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5 Business Outsourcing Mistakes to Avoid

business outsourcing mistakes

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Are you on a mission to grow your business and want to avoid the top outsourcing mistakes? It’s difficult to hire freelancers or agencies for the first time to complete work on your behalf. After all, you might have started your business from scratch and have processes in place for how everything should work. 

It’s estimated that global spending in outsourcing could hit $731 billion in 2023. Therefore, it’s a huge industry and you need to navigate the choppy waters to make the correct outsourcing decisions. Continue reading for the most common business outsourcing mistakes to avoid, which allows you to make the correct hires. 

Mistake 1: Not Doing The Work First

You’ll know that some business owners will outsource most of the work from day 1, and this is especially true if they have large amounts of cash to invest in the project. However, in many cases it can be the wrong decision. 

That’s because it’s difficult to outsource tasks that you have no idea how they work. You need to complete them for yourself first before you can give them to other employees. For example, how can you understand if your product page listing is being optimized correctly if you have never done it before?

It doesn’t mean that you have to master all aspects of your business before outsourcing. This can take a long time and you’ll become the bottleneck in the business. Instead, have a basic grasp of what’s required to do the task so you can outsource the work intelligently. 

Mistake 2: Not Enough Funds

One of the worst business outsourcing mistakes to avoid is getting others to work for your business when you cannot afford them. It’s important to have enough funds for products, marketing and other vital expenses to keep the business going. 

During the initial phases of launching the business, the owner will typically need to complete the majority of the work. Also, they may ask friends and family to pitch in without payment. That’s because keeping costs down during the start of a business is vital to ensure that it doesn’t go bankrupt. 

Once you have good cash flow regarding reordering products and other ongoing financial commitments, you can begin to scale the business by outsourcing. Hiring contractors and freelancers is an important step to ensure that your business doesn’t stagnate. 

business outsourcing mistakes

Mistake 3: Hiring the Wrong Freelancers

Hiring freelancers that do bad work will do more harm than good. Therefore, you need to put effort into vetting the freelancers or agencies that you hire. Here are some of the top things to lookout for:

  • Expertise: make sure the freelancers have the right skills and expertise for the exact role that you need. This is especially true if their role requires tasks to be completed that need knowledge of your niche. 
  • Availability: only hire freelancers that have the time to complete your tasks. Even the best freelancers in the industry will be useless if they are too busy for your work. Therefore, set expectations for how many hours per week you expect the freelancers to work. 
  • Price: shop around to find freelancers that are competitively priced for the work they are going to do. However, you may find that you get what you pay for, so expect to pay more for higher quality freelancers. 
  • Communication: ideally, the freelancers you hire will have excellent communication skills. This includes providing updates or answering your questions about progress. Also, the speed of responses is vital so you don’t have to wait a long time to learn the progress. 
  • Follow directions: freelancers you hire should be able to follow directions. That’s because you may have specific requirements that you want followed. This is especially important to ensure that your brand is portrayed in the correct fashion. 

Mistake 4: Not Having Good Directions

You may find that your best freelancers will struggle to complete good work if your directions are bad. Therefore, you must create processes and requirements that are well-defined. This ensures that the freelancers are put in the best position to succeed. 

When creating documentation to provide directions, you need to be as detailed as possible. This ensures that every new freelancer can hit the ground running. Also, you can include annotated screenshots and videos to offer even more detail. 

Once you have good onboarding processes, you can automate the giving directions part of the hiring process. This means you have to spend less time getting every freelancer up to speed on what you need. 

Mistake 5: Not Keeping An Eye on Quality

Business owners are responsible for the quality of the work that is completed. Therefore, it’s your job to ensure all freelancers complete good quality work at every step. Here are a few ideas for ensuring you get the best work from freelancers

  • Hire the right freelancers: the first step of the process is to hire the best freelancers you can for the available roles. Therefore, you need to look at their track history, reviews, expertise, and much more. 
  • Hire a project manager: you may want to hire a project manager that can keep track of the work every freelancer is submitting. This ensures that a qualified individual is responsible for overseeing the work. 
  • Set goals: to track freelancer quality you need to set goals and track the progress. Once you set measurable goals, it allows you to determine what freelancers are puling their weight in a systematic fashion. 

Final Thoughts

To conclude, there are many mistakes that you can make when outsourcing your business tasks to freelancers, contractors, and agencies. It’s important to avoid them to ensure you get the best deals and work is completed as expected. 

Avoiding the business outsourcing mistakes in this article will go a long way towards ensuring that you can grow your business without jeopardizing cashflow. The advice in this article is just the start, as you begin outsourcing, the quality of your decision-making will improve. 

About Author

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Rick Mak

Rick Mak is a 30-year veteran businessman, having started, bought, and/or sold more than a dozen companies. He has bachelor's degrees in International Business, Finance, and Economics, with masters in both Entrepreneurship and International Law. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world during his career on entrepreneurship, international tax law, asset protection, and company structure. Business Anywhere Editorial Guidelines

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