A Critical Tip To Make An Outsourcing Project Successful


 A Critical Tip To Make An Outsourcing Project Successful

Knowing how to communicate with your outsourcers is the key to a successful outsourcing project.

More often than not, outsourcing projects fail because of miscommunication or lack thereof between the client and outsourcers. This can be frustrating for both parties, but it does not have to be this way! With some planning in advance, these issues can largely be avoided.

That’s why we’ve put together this post all about how to make an outsourcing project successful. In it we explore different ways you can communicate with your outsource workers so that each party understands what needs to happen and there are less miscommunications in general.

For some quick takeaways, read these subheadings:

Purpose of Communication

When to Communicate

Types of Communication with Freelancers and Virtual Assistants (VA’s)

Where to Communicate From and How to Communicate Properly

Purpose of Communication. What is the purpose of communicating with someone? Some people might say that communication is communication. True, but that’s like saying “a book is a book.” A book can be used as a paperweight or it can be used to read a bestseller. Would you ever use a book as an inkwell? Probably not. So it is with communication.

Communication can be used as a means to share ideas, not just as a way to relay information. Think about it in the context of your relationship with your outsourcers. What are the purposes for you communicating with them? Are you primarily interested in hearing that they are happy and healthy? Or do you want to hear about progress on the project and any issues they might have encountered? What is your priority, and what should be communicated to them?

To make this all clear, I’ll tell a story. It involves me trying to help an outsourcer communicate with his client. After years of working together and having an excellent relationship, there were a few times when the outsourcer had to leave the country for work. He wanted to let his client know that he’d be gone and still continue to communicate via phone (via Skype). The client was very happy with this arrangement because he knew his outsourcer would be in communication while away.

When the project did not progress as quickly as the client wished, it was obvious that certain things needed to be communicated between them. The client asked for a monthly update, and the outsourcer was happy to comply. But the communication between them was actually causing problems. They were both becoming annoyed with each other because they could not have a discussion without interrupting. When the client suggested that they switch to Skype, everything improved since there would be only one person on the line at any time.

Communication is important and should be used as an essential tool in your provider-client relationship.

When to Communicate. Communication can take many forms. It can be verbal (spoken or written) or electronic. In the example above, the client and outsourcer communicated via Skype in order to stay in touch while he was away. They could have chosen to talk on the phone, but because of time zone issues, they opted for a more efficient way of communication rather than using a phone call.

The client wanted to know that his outsourcer was healthy, happy, and being productive while at work. He did not need a weekly ‘report’ on how things were going and what concerns the outsourcer had about his client’s project. A weekly update would have been fine, but the client was looking for an ongoing conversation.

Now let’s say that you are the outsourcer and want to take care of the same things. What is the best way to communicate with your client? For a start, you could use an electronic form of communication such as Skype, or you could speak on the phone or send and e-mail. If you are also a freelancer and work on many projects simultaneously, then you may want to create multiple accounts with your clients and send them all messages at once (whether verbally or via e-mail).

Are you starting to see how communication can work in various ways for both parties? It’s about knowing what is important to you, why you are working with your outsourcer, and being aware of your outsourcer’s needs as well.

Sometimes using the phone or Skype is the best way to communicate because it allows for long-distance communication without seeming so distant. The distance can feel more like a friend calling on the phone than a message sent via e-mail. At other times, e-mailing can be sufficient because the conversation is not that personal or important.

The exact rules for communication will depend on what works for each party and situation, but communicating daily is generally ideal.

Types of Communication. There are many different ways to communicate with your people. Some are better than others, but they all have their uses. Here is a basic guide:

Skype is among the most popular forms of communication when it comes to remote workers in Africa and South America. It is the best way to stay in touch with your outsourcer, even though you will have to buy a Skype credit card before you can start using it for this.

If you do not have a Skype account and want to start one, you can purchase a Skype credit card. This comes with a $10 credit that can be used for your Skype account or for paying your outsourcer’s transaction fees.

Many vendors of services buy Skype credits and distribute them to their staff when they join up. These credits give the workers the right to use the software for free. But because of this, the number of people who sign up with this service is usually limited, so if you are looking for an outsourcer in Africa or South America, check out how many memberships there are before contacting someone.

E-mail is a good way to communicate. There are many e-mail clients that you can use on your computer, or you can use web mail. These are standard web mail providers such as Gmail or Yahoo! Web Mail, and some of them also have desktop clients for connecting to your computer and checking your messages.

Message boards are another traditional method of communication between freelancers in Africa and South America. A message board is a public area where freelancers can post information about their jobs, their rates and services, what they need in the area where you live (e.g., contacts for IT professionals), other related jobs that you might be able to do if you were local, etcetera.

Conclusion. The best way to communicate with your outsourcer is the one that works best for both parties. Most outsourcers and clients use e-mail or Skype, but there are a few who prefer to speak on the phone. In any case, it is important not to get bogged down by what type of communication works best; just make sure you turn up at the agreed time and location to discuss things with your provider.

How Much Should I Pay? When it comes to how much you should pay your outsourcer each month, there are no hard and fast rules as far as I know.

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