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3 steps to ensure outsourcing saves you time and money. Part 3.

outsourcing Sep 01, 2020

Part 3. Operation delegation! How to be a good client, great tools for remote teams, and delegating the right way.

So now you will have a clearer idea on how to tackle outsourcing, how do you work with a remote team? Here are my favourite tried and tested tools to help you work effectively.

  • Last Pass - I'm very late to the party with LastPass. I had a password manager, but I didn't realise that Last Pass allows you to share passwords safely. A must-have if you are sharing logins with others.  
  • Click.up - There are loads of productivity and project management tools out there, and I've used most of them but Click.Up hits the spot for me. It can look overwhelming at first but once set up it's intuitive and easy to use. For me, the ability to talk through projects and be notified in your email means it becomes a tool that you don't set and forget but becomes part of your daily routine. Also, the free version is fantastic!
  • GSuite - having a way of sharing content is essential. I moved to Google Docs, Sheets etc. a long time ago because of the sharing capabilities.
  • Zoom - being able to catch up with colleagues and to record and share calls is an essential part of making sure you communicate effectively.
  • Slack - I love Slack for sending quick messages and staying in touch with remote teams. It doesn't replace a project management tool though, as agreed tasks will get lost in the chat!

So now you have the steps in place to plan out what you need to do, but how can you make a success out of outsourcing and be a great client?

Here are 10 things you can do now:

  1. See outsourcing as an investment. Pay accordingly and on time. The way you treat contractors and your team should reflect your brand values.
  2. Be respectful. Have an understanding and respect for what you're asking your contractor or team member to do.
  3. Money is energy. See it as a positive that you are also creating work opportunities for others.
  4. Do your sums. Work out the ROI of your outsourcing.
  5. 2 heads are better than one - If you're using a VA or OBM, consider paying for brainstorming time or for them to help manage your time.
  6. Have a trial period - sometimes things don’t work out for one reason or another and that’s ok!  Don’t get it put off if a contract doesn’t work out.   Make sure you give them feedback and give them an opportunity to improve, but a 2-4 week trial is usual and will ensure that you don’t feel obliged to keep working with someone if you’re not happy with their work or you’re not compatible. I have been guilty of keeping contracts going in the past that weren’t working out because I told myself a story that it would be too hard briefing someone new, it will always be easier to get someone set up when you’ve been through the process before.
  7. Communicate and train. Invest time helping the contractor get up to speed (I recommend Loom for screen recordings), and checking in with your contractor regularly.
  8. Share your plans and brand values. Take them on the journey with you if it's an ongoing contract. Communicate what's going on in your business and keep team members updated.
  9. Should you tell your customers that you outsource? This is a personal choice and often depends on how much you would be outsourcing. You might think your customers won't like you outsourcing but most clients won't mind as long as the work still has your stamp of approval. I believe you should be transparent and explain that you are working with contractors. Be honest, and do the work with your team, so you offer the best product and service to your clients. So before you say no to a job, think about working with an associate or getting help with the project.  
  10. Write out your systems operations and processes (or SOPS) - everything you do will have a process. SOPS provides step-by-step instructions on how to perform a particular business activity. Although most SOPs are written instructions, they can also contain images or videos to help clarify their instructions.

 Avoiding outsourcing could cost you not only money but your health and relationships with others. If you're too busy, you will unconsciously stop yourself seeking more work. You won't promote yourself; you won't reply to emails, you'll associate more money with more work. You won't take action to grow your business. You're, therefore, limiting your earning potential. Many feel embarrassed about outsourcing, it’s a similar outdated belief to making money that you have to do everything or work hard. Give yourself permission to get help and support.

Allow yourself to be taken care of. Invest your time in your business, and it will pay off. Create a job for someone else. Be a nice employer. Be honest and tell other women what help you have and give them permission too”.  Denise Duffield-Thomas 

This blog post is adapted from a lesson from The Online Business Blueprint, my signature coaching programme. 

The programme gives you all the strategy, tools, accountability, and support to take you from struggling freelancer to thriving business owner. You can apply now to join the next intake of successful business owners.