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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.

Published in: Business

Outsourcing - maximising benefits while minimising the risks

  1. 1. Polaris Centre Outsourcing Maximising benefits while minimising the risks
  2. 2. What is Outsourcing? Wikipedia – the contracting out of a business process to a third-party
  3. 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. 4. Why Outsourcing?
  5. 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. 6. Benefits of Outsourcing • It doesn’t have to be you doing the work! • Don’t need to employ someone – but hire them as required and on demand (saving employment on costs) • Offshore can be considerably cheaper
  7. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 13. Remember It wont end up cheaper if it ends up losing you business or a considerable amount of time.
  14. 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 don’t understand yourself or have some way of double checking (eg. Translation, website development vs design) • Anything you can’t clearly explain – tempting to outsource things we don’t like or understand (eg. Photo management for website built - client asked me to provide training video for the outsourcer she had sourced)
  15. 15. Where do you find contractors? • oDesk • Freelancer • Guru • Elance • Fiverr *working outside the platform - risks
  16. 16. Tools for Management Skype – for real time communication/screen sharing/video calls/ voice calls Jing – for screenshots and short videos Skitch (integrates with Evernote) Complex projects – project management – only invest the time for ongoing work, not one off tasks There are MANY to choose from Basecamp Password tools Last pass
  17. 17. Visual Communication Example
  18. 18. Visual Communication Example
  19. 19. Visual Communication Example
  20. 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 don’t 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. 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. 22. Quick Task Example Shows the type of work available Shows ratings and feedback Low risk – great place to start to play
  23. 23. Exercise – your ad on oDesk
  24. 24. Verify your email address
  25. 25. Start to Post your Job
  26. 26. Choose Main Category
  27. 27. Choose Sub Category
  28. 28. Fill out details
  29. 29. Your Options - Payment
  30. 30. Your Options - Duration
  31. 31. Your Options - Workload
  32. 32. Your Options – Job Visibility
  33. 33. Your Options – Job Visibility
  34. 34. Your Options – Number of Hires
  35. 35. Your Options – Number of Hires
  36. 36. Preferred Qualifications
  37. 37. Preferred Qualifications
  38. 38. Preferred Qualifications
  39. 39. Preferred Qualifications
  40. 40. Other Optional Questions
  41. 41. Post Job
  42. 42. Final Thoughts • Remember you are working with real people • There is no short cut to effective outsourcing • Start small, learn first • Have fun!