Top 5 Biggest Outsourcing Mistakes

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Businesses large and small are outsourcing both product and services more than ever before. Not only are they utlising traditional outsourcing methods, but companies are turning to online outsourcing for a more cost-effective approach.

As a conservative attitude towards the world economy lingers, online marketplaces such as Airtasker that offer a quick and efficient outsourcing approach continues to grow at a tremendous rate. With the abundance of solutions offered it’s important to take the correct steps when contracting a third-party to complete a job for your business.

Whether it’s the first time outsourcing or using a new supplier, errors can be made easily. So just like you wouldn’t dive into murky water head first, here are some common online outsourcing mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Rushing
Regardless if the job is urgent or not, don’t rush into an agreement or contract straight away. When individuals scramble to get something done, details can be missed and prove to be a headache down the track. This is extremely common when there are grey areas around project details or any additional costs.

Plan of attack:
– Make sure everything is pre-agreed upon
– Research alternative suppliers and be competitive
– Establish guidelines for unexpected contingencies

2. Price focused
Although you’re outsourcing smaller projects or entire jobs to decrease your costs, accepting the bottom price does not often result in high-quality. Lowering the standard of quality of output could result in the task needing to re-done and end up costing you more than the initial project.

Plan of attack:
– Consider all your options
– Check reviews, references and past work
– Pick a trusted partner who can work with you in the long term

3. Immediate results
If you’re after positive results straight away you might need to reconsider your goals and especially the expectations of others. Managing all stakeholders involved from the very beginning by establishing a clear strategy means everyone is on the same page and that there are no unrealistic demands on yourself or suppliers.

Plan of attack:
– Structure the project plan in phases
– Focus on the small wins which should be treated like stepping stones towards overarching objectives

4. No goals
The business objectives should always be considered at the time of setting project goals. If you’re not working towards these objectives then you might need ask yourself why you’re doing this in the first place. Goals not only allow you to drive towards something, but also help highlight any issues if they appear later on.

Plan of attack:
– Set specific and measurable goals
– Make sure all deadlines are agreed on by both parties

5. Misunderstanding of project type
Outsourcing payment structure is usually either an hourly rate or at a fixed price for a total project. For example; hourly rate could be for SEO services versus a fixed price for printing services. This can be an issue for graphic design when there are multiple changes to artwork which was not originally discussed.

Plan of attack:
– Get a quote on work before they start on the work
– Negotiate terms and conditions before the project begins

Have you had any experience outsourcing? Let us know yours in the comments below.

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