How to Outsource Remotely like a Professional

Your remote team can boost or break your business.

Yes, you have a great product.

Yes, you have a market willing to pay for the product.

But do you have the right team to push the product at the right time?

   “Great Vision without great people is irrelevant.” Jim Collins

Your employees whether remote or in-house are crucial to ensuring that your business runs orderly. Because we all know you can’t do it alone.

You need a team. Not just any team but one that is the right fit and enjoys the business relationship that you have.

Tooltip: Always remember it’s not management against employees but rather ‘us’ as a company both employees and management working together towards the same goal.

Here are some great tips that can help you outsource and retain the right talent:

Infographic on outsourcing

Why do you need to outsource?

Is it about the cost of maintaining a full-time employee? Lack of the right talent in the local area or your business is just fully remote and you don’t have a traditional office?

The reasons may vary for each business but it is crucial that you clearly define your reasons for outsourcing and why it is a better option for your business.

Define the scope of work

See, most remote workers know exactly what they can do, what they can learn, and what they’re not interested in doing. It is always easy to spot a beginner contractor because they’re willing to do anything as long as it pays.

Let’s say, you decide to hire a writer. What is your niche and how experienced do you need the writer to be? Do you have an editor or are you expecting the writer to produce perfect work without edits? How many times do you expect to outsource your writing per week or per month? How many words? How about keywords placement and SEO? Do you expect your writer to create images for the articles? If so, how?

Can you imagine expecting all the above without indicating in the scope of work when looking for a writer?

I can tell you for sure, it will be a disaster if you don’t say that upfront.

So, before you advertise for the job, find some time and list the key responsibilities you expect from hiring a VA, a graphic designer, web developer, writer, social media strategist, or editor.

Short term or long term tasks?

For short-term tasks like designing a logo, you can outsource using freelance sites like Up work where most people are looking to make a few bucks. But for long-term tasks such as writing, social media manager, audio and video editing, recruitment, and whatnot, go for established remote workers who are in business. This is someone who in this for the long haul and probably has a website, a work email, experience, and are looking for a business relationship.

It will be easier to work with someone who understands your brand in the long run rather than hiring a new contractor every time you need a recurring service.

Find out if you’re a good fit

Just like traditional employment, you still need to find out if you’re a good fit for each other. You can use a test job to see if the person performs according to your standard before settling. If they’re not a good fit, be kind enough to point out their mistakes and let them go.

Don’t be afraid to hire and fire until you find someone you can work with. It might be stressful, but its’ definitely worth it in the end.

Have systems for on-boarding new contractors

What does your company stand for? Do you have values and mission that you would like your team to be familiar with? Remember that just because a new contractor has read about your company on the web, there are still things that they may not be familiar with.

You can create videos specifically for on-boarding purposes, or create a chatroom where team members can interact with each other. More importantly, create a system where contractors know how to handle a crisis in business and what to do when they can’t reach you.

Put up Quality Control measures

The best part of hiring remote teams is most are experienced in their fields. But in some special cases, you will find one who won’t deliver because of one reason or the other. While the reasons might make sense, you have to identify sloppiness or utter laziness by putting up quality control measures.

For example, if you have a team of remote writers, then you must have an editor that goes through the articles to ensure they’re up to standards. An editor can help coach the writers to suit the company’s voice, mission, and vision, and drop writers who don’t deliver.

Set up payment systems

FinTech is experiencing a major technology shift. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pay contractors in any method? Unfortunately, we’re not there yet.

Someone in the crypto world may prefer to pay independent contractors using cryptocurrencies but do the remote workers have the ability and means to accept crypto? In some areas such as Bangladesh, Haiti, or Nigeria, you cannot send or receive money through PayPal. Stripe is also limited to some countries.

Have a conversation with your remote team and discuss the available mode of payment that is favorable to both parties.

Performance appraisal

Remote workers are humans and they also crave praise for work well done. If your team performs exceptionally well in a particular project, don’t forget to pat them in the back through an email or a tip.

Have regular meetings to ensure that you are on the same page

Things change periodically throughout the year. People go on holidays, others experience slow business during the summer, the market changes, you will lose customers here and there. so communication is key to ensure that everyone is kept on the loop during such periods.

There are great online tools such as Skype, Google Hangouts, Slack, or Zoom that you can use to conduct regular meetings with your remote team. If possible you can also do coffee once in a while. The goal is to ensure that both parties are interested in keeping the relationship as it is or update any changes in the business.

Tooltip: Once in a while check up on your team and ask how they’re doing on a personal level.

If you have any challenges finding the right contractors for your business, feel free to email me and I can point your to the right direction.

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