Common mistakes when outsourcing and how to avoid them

1. Assuming that once you outsource, you won’t need managers

Big mistake.

Outsourced workers manage their own internal processes, but they can’t manage your business. It’s a good idea not to micromanage remote workers, and assume they won’t do the same. Hire managers to take care of your business.

2. Don’t go on an outsourcing binge

As mentioned earlier in this article, you need to first establish if the task needs to be outsourced. If there is no value derived from outsourcing, then undertake the task using in-house expertise.

3. Assuming fixed price bidding is the best route to outsourcing

Fixed price bidding that’s popular at online marketplaces is appropriate for short-term tasks such as graphic design or blog writing. But trying to use it on more complex projects such as online marketing or SEO is ineffective. Be flexible and explore hourly rates.

4. Assuming fair compensation is the lowest price negotiable

Cheap is never a good deal regardless of the country you are hiring from.

You have to keep your remote workers happy in order for them to do a good job. Fair compensation is usually slightly higher than the market rate in the outsourcing location, but lower in your area.

5. Expecting all workers to adapt to your culture

The reality is that virtual workers will always try to adapt to keep you, the client, happy.

However, there are some issues to consider when working with cultures different from yours. For example, you may not understand why someone is not available at certain times during the day because of religious requirements.

Further, success depends to a great extent on your overall attitude toward outsourced team members. Adaptation also goes both ways. You must also understand their culture and embrace their differences.


6. Assuming the existing staff will manage the outsourcing process

Don’t bring on or promote a manager who is resistant to change, doesn’t want the job, is unavailable to work during unusual hours or is insensitive to foreign cultures.

To be successful with outsourcing, you need a real champion to manage the process. Look for someone with excellent communication skills and an in-depth understanding of outsourcing.

7. Assuming your IT budget will reduce

The reality is that when you hire virtual workers, you’ll begin to rely heavily on collaborative tools like Hubstaff time tracking, data bandwidth, and new security tools.

You will need to increase your training budget for your existing in-house team, and commit funds to purchase new hardware and software.

8. Thinking that the personal growth of virtual employees is none of your concern

Don’t view virtual workers as temps, or as an inexpensive way to staff a startup.

Never hire people based purely on what they can do now.

Bored and unmotivated people are rarely ever cost-effective hires or positive influences on your company culture.

9. Outsourcing only the stuff you don’t understand

You or a co-founder must understand every aspect of your business at the management level. Relying completely on a virtual team means they are in charge, not you. If you have no idea where you are going, you will never get there.

These are just a few tips to help you succeed in outsourcing. If you’d like more information check out other blog posts on how to outsource, where you can find information on everything from outsourcing software development to working with virtual assistants.

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