Are You Running Business: Impossible? Things To Outsource Now | inc.com



Inc.com - The Daily Resource for Entrepreneurs

If your business needs an extreme makeover, it’s time to start outsourcing.

My family loves watching Restaurant: Impossible. The show provides an extreme makeover for restaurant owners who have little or no prior experience. Most of them are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

In most episodes, Chef Robert Irvine decides that the restaurant leadership and expertise is out-of-whack. The auteur with the knife in the kitchen might not have the people skills necessary to manage the wait staff. The bubbly front-of-house staff might not be capable of ordering food deliveries or creating a menu. When people aren’t in the right role or are trying to do too much, they get frustrated and the entire enterprise suffers.

Starting and running a business, of any kind, is not something you should do alone. The best leaders know when to delegate or outsource, but some owners let years go by and delay critical business decisions because of arrogance, fear, or a lack of confidence.

I waited far too long to hire employees because I was afraid it’d take too long to train them and they’d never do things the way I wanted. Of course, the result was total suffocation and paralysis. Just like in the TV show, it wasn’t any fun being the owner, chef, server, host, accountant, marketer and dishwasher!

So when should you step back and let another cook in the kitchen?

1. Legal.
2. Accounting.
3. Insurance.
4. Benefits.
5. Marketing.
6. Tech Support.
7. Mindless.

Read full story

Anuncios

Should I Outsource? To Be Or Not To Be Outsourcing

The Benefits
Outsourcing usually brings important benefits:
– Cost savings – this involves offshoring (companies recruiting workforce from abroad mainly for the reason it’s cheaper). For some it’s a necessity, for others just a business decision to maximize profit. Many large companies were forced by the recession to cut down costs and chose outsourcing by necessity, which stirs lots of controversies nowadays.
– Focus to core business tasks – the company may fuel investment and people’s force onto main processes of the business, leaving aside the non-essential energy consumers. Outsourcing raises the predictability of variable costs, which is another benefit.
– Quality increase – outsourcing provides access to both technology (logistics that the company could not afford by itself) and knowledge (skills, intellectual property). This enhances the in-house ability for product innovation and boosts the image of the company from customers’ perspective.
– Contract and other legal advantages – externalized services imply having a legally binding contract that offers the possibility of applying penalties and special conditions. Also, tax incentives for hiring outsources in some countries can be remarkable.
– Scalability – you won’t have to worry about temporary decreases in productivity, the outsourced company will usually be able to manage such fluctuations and integrate positive deviations too. This is a main advantage of having an external workflow.
– Liability – companies developed on a lot of ramifications often transfer liability over some concerns that are outside their core competencies to outsourcers.
– A fair open schedule – you hear a lot of talk over the work-life balance and how to optimize it. Well, outsource some of your leg work and it’s achieved!
When to Outsource
There are various concerns regarding outsourcing, as it’s an important decision that will potentially shift your business processes. They are not decisive issues, but it’s important to anticipate the risk in order to minimize it. Main issues of outsourcers sound as following:
– “I won’t be able to supervise things as I do with my in-house workers.”Distance and time zones can be obstacles for exchanging feedback, so it may be less frequent than for internal processes. There are various software solutions for communication and employee management that will help you overcome this (VoIP, instant messaging, time tracking software such as Paymo, cost and schedule assessment tools).
– “I fear my outsourcers are not as qualified as I would like.” Get to know outsourcers’ skills, expertise and know-how, also be willing to spend some hours training them in matters of your company in order to achieve the best results. This way you won’t have surprises and you will share the responsibility in case something goes wrong. Why do that when it’s easier to cancel the contract and maybe ask for compensation? Well, maybe it’s just me, but it’s more ethical to share responsibility, plus you won’t waste time in finding another outsourcer each time, and another, and another…


Outsourcing

Laura Moisei | http://workawesome.com

There’s a half-joke that trolls round my office: “You cannot do it? Outsource it to the guy next to you!” Well, I agree, this doesn’t quite mean outsourcing but rather passing the buck, yet it works like charm at times!

