) Be a good employer
  • 13. Remember It wont end up cheaper if it ends up losing you business or a considerable amount of time.
  • 14. Risk areas Anything where failure of task would be a threat to your business Working on a live website Mishandling of database (task itself may be easy, but possible risk may be high) Anything you dont understand yourself or have some way of double checking (eg. Translation, website development vs design) Anything you cant clearly explain tempting to outsource things we dont like or understand (eg. Photo management for website built - client asked me to provide training video for the outsourcer she had sourced)
  • 15. Where do you find contractors? oDesk Freelancer Guru Elance Fiverr *working outside the platform - risks
  • 16. Tools for Management Skype for real time communication/screen sharing/video calls/ voice calls Skype.com Jing for screenshots and short videos Jingproject.com Skitch Skitch.com (integrates with Evernote) Complex projects project management only invest the time for ongoing work, not one off tasks There are MANY to choose from Podio.com Basecamp Trello.com Password tools Last pass lastpass.com
  • 17. Visual Communication Example
  • 18. Visual Communication Example
  • 19. Visual Communication Example
  • 20. Checking & Project Management Unless the actual role you are outsourcing is Project Management, YOU need to manage your outsourced project Check everything Provide clear feedback be professional Provide ongoing education and expectation setting Decide if worker understands your feedback or not. If after a few tries they dont get it, cut your losses and move on (this is why you should always start with small insignificant tasks if you are looking for a long term hire)
  • 21. Another outsourcing model Virtual Assistants & Businesses which manage the overseas outsourcing for you Benefits: They do the project management / training QA May already have vetted, tried and tested suppliers
  • 22. Quick Task Example Fiverr.com Shows the type of work available Shows ratings and feedback Low risk great place to start to play
  • 23. Exercise your ad on oDesk
  • 24. Verify your email address
  • 25. Start to Post your Job
  • 26. Choose Main Category
  • 27. Choose Sub Category
  • 28. Fill out details
  • 29. Your Options - Payment
  • 30. Your Options - Duration
  • 31. Your Options - Workload
  • 32. Your Options Job Visibility
  • 33. Your Options Job Visibility
  • 34. Your Options Number of Hires
  • 35. Your Options Number of Hires
  • 36. Preferred Qualifications
  • 37. Preferred Qualifications
  • 38. Preferred Qualifications
  • 39. Preferred Qualifications
  • 40. Other Optional Questions
  • 41. Post Job
  • 42. Final Thoughts Remember you are working with real people There is no short cut to effective outsourcing Start small, learn first Have fun!