The following is a guest blog post:
Running a small business requires that you maximize on the income and minimize the expenditure. While you can seek help at fundraising sites, one of the ways to achieve this is to outsource some function so you can keep your workforce lean.
Outsourcing should link you with skilled external service providers yet be cost effective. Here are outsourcing tips to keep in mind when choose a business right partner.
1. Make your Expectations Clear
Give the service provider as much information as possible regarding the scope of the task. List down what you want to be done, how it should be done and the available timelines. This allows the service provider to give you a realistic proposal and an accurate price quote.
2. Interview the Providers
Outsourcing should give you value for money just as your employees. For this reason, you must take time to evaluate the proposals presented to you.
Check their references and testimonials from clients they’ve previously served. While at it, avoid rushing to pick the vendor with the lowest price.
Cheap can turn out to be very expensive. A very high quote does not guarantee quality services either. Aim for quality results at a reasonable price.
3. Start with a Small Project
If you’re outsourcing or dealing with a particular service provider for the first time, start with a limited scope of work to see the quality of work. Outsourcing a large project at this stage can end up disappointing and affecting other areas of your business.
You might be lucky to land on a service provider who can provide a rough sample of the work upfront.
For instance, if you’re dealing with a web designer, you may get one willing to design a prototype for free. This should not be exploited; every service provider deserves a full payment for work done.
4. Define Payment Terms
This area can be a major source of stress if not defined properly. Ensure that you tie the payment to definite milestones. For instance, if you’re outsourcing a marketing project, payment can be made in installments according to a number of sales achieved.
This excludes the 20 to 30% down payment which is the standard business procedure. This will motivate the service provider to strive to achieve the goals and ensure that you get the desired results.
5. Agree on Copyright
The ownership of the finished product should be made clear from the beginning. For instance, if you outsource the development of software to handle your payroll, can the developer then sell it to other businesses? Refer to the patent laws of your state in necessary.
6. Support might be Necessary
Once the product is handed to you, can you maintain it all by yourself? Whether it is a website, software or dental credit card processing system, you might need the developer to check on the system periodically.
You can agree on a maintenance rate so that you can have someone on call in case of any problems. Alternatively, you can have the developer train your staff on maintenance.
Remember to keep every detail of this deal in writing. Have a comprehensive contract that you can always refer to in case of disagreements. If there are any changes along the way, communicate them in writing as well.
Business outsourcing should ensure that you get access to top-notch skills in any sector without having to hire full-time staff. This allows you to keep your expenses low. You can then concentrate on the core mandate of offering services to your clients.
You do not have to get distracted by every small project that requires being attended to; let the experts attend to it so you can handle what really matters.