To state things straight, it’s a world of interaction we live in and businesses often need to outsource tasks that can be done cheaper and better by specialized third parties. How to know if outsourcing is a go for your business?

This is quite a delicate matter, even though almost every company or professional has experienced outsourcing at some point, especially when starting up. Some businesses choose to outsource narrow processes such as billing, while others externalize large sections (customer service is among the most common task here).

Most of the outsourcing pros affirm that it saves time and money, but in order to do it right and not achieve the opposite effect you should analyze some nuances.

First question for you: How wide is the task you want to outsource? A few parameters to take into account: number of people involved from your side, time and resources demanded. Before deciding to outsource, it’s always a good idea to create a formula to quantify your costs and benefits and to prove you that outsourcing has a long term benefit rather than short term – don’t hesitate to use your own variables to reach a conclusion. Obviously, saving costs should not be the sole purpose of outsourcing. Leer más “Should I Outsource? To Be Or Not To Be Outsourcing”

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing

Running a design business, either as a freelancer or a small agency, is a big challenge. Getting the most efficiency out of your time is essential, but it’s also very difficult for those who wear many different hats, like freelancers. One of the most common ways of dealing with this challenge for efficiency is to outsource work to others. It could be anything from design work, front-end development, back-end development, marketing, to anything else that needs to be done.

There are some very strong reasons for outsourcing, and likewise the are some equally strong reasons against outsourcing. In this article we’ll look at those pros and cons, which will hopefully prove to be helpful to those who are trying to decide on whether or not to outsource.
Pros of Outsourcing
1. Leverage Your Efforts

Whether you are a part-time freelancer, full-time freelancer, or you run a design agency, the business aspect of your work is just as critical to your success as is your ability to design and/or code. One of the principles that is key to growing a business is that you need to be able to leverage your time and efforts. As a one-man operation you will only be able to earn money for the services that you can provide to clients yourself. But by expanding your business, in this case through outsourcing, you can leverage your efforts and make money based on the work of other people as well.

This makes an assumption that one of your priorities is to maximize income and profits, which may not be the case with all designers. Some designers prefer working on every aspect of client projects rather than outsourcing or hiring employees, even if it means reduced potential for business growth.


http://vandelaydesign.com

Running a design business, either as a freelancer or a small agency, is a big challenge. Getting the most efficiency out of your time is essential, but it’s also very difficult for those who wear many different hats, like freelancers. One of the most common ways of dealing with this challenge for efficiency is to outsource work to others. It could be anything from design work, front-end development, back-end development, marketing, to anything else that needs to be done.

There are some very strong reasons for outsourcing, and likewise the are some equally strong reasons against outsourcing. In this article we’ll look at those pros and cons, which will hopefully prove to be helpful to those who are trying to decide on whether or not to outsource.

Pros of Outsourcing

1. Leverage Your Efforts

Whether you are a part-time freelancer, full-time freelancer, or you run a design agency, the business aspect of your work is just as critical to your success as is your ability to design and/or code. One of the principles that is key to growing a business is that you need to be able to leverage your time and efforts. As a one-man operation you will only be able to earn money for the services that you can provide to clients yourself. But by expanding your business, in this case through outsourcing, you can leverage your efforts and make money based on the work of other people as well.

This makes an assumption that one of your priorities is to maximize income and profits, which may not be the case with all designers. Some designers prefer working on every aspect of client projects rather than outsourcing or hiring employees, even if it means reduced potential for business growth. Leer más “Pros and Cons of Outsourcing”

8 Tips for Using Virtual Assistants and Personal Outsourcing

Personal outsourcing isn’t quite the hot topic that it was two years ago. With virtual assistant firms available left and right, could-be assistants have become less of a unique work accessory and much more of a sustainable, ubiquitous business addition.

What was once a quirky but useful tool for the digital age has become standard — nowadays it’s rare to find a small design firm without a personal outsourcing strategy.

