As a small business owner, you probably have to juggle a number of responsibilities on your own. Once you feel that your company stands on a solid foundation and you have the finances to invest in a few additional workers to assist you with time-consuming tasks, it's important that you aren't making outsourcing mistakes. Many of the most common outsourcing errors can have serious impacts on the success of your business if you're not careful. Avoid these five mistakes as you start outsourcing work.
1. Unclear communication
Before you reach out to an external source for help with a certain activity, you have to know exactly what you want your new worker to do and how to do it. Providing company goals and business strategies to guide workers with the job they will be taking on will make it easier for them to see the big picture and give them a better idea of your expectations.
Choosing an effective method of communication once you've hired someone is important as well. For example, sometimes email isn't the best option when you're going over projects with freelancers or contractors, as there is a lot of room for miscommunication. If you need to discuss an important topic, scheduling a time to talk over the phone or through a Skype session will help ensure everything is properly understood.
2. Not outsourcing enough
Many small businesses assume that the cost of outsourcing exceeds their budgets before even conducting research to see what's out there. They often avoid it and continue trying to do everything, from bookkeeping to handling all client communications, on their own. Even the simplest of tasks can cause major setbacks when they aren't performed correctly or to the highest quality. Therefore, don't dismiss the idea of outsourcing until you know for sure that your financial status won't allow you to do so.
3. Letting good workers go
Simple mistakes like failing to pay your third-party workers on time can cause you to lose the help you've outsourced. Similarly, letting go hardworking contractors to try and find someone who will work for less money may be a bad idea, unless you have someone in particular you plan on hiring. Good professional relationships should be valued, as they aren't always easy to come by. Hold on to workers who are putting the time and effort into projects.
4. Outsourcing for wrong activities
Make sure that you know which activities you need to handle yourself in order to see small business growth. Any responsibilities you no longer have time for since your clientele has grown should be outsourced. Consider how important each activity is to your bottom line and weigh this with how well you or your team is able to currently perform these tasks. This may help you realize that someone with more expertise or experience should handle certain responsibilities.
5. Failing to take risk management seriously
While there are a lot of honest, hardworking people looking for work online, it's essential that you are constantly checking to ensure you're not being scammed and that any work you've received is original and high-quality. To do so, you should keep four specific security areas in mind, including strategic, operational, technology/security and financial risk. Before you proceed with any contracts or offer a job to someone, be certain that your company is able to properly check for and identify these security risks. Having an effective exit strategy in place in case you do run into any issues is also essential to protecting your business from fraud.