It bears mentioning that you are going to make mistakes. Outsourcing is not a perfect process for two very good reasons – you are human and so is your provider. This is the whole reason we discussed in “Maintain the Momentum” how important it is to learn from your mistakes.

But we also want you to avoid as many mistakes as you can, so that you don’t find yourself fumbling in the dark, so to speak. The mistakes covered below are both fairly common and potentially devastating. Steering clear of these errors will help your projects get off to a great start.

Too Much Too Soon

It’s easy to be overzealous at the beginning and to dive right into the deep end head first. However, you should take caution with your first few outsourcing projects. Start small so that you can learn the ropes and be better prepared for the challenges of larger, more complex projects. Taking risks is good, as long as you have the knowledge and experience to manage them properly.

No Back-up Plan

Anything can happen over the course of a project, including the loss of your provider. Because a provider may need to bow out of your employment for a myriad of legitimate (and not-so-legitimate) reasons, it’s impossible to predict or prevent it from happening. What you can do, however, is have a back-up plan just in case. During interviews, always make sure that your second choice is informed of your decision, and ask if it’s OK to contact them if things don’t work out.

No Binding Contract

Especially when working with new providers, consider creating a written contract to ensure you have the provider’s full commitment. Even when working with providers you know and trust, a contract may be your best defense when you have a lot at stake, be it financing or timing. If you have a lot riding on a successful outcome, then protect yourself up front.

No Preparation for Training

Just because you’ve hired a highly skilled and knowledgeable provider does not mean that there won’t be some training involved. If nothing else, your provider may need to learn about your business – what you do and how you do it. Just about anyone you hire will need to have this basic knowledge in order to perform their task most efficiently. So be sure to consider training in your budget and timeline.

Jim decides to take his plumbing business online. He wants to feature different products and services that he offers along with a troubleshooting section and extensive FAQs. He also wants customers to be able to schedule appointments and request estimates through the website. Convinced that his business will boom, he is anxious to get the site up and running, so he hires a web designer online and sets a timeline of two months. 

Unfortunately, chances are the variety of demands and the strict timeline will be too difficult and stressful for the provider, and the project will likely fall behind. But what if Jim lowered his expectations for the initial website launch and then systematically added features over time? His project would have a much better chance for success.

Just because you’ve hired a highly skilled and knowledgeable provider does not mean that there won’t be some training involved. If nothing else, your provider may need to learn about your business – what you do and how you do it. Just about anyone you hire will need to have this basic knowledge in order to perform their task most efficiently. So be sure to consider training in your budget and timeline.

Finished? Go to the next lesson >>> 

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