6 Tips for Successfully Outsourcing Using oDesk.com

Outsourcing is every entrepreneur’s and small business’s best friend. Not only does it help your business grow and reduce overhead, but it also lets you set and manage your budget with ease.

The emergence and growth of various outsourcing sites make it even easier since you can connect with freelancers from all over the world, letting you tap into large pools of talent.

What Do You Need to Know Before Outsourcing Using oDesk?

oDesk.com is my preferred outsourcing platform since it offers variety and more freedom in terms of financing.

Although there are thousands of highly skillful freelancers in this site, it doesn’t mean that the candidates who bid on your project will be deliver the best results. To start a successful project through oDesk.com, you need to remember the following:

1.  Always start small. You don’t want to assign a huge project to a person you barely know and then end up in failure. Remember: even if a candidate has great skills and employment history, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will already have a great working relationship. 

Starting with a small task or a trial week will give you an idea of how the freelancer works, what needs to be improved, how to effectively delegate tasks, and the like.

2.  Create a detailed project description. Make your intentions and goals as clear as possible. Specify your desired qualifications (i.e., skills and tests taken), add examples, raise questions, and require samples or a portfolio. This will help you weed out applications later on and make the testing and working process clearer and smoother. 

3.  Invite the best candidates. The best way to find the right freelancer is to personally look for him or her. Set your job post as “Invite Only” and then look for candidates that really match your needs (e.g., expertise, oDesk working experience, feedback) and preferences (e.g., location, hourly rate). 

4.  Filter applications. If you’re not able to find a suitable candidate from the ones that you have “Invited”, it’s time to put your post as “Public” and get applications from other interested freelancers. Publicly posts for projects tend to attract spammers; Be sure to weed out the good from the bad candidates by verifying that they have passed and questions they have answered as stated on your job post.

5.  Over-communicate. You want to keep supervision over your freelancers as minimal as possible. However, in the beginning, it will be best to communicate as often as you can. This way, you can avoid misunderstanding and complete the project faster. 

6.  Build a long-term relationship. Once your test project succeeds, you can start delegating more tasks to the candidates you select to work on your projects. Not only will it will make your freelancer happy, but it will also build a solid working relationship between the two of you.

Outsourcing is the most efficient method for start-ups to grow their businesses quickly and affordably. Using these 6 tips, you will find that outsourcing via oDesk is very easy  and can be beneficial for your business. Cheers!

Annika Bansal

Annika "The Chick Geek" is the founder of AnnikaBansal.com. Small Business Sense shares small business ideas, tips and resources for independent Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners.

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