But while personal outsourcing has become popular, it’s certainly not a process that’s loaded with security and simplicity. Virtual assistants are notorious for packing up at random and leaving employers with projects in a state of limbo.


by Mathew Carpenter

8 Tips for Using Virtual Assistants and Personal Outsourcing

Personal outsourcing isn’t quite the hot topic that it was two years ago. With virtual assistant firms available left and right, could-be assistants have become less of a unique work accessory and much more of a sustainable, ubiquitous business addition.

What was once a quirky but useful tool for the digital age has become standard — nowadays it’s rare to find a small design firm without a personal outsourcing strategy.

But while personal outsourcing has become popular, it’s certainly not a process that’s loaded with security and simplicity. Virtual assistants are notorious for packing up at random and leaving employers with projects in a state of limbo. Leer más “8 Tips for Using Virtual Assistants and Personal Outsourcing”

Working with Other Freelancers: The Power of Outsourcing

The power comes from working with others, while still maintaining a one-man or one-woman operation. Working with other freelancers by outsourcing, or otherwise known as subcontracting can be a powerful source of business growth for any freelancer. In this post we’re going to discuss some of the benefits of working with others in the field, how to find others to work with, and how to successfully manage a freelancing business that may be actually run by multiple individuals.
The Benefits of Working With Others

All freelancers enjoy working on their own for one reason or another. For some, it’s to set their own hours. For others, it’s to work on the kind of things they want to work on. Then, for the introverts, a solo environment may just be more appealing. Whatever your reason, as freelancers we all take on the same challenges. Working with others in the field can combat these challenges – both the emotional and business related problems.
Combat Loneliness & Isolation…>>>


By: Kayla Knight

One person can only do so much, and therefore a business consisting of one person can only grow so much. Yet, many of us in this industry love to work alone; we love to call all of the shots and give ourselves full creative freedom. So how can a freelance business have the best of both worlds?

The Power of Outsourcing
Image credit: Office Now

The power comes from working with others, while still maintaining a one-man or one-woman operation. Working with other freelancers by outsourcing, or otherwise known as subcontracting can be a powerful source of business growth for any freelancer. In this post we’re going to discuss some of the benefits of working with others in the field, how to find others to work with, and how to successfully manage a freelancing business that may be actually run by multiple individuals.

The Benefits of Working With Others

All freelancers enjoy working on their own for one reason or another. For some, it’s to set their own hours. For others, it’s to work on the kind of things they want to work on. Then, for the introverts, a solo environment may just be more appealing. Whatever your reason, as freelancers we all take on the same challenges. Working with others in the field can combat these challenges – both the emotional and business related problems.

Combat Loneliness & Isolation…>>> Leer más “Working with Other Freelancers: The Power of Outsourcing”

7 Situations When Designers Outsource (To Other Designers) @ SmashingApps


Have you ever missed a client deadline because you were too busy?  Ever had a client request a type of design that you don’t offer?  One of the best kept secrets of successful designers and studios is ‘designer-to-designer’ outsourcing.  Designer-to-designer outsourcing involves one designer (such as a web design firm or graphic design studio) using another designer (often a freelance designer or sub-contractor) to help complete designs for their own clients. While there are scores of freelancers available (probably many in your own city), there are some emerging, and very powerful, online services that are setup specifically for designers seeking to outsource client projects.

For example, last month Entrepreneur.com featured DesignCrowd and its new Graphic Design Outsourcing Service that lets design studios outsource to other designers around the world.  Whether you use a service like DesignCrowd, or a freelance designer you find in a directory, outsourcing is an important part of a designer’s toolkit.  Here’s how design outsourcing works (using DesignCrowd as an example):

Advertisement

email  marketing software

OutsourceDesignProcess_SmashingApps2

Once you acknowledge that, in general, outsourcing is useful – the main battle for a designer is selecting the right project or task to outsource and the right person or company to outsource to.  This post focuses on the situations that a graphic design studio or professional designer should consider outsourcing to another graphic designer as well as some of the resources designers can use in those situations.

