Outsourcing Freelancers vs Local Companies

Deciding whether to outsource a project/task is a big decision. The qualifications/experience of the person doing the outsourcing will be as important as the person receiving the work. The first question the person outsourcing the project should ask is “Do I understand what is involved to complete this job?” A person that fully understands the task/project is going to have a significant higher success rate then one who does not.

Full Website Builds:
Based on my experience, non-technical web retail clients are better served by their local web development company for the A-Z website build.  Finding a web development company that offers both development and marketing services is important. The simple fact is that most business owners do not have the technical experience to build a website that meets their business and marketing requirements. In almost all cases, the business owner is better off getting the professional help needed in order to get the product they really want.

Website Edits:
In many cases, the client has a website that needs basic edits. This is a task that can be done successfully using an outside freelancer/contractor under certain conditions. Finding one who understands your business model will be critical. As technology changes, it is important to be able to adapt to it.

Data Entry and Repetitive Task:
Data entry and repetitive tasks can be the easier of the tasks to outsource.  I feel that the key to succeed in this area is to fully understand the time and procedure to complete each task. When the client fully understands what is involved in sending out the task, they are more prepared to manage the work. When it comes to data entry tasks and estimations, it is better if the client has gone through the process. The better the level of understand, the better the possibility of adjusting the process for maximum efficiency.

Time & Experience to Manage the Work:
One question a person should ask himself before sending out work is “Do I have the time and ability to manage the project?” I have seen many cases where the client, especially in the cases of a web development company, will sell a job and think that his part is over.  It may be in such instance where the developer is playing the role of a project manager, but in most cases the developer will not have the project management experience or business experience to proficiently handle this part. I have three models that I use most often…

  1. Retail Client
    This client will not have the understanding to manage the project. Timeline and price will need to be factored in the project. Simple instructions may take more effort and each set of instructions will need to be analyzed.
  2. Wholesale Web Client – Programming / development
    This wholesale web client understands that they will be taking an active role to handle the project and will not be just “fast forwarding” emails. Instructions are given in a manner that is consistent with professional project management.  Particular methodologies are always subject to negotiation upfront.
  3. Wholesale Web Client – Programming/Development + Project Management.
    This method is perfect for the client that does not want to manage the project and just wants to sell. There needs to be an understanding if they are not taking an active role in communication with the client – a consideration for both price and timeline of the project. This method works best if the client and the contractor come up with an agreement that the developer will be not be in full communication with the client.
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