Comparing In-house Work and Outsourced Work Is there validity to comparing in-house work and outsourced work? Of course there is but the more pertinent question is how you make these comparisons. Those who are involved in the Internet niche marketing industry realize a large portion of their success is related to their ability to constantly evaluate their niche markets and determine what is working and what is not working. They examine and test aesthetical details such as font size and colors along with more technical elements such as coding and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. Since these savvy entrepreneurs are already constantly evaluating and making minor adjustments it is logical that they should also make comparisons relating to the work done in-house and the work that is outsourced. They should evaluate the work in terms of finances and in terms of quality. The Cost of Outsourcing vs. Keeping Work in House As with any business the bottom line in Internet niche marketing is often financial. There is no clear cut answer as to whether particular tasks will be completed at a lower cost in-house or through outsourcing. This will depend on a number of factors. For example the qualifications of the in-house staff is one of the major factors in the equation. The availability of the in-house staff members should also be considered. If there are members of in-house staff members capable of completing the task and available to do so, it may be more affordable to keep the work in-house. However, outsourcing does reduce labor costs but often comes with a higher hourly rate as well as costs required to advertise the position and interview candidates. These costs will vary from case to case so it is important to always consider outsourcing as an option when possible. The Quality of Outsourcing vs. Keeping Work in House Comparing the quality of outsourcing versus in-house work is even more difficult. Again, there is no set answer for which is typically higher quality. In a situation where experts are required to complete a task it may be better to outsource the task because the in-house staff is not qualified to complete the task. In this case the quality of the work produced by the contractor will not only be of higher quality but will also likely be completed quicker and more efficiently. However, in cases where the in-house staff and the contractor are equally qualified the in-house staff may hold a slight advantage because they are more familiar with company policies and procedures. In this case the in-house may be more efficient because they are already familiar with the standard procedures. This becomes less of an issue in cases where work is outsourced to the same individual regularly. The other factor to consider when comparing outsourced work to in-house work is the work ethic of the individual completing the assignments. Two equally qualified employees given the same assignment, schedule and pertinent information may not produce the exact same results. This is because one employee may have a more diligent work ethic and a more keen attention to detail. In this scenario the more diligent employee will likely produce work of a higher quality. As this relates to personality rather than whether or not the work is completed in-house or outsourced it makes it even more difficult to compare in-house work to outsourced work. Word count 561
Do You Compromise Quality with Outsourcing? The simple answer to this question is yes, and no and maybe. Well, maybe it is not such a simple answer because it is a particularly loaded question. The subject of outsourcing is a very sensitive issue for many. There are some who believe that outsourcing, whether it is overseas or domestic, is taking jobs away from qualified individuals while others who are profiting from outsourcing are firm advocates for the practice. This article will take a look at outsourcing and will examine scenarios when quality is compromised as well as scenarios when quality is not compromised.
What is Outsourcing? For those who are confused about what outsourcing entails, this section will explain the issue. In its most basic form, outsourcing is employing an individual outside of the work organization to perform specific tasks for monetary compensation.
Outsourcing can be done on a per project basis, for a set period of time or on an ongoing basis for an undetermined period of time. For many the word outsourcing has a very negative connotation. When they think of outsourcing, they picture underage employees in third world countries working for salaries which would be paltry by our standards. However, outsourcing has evolved so much and no longer resembles this stereotype. In fact many outsourcing takes place domestically by savvy entrepreneurs who market their abilities as an independent contractor rather than toiling away in corporate America.
