Sunday, November 05, 2006

Making Money by Outsourcing

So you are thinking to yourself "how can I expand my operation, do more business and make more money?” If you are thinking this right now and are in the web design or web hosting fields then Outsourcing might be for you. Now this is not to say that other companies or businesses can't do outsourcing work. The reasons I give web design and web hosting as examples is they are sort of related. You can't have a site up without hosting in return you really don't need hosting unless you have a site up.

Now you may be thinking what steps you need to get started on expanding via outsourcing. Well the very first thing for you to do is to see if you have a good client’s base where you are:

-Unable to keep up with the work.
-Unable to do the work yourself (in the case you run a website that gets a lot of request but have no knowledge in website design).
-Can do website and graphic works but you have no clue about programming.

Anyone of these situations can leave you looking to outsource your business. Especially when you design websites but can not code them in anything but html (which your clients might need it coded in php and mysql). Not being able to offer your clients a complete solution may cause them to go another developer. Which in turn can cause you to lose projects in the $X, XXX range.

Now that you have decided to turn to Outsourcing, you need to find a reliable team of developers. Whether they are website designers, programmers or both. You will need to know that they can do the work, are reliable and trustworthy. Make sure when you do this search that you follow these simple rules and check on some things. Such as:

-Make sure you can contact them multiple ways and that they will contact you back in a reasonable amount of time.
-Get samples of their work.
-Ask for references.
-Get their rates.
-Find out their years of experience.
-Make sure they are willing to sign a contract.
-Find out how much work they can handle, what languages they program in, as well as their team size.
-It is all right to give them a deposit but limit it to 25-50% and don't pay anymore until the project is complete. If you want to break it down into milestones you can, but do it in either 10% or 20% increments. Make sure the milestones are set out in the contract.

These things will protect you.

The next thing you are going to want to do before taking on any projects is start with a test project. This will allow you to try out your new team as well as see what type of markup on projects you will get. This will definitely show you what problems if any you might face with the new team. It will also show you if there is a significant enough markup for you to make it worth your time to outsource.

The final step you are going to need to do is to put in place a fluent system to monitor clients, emails and your team. This will definitely help when updates are needed to be done. A project management system will allow your clients and your team to talk to each other without revealing any personnel contact information. Which will save you from having your clients stolen from you? Also make sure you monitor all contact so that you can be sure you can trust who you are doing business with.

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