doubledawnwriting

Advice for better writing and marketing

Your Guide to Quality Outsourcing

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The internet is a vast resource for finding skilled workers to perform smaller tasks for your business. Bookkeeping, administrative tasks and marketing campaigns are great examples of work that can be outsourced. Outsourcing reduces your payroll expenses as well as saving you time and paperwork.

Unfortunately, for every high level, professional service provider, there are about a hundred sub-standard ones. When it comes to running a business, you can’t afford to waste money on someone who doesn’t deliver exactly what you need. 

Volume Versus Value 

There are two ways to make money. One is to provide a product or service at an extremely low price, and pump out enough volume to make a profit.

Walmart is a perfect example of a volume retailer. Sure, the buttons pop off the shirts after one wash, the kid’s shoes will never survive to become a hand-me-down and the best before dates are quite short. Nevertheless, Walmart packs in the customers who are willing to sacrifice quality for the lowest price tag. This retail giant makes it’s money off volume, not mark up.

Sears, on the other hand, has built a solid reputation for quality and service. Online, by catalogue or shopping in person, the consumer naturally expects to pay more when shopping at Sears. This retailer has never engaged in the price slashing practices of other department stores, but instead focused on brand names and customer service. 

While Sears doesn’t have the volume that Walmart has, they have a reputation for quality merchandise, and offer price points that reflect this. Sears makes their money by making a tangible profit off each item sold, so they don’t need the same volume that Walmart does. 

Volume and Value in Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a business like any other. Freelancers who offer their services will either work on volume, pushing out as many assignments as possible for a low price, or value. Value providers set their prices to allow them to offer higher quality. 

The fact is: you will get what you pay for. If you’re only willing to pay $5 for a service, there is a good chance you will find yourself disappointed in the results. That’s not to say you won’t happen across some grade A service, but it’s a time consuming process to weed through the providers to select a good one. 

Elance and Odesk are popular outsourcing sites, but there are no quality standards for service providers. Anyone who wishes to bid on a job may do so. As a buyer, you are left to sift through the bids, most of which are inferior, to find a suitable provider. Again, another time consuming task which can frustrate the process. 

As a business, you need to look at your outsourcing needs objectively and weigh the cost of the task against your time and the quality you are looking for. There are indeed outsourcing sites that cater to business needs, by only offering higher quality service providers that have been adequately screened.

TaskArmy is a perfect example of a high value, professional outsourcing resource. It’s a smaller site, with a handful of service providers. Each provider submits a service they are offering, which is screened by the site before submission.

The prices are set by the freelancers, and reflect the time and effort that will be put into your job. You won’t likely find any $5 jobs, instead, the pricing indicates the level of professional service you will be provided with.

TaskArmy uses an escrow service for payment, so your business is protected. The 20% fee per task is taken from the provider’s end, so the purchaser has no additional costs to worry about.

In the end, choosing an outsourcing company will depend on the goals of your business and the budget. You might start out with low quality providers until you reach a level where you can afford to pay more.

However, if quality is integral to your professional image, outsourcing through professional providers and freelancers is cost effective. Even if you pay a higher price per project, it’s still less expensive than adding professionals to your payroll.   

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Written by doubledawnwriting

March 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

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