DO NOT MISS

LEARN TO OUTSOURCE THE RIGHT WAY




Guide to Outsourcing


Those who are considering outsourcing portions of work for the first time may be feeling overwhelmed and hesitant about the concept of relying on someone outside the company to complete work related tasks. The discomfort with deciding whether or not to outsource work stems largely from ignorance about the process of outsourcing. This article will serve as a guide to those who are considering outsourcing for the first time and will provide information on how to select qualified candidates, establish project requirements and enforce a deadline for project completion.

Select Qualified Candidates Carefully


One way to greatly simplify the process of outsourcing is to give special consideration to selecting a qualified candidate to complete the outsourced tasks. This is important because outsourcing the project to an individual who is qualified to complete the tasks and motivated to do a good job will make the outsourcing endeavor more likely to be successful.

To find the right candidate for the job, place advertisements outlining the project requirements and preferences and carefully review each application which is submitted. Immediately disregard applicants who are not qualified for the position. Then review the applications of qualified candidates carefully and select a small group of the most promising candidates. Next interview each of these candidates and verify their references and passed work experiences to learn more about these candidates and their abilities and work ethics.

After interviewing these candidates it is time to make a decision regarding hiring one of the final candidates. Do not be discouraged if none of the final candidates seemed right for the job because you are under no obligation to hire any of them. You can continue your search for a qualified candidate by placing your job advertisement again and soliciting new responses.

Establish Definite Requirements


When outsourcing a project or tasks, it is important to clearly define the project requirements. This is critical because it is important for the contractor to fully understand the tasks which are being outsourced to ensure he is fulfilling all of the requirements and completing the task in a satisfactory manner.

Failure to establish definite project requirements and goals can lead to a great deal of problems when outsourcing a project. The contractor may feel as though he has completed the project as it was outlined but the employer may disagree. When this happens there can be harmful delays until the issues can be resolved amicably. In the case that this is not possible it might be necessary to employ the assistance of a mediator to evaluate the contract documents and the work produced to determine if the contract terms were met.

Establish a Firm Deadline


Another important element of outsourcing is establishing a firm deadline for the project. This is important to avoid misunderstandings and to prevent late submissions of work. Setting milestone goals is also important because it gives the employer the ability to evaluate the progress of the contractor during different stages of the project and to ensure it is proceeding according to schedule.

Ideally the deadline should be established before the candidate is chosen. This is important because this enables the employer to verify that the contractor is available for the duration of the project. Schedule should be discussed early in the process of selecting a candidate to avoid selecting an ideal candidate only to find out he is unavailable when his services are required.

Internet Marketing and Outsourcing


Internet marketing and outsourcing work very well together. In fact most Internet marketers employ at lease some degree of outsourcing. The most common aspects of Internet marketing which are outsourced are copywriting and website design. Ideally these tasks will be delegated to individuals who are skilled in search engine optimization (SEO). Additionally, those who manage multiple niches may opt to outsource the responsibilities of managing some of their niche markets. This article will take a look at some of the commonly outsourced tasks and provide information regarding why outsourcing these tasks is ideal.

Managing Multiple Niches


Many involved in Internet niche marketing become involved in managing multiple niche marketing campaigns. When this happens it can become difficult for one individual to oversee all of the campaigns without compromising the quality of the niche markets. Therefore, he will often outsource the oversight responsibilities related to managing some of the niche markets. This gives him the freedom to focus more on developing new niches and marketing strategies as opposed to overseeing minute details.

Care should be taken when outsourcing this type of work to ensure the employee hired to undertake these tasks is an honest individual with a great deal of integrity. Those who are lacking in integrity may take advantage of this situation to learn about the marketing strategies for the express purpose of stealing sensitive information and creating competition in these niches.

Outsourcing Copywriting


Copywriting services are also commonly outsourced in niche marketing. Those involved in Internet niche marketing realize the importance of providing high quality content that is also optimized for search engines. This applies to copywriting which is included on niche websites, in e-newsletters, in press releases and in ebooks. The content provided is critical to the success of the niche marketing campaign because it is often the first impression members of the target audience get of the campaign. Their opinion of the copy can determine whether or not they are willing to visit the niche website in the future or further research products or services for sale.