These individuals, enjoy their quality of life, negotiate fair compensation for their work and accept or decline work at their own will. Furthermore these individuals are often highly qualified for the positions they accept and are capable of producing work of a high standard. When Outsourcing Compromises Quality The simplest answer to this question is quality is compromised when price becomes the sole governing factor in selecting a candidate to complete the outsourced task. Of course this answer is not completely accurate because the truth is there are very educated and skilled employees overseas who are fully capable of completing tasks just as well as those living in this country and often for a much lower price. However, when only domestic candidates are being considered and price is the governing factor, quality is often compromised as it is very rare that the most qualified candidate is also the candidate with the lowest rates. However, it is very common for an individual or a business to allow price to become more important than quality of work. When this happens quality is often compromised for the sake of a larger profit. An example of this is seen regularly on websites where outsourcing projects are listed and potential applicants submit their bids for these projects. Many who utilize these websites routinely select the lowest bidder without regard for the qualifications of the bidder. In most cases these individuals find they make a costly mistake when the work they receive is inadequate. When Outsourcing Does Not Compromise Quality Outsourcing does not always compromise quality. In fact in many cases outsourcing is not only the most affordable option but also provides the most qualified candidates. One way to avoid the pitfalls of having quality compromised by outsourcing is to carefully screen candidates before making a decision. This process should be taken just as seriously as hiring a full time employee because the work of the individual will reflect on you as an individual or your business. If due diligence is given to selecting the right candidate it is not likely that quality will be compromised. When outsourcing work to an individual it is important to request detailed information regarding their qualifications and to verify all information supplied. Examples of information to request include: * Previous work history * Relevant work experiences * Explanation of qualifications Additionally, it is wise to ask for both business and personal references. These references should all be contacted and questioned about the work ethic and personal integrity of the individual. Word count 656
Finding a Writer for Your Niche Ebook Internet niche marketing campaigns can often be handled by one person with one small exception. Unless the person orchestrating the campaign is a particularly gifted writer, the creation of content relevant to the niche should be handled by a professional writer. The required content may include concise content for e-newsletters and websites or more in depth content for full length ebooks. Ebooks are the electronic version of books. They are distributed in electronic formats and made available to readers via email or the Internet. This article will focus primarily on ebooks and will discuss the subjects of outsourcing an ebook and finding the best writer for the job. Outsourcing Your Ebook Those who are involved with promoting an Internet niche campaign are likely very passionate about their niche subject but their passion alone does not qualify them to write an ebook on the subject. They should be heavily involved in the creation of the outline for the ebook and they should have final editing rights on the ebook but a professional writer should be the one responsible for writing the initial draft of the ebook. They may also me responsible for making revision based on the comments by the marketer and his staff. For this reason, many Internet marketers are outsourcing the writing of their ebooks. This is a wise decision because keeping a writer on staff exclusively for the purpose of writing ebooks can be quite costly if there is not a constant need for ebooks. However, outsourcing the work to independent contractors can be a much more affordable option. In this scenario, the marketer can negotiate the writing of each ebook individually or they can enlist and individual or consulting firm to complete a set number of ebooks. Finding the Right Person for the Job Once you have made the wise decision to outsource your ebook, it is time to begin the process of finding the perfect writer to complete the ebook. There may be a number of factors you consider in choosing a writer. Some of these factors may include price, previous experience and quality of provided writing samples. Prioritizing these factors is the first step in the process because it will be very helpful in the decision making process. For example if cost is the highest priority followed by quality of writing samples and then experience in the niche you might be tempted to hire a writer who is slightly less adept but willing to work for a lower fee. The search for the talented writer to assist you can begin either locally or globally. You can conduct a local search by placing an advertisement in local newspapers or trade magazines. A global search can begin on the Internet where there are many websites available for those who wish to outsource work. In either scenario your advertisement should suggest relevant information you would like applicants to provide. Whether you decide to conduct your search locally or globally you will likely receive multiple responses to your advertisement. Begin evaluating these responses by eliminating those that are of poor quality. This is important whether or not quality of work is your top priority because poor work is not worth even the most affordable price. Next evaluate the remaining applicants according to your prioritized list of criteria and rank them accordingly. Now consider contacting the top three applicants for an interview. The interview can be conducted in person, via telephone or online. This step is important because it will give you a good idea of whether or not you think the applicant will be able to meet your expectations. During this time you should also discuss scheduling to determine whether or not the applicant is available to complete the project according to your time line. After this interview process, it is time to make a decision. Just because it is time to make a decision does not mean you have to outsource your project to one of the applicants you interviewed. Your decision may be to hire one of the applicants, interview a few of the applicants who were lower on your list or repost your advertisement and solicit new applications. Word count 699
