Any small biz owner knows that running a business is a huge commitment that requires time, energy and resources. Dedication is necessary for success, but you do not want to find yourself buried head over heels in tasks.
Piling up more and more responsibilities will only leave you exhausted and burnt out. As the owner, you need to stay focused on the bigger picture. If you try to do everything yourself, you will most likely end up leaving loose ends and eventually prevent your business from reaching its full potential.
As your venture grows, you will find yourself dealing with more and more pressure. One of the healthier ways to tackle this challenge is to outsource some of your assignments to other professionals. Sounds risky? It doesn’t have to be. Here are some helpful ground rules for outsourcing:
Tips for Risk-Free Outsourcing
- Get Recommendations: Before you entrust a stranger (or even an acquaintance!) with your source of livelihood, make sure you have proof of the person’s professional ethics. Inquire with other clients about important issues like keeping a deadline, task performance, reliability and availability.
- Collect Several Offers: It’s always a good idea to ask around and get more than one offer. Be in touch with several professionals and ask them to give you their estimates rather than stating your budget right away. You won’t necessarily choose to work with the person who gave the lowest bid (you do often get what you pay for….), but price is still an important factor.
- Sign a Contract: Even if it’s only a short-term project, you need to protect yourself legally and financially. Make sure that both you and the contractor understand the contract before signing.
- Write a Precise Brief: Once you found someone you trust, make sure you communicate the task to them in a clear and detailed manner. If available, add examples or sources of inspiration. Don’t leave anything to chance.
- Deadline: You must be very specific about the project’s deadline. The deadline should be clearly mentioned in the contract and in the brief. It’s a good idea to occasionally check up on your contractor and get a progress report. Do this in a polite and professional manner – no need to obsessively call and nag.
- Room for Revisions: When outsourcing a project, you often find yourself asking for tweaks and revisions. This is perfectly common and should probably be anchored in the contract you sign. It’s best to ask the contractor to provide you with a draft at a certain deadline, so you can give useful feedback and guarantee maximum results.
- Be Fair: If you want to receive high-quality service and enjoy excellent results, you need to treat your contractors with respect. They may be highly experienced and well-connected professionals, so your interest is to have them on your side. Being fair and cordial will pay off if you ever need their help with another project.