It has now become common practice for a lot of online entrepreneurs to outsource a lot of the tasks needed to run a business. For those who are just starting out and want to take advantage of outsourcing, you will need to have the essential components ready.
What do you need to have before you start outsourcing your work? Basically, you need a computer connected to the internet, a set of instructions on the task you want to outsource and a way for you to pay your outsourced worker.
If it’s quick and easy to setup the logistics on your end, it’s also easy for your employee or contractor. He needs a computer connected to the internet, the required skill or talent, and a way to receive his pay. It gets complicated when you increase the number of contractors.
With a larger team, you will need a way to coordinate the work and monitor progress. You need to have a process in place to ensure each contractor finishes their assigned work on time. Project management becomes more involved as you want to avoid wasted effort or delays due to unfinished work.
A typical small start-up can have around 2-3 employees, not including the owner. It may seem overkill at this point, but having processes in place early on will save you time and effort once you start to add more people. Always invest some extra time to create structure in your start up or home business.
If you don’t have the time to setup processes for you home business, a few enterprising websites gives you the option to use their framework. For a fee, you can hire, manage, and even pay your contractor, all on one site. Sites like oDesk, Elance, Fiverr give you this capability. However, they do not provide all the process you need to put in place.
The project management aspect, which includes: job assignment; monitoring; completion; can be handled by available software. There has been a growth in the number of project management software available to entrepreneurs. A few them are even open source.
You don’t need to get project management software yet when you’re just starting out. Email, Google Documents and even a shared page on a social network site like Facebook can function as means to monitor and coordinate work. What is important is that you have processes in place. More advanced software like Basecamp, are better suited to larger teams and more elaborate projects.
Here’s a summary on what you outsourcing logistics you need when you start out:
- A fairly updated computer that’s connected to a reliable internet connection. Ideally, the computer and the connection should be able to handle hours long video conferencing without any problems.
- List of duties and instructions for completing required tasks. Having this document will help you discuss and set the proper expectations with your contractor. It also helps that you both have something to refer to when the need arises.
- Payment processor. You need an established and reliable method of sending payment to your contractor. One of the most commonly used companies is Paypal. However, they don’t serve all territories. Some even have special restrictions. You’ll need to consider which payment processor is easier for you and your contractor to use.
That’s it for now. If you’re growing your home business, this article will hopefully give you a few key insights as to how to make it easier to scale up. Outsourcing logistics is pretty straightforward and this is actually another one of the benefits it offers.