Finding Ways to Outsource Are you considering outsourcing but have no idea where to start? In almost every industry there is the opportunity to outsource at least a few of the common tasks performed in the industry. In some industries there may the possibility of outsourcing the majority of the common tasks while in other industries there may only be the opportunity to outsource one or two of the common tasks. In either case outsourcing can result in a lightened workload as well as an increase in profit. Evaluate Daily Activities The first step in finding ways to outsource is to take a really close look at the daily activities you perform when tending to your business. Make a list of each of these activities and note any related activities that are typically performed in conjunction with each other. Making this note is important because activities which are typically performed together should either be outsourced together or remain as in-house activities together to maintain the highest level of efficiency. Once you have compiled this list of activities, carefully consider which activities can easily be performed by another person and which activities require your personal attention. This will give you a good idea of which activities you could outsource and which activities would not be good opportunities for outsourcing. Finally, review your list of activities and note how long it takes you to perform each of the activities you could outsource. This information will be helpful later if you decide to search for a candidate to complete these tasks. Prioritize Daily Activities After you have carefully examined your daily activities, it is time to prioritize these activities. Create a comprehensive list of all of your daily activities in their order of importance. For this list include both the activities requiring your personal attention and the activities which can be outsourced. When you make your decision to start outsourcing some of your daily tasks, start with the highest priority on the list which you believe can be outsourced. Attempt to outsource this task as a test to determine whether or not outsourcing will work for you. If you decide you are comfortable with outsourcing and that it is working for your business, you can continue down the prioritized list attempting to find those capable of handling your daily activities. Consider Administrative Tasks We have already discussed the importance of evaluating your own daily tasks in the process of finding ways to outsource but it is also important to consider tasks completed by your staff members. Administrative tasks are often tasks which can be outsourced so examining these tasks will give you a good idea if you can increase the efficiency of your administrative assistance by outsourcing some of their responsibilities. Activities such as data entry, transcription and other activities often handled by personal assistance are all example of activities which can easily be outsourced. Additionally, there is a great deal of qualified candidates available to fulfill these tasks. The industry of virtual personal assistants has become a booming industry with many savvy entrepreneurs offering their skills in these areas as a consultant. Develop a Plan for Managing Outsourced Activities Before starting to outsource daily activities, you should develop a plan for managing all of your outsourced activities. This plan should include the following: * Method for selecting candidates to handle outsourced work * Method for overseeing the work performed by independent contractors * Method for evaluating the work performed by independent contractors Word count 577
Guide to Outsourcing Those who are considering outsourcing portions of work for the first time may be feeling overwhelmed and hesitant about the concept of relying on someone outside the company to complete work related tasks. The discomfort with deciding whether or not to outsource work stems largely from ignorance about the process of outsourcing. This article will serve as a guide to those who are considering outsourcing for the first time and will provide information on how to select qualified candidates, establish project requirements and enforce a deadline for project completion. Select Qualified Candidates Carefully One way to greatly simplify the process of outsourcing is to give special consideration to selecting a qualified candidate to complete the outsourced tasks. This is important because outsourcing the project to an individual who is qualified to complete the tasks and motivated to do a good job will make the outsourcing endeavor more likely to be successful. To find the right candidate for the job, place advertisements outlining the project requirements and preferences and carefully review each application which is submitted. Immediately disregard applicants who are not qualified for the position. Then review the applications of qualified candidates carefully and select a small group of the most promising candidates. Next interview each of these candidates and verify their references and passed work experiences to learn more about these candidates and their abilities and work ethics. After interviewing these candidates it is time to make a decision regarding hiring one of the final candidates. Do not be discouraged if none of the final candidates seemed right for the job because you are under no obligation to hire any of them. You can continue your search for a qualified candidate by placing your job advertisement again and soliciting new responses. Establish Definite Requirements When outsourcing a project or tasks, it is important to clearly define the project requirements. This is critical because it is important for the contractor to fully understand the tasks which are being outsourced to ensure he is fulfilling all of the requirements and completing the task in a satisfactory manner. Failure to establish definite project requirements and goals can lead to a great deal of problems when outsourcing a project. The contractor may feel as though he has completed the project as it was outlined but the employer may disagree. When this happens there can be harmful delays until the issues can be resolved amicably. In the case that this is not possible it might be necessary to employ the assistance of a mediator to evaluate the contract documents and the work produced to determine if the contract terms were met. Establish a Firm Deadline Another important element of outsourcing is establishing a firm deadline for the project. This is important to avoid misunderstandings and to prevent late submissions of work. Setting milestone goals is also important because it gives the employer the ability to evaluate the progress of the contractor during different stages of the project and to ensure it is proceeding according to schedule. Ideally the deadline should be established before the candidate is chosen. This is important because this enables the employer to verify that the contractor is available for the duration of the project. Schedule should be discussed early in the process of selecting a candidate to avoid selecting an ideal candidate only to find out he is unavailable when his services are required. Word count 567
