The 5 most common outsourcing mistakes

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Outsourcing can be great for a freelance business that is already on the right path. There are a lot of things to do as a business owner and getting a few extra hands on deck can help you stay firm on course. Outsourcing can save a lot of time and increase your productivity where it matters. Collaborating with others and coming up with all sorts of new ideas is a pleasant side effect, too.

If you don’t pay attention, however, outsourcing might have more negative than positive impact. You should be careful when selecting what, to whom and how you outsource. To help you out, here are five of the most common mistakes freelancers make in regards to outsourcing.
 

 

1) Not even considering it
The first and biggest mistake most freelancers make is not even thinking about outsourcing. To help you understand the reason behind outsourcing, think about how much time you spend on tasks that could easily be done by someone else. Bookkeeping, SEO, social media and answering emails are just a few things which you surely spend hours a week on. Every week, every month and every year. 
 
Now imagine using all that time to focus on the core of your business – altering your strategy, coming up with new products and services and striving to get better. Outsourcing can help you focus on the things that matter most for the growth of your business.
 
2) Outsourcing the wrong stuff
Deciding what exactly to outsource is not a decision that should be taken lightly. There are two aspects you should think about here: in-house effectiveness and business value. 
 
The less effective you are at a certain task, the higher it should be on your list for outsourcing. If you only have basic Photoshop skills and it takes you hours to create just the right pictures for that business presentation, you are not being effective. That means you should find someone who can do it for you. The more valuable a task is for your business, the less easy and sensible it is to outsource it. You want to do the core of your business yourself. 
 
3) Outsourcing to the wrong people 
Now that you know why and what you should outsource, it is time to think about who you outsource it to. It’s not as simple as taking the easiest or cheapest option you find. You need people you can trust, so make sure that they have the experience and values you are looking for. Additionally, always do a “test run”, working with potential employees for a couple of days to see how the work relationship is in the field. Last but not least, don’t forget about time zones and cultural differences and how they might affect your work. 
 
4) Micro-managing outsourced work
It can be very difficult for freelancers to cope with outsourcing. Often that is because we are so used to having everything in our hands and none other. Micro-managing work that you outsourced is a very common mistake that goes the logic of outsourcing. You don’t want to be looking over your employee’s shoulder all the time and make sure they do all aspects of your work just how you want them. You want to use that extra time to focus on more important work rather than keeping track of every step that is being made.
 
5) Outsourcing work you know nothing about
Outsourcing work that you’re clueless about can be very dangerous. It is true that you should think about outsourcing work that you’re not extremely good at, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to know nothing about it. After all, it is your business and you should be able to steer it in the right direction if need be.
 
Do you outsource your freelance work? Share your stories or feel free to ask us a question about it in the comment section below.

 

Pic: © Jane0606_shutterstock

Viktor Marinov

Viktor is the voice behind the freelancermap blog. Every week he comes up with helpful hints, checklists, and guides for freelancers and independent workers. If you would like to know how to find remote jobs online or how to niche yourself as a freelancer, don't miss his freelancer tips!

By Viktor Marinov

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