I have no doubt that you have come across an article or two on "Outsourcing".
If you are one of those people who moves on to the next article the moment you see that word, you should know that "Outsourcing" means using an external company organization as a substitute for employing workers to do jobs that aren't in the core area of the activity of your business.
Many companies often find themselves using outsourcing services for their core operations as well, so as to provide a better product or service for customers.
Outsourcing companies will do a lot to please you – the customer.
This is one of the big advantages to working with an external organization, as they know that sometimes it's much easier to get rid of a service provider than it is an employee, especially in areas such as: SEO, graphic design, copywriting etc.
One of the results of the outsourcing companies' desire to please you is that at times they will work around the clock, even if they officially are only committed to working 9 hours a day on your interests, you may find that these companies will invest many more hours.
In every product life cycle, we find that we have need of different services along the way, as dictated by the changing circumstances. You will find often enough that the same companies that are already providing you with some services, may then be able to provide you with additional services that you end up requiring, beyond what was originally planned.
Many companies will even learn and train in new fields especially for you.
That said, however, the training time will be at your expense.
Bottom line, I still find that it pays, as an service provider that previously was just one link in the supply chain becomes a more integral part of the life of your product and thus increases its commitment.
I hope that I have convinced you to think about the next time you need to put together a team for programming, article writing, on-site SEO, etc.
Even if you end up making the decision to set up a new team within the company, if you stop and check what the market has to offer you, then I have done my part.
If you decide to do some research on the market, one of the first countries you will check will definitely be India, which already has an established reputation for providing many outsourcing services, due to the low prices offered.
But India is not the only country, Japan will also be happy to provide you with services and so, you will be surprised to hear, will Israel. I admit that while I have used outsourcing services from other countries, I haven't yet tried it in Israel, even though I've heard that the prices offered by companies located in Ashdod southwards, or Karmiel northwards, are cheaper.
I've recently even heard of a company in Nazareth that admits that their prices aren't as low as in India, but the ability to communicate in Hebrew can make all the difference in choosing a service provider. This may not be a convincing reason, but there are some advantages in working with outsourcing companies from abroad for SEO purposes.
They will work on Fridays on extra tasks that you have left them from Thursday, without you having to interrupt their work. And on Sunday you will have the opportunity to make a work plan for the week without having them bother you.
Even if this doesn't sound to you like something that much matters, you'll be surprised how much it helps. While I'll admit that the work quality of a programmer in India isn't up to the standard of an Israeli programmer, the cost isn't either.
It takes time to develop work relations and build a schedule. This is one of the main tasks in working with outsourcing companies.
Work procedures, work hours, reports and especially increasing work efficiency in order to save time and money. There is no doubt that working remotely is not a simple matter, but it is possible.
This may be one of the main factors in success, it's even more difficult than managing a team that you meet with in person every day or two.
If you recognize management ability in one of your programmers, you can allow him to manage an external team in order to evaluate his management skills.
In the final analysis, there are many advantages to outsourcing. You should try it in your next project, instead of increasing the workload of your existing programmers.
Outsourcing in my office
In the past year I have helped a number of friends find outsourcing companies for SEO purposes. I personally have been able to make use of outsourcing for several very successful projects, and when I tell colleagues about it – they are very surprised to hear that I use outsourcing services from India or the Philippines.
The most common response was to tell me how their experience with India was such a failure that their work needed to be completely stopped. That is why I've decided to write an article with 7 tips for the next time you try to find an outsourcing service.
What's better: A freelancer or a company?
The price differential between a freelancer and a company is relatively significant. On the one hand, there is a very big difference because companies are more expensive, but on the other hand the price for a company is still much cheaper than what you have gotten used to paying.
If you are looking for a short-term collaboration, a freelancer will be enough. If you are looking for long-term collaboration, I strongly recommend you find a company that fits your needs. They say that an Indian who went out for lunch and didn't come back, must have found another job. Working with a company will ensure a stable relationship with the costumer and won't let that happen.
Where to look?
The are many websites which you can use to search for freelancers (I really like guru.com), where you will find all kinds of service providers. On the other hand, you can also narrow down your search by the specific service that you are currently looking for.
For example, if you are looking for SEO companies, you should run a google search for competitive keywords, which will show you that you will be able to get a good service.
If you are looking for a mobile app developer, you can look in the app store and find who the app developers were (Indian companies develop large amounts of app in order to gain exposure), or go to websites that offer freelancers in a specific field.
A company that offers only SEO services – an advantage!
A company that has been doing SEO for years, and has collaborated with other websites before yours, will usually come with the necessary experience and knowledge, which will make the work easier throughout the process.
If you are promoting a website for a certain specific field, ask to see examples of successes the company has had for terms they have promoted in the relevant field.
If you are looking for a company to develop a site for you on WordPress, ask to see examples with functions that are similar to your needs.
Ask for references
Ask for contact details for references even if you don't intend on contacting them and verify that the references aren't Indian companies. A request for references should add to your sense of security in finding the best outsourcing company possible.
In most cases your first contact will be with a sales representative, and only after agreeing on basic terms will you move to direct contact with the developer.
One of the most important things for effective management of an outsourcing company, in my view, is to set aside half an hour to an hour to check that everything is working smoothly.
Add the sales representative on Skype and check for how long he is connected every day, and what his response time is. There are companies that will be available for the initial contact and then will only work via email, and there are companies that will only be available for part of the day. Daily contact is a must, as far as I'm concerned.
How many members are there on the team?
Like every development company, the Indians don't only have developers for iPhone or WEB, but rather a wide variety of developers.
Nevertheless, you will want to make sure that they have more than one or two developers with expertise in the field which you want to develop in order to make sure that in case one of them falls ill, there will be someone else who can get involved and complete the task, or if one encounters a problem he is unable to solve, he will have whom to consult with.
Ask the sales representative how many people there are on the development team for the specific area that you need. There will probably be no way of knowing whether the number you are given is true or not, but that is another matter entirely.
Send the design description and wait for questions
Send the design description to the sales representative and ask how long the development project will take and what the cost will be.
Ask him if he has questions and if anything is unclear. If he doesn't get back to you with questions you should probably ask yourself if you are satisfied with the conversation up to that point.
Even if you've written the best design description that has ever been, there simply is not way that there aren't any questions. If you haven’t been asked any questions whatsoever regarding the design description, it's a fair bet that the sales representative at the company hardly read it and gave you a price quote without consulting with the head of the development team.