How Outsourcing Software Jobs Can Be Profitable Outsourcing software jobs, even on a regular basis, can be profitable. Most people incorrectly assume outsourcing is a short term solution when a quick fix is needed and that it can not be a long term way of doing business while still enjoying profitability. Outsourcing is a good idea in the software industry for a couple of very important reasons. One of the most prominent reasons is the software industry is continually evolving and outsourcing software jobs to independent contractors or other software firms gives companies an increased flexibility that is not possible when they rely solely on their in-house software personnel. Being able to offer clients a wider range of skills is beneficial to the company. This can be achieved through outsourcing software jobs to individuals or firms with unique skill sets. Another key element to the theory of it being profitable to outsource software jobs is the effect of virtually increasing your manpower through this process. This article will discuss these two components in greater detail to explain how outsourcing software jobs can be profitable. Increased Flexibility through Outsourcing One way outsourcing software jobs helps companies to be more profitable is by increasing their flexibility. This is especially important in the software industry where there is a continuing education process which must be followed in order to stay up to date with the latest software, technology and trends in the industry. Maintaining an in-house staff of employees who were up to date on all of the latest issues in the industry would be time consuming and costly not to mention extremely difficult, if not impossible. Employees would spend more time in training then they would spend completing their actual work which would result in the inability to meet deadlines. It may also result in missed opportunities if there are currently no in-house employees qualified to perform specific tasks. One way to avoid these pitfalls is to rely on outsourcing to fill in the gaps when there are project needs beyond the abilities of the in-house staff. This allows a company to keep their clients happy by being able to meet their needs. When this happens the company is much more likely to see return work from the client than they were if they floundered on previous tasks. The flexibility outsourcing provides also allows companies to afford the luxury of allowing their employees to participate in important training classes. This is an important issue because while training and continuing education does make employees more marketable, it also costs the company in terms of productivity because the employees are not profitable during the course of their training. However, if companies are outsourcing some of their software jobs while some of their in-house employees are in training classes, the company gets the benefit of more knowledgeable employees without having to pass on potentially profitable endeavors in the employee’s absence. Increased Manpower through Outsourcing In addition to the flexibility issues described above, outsourcing has the added bonus of essential increasing a company’s manpower making them more appealing to potential clients. While there are always going to be some potential clients who are drawn to the appeal of a smaller company, the vast majority would prefer dealing with a larger company that has the manpower necessary to meet all of their complex needs. Outsourcing gives a company the luxury of having industry experts at their disposal without having to maintain these individuals on staff. Increased manpower through outsourcing is also beneficial when companies want to attempt to procure larger projects. A company may spend years working on smaller projects because they do not have the manpower to adequately complete larger projects. However, realizing how to properly utilize outsourcing gives many smaller companies the confidence they need to begin searching for more complex projects. This is significant because these larger projects will result in a higher rate of profitability. Word count 652
How Outsourcing Software Jobs Can Save You Money Pay an individual outside of your company to complete a software project for you and you could find yourself saving money in the process. This is a concept which may seem counterintuitive to some but those who have embraced the idea of outsourcing realize the cost savings associated with the process is one of the benefits. Outsourcing results in an overall cost savings for a number of reasons. Outsourcing contributes to reduced labor costs and greater productivity. Additionally, outsourcing virtually increases manpower giving companies greater capabilities. Reduced Labor Costs For many the most important reason for outsourcing is to reduce labor costs. Employers may not be obligated to offer benefits such as social security, Medicare and workers’ compensation to the workers who are completing the outsourced work. Additionally, these individuals often have their own offices and computer equipment and are capable of completing their work offsite. Labor costs can be a significant part of a company’s budget for the year. A company that is able to reduce their labor costs will be able to enjoy a greater profit margin without making any other changes to their business operations. There are certainly other changes which can be made to increase profitability but reducing labor costs is a guaranteed method of increasing profitability while other methods of increasing profitability such as marketing different niches will not guarantee success. Greater Productivity Another benefit of outsourcing is increased productivity. Greater productivity can be another cost savings benefit for companies. When work is outsourced there are a number of factors which contribute to increased productivity. Productivity may increase due to workers being assigned appropriate projects, workers being more efficient and less cases of underutilization. Assigning workers to tasks that are beyond their capabilities is one way to cause a decline in productivity. While challenging employees to think for themselves and take on increasing responsibility is worthwhile, giving an employee and assignment he is not qualified to complete can be damaging to productivity because of the learning curve involved. This is why it is so important to outsource complicated software tasks to experts in the industry. They are often able to complete complex tasks quickly and efficiently. Outsourcing also makes employees more efficient because by allowing individuals to focus on only one task at a time there is less time spent transitioning from one task to another. Many employees and employers think multi-tasking is a way to increase