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Your ultimate guide to outsourcing

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There is a stereotype that outsourcing is only relevant for global companies. In practice, it does not look exactly like that. According to Сlutch.co, more than a third of small business owners delegate part of their processes to outsourcing. In this guide, you’ll learn why outsourcing can be crucial to business growth, when you need to outsource and how to carry it out.

Why outsourcing is so important

For small enterprises, outsourcing is sometimes more important than for global corporations. After all, they have more limited financial and human resources. So, it makes sense to outsource routine tasks to free up time for business development. At first, it might seem like outsourcing is a waste of money, but in fact, this is an investment. 

If you are developing a travel blog then it makes sense to find affiliate programs, monetize offers and outsource web development or content creation. Naturally, all the processes require your control and monitoring, but this will still be much more time-efficient than if you did everything yourself. This will help support the growth of your business and your profit will grow as a result. Below we will analyze what processes can be outsourced and how. In almost every business, there are a number of tasks that can be outsourced to save time and increase efficiency.

Do you need to outsource?

Almost every business has processes that can be optimized to make the business more efficient: for example, find outsourcing software developers or hire copywriters. Below, you’ll learn which cases are suitable for outsourcing, and which are better for automation.

When to outsource

When you think about outsourcing, you need to understand what can be delegated and what can’t. Among the primary tasks for outsourcing are routine activities that cannot be fully automated, such as content creation. More complicated tasks such as outsourcing project development or HR in the early stages may not be a good idea. You should not give strangers control over these key processes, as this can have a negative impact in the long term.

When you are not very versed in some things, it makes sense to outsource them to increase the efficiency of your work. Setting up an advertising campaign or running SEO can be more profitable to outsource than to hire staff. Costs of outsourced web developers would also be significantly cheaper in comparison with the salary of staff web developers.

When to automate

Some processes can be optimized with the help of software. These are mostly simple, repetitive operations and uncomplicated algorithms. This will help to save you time spent on marketing, PR, SMM, support, etc.

To create simple algorithms for automating work with various applications, you can use IFTTT or Zapier. These services help automate micro-tasks, which will ultimately save you a lot of time. For example, you can configure the automatic publication of new posts from your site on WordPress to social networks. You can either use ready-made applets or write your own. 

It is important to stay active on social media at all times. Tools like Buffer, MeetEdgar, Hootsuite help you schedule your posts. Thanks to this, there is no need to constantly be online. It is enough to add several posts at once and schedule their publication at a suitable time.

How to outsource

Below, we’ve shared recommendations for how to outsource a workforce for your business, create technical tasks and monitor workflow.

Agencies or freelancers?

While considering how to outsource software development or content production, determine if you want to work with agencies or freelancers. 

Sometimes it is easier to find outsourced teams at agencies than to hire freelancers separately for each task. The agency often offers comprehensive services, while freelancers need to be administered. At the same time, the expenses of hiring a freelancer will be much less than that of an agency. Therefore, the available budget will significantly affect your final decision.

You can outsource tasks of different kinds, priority levels, and importance. You can always delegate routine and simple tasks to freelancers, but when it comes to legal, accounting, or tax matters, it makes sense to contact a reputable company. This greatly increases confidence in the quality of the work done, which is especially important if you are poorly versed in the specifics of the issue. 

You can find outsourcing developers, copywriters, and other freelancers on platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, PeoplePerHour, etc. There are also more expensive services such as Toptal, but the likelihood of running into a low-quality freelancer there is reduced to zero.

Create a technical task/SOP

It is important to draw up every technical task correctly especially when outsourcing software engineers, copywriters, and all other freelancers. Otherwise, your expectations and the final result may differ. To avoid that, clearly formulate the task and set a deadline. 

Illustrate the technical task with specific examples. This will help the freelancer more clearly understand what you expect from them. You may use examples to show dos and don’ts. 

Make sure to stay in touch with freelancers. If they have any questions, you could always explain specifics. This will help them achieve the result as close as possible to your expectations.

Organize workflow

When several people are working on the same project, it makes sense to use project management platforms. Among the most popular are Trello, ClickUp, Asana, etc. Such tools help to control the project and maintain the required speed of work. The tasks are categorized by performer. At the end of each stage of work, the responsible persons may change. In this case, the affected participants will receive a notification about this. For example, when a copywriter has completed an assignment, the editor is notified about that.

Track freelancer’s work

While cooperating with freelancers, you may pay for the work done or for the time spent to fulfill the task. Freelancers usually set their rates and payment conditions right from the start. In some situations, piece-rate pay is impractical, such as in customer service. In this case, it is better to pay for the working hours of freelancers.

To calculate working hours, special tracker programs are used, such as TopTracker, RescueTime, etc. You can start with a free plan, but to track an entire team, you will have to purchase a premium subscription. Pricing starts at $4 per month per team member.

How to grow your blog with outsourcing

To be successful, you need to properly distribute your time and money. Thus, try to focus efforts on strategic points, while routine tasks, as well as tasks requiring special qualifications, can be outsourced. Doing everything yourself will mean you are unlikely to have enough capacity to maintain an energetic pace of development. So, consider outsourcing some processes to speed up your blog growth.