When selecting a writer to provide the content for the niche marketing campaign, it is important to consider a writer with SEO experience. This is important because the content provided on websites can have an impact on the search engine rankings of the website. The use of keywords is the most important part of copywriting relevant to SEO. The keywords should be used in a manner that creates informative and interesting copy that appeals to both website visitors and search engines.

Outsourcing Website Design


Web design is another aspect of Internet niche marketing that is often outsourced. Most marketers recognize website design as an important part of their success. They need their websites to be well designed both aesthetically and technically to ensure visitors enjoy the website and all of the features of the website operate smoothly.

Additionally, it is very important for the website designer chosen to understand how to implement SEO strategies into the design of the website. There are many different strategies available for SEO and there are also always new techniques being developed, tested and evaluated. The SEO of a website is pretty much a full time job. This is why it is essential for marketers to outsource this work so they can ensure they have someone working on their website optimization constantly.


Finding Ways to Outsource


Are you considering outsourcing but have no idea where to start? In almost every industry there is the opportunity to outsource at least a few of the common tasks performed in the industry. In some industries there may the possibility of outsourcing the majority of the common tasks while in other industries there may only be the opportunity to outsource one or two of the common tasks. In either case outsourcing can result in a lightened workload as well as an increase in profit.

Evaluate Daily Activities


The first step in finding ways to outsource is to take a really close look at the daily activities you perform when tending to your business. Make a list of each of these activities and note any related activities that are typically performed in conjunction with each other. Making this note is important because activities which are typically performed together should either be outsourced together or remain as in-house activities together to maintain the highest level of efficiency.

Once you have compiled this list of activities, carefully consider which activities can easily be performed by another person and which activities require your personal attention. This will give you a good idea of which activities you could outsource and which activities would not be good opportunities for outsourcing.

Finally, review your list of activities and note how long it takes you to perform each of the activities you could outsource. This information will be helpful later if you decide to search for a candidate to complete these tasks.

Prioritize Daily Activities


After you have carefully examined your daily activities, it is time to prioritize these activities. Create a comprehensive list of all of your daily activities in their order of importance. For this list include both the activities requiring your personal attention and the activities which can be outsourced.

When you make your decision to start outsourcing some of your daily tasks, start with the highest priority on the list which you believe can be outsourced. Attempt to outsource this task as a test to determine whether or not outsourcing will work for you. If you decide you are comfortable with outsourcing and that it is working for your business, you can continue down the prioritized list attempting to find those capable of handling your daily activities.

Consider Administrative Tasks

We have already discussed the importance of evaluating your own daily tasks in the process of finding ways to outsource but it is also important to consider tasks completed by your staff members. Administrative tasks are often tasks which can be outsourced so examining these tasks will give you a good idea if you can increase the efficiency of your administrative assistance by outsourcing some of their responsibilities.

Activities such as data entry, transcription and other activities often handled by personal assistance are all example of activities which can easily be outsourced. Additionally, there is a great deal of qualified candidates available to fulfill these tasks. The industry of virtual personal assistants has become a booming industry with many savvy entrepreneurs offering their skills in these areas as a consultant.

Develop a Plan for Managing Outsourced Activities


Before starting to outsource daily activities, you should develop a plan for managing all of your outsourced activities. This plan should include the following:

* Method for selecting candidates to handle outsourced work
* Method for overseeing the work performed by independent contractors
* Method for evaluating the work performed by independent contractors

Raising the Bar through Outsourcing


The stereotypes associated with outsourcing are often very negative in nature. However, it is actually possible to utilize the concept of outsourcing to receive the highest quality of work possible. Outsourcing no longer only refers to overseas sweatshops where employees work long hours for meager pay. Outsourcing now also occurs domestically and often at prices which are more than generous. Thanks to savvy entrepreneurs who realize the benefits of offering their services on a contract basis, outsourcing has become the wave of the future. This article will take a look at how outsourcing can actually lead to superior work and increased profitability.