productivity but it can actually have the reverse effect. Employees with too many responsibilities may feel pressured to work on each task each day. This can be detrimental because each time the employee switches from one task to the next it is necessary to get back up to speed with the new task and remind himself where he left off when he stopped working on the project. Finally, outsourcing can lead to greater productivity by reducing underutilization. For example outsourcing very specialized projects requiring expert analysis is preferable to maintaining this expert on staff when their services are only needed occasionally. If this were a salaried employee he would be greatly underutilized. However, outsourcing these occasional projects to an expert prevents the underutilization phenomenon. Increased Manpower Another way outsourcing can save you money is through providing your company with increased manpower. This is especially important for smaller companies who would normally be precluded from attempting to secure larger government projects. This is because there are typically requirements regarding the number of employees a company must have available to work on the project. Maintaining a network of qualified individuals gives a company more bargaining power when negotiating larger contracts. Outsourcing is really ideal in this situation because it enables the company to work with highly qualified individuals when necessary without having to retain these individuals as salaried staff members. This is significant because niche experts often become so specialized that working as an independent contractor is really their only option because as a salaried employee they are more of a liability to companies than they are an asset. This is because many companies do not want to bear the burden of keeping these individuals on staff when they can outsource the work to them on a per contract basis. Word count 708
Internet Marketing and Outsourcing Internet marketing and outsourcing work very well together. In fact most Internet marketers employ at lease some degree of outsourcing. The most common aspects of Internet marketing which are outsourced are copywriting and website design. Ideally these tasks will be delegated to individuals who are skilled in search engine optimization (SEO). Additionally, those who manage multiple niches may opt to outsource the responsibilities of managing some of their niche markets. This article will take a look at some of the commonly outsourced tasks and provide information regarding why outsourcing these tasks is ideal. Managing Multiple Niches Many involved in Internet niche marketing become involved in managing multiple niche marketing campaigns. When this happens it can become difficult for one individual to oversee all of the campaigns without compromising the quality of the niche markets. Therefore, he will often outsource the oversight responsibilities related to managing some of the niche markets. This gives him the freedom to focus more on developing new niches and marketing strategies as opposed to overseeing minute details. Care should be taken when outsourcing this type of work to ensure the employee hired to undertake these tasks is an honest individual with a great deal of integrity. Those who are lacking in integrity may take advantage of this situation to learn about the marketing strategies for the express purpose of stealing sensitive information and creating competition in these niches. Outsourcing Copywriting Copywriting services are also commonly outsourced in niche marketing. Those involved in Internet niche marketing realize the importance of providing high quality content that is also optimized for search engines. This applies to copywriting which is included on niche websites, in e-newsletters, in press releases and in ebooks. The content provided is critical to the success of the niche marketing campaign because it is often the first impression members of the target audience get of the campaign. Their opinion of the copy can determine whether or not they are willing to visit the niche website in the future or further research products or services for sale. When selecting a writer to provide the content for the niche marketing campaign, it is important to consider a writer with SEO experience. This is important because the content provided on websites can have an impact on the search engine rankings of the website. The use of keywords is the most important part of copywriting relevant to SEO. The keywords should be used in a manner that creates informative and interesting copy that appeals to both website visitors and search engines. Outsourcing Website Design Web design is another aspect of Internet niche marketing that is often outsourced. Most marketers recognize website design as an important part of their success. They need their websites to be well designed both aesthetically and technically to ensure visitors enjoy the website and all of the features of the website operate smoothly. Additionally, it is very important for the website designer chosen to understand how to implement SEO strategies into the design of the website. There are many different strategies available for SEO and there are also always new techniques being developed, tested and evaluated. The SEO of a website is pretty much a full time job. This is why it is essential for marketers to outsource this work so they can ensure they have someone working on their website optimization constantly. Word count 561
Is Outsourcing the Answer to Your Software Problems? Determining whether or not outsourcing is the answer to your software problems is not necessarily a difficult question but it is a question which involves careful consideration. There are a series of questions which should be asked to help determine whether or not outsourcing is a wise decision in a particular case. Examples of some of the questions which should be asked are: * Are there in-house employees capable or resolving the software problem? * Do current workloads allow in-house employees to work on this problem? * How expensive will it be to outsource the task? * What are the benefits of outsourcing the problem? This article will take a look at each of these questions and provide insight into how these questions can be used to help make this important decision. The Capabilities of In-house Employees Some software problems require highly specialized training to resolve the issues. It is often the case that a company’s in-house employees do not have the capabilities of resolving these software issues. When this occurs outsourcing the problem to a specialist is the obvious choice. However, in situations where the in-house employees are qualified to resolve the problem, the issue of whether or not to outsource becomes more complicated. Those tasked with making the decision often weight the options by considering the cost of outsourcing versus the speed at