In our article The Advantages of Outsourcing to India, we detailed the reasons why outsourcing (to India, or anywhere else in the world) would benefit your small business. If you outsource several non-critical, yet still important business operations, it helps you cut costs and solve your staffing problems. If you’ve made the decision to outsource, read on to find out how to get started and how to make the most of your offshore workers.
If distance isn’t an issue for the outsourced tasks, you can consider hiring workers from anywhere in the world. There are several websites that help you find the right people for your business.
Freelancer, Virtualemployee, Upwork, Guru, and Fiverr are the top portals that allow you to find workers for virtually any task. Graphic design, software development, content writing, virtual assistance, telemarketing, or translation services are just a few of the hundreds of skills remote workers advertise on these portals.
The rules are slightly different with each service provider, but the basics are the same. First, you need to post a project on the website of your choice. It can be a small one-time project, a longer or recurring one, and you can even look for full-time workers. Depending on your specific needs, you can offer a flat fee or pay your worker per hour. Some of these websites offer a time-tracker app that creates screenshots of your workers’ computer, making sure they’re actually working on your project when they’re charging you.
Once you’ve posted your job, workers begin to bid on it. You can scroll through the profiles, and if applicable, portfolios, of the bidders. Then contact them through chat, ask questions, give specifics about your project, or ask them to provide a sample or pass a test before you hire them. Alternatively, you may even skip the whole job-posting and offer your project to a worker directly if you wish.That’s not recommended though, unless you know the person from previous projects.
Depending on your specific needs, you can offer a flat fee or pay your worker per hour
If you’ve chosen your worker, it’s up to you how you want to employ them. We recommend doing a small scale project at first to see how well you work together, especially if you want to hire the person long-term. Most of these websites offer assistance in paying your worker as well. However, if your remote worker comes from another country and has a sole proprietorship, the best way to pay them is through Veem. Due to innovative multi-rail technology, Veem can take care of all your international transfers quickly, securely, and at a much lower cost than going through your bank.
If you’re satisfied with your remote worker and want to keep working with them, it may be a good investment to train them on your company’s specific culture and practices, as well as anything they need to know so they can perform their best for your business. This is especially helpful if you’ve acquired more than one remote worker who need to cooperate as a team.
Put together a training course for your remote team. Include videos, presentations, manuals, anything that can make the material interesting and informative. You can even offer virtual training sessions where you present your know-how and your team can tune in via video conference. This will help all of you to get on the same page and create team spirit.
How to manage your team?
Communication is key, since you’ll most likely never be in the same room with your remote team. You need to maintain a close virtual relationship to ensure that everybody is on the same page.
If you have one or two remote staffers working mostly separately, this can be done simply via email, and possibly a time-tracker app to make sure that your workers are really working. The latter can be bypassed if the output from your workers is enough proof of their hours worked, or if you’ve had a long relationship and you trust your workers.
However, if you have many people working for you remotely as a team, you need to ensure that they communicate and coordinate with each other on a regular basis. Or to put it simply: they need to act as if they were sitting in the same office. There are several tools that allow you to do just that.
File sharing platforms like Google Docs, OneDrive, Box, SugarSync, Dropbox, or Hightail allow you and your team to share all your documents, work on the same versions, as well as access and store all docs via cloud.
If you install communication tools like Slack, Yammer, Hipchat, or Google Hangouts, you can send instant messages to your team members. By setting up a common chat room, all team members will see the same information, but you can contact each team member individually as well. This creates a real virtual office atmosphere that will help team members connect with each other. While this prevents the loss of information, it also boosts team morale and productivity.
Regardless of constant communication via chat, sometimes there may be a need to hold a face-to-face meeting. There are many programs you can use for this purpose, like Google Hangouts, Zoom, or GoToMeeting.
If your outsourced team is large and tackles complex tasks, you may need to install a project management tool. Programs like RealtimeBoard, Basecamp, Podio, Zoho Projects, and Wrike can make managing each individual task assigned to team members easier and more efficient.
Regardless of the size of your outsourced team, delegating tasks to offshore workers will boost your business. However, if you attain workers from another country, bear in mind that their business culture may be different from what you’re used to in the US. Make sure to learn the basics of each team member’s business culture, because it affects the way they work, communicate, and cooperate with each other.
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