“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
~ Peter Drucker
Yesterday I told you my 4 favorite benefits of outsourcing (Focus, Cost Savings, Expertise, Flexibility). Today though I want to tell you about 5 key mistakes to avoid.
Mistake #1: Failing to define tasks/projects clearly
If you don’t clearly and comprehensively define the task or project you need fulfilled from the start, your project will inevitably fail. You might choose the wrong person for the job and/or they won’t perform to your expectations if you haven’t completed this crucial step.
Mistake #2: Failing to hire someone without enough experience
Nothing is worse than the blind leading the blind. When I hire someone to do something that I do not know how to do personally, they need to know how to do it. They need to educate you on their chosen skill set, not the other way around.
Your role is to describe the end result you want, ask for and listen to their suggestions, and rely on their expertise and talent to achieve it according to your description. Make sure you check their past work and references to ensure they have a track record of getting similar work completed on-time and to the satisfaction of those who’ve hired them.
Mistake #3: Failing to establish and abide by the time frame
If you’ve ever provided services for a client in a rush, you know how stressful it can be to drop everything at the last minute and make their emergency yours. The people you outsource to are no different, and it will benefit you to plan and begin things in advance and not at the last minute.
So, map out by when you need to hire someone, when the work needs to commence, and when it must be completed. Create milestones within each of these processes, such as when you will complete your project description, and when the contractor must complete the first draft, etc.
Mistake #4: Failing to adequately communicate
Just because you hired a great person, it doesn’t mean the project will go smoothly. The key here is to effectively communicate with them.
Make sure you check-in with them and get status updates. Get them to send you drafts of their work, and then provide detailed comments regarding what you like and don’t like.
The fact is that the more and more thoroughly you communicate with them, the better they will perform. This is true up to an extent of course; because if you micro-manage (or manage too aggressively) it will take up too much of your time and often aggravate the contractor.
Mistake #5: Failing to leverage talented outsourcers
Once in a while, when you outsource, you will find gems. Gems are those outsourcers who do a phenomenal job.
The key is this: once you find these gems, keep them. Give them additional projects. And if you don’t have any, refer them to others you know. And keep in touch. At a minimum, email them every month or two to say hi.
Knowing how to effectively outsource is a critical skill all entrepreneurs must have. It allows you to accomplish more, accomplish it with more expertise, accomplish it faster, and accomplish it with less money. These are key benefits you can’t do without.
Get 10X More Done at 1/10th the Cost
When you outsource properly, you can have highly skilled workers complete all your tasks quickly, and at a fraction of the cost your competitors pay.
The result: you grow quickly and profitably!
Today’s Question: What car company advertised “Drivers wanted”?
Previous Question: Who was the inventor of the world’s first disposable diaper?
Previous Answer: Marion Donovan.
Like many famous inventors, Marion Donovan was originally mocked for her most significant invention; but she helped revolutionize the infant care industry by inventing the prototype of the disposable diaper. Donovan designed and perfected, on her sewing machine, a reusable, leak proof diaper cover that did not, like the rubber baby pants of the time, create diaper rash.
Surprisingly, Donovan did not have instant success with this idea. She toured the major US paper companies, and was widely laughed at for proposing such an unnecessary and impractical item. It took nearly ten years for someone to capitalize on Donovan’s idea: namely, Victor Mills, creator of Pampers.
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