In the previous article, we discussed trust, quality and cost. In this part, we will dive into more serious risks that can affect your outsourcing strategy.
Finding the right people to outsource: While doing a comparative study of providers from various regions and outsourcing platforms, may give you a fairly good idea of the market and its price mechanisms… there is no guarantee that you will end up recruiting the right outsourcing agency or freelancer. Choosing from a lot of options and weighing different criteria is still a difficult task. You may seek advice from your fellow entrepreneurs or your account manager at the outsourcing platform. Here are a few tips
- Narrow down the skill sets and experience to your exact requirements
- Check if the freelancer is available as per your schedule
- Check the project completion rate, feedback and reviews. Many freelancers are in the habit of leaving small projects in the middle in favour of a big project.
- Check if the agency or freelancer is resorting under-pricing or over-pricing
- Is the freelancer trying to sell other services to you?
Control : You can control things at your end, but controlling the other end is not possible most of the time. If your company relies on proprietary technologies and intellectual property, you better not to outsource your precious development work or data. This is really important if your product is purely a digital one. The best thing you can do is to divide the task into several sub-tasks and get them done by different agencies. But this requires some extra managerial and technical skills from your part. Or you can try to forge a partnership with your technology developer. In most cases, this is not such a big issue and is easily manageable.
Communication: It is the most important part of any successful project. Not only the project details need to be thoroughly understood by both parties, but also the required prototypes are developed in order to avoid failures. If both parties speak the same language and have the same understanding about the requirements, it is an ideal situation. But it is not always possible. The idea behind outsourcing is to obtain the best possible service at the lowest possible price, so you will have to work with agencies from different regions. In such cases, it is always a good idea to engage with a translator while dealing with agencies speaking other languages and establish a common terminology to make sure that nothing is lost in the translation. Similarly, for culture related issues, you can give some good examples of your culture and seek similar information from the other end. This is particularly important to know about working hours and holidays that the freelancer or agency observes.
If all this seems a bit intimidating to you, seek help from your fellow entrepreneurs or forums. These are not any regular issues that happen with every entrepreneur. These are only occasional problems that surface when you didn’t put enough thought. You just need to be aware of these risks and have a plan in place to deal if such situations arise.