7 Situations Designers Outsource to Other Designers
Here are 7 specific reasons or situations where graphic designers will often seek to outsource to other graphic designers:

1) Preventing Client Loss (due to capacity) – if you find yourself turning away clients because you’re too busy – or (worst of all) find yourself taking on clients who become unhappy and then leave when you don’t meet a deadline – then you need to increase your ‘capacity’ to take on client projects.  Outsourcing is a good option in this situation as it can add design ‘capacity’ to yourself, your team or your business with minimal setup time.  For custom design projects, we recommend using  DesignCrowd’s online design outsourcing service. As DesignCrowd has around 10,000 designers and lets you use multiple designers on each project you run, essentially, they can provide access to unlimited capacity.

designcrowd-screenshot-small

2) Up-selling / Value-adding – outsourcing can also help you expand the services you offer clients. For example, if you’re a web designer and your client is a start-up business, up-sell them to a logo and then outsource it externally.  If that works, try offering them stationery design as well and maybe even some banner ad designs to help with marketing their website and business.  Doing this can help you offer services as a value add (and win clients that would’ve otherwise gone elsewhere) or simply make more money on each project by ‘up-selling’ (think the McDonald’s famous ‘would you like fries with that?’).

3) Completing Repetitive Tasks  – often times, larger design projects involve detailed, repetitive design work.  For example, if a brochure design project involves picture clipping of 200 bicycle photos then use an online picture clipping service.  If you’re a good designer trying to grow your business, your time is better spent selling to potential clients than doing time-consuming grunt work.  If you have a 50 page toy store website, and have the designs mocked up in Photoshop then a PSD-to-HTML conversion service like PSD2HTML.com is in order.

psd2html-screenshot-small

4) Meeting a Tight Deadline – this is a specific type of capacity problem.  If you’ve got that sinking feeling you’re going to miss a client deadline, the solution might be a short term capacity boost – something to speed up that project.  If your deadline is 12 hours or less and you can’t get an extension, consider buying a template design.  Alternatively, use one an online service with a pool of international as they will A) have designers available 24/7 and B) you can potentially take advantage of timezone differences.

5) Enhancing Creativity – another genuine reason to outsource will be to keep your clients (whether they be regular or new) happy with the level of creativity and originality you’re producing.  If you, or your team, find yourself creating similar designs for multiple clients or similar designs for the same client maybe you need a third party to give you some fresh ideas or add some diversity to what you’re delivering!  In this situation consider running a design contest through a service like DesignCrowd (that pays designers participation payments even if you don’t use their design).  The design contest approach is particularly useful for projects that require concepts such as web page layout design and logo design projects.

designcrowd2-screenshot-small

6) Technical Work – if you’re a graphic designer who’s familiar with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop but your project requires something technical (like website coding or Flash design), don’t knock back the client, consider taking it on and outsourcing the technical aspect.  If you don’t know someone who has the skills to do the work, consider using an online service like Rentacoder.com to find a provider.

rentacoder-screenshot-small

7) Outsourcing Components – where possible, consider outsourcing graphics components (such as photos, icons and buttons) of your broader design project.  Break it down your project as if it were a problem and solve it in parts.  There are loads of great stock photo and icon websites – Istockphoto.com is a good place to start.  If you need a custom design, consider one of the online services I mentioned above or look to use a freelance designer.

Summary: offer fries with that!
Designer-to-designer outsourcing can help you take on more projects and offer a broader set of services to your clients – both of which can help you earn more money.  The traditional approach to outsourcing design (using freelancers) can bring with it its own problems – for example, freelance designers can get busy with other clients; or they might be limited to a specific skill-set or style.  Graphic design services like DesignCrowd.com can help solve these problems and are great resources, not just for designers who are seeking work, but also for designers that need to outsource client graphic design work.  Remember, next time you’re pitching to a new client, don’t forget to smile and ask “would you like fries, a logo or a website with that?”

http://www.smashingapps.com/2010/03/29/7-situations-when-designers-outsource-to-other-designers.html

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]