Top Quality Work from Industry Experts


One of the most advantageous aspects of outsourcing is the ability to employ industry experts for the completion of certain tasks. This becomes beneficial in situations where a business is faced with a complex problem which is beyond the expertise of the in-house employees. Outsourcing gives the business the opportunity to outsource the task of solving the problem to a highly qualified candidate. Although the business may pay a hefty sum for the individual’s services this fee will likely be significantly less than what it would have cost them to solve the problem with their in-house staff. The amount of time it would have taken coupled with the potential for costly mistakes makes it clear outsourcing is the right decision in this scenario.

Another scenario where tasks may be outsourced to an industry expert is when the business is faced with the task of performing more work than they are capable of handling in-house. During aggressive deadlines or unexpected delays, outsourcing can be used to complete projects according to unyielding deadlines.

Flexibility in Scheduling


Many businesses balance the workload they take on based on the number of employees they have on staff capable of assisting in each individual task. However, outsourcing gives businesses the ability to consider accepting more work than their in-house employees are capable of completing. An example of when this is beneficial is when consultants are awarded more projects than they had anticipated and are suddenly in a situation where they are not able to meet their deadlines due to larger than anticipated workloads.

Another advantage to outsourcing is the ability to take on larger projects than usual. One of the most elementary factors often considered when awarding projects to consultants is the number of staff members who are available to work on the project. Clients evaluate this number with their project needs and schedule to determine whether or not they think the consultant is capable of completing the project on time. Consultants who outsource portions of their projects are effectively able to increase the amount of employees they can afford to have working on a particular project.

Reduced Operating Costs


Finally, outsourcing can help companies to produce higher quality work by enabling them to reduce their operating costs. Outsourcing can save companies a great deal of money because they often do not have to pay benefits such as social security, workers’ compensation and Medicare to those who perform work on a contract basis. Additionally, those who perform the outsourced work typically do the work from their own office meaning the company does not have to provide resources for the individual. Although these costs may seem trivial, they can really add up especially if outsourcing is used on a regular basis. 

Combined with the reduced operating costs, many companies find that productivity is increased through outsourcing. By outsourcing work to qualified individuals, the in-house employees are freed of additional responsibilities and can focus exclusively on the tasks they were hired to perform. This is significant because without outsourcing these same employees might be tasked with attempting to perform complicated tasks for which they are not properly trained or qualified. When this happens there is a significant decline in productivity as the employees take longer than necessary to complete the more complicated tasks and do not have time to complete the simpler tasks.


The Advantages of Outsourcing


Outsourcing has become a very popular alternative for a number of very valid reasons. Outsourcing initially emerged as a way for companies to cut costs by having processes such as manufacturing and assembly done in overseas locations where costs were much lower. Lower wages and operating costs both contributed to these reduced costs. These lower costs were appealing because they greatly improved the profit margins for the companies. However, outsourcing is now gaining in popularity for a variety of other reasons. While cost reduction is still a primary advantage, other elements such as access to industry experts, a larger workforce and more flexible options are being embraced as welcomed advantages offered by outsourcing.

Cost Reductions from Outsourcing

As previously mentioned reducing costs was the original purpose of outsourcing and although outsourcing has since been demonstrated to have other significant advantages, cost reduction still remains one of the prime advantages. Companies look to outsource tasks which would be more costly to complete in-house. An example of this type of task would be a software related task requiring specialized training. Companies who do not have an on staff employee qualified to complete this task can benefit financially by outsourcing this task.

There may be significant fees required to retain the services of an industry expert on a contractual basis but the efficiency of this individual will enable him to complete the task much more quickly than it could have been done in-house. If the task were not outsourced an in-house employee would have had to complete the task and may have taken significantly longer costing the company more in the long run.

On Call Experts


In the previous section we discussed how having industry experts available to complete outsourced tasks can result in a cost savings for the company but having these experts on call also provides the potential for new opportunities for the company. With experts waiting in the wings to assist, the company is able to go after larger and more specialized types of work. This is important because in doing this the company can find themselves enjoying greater prosperity.

