Despite the fact many want to view others are resources or commodities, the strongest outsourcers I have are a direct result of increasing responsibilities, authority, compensation, and freedom.
Find your Future Partner – it usually starts as freelance work
I manage a team around 10 people, and each person started off with extremely basic tasks. They do X, I check it, and release payment. Of course, as your business evolves this is not so cut and dry. Tasks become more complicated, you want to add value (recurring clients demand it), and understanding customer needs / support grows as well.
The solution could be more outsourcing of customer support or extras to add to the original project. The problem with this is your outsourcing does not make your business easier to run, it will actually slow the process down and form huge bottlenecks.
The Solution – Pay them what they are worth and Build Trust
Try before you trust is very true. For every 1 outsourcer on our team, 100 were no good or didn’t make the cut. If you have the budget, test outsourcers with projects that help your current business, rather than use your valued clients as guinea pigs. If all goes well, give them one or two more tasks before you scale up your efforts with them.
Get their Contact Info – Skype, email, etc
Communication is all we have in business, especially outsourcing. If your outsourced worker is not readily available to chat or delays replies, it’s best to start looking for a new worker. I’ve had great workers but had to let them go because they weren’t responsive to my questions. If they aren’t responsive to the boss, chances are they don’t really care about the clients they are ultimately servicing.
Reward, Praise, and Give Authority when Delegating
Great leaders know that the only way to truly grow as a company is to have the best people under them. Chances are the people you outsource to, outsource as well, or manage people in their native country. There is nothing wrong with this, as everyone wins.
To keep your trusted, best outsourcers it’s advised to pay them better than other workers in this area, while still remaining profitable. Also, let them have full authority over a project, including customer concerns, personalization, and any other obstacles that represent themselves based on your industry.
Of course, you must always establish yourself as the team leader, but a leader that micro manages and doesn’t trust his team is no leader at all. Genghis Khan knew he had to trust other tribal leaders to expand his Mongol empire, and that a Chieftain that relied only on himself was a leader of none.
Trial and Error – You’ll learn quickly what you need
Don’t be afraid to go through many freelancers if red flags emerge. However, some of my greatest team members were at one time on the chopping block (early on) due to lack of communication, service quality, customer support, or other issues. Now, they are simply the very best at what they do and are paid better than anyone in their field.
Compassion, communication, and relationship building is critical. We are all humans, not just commodities.