I was recently talking with a lead that came in from my website www.vos.net.au as they were in desperate need of help with the day-to-day running of their business. They had been referred to me by another client. However , they had never heard of a Virtual Assistant and certainly never thought of outsourcing parts of their “Baby”, their small family business, to an outsider.
Their main concern was that they did not really know where to start or what anyone could do to help. They were absolutely right; it is very daunting when inviting someone else into your business to help with tasks whether it is an employee or a contractor. After spending some time together going through their business, what they do and how they do it, their procedures, their values, their business structure and their goals we came up with a plan together that would suit them and help them to grow their business in a positive and effective way that gave them not only flexibility in their business but also their personal lives.
Below are 10 ways that I believe is the most effective way to outsource.
- Build a personal and professional relationship with your contractor. For any relationship to work there must be mutual respect and trust.
- Motivate and reward your contractors. This is super important, there will be teething problems to begin with while your contractor learns the business and role. While it’s important to let them know if something has gone wrong, or not done quite to your expectations, it’s also just as important to give positive feedback, compliments and recognition for the work they are doing well.
- Create a strategy from the get go! It’s important to create a way to work with your contractor by setting boundaries, create KPI’s if needed, talk through limitations, get an understanding of what the contractors values and goals are, Identify strengths and weaknesses.
- Establish your contractors work motivations, what motivates them, what attitudes they have towards their work. I can highly recommend Inventory of Work Attitude and Motivation (iWAM). This is a globally used instrument for measuring attitudes and motivations of individuals and teams in the workplace. For more information on iWAM go to Equilibrio iWAM.
- Be clear on your expectations. I have seen so many outsourcing relationships fail due to unrealistic expectations.
- Effective communication must be a high priority on all aspects of the project. It must be two-way communication. You need to be heard, as does the contractor.
- Hold regular meetings to discuss production, future plans, general updates on work being completed. I like to have fortnightly meetings with my clients as a way of checking in. Both clients and myself find this useful and able to move on items that would normally take a while.
- Policies and Procedures are so important when working with anyone, whether it is an employee or contractor. Having procedures in place ensures you have set the scope of work so you get what you need out of the partnership and the contractor has clear guidelines of what procedures to follow to work with you. This means there are clear procedures in place and little room for mishaps.
- Ensure there is a good contract written up to begin with. Its important to understand how the contractor works, fees, termination, rules around intellectual property, leave, expected delivery times etc.
- LOVE what you do. Yes its important that the contractor feels the passion you have for your business. This passion then rubs off on the contractor, they see how much you love your business and what you do and how much it means to you. Your contractor will also pick up on this and love your business and values just as much as you.
By following these simple steps when hiring a contractor for outsourcing tasks and projects, you will find the whole process of outsourcing much more manageable and effective.
That’s what we call a successful outsourcing partnership!