Running a business is demanding and, even with the best employees, you can't do it all. Seasonal workload shifts, new clients or projects, and unexpected problems can overtax your resources and place you at risk of not meeting expectations. Rather than miss deadlines or presenting less-than-perfect work, outsource specific tasks to keep your customers and clients happy.
There are many reasons to outsource specific work tasks on either a short or long term basis.
Key reasons a business will seek outside expertise is when outsourcing:
- Saves money
- Helps meet a deadline or address a project emergency
- Increases productivity
When using outsourcing to address emergency situations, it is important to have a list of pre-vetted companies that you can trust to do the required task. Knowing who you will use and what that resource will cost regarding money, time and supervision will help you respond to your challenges rather than react, which will increase productivity.
Outsourcing to Meet Deadlines
Whether a project started on a tight deadline or you are unable to meet your next time objective due to problems, outsourcing can maintain your sanity and bring a new perspective to the challenge.
The independent contractors you use will bring their expertise to the mix so take advantage of that resource. For many of your needs, you can access these people through the internet rather than scheduling face-to-face meetings which saves you time and money. By maintaining a pool of contractors, you are assured that someone will be available to meet your deadline and produce the quality work you need.
Protect Your Data and Information
When hiring a resource, include contract language that protects your information from being used by the independent contractor. This language should include all of your client's privileged information that you give the independent contractor access to for them to complete their tasks. The need to protect this information rises when the issues are the security of a website or product.
Security issues are magnified if you select an overseas company to outsource a task or project component. Be vigilant and have a strong contract that has specific sections of information/data ownership and protections.
4 Tips for Meeting Tough Deadlines when Outsourcing Projects
You have a large project, or a client has a great demand for something, so you cannot deliver on time. Sure, when you say a day or two won’t make a huge difference, it doesn’t sound too bad, but sometimes things are more serious.
Your client may strongly depend on the order, or you simply may have a reputation to maintain and releasing a finished project on time plays a huge role in branding yourself as a highly professional and dependable company. Whatever the case, meeting deadlines is way more serious than people often think, and for that reason, you need to outsource a portion of your project, to be on the safe side.
Here are four things you need to know or do, in order to meet tough deadlines when you outsource your project.
Be a reliable client
The outsourcing company is not your servant, and you are not their only client. In other words, do not expect them to drop everything just so that they can work on your issue with all hands on deck. If you want an outsourcing company to go out of their way to help you out, you need to show them you are there to stay, and that you are someone who is worth the effort. So, show them you are serious about the collaboration, tell them you like their work and that you want to maintain communication with them.
Also, treat them as if they were your team members, and ensure that they are always up to speed. If an outsourcing company sees someone they can consider a regular customer, they will make an effort to impress you and show you how your faith in them was not misplaced.
Find reliable outsourcing solutions
Another very important thing to worry about is competence of your outsourcing solution. If you do this in a hurry, you could end up with people who might not deliver on what you expect, i.e. the quality of the end product could harm your reputation. You need to see how many companies out there can help you out, and you can do this by looking into their previous jobs in departments similar to yours.
After all, outsourcing companies perform far better in these types of situations, if your instructions are specific and precise, and if they have a reference point. Simply point to some of their previous works, and they will know exactly what to do.
Give them a reason to speed up
As mentioned, outsourcing companies have more clients on their plate, and it can harm their reputation if they let them down simply to help you out. In other words it is risky for them to do these things, so you might need to give them a better offer.
If they need to work overtime, offer them more money or simply tell them that you are planning to continue ordering and give some sort of insurance. This way they can contact other clients, ask if it is alright for the other project to be delayed and they will make an additional effort to squeeze you in.
Learn what to prioritize
Lastly, if it is impossible to meet the deadline, then you need to re-organize or, to be more precise, re-prioritize, and this is something people do all the time. In the entertainment industry movies and videogames usually seem unfinished, or are patched up later, because the product was not one hundred percent complete on launch.
It’s not an ideal solution, but it just shows you how important deadlines are. So, if you have a copious project, you might have to leave out some things, or neglect testing them. Basically the less important elements will be fixed later, and that is how you will have to approach the project.
In any case tight deadlines need to be avoided, with improved organization and thinking ahead you can reduce their number to a bare minimum. They will still occur, it’s in the nature of every job, but before you do something that might compromise the operation in the future, simply think it through, and learn how to prepare.
Outsourcing project components is a great way to address business crises and meet client deadlines but have a pre-vetted list of resources to make the process effective.