Are you ready to join the thousands of home-based businesses outsourcing many of their routine tasks? If so, you’re not alone. Outsourcing gives you the ability to add extra hours to your work day. These extra hours can be used to increase your products and services offered by your business. Or you can choose to just improve your current customer service delivery.
Outsourcing or contracting for services may take some time to get the right people up to speed with the way you want things done.
First you need to note the tasks you perform each day in your business. This means not only the big tasks, but those little details that often get lost in the busy day to day life of an entrepreneur. Once you have your list of tasks, look at how the tasks fit into your overall marketing plan and strategy.
When a business owner doesn’t get the results they want from outsourcing there are two points to check. Did they correctly define the tasks to be accomplished? Did the business owner choose the right contractor for the project? If a long term project is needed, make sure to check references and recommendations before proceeding. A contractor who cannot perform the tasks can be frustrating and hurt your business.
If you don’t need long term project consistency, then consider contracting with people who are looking for short term projects. Outsourcing sites like Guru.com, Elance.com, HireAFreelancer.com are all good places to look. When using these services make sure you check out the ratings. You want to work with people who are willing to work and do a good job.
Outsourcing success is dependent on effective communication. Set up the guidelines for questions, problems and how you want to communicate. You can use phone, email, Google Docs, Skype or other method. Since people can be located in other time zones and speak languages other than English, clear and consistent communication is needed to prevent problems and misunderstandings.
The time to set up expectations of what is expected in an outsource project is before it starts. A written work for hire agreement is essential to avoid problems and difficulties later. Make sure your work for hire agreements are clear and keep your outsourced project people independent contractors.
The status of independent contractor is determined by a set of rules developed by the IRS. These rules determine whether a person you pay, is an employee or an independent contractor. If you fail to follow the independent contractor rules, the person you outsource work to could be considered an employee. You could then be liable for back taxes, penalties and interest. To see the rules, go to www.IRS.gov.
Getting and using a work for hire agreement is important to protect the independent contractor status of your outsourced project. Include details of your project, time lines, payment, and exactly what is needed to complete the project.
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