A Larger Workforce


Still another advantage to outsourcing is the benefit of enjoying a larger workforce when necessary without the hassle of maintaining a larger staff. Through outsourcing companies can bring in additional employees on a contract basis during times of prosperity without worrying about having to lay them off or keep them utilized when the surge of work begins to wane. This is particularly relevant in industries which enjoy peak seasons as well as off seasons.

Another advantage of having a larger workforce is the ability to generate a larger profit. This is important because smaller companies can find themselves in a position where they can compete with larger companies for bigger jobs by outsourcing a portion of the workload.

More Flexibility


Finally, more flexibility is another considerable advantage to outsourcing work. Even the most well planned projects may suddenly end up behind schedule or under a time crunch due to minor errors, changes in plans or other incidental activities. Smaller companies who do not have the resources to compensate for these inevitable mishaps may find themselves in serious trouble without the ability to outsource work when necessary. These companies can take advantage of outsourcing in times of trouble to help them deal with problems without alienating clients or performing poorly on a project.

Protect Your Niche When Outsourcing


In the world of Internet niche marketing, the greatest asset is often the chosen niche. Many marketers spend a great deal of time, energy and resources selecting a niche which they believe is going to be profitable. There are certainly no guarantees a particular niche will be profitable but there are certain strategies for choosing a niche that has a high probability of success.

One popular strategy for selecting a niche involves employing a principle similar to the concept of supply and demand. Statistical information supplied by search engines is used to determine the popularity of certain search terms. This information is significant because terms which are being searched frequently are terms which have a large audience of Internet users looking for more information on the niche subject. These are terms which are in high demand. From this statistical information you can build a list of potential niches. Once this list is compiled, it is time to begin researching the competition in each of these niches. Ideally the niche you select will be one which has a large audience and not much competition. These are niches which are in low supply.

Choose the Type of Work You Outsource Carefully


One way to protect your niche is to be selective about the type of work you outsource to others. Many Internet niche marketers are comfortable outsourcing their copywriting and their website design. However, they are more protective about outsourcing tasks such as marketing, niche selection and keyword development. This is because although copywriting and website design both involve optimization for keywords the strategies for doing so are readily available on the Internet. However, many marketers have specific methods for marketing and developing a niche and keywords and are not willing to outsource this work because it will likely involve sharing secret strategies.

Share Keywords via Email


Developing related keywords for the niche is a very important part of the success of an Internet niche marketing campaign. Keywords are absolutely critical and conventional wisdom holds that an extensive list of keywords should be developed for a particular niche to be successful. Some in the industry recommend developing approximately 200 keywords for each niche.

There is a great amount of effort put into the process of selecting keywords and those who are savvy do not want to make it possible for others to find their list of keywords on the Internet. Including a list of keywords on an advertisement seeking a copywriter or website designer will be searchable by others in the industry. For this reason it is not wise to post keyword lists where others have free access to the keywords. This may sound overly paranoid but it is commonly known that Internet marketers often make the mistake of posting their keywords on job boards and those who are interested in harvesting these keywords visit these websites frequently to gather information. Transmitting the keywords through a protected email account or via telephone is a better way to protect the work you have put into developing your niche.

Use a Non Disclosure Agreement


Finally, a non disclosure agreement (NDA) is one way for the marketer to protect his niche when he is outsourcing. An NDA is essentially a document specifying the rights of the employer and employee in regard to sensitive materials. The NDA can be drafted to include any terms the client sees fit. Some example of the restrictions the contractor may agree to by signing an NDA are:

* A definition of which materials are sensitive
* Restrictions on how materials can be transmitted
* A stipulation precluding the contractor from competing in the niche during a given time period
* A duration of time for which the contract is binding

In protecting a niche market the above terms can be used when outsourcing. The client may specify the sensitive materials to be the niche and the related keywords as well as any information regarding marketing strategy. The client may limit the methods in which the sensitive materials can be transmitted to secure emails and telephone conversations. The duration of time for which the contract is binding is up to the client. Common timeframes include the duration of the project or a set number of days, weeks, months or years. In niche marketing a timeframe of at least one year after the project is completed is recommended to prevent the contractors from entering the same niche immediately after the project ends.





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