What If The People You Outsource To Are Not As Good As You?

Following yesterday’s post, Outsource Everything, I got a few emails from people who wanted to outsource but were unsure whether anyone could get the job done as well as it needed to be. That’s an understandable reaction and it was something that I fought when we tried to outsource some of our work. Sometimes it feels like it’s more work writing up a description of what needs to be done rather than just doing it yourself.

So I put together a list of 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Care if Your Outsourcers Can’t Do the Work as well as You Can:

  1. So what? – My first response is so what if they can’t do the work as well as you. I guarantee you that they won’t be able to do things as well as you can because they can’t read your mind. The problem is that most people expect the work to be perfect right away. It doesn’t have to be. If someone else can do 80% of the work and you just have to go back and clean up the last 20%, you still saved a lot of time. Unless you find someone you really trust (and that takes a lot of experience), you should do some type of quality control over what’s done. Don’t just think you can hand it off and forget it.
  2. You’d be surprised how well they can do the work – This isn’t always true but it happens more often than you would think. Often times I send off instructions and just know that I will get some horrible deliverable and there will be a million questions along the way. Then I’m pleasantly surprised to see that they exceed my expectations.
  3. Some things you’ll never be able to get rid of – There have been some tasks that I wanted to hand off to someone else to do because I didn’t like doing them but then I realized there was no way to do this. These aren’t tasks that you should be outsourcing because they aren’t something that you can provide step-by-step instructions to. These are things that you have to think about and there is no way that someone else will be able to know what you’re thinking. Just outsource everything else, bite the bullet, and do this one yourself.
  4. Don’t hire them to do everything you do – Make sure you have specific tasks for them. Don’t provide them high-level needs and expect that they will think of everything. If you can’t write it down in steps, it’s not something that you should hire them to do.
  5. Find things that are monotonous – A lot of your activities might have a “thinking” component and a monotonous component. Don’t be afraid of doing the “thinking” parts and handing off the monotonous components. We do this a lot when we outsource web design. We determine what the overall design and feel of the site is and then outsource the actually coding with clear instruction on what needs to be done.

The key is to remember that you’re not hiring someone to solve world peace. You’re just hiring them to do some monotonous tasks for you. It’s not going to be everything you do but you’ll start finding more and more tasks that you can write instructions to and that you can hand off. And don’t be afraid to break it down so you provide most of the brainpower and they do the rest.

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