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Chapter 7: Outsourcing Milestones and Escrows
Milestones and escrows help in building mutual trust factors. Use them well.
Outsourcing Milestones and Escrows
If you want to get the best people working for you, you simply cannot ignore milestones and escrows. Milestones are especially important when you are working on huge projects and want people to give you their deliverables in smaller installments so that you could manage work at your end as well. And we have already seen how escrows are important.
Some websites, like eLance in particular, help you to state the form in which you want your deliverables. You could actually set up milestones for the whole project. Among other benefits, this ensures that your employee can manage the deadline in a much better manner. You can also keep tabs on things better.
It is ideal anyway to post only short-term projects at the start, until you have a rapport set up with the worker. Even though everything might seem all right to you in the bid, there are chances that something might go wrong when the actual project is underway. If you have a long project running, it could be cumbersome to bail out of these difficult situations. However, a short-term project can help.
On GetAFreelancer, the shortest project you can post should be worth $30. However, on most other sites, there is no minimum limit for the project you post.
The best way to make the payment is through an escrow system. Most jobsites work with escrows (which is actually the main reason why you should use these freelance jobsites because an escrow protects both parties). When you select a bidder, you deposit some money into an escrow account. This money is held by the website but not released to the bidder yet. When they accomplish the task, you can direct the website to release the funds to them.
Escrow helps you because in case there is any problem with the project later on and you don’t feel like you should pay, you could ask the website to arbitrate. No freelance website will arbitrate if an escrow wasn’t made. Also, the worker knows that you have money for the project and it motivates them to do a better job.
Chapter 8: The Three Rs that Keep the Outsourcing Tide Flowing -Ratings, Reviews and Relationships
For long term outsourcing commitments, you need to stretch yourself a little more than the ordinary.
The Three Rs that Keep the Outsourcing Tide Flowing — Ratings, Reviews and Relationships
If you are looking for a long-term outsourcing solution, then the best way to do that is to find one good worker and continue working with them on your future assignments. Even though it seems simple, when you go into the nitty-gritty of employing freelancing outsource professionals, you will find that it is a difficult job. You need a lot of things - commitment, devotion, quality, ingenuity, good price, etc. It is not always that you will hit the jackpot when you are looking at getting work from someone whom you have never met and probably know nothing about their geographical or social position.
That is the reason why once you get a good person to do your job, you must go all out to retain him or her on your outsourcing payroll.
How do you do that? There are three important Rs to remember here.
Once a particular assignment is over, you get a chance to rate the professional. This is usually a ten-star rating system on most freelance websites, while even some forums have this system. Don’t forget to rate the employee for their good work. For you, it is more important to rate people for their good work than for their bad work. You won’t work again with someone who has ruined your project anyway. But when someone does a good job and you commend that with a good rating, they will be happy and inspired to work with you again.
Reviews work in the same way as ratings. Only, these are much more elaborate because you say what you feel in words. You could be as upfront here as you like, and don’t hold back on mentioning something that you liked. For outsourcing professionals, both ratings and reviews mean a lot - it is akin to having outstanding achievements marked on the resume of an offline professional.
It is also a good idea to have a friendly and frank rapport with a professional who has done a good job for you. Remember that you probably need them more than they need you because there is no dearth of jobs for them. Being a little casual and non-imposing in your communication helps. However, at times, you might need to draw the line, but do so subtly as long as it helps.
Chapter 9: Getting Your Job Done
The ‘employer’ in you should hide till absolutely necessary.
Getting Your Job Done
If you have been following closely until now, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get your job done to your satisfaction. But, there are times when difficulties begin to creep in.
One thing that you shouldn’t tolerate at all is non-responsiveness. On the Internet, the unsaid rule is that any professional email must be replied to within 24 hours, or sooner if your agreement is to that effect. If you are in the same time zone, there’s no reason to wait for 24 hours either. If you don’t get your reply within that time, you might as well begin looking somewhere else.
Another thing that is of utmost importance is quality. Even if your outsourcing professional has been providing you good work, do keep checking on it often. Remember that you are not seeing these people. Some of them might pass on their work to cheaper people and work as middlepersons. When that happens, quality definitely goes down.
If you are outsourcing your work, make it a point to outsource it directly to the person who will execute the job and not to a middleperson.
Avoid companies unless absolutely necessary. For home businesses, individuals are the best outsourcing professionals. However, if you are a large company and looking for something like a telemarketing agency, then, of course, you need a team of people whom you can outsource your job to.
The two major problems that can happen even after you have selected your professional carefully are non-responsiveness and deterioration of quality. Do not tolerate these problems, or your business will suffer.