Outsourcing is awesome.
But it can also mess you up big time if you’re not careful.
Doesn’t matter if you’re outsourcing your translation work, your writing, your finances, or your life.
If you don’t do it right, you’ll pay for it dearly.
But there comes a time in every successful translator’s life when he has to make a decision about outsourcing.
The question becomes knowing when
is the right time to hand over part
of your business to someone else.
Because when you outsource, that’s essentially what you’re doing.
Letting someone into your business is a pretty bold decision.
And the time to do it is when you realize that you are at a plateau and the only way you’ll go up is with someone else helping to carry the load.
If you have no load to carry, there’s no need for anyone else.
So many “entrepreneurs” I talk to get stoked when talking about starting a business. But the first thing they worry about isn’t making their customer service awesome, or filling a need, or being relevant.
Instead, they wonder about stupid stuff, like whether or not they should hire an accountant.
Or whether they should form a LLC.
.@XDays If you can’t even sell anything what makes you think your business is attractive enough for someone to sue?
— Thirty Days To X (@XDays) February 8, 2016
So, if you’re thinking about outsourcing anything regarding your translation business without having actually started your translation business, think again.
The only time to outsource is when you’re so busy with work that you can’t get to the other parts of your business that require your attention.
The reason is simple.
You need to know how your business runs inside and out before you can hand it off to someone else.
You’ve got to know the numbers your business is generating before you worry about finding an accountant.
You need to know what works for finding more clients before you turn your marketing over to some 21-year old marketing intern.
And you need to know your standards for quality before you can even think about handing over some of your work to someone else and passing it off as your own.
Once you feel comfortable with knowing exactly how your business runs, it’s time to think about turning part of it over to someone else.
The best way to do this is by handing over one piece at a time.
The reason is because you want to make sure the part you handed over is running smoothly before you move on.
First, decide what you want to hand over.
A lot of “experts” will say that you should outsource the part of your business you hate the most.
I generally agree with this, with some caveats.
Make sure it is something that makes financial sense to outsource.
If you’re outsourcing your accounting because you hate it, but it’s costing you more (either in time or money) than you’re bringing in, it’s time to reevaluate.
The whole point of outsourcing is to free up your time to focus on what you do best so that your business can improve, giving you more time and or money.
If it’s not doing either of that, don’t do it.
Second, figure out where to outsource.
The greatest thing about outsourcing is that there are so many outlets to choose from.
It used to be that outsourcing to India or China was the way to go, especially for things like virtual assistants.
But the world is getting increasingly smaller.
The internet has made it so that niche is king and people are out there willing to provide you exactly what you need: no more, no less.
That’s awesome because it means you can find exactly what you need for the price you want.
Here are some websites I’ve used in the past in some of my outsourcing work:
- Good for any single job you need done, as well as some recurring tasks, such as finding someone to help you with an abundance of translation work.
- This is best for single smaller tasks you need done but don’t want to spend the time to do them, like creating a logo, writing a marketing email, etc.
There are a ton more sites out there that you can use for outsourcing.
I won’t list them all, but you can certainly find them online through a simple search in Google.
Third, beware of the risks of outsourcing.
The main risk in outsourcing is getting scammed.
Thing is, there are multiple ways of getting scammed.
Someone could take your money and not deliver what they were supposed to.
You could have trouble communicating your idea across to your outsourcer.
An outsourcer might try and either steal your work or your business information.
These risks are real; however, they can be mitigated.
To keep from someone not delivering, use one of the sites mentioned above. These sites (and others like them) are heavily favored towards the purchasers instead of the providers.
That means that you have much more leverage than they do to make sure you get what you want without sacrificing your money and worrying that it might disappear with nothing to show for it.
Also, if you’re going to use someone local in your community, make sure it’s from someone you trust, or at the very least is from someone who you found out about through a recommendation from a trusted friend.
Providers that come recommended are much morel likely to follow through according to what you need than a total stranger.
Finally, make sure your outsourcer know exactly what he is supposed to do for you.
This makes sense not matter the nationality of your provider, but is especially important when your first languages can differ and misunderstandings can easily occur.
Be sure and spell out as explicitly as possible what you want done and how your payments and possible revisions will be handled.
If you don’t do that, you could find yourself in a tough situation, spending more time/money than you originally set aside.
Outsourcing can be a great step for your business. Just make sure you do it the right way.
Until next time.