Like many of you, all the stories I read about outsourcing were all about companies saving money and using firms in India. Seemed like something mentioned but not really used by startups in Silicon Valley. What is outsourcing? And does it matter for regular people and small business? I didn’t know. Then about a year ago my friend mentioned how he had this guy in the Philippines doing some coding for him. It made outsourcing more real and then I worked with the coder on some stuff and was extremely excited about the pricing, the fact the project was done when I woke up and how darn polite international people are.
Anywho, I wanted to help you start outsourcing and want to layout what you should do if you are interested. Here is how to outsource:
1- Determine. Figure out what you need. Data-entry, emailing bloggers, programming, what?
2- Resources. Go to odesk, elance, craigslist (of india and other international places), getfriday
3- Details. Write up a semi-specific thing of what you want completed. List the exact amount of hours and rate you are budgeting. $4-5 for data entry and $20 for programming are fair.
4- Walk through. Have the person do the task once and then show you the results so you know they understand. If they are coding, show them a similar project / site so they have a clear idea of expectations. This is CRITICAL as many time there are communication issues, so you need to make sure they understand what you want.
5- Communicate. Get Instant messenger (MSN, AIM, Yahoo) screen names right away so you can chat real-time.
6- Time. Set deadlines so it’s clear when the work should be done.
Outsourcing is god’s gift to the lazy. It is a win-win (I dislike when people use this) situation where Indians/etc… are getting higher paying work than they normally would in their country and you are able to spend your time on more valuable things. Read more at 7 Tips for Outsourcing Technical Work.
Bonus: What things could and would you want outsourced now? I will pay for 2 hours of outsourcing for the best comment.