Outsourcing Tips for Your Business Start-Up

By Randall Orser | Small Business

Outsourcing Definition TNAs a business owner ready to find ways to unload some of your workload and get your business moving, you can choose to either hire support staff or subcontract out the work.  Today, “outsourcing” is very popular and is something many business start-ups are finding helpful.

You can find freelance software engineers, graphic designers, virtual assistants, writers, you name it, both within your own country and abroad, via the Internet.  You can outsource work virtually for projects large or small, long term or short term.

Using Offshore Outsourcers

Due to differing economics between your country and those abroad in such places as the Philippines, China or India, you may be tempted to jump on the bandwagon with many other small business owners to farm jobs out overseas.  Hiring inexpensive offshore outsourcers may be just the thing that helps you gain ground for your small business.  But there are several things you might want to ask yourself first:

  • How do you feel about sending your money to another continent rather than boosting your own country’s economy?
  • How would you feel if you those you contracted in a foreign country were actually harsh taskmasters over workers deprived of their due pay?
  • How do you feel about paying unheard of low hourly wages or rates that would be considered illegal, below the poverty level and laughable in your own country?
  • Is it fair to pay a qualified person a rate you would never accept yourself?
  • How do you feel about passing over another small business in your locality in favour of using a cheaper one abroad?  Would you want others to do that to you too?

Making the Right Decision

There are a number of legitimate, well-qualified freelancers both in your own country and abroad.  There are also those that pass themselves off as reliable, legitimate businesses but are more like scammers and spammers.

As with any business relationship, there are risks involved when choosing to outsource.  You may find a diamond in the rough, or you may end up knee deep in bull-sludge, back-pedalling fast.

So many outsourcing relationships are virtual.  You can hire workers without ever meeting or talking to them.   That can be a good thing, or it can work against you.  You may want to try this type of relationship with a low cost output to test the waters first.

Some offshore workers’ prices are so low, you can only begin to imagine how they can possibly pull it off.  If there is any way to verify just what is happening behind the scenes, do it.  But if you suspect some type of work-pimp is thrashing the backs of underpaid workers who are forced to work overtime without pay and denied bathroom breaks, you might want to think again.

It’s important to try to validate the credentials of any would-be supplier you might use.  Often that is difficult to do.  Sometimes you have to trust your gut.  When things don’t make sense or seem to add up, it may be a sign to run the other way.

Choosing to use an offshore provider may be an inexpensive way to get work done, but these types of relationships won’t necessarily come without hurdles.  There may be communication gaps, time-zone barriers and a basic misunderstanding between cultures.  They may put out inferior work that’s been thrown together in order to stay solvent.  Not to be dismissed, is the differing standards or laws, or lack of them that might put you in a bind.

If there is such a thing as Karma, would you be willing to risk your reputation by using a provider that thinks nothing of violating copyright laws, disregarding website rules and thinks nothing of plagiarism?  Choosing a questionable provider and hoping to stay under the radar may come back to bite you.

Before entering into contracts with providers, calculate the risks.  It may be better to find someone local, get a recommendation from another business start-up, or work through a third party contractor or agency that may be able to give you a little more insurance or peace of mind.

Of course, you don’t want fear of failing to get in the way of progress.  Use wisdom, keep your integrity, and find good solid help you can rely on.  Doing so will free you up to do the things you love.

About the Author

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