Outsourcing can be a lot like dating.
Not every person or company you work with will be the right fit, and sometimes you have to try out multiple companies to find the right partner for your business and workflow.
When done the wrong way, outsourcing can actually harm your business by lowering your quality of work, increasing overall costs, and even causing deadlines to be delayed.
But when you’re able to find the right person or company, (I promise, they’re out there! Nearly 28% of Australia’s workforce and over 36% of the US workforce is made up of freelance workers.) not only will outsourcing help you keep operational costs low, you’ll often you’ll be able to accomplish tasks much more quickly and effectively.
Below we’ve listed 12 questions you need to ask before you decide to work with a specific company or freelancer. If you want to properly vet your candidates and find the best fit for your company, considering your answers to these questions is the place to start.
10 Questions To Ask If You’re Considering Outsourcing
The goal of outsourcing is to achieve an efficient and productive workflow while retaining the value of your services or products.
The questions below will help you gain clarity with regard to your own needs and find outsourcers that will help you meet them.
Question # 1: Are You Outsourcing for Price or Convenience?
This question will help you determine if it’s cheaper for your company to outsource, instead of bringing on a new employee. Sometimes it’s cheaper to outsource your work, while other times it can be a more expensive yet much easier process. Instead of having to post a job ad, interview candidates, and educate them on your workflow, all you have to do is find the right outsourcer and have them complete the work.
Related: Should You Outsource Your Marketing or Hire a Team? Here’s How to Decide
Question # 2: Will the Outsourcer Improve Your Performance?
This is a hard question to answer when you haven’t worked with the outsourcer yet, but it can be helpful to think about it before you even consider outsourcing. Outsourcers should be brought on to improve the existing workflow, not hinder it.
Sometimes outsourcing can even help you gain a competitive advantage, and pursue new marketing methods or initiatives your team isn’t equipped for. If that is the case, then it’s definitely worth pursuing.
Question # 3: Do You Have an Escape Plan if the Outsourcer Underperforms?
Sometimes the outsourcer you’re using will fail to deliver. All kinds of circumstances can come up that could prevent them from finishing the projects and tasks. Or they could simply be a poor fit for your business, and you’ll be unhappy with the end result.
Regardless of what happens, you need to have a backup plan in place that will cover your business. Do you have additional backup outsourcers you can draw upon?
At Automation Agency, we have an entire Knowledge Base designed to avoid this problem. Our resources provide you with tips on how to best communicate with our Heroes when ordering tasks and ensure you’re happy with the end result. And if at the end of the day we’re a poor fit for your business you can cancel at any time.
Question #4: Who Is Managing the Outsourcer?
Outsourcing isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it solution. To truly have success with outsourcing, it’s important that you have a team member whose responsibility is to manage the relationship with your outsourcer.
Establish a point of contact in your company with whom they’ll discuss projects (or tasks, at Automation Agency) and regular deliverables.
Question #5: How Stable Is the Vendor?
Are you working with a brand-new vendor? Or do they have a track record of success? Newer outsourcers tend to have lower prices and work harder to guarantee success. However, there is no guarantee they’ll be around for the long term.
Take your needs into account to decide if you’re willing to work with a new outsourcer, or if you prefer to work with an established company that has a track record of results.
Question #6: How Will the Outsourcer Manage Your Account?
Does the outsourcer have a set process for managing your account? Look for an outsourcer that has a workable process for ensuring they can deliver work consistently and before the deadline.
If you’re working with a team, they might even have a point of contact that you’ll be speaking to, instead of the person handling the work.
At Automation Agency, we manage your account through tasks and our online web portal is the easiest way for you to manage your account and see what tasks we’re working on.
Question #7: Can You Speak to Pass Clients?
A steady roster of past satisfied clients is a marker of a solid outsourcer. See if it’s possible for you to speak to past clients to gather an in-depth perspective of what it is like to work with the outsourcer. If not, testimonials and case studies can also be valuable to learn what their working process is like and if they’ll be a good fit for your business.
Question #8: What’s Their Process Like? Communication? Deliverables?
It’s helpful to get an in-depth perspective on how they work. Will you be communicating with them on a regular basis? Or only upon project completion?
Do they have a strict working process and set of deliverables, or are they flexible with your requirements? Once again, if you already have an established process of working with outsourcers, then you need to make sure their process aligns with yours or that they or you are willing to be flexible.
Question #9: How Is Their Pricing Structured?
You need to work with an outside vendor that fits your budgetary needs. Some outsourcers will require a set amount of work from you every single month for the business relationship to work.
Some outsourcers price per project, while others price per hour. Make sure the pricing is clear up front and aligns with your budgetary goals.
Automation Agency pricing is simple – we have three service plans all a flat rate (no per project or per hour rates), All plans include unlimited web tasks, unlimited automation tasks, unlimited design tasks, and pro-active backup & security management of your website every month.
Question #10: Does the Outsourcer Meet Your Needs?
Finally, does the outsourcer meet your needs? You probably won’t be able to answer this right away, but the answer should be apparent after you’ve completed some work together.
It’s important to ask and adjust your strategy or hire a new outsourcer if you’re not satisfied. That is the beauty of outsourcing certain projects or aspects of your work. You can keep looking and trying new prospects until you find one that’s perfect for your needs.
If you already know you’re looking to outsource certain online marketing tasks relating to platforms that we support, then why don’t you reach out to our team today?
Our dedicated team can help with graphic design tasks, email marketing integration, landing page design, automated marketing sequences, website maintenance tasks, membership sites, and much more. If you require any of the above, then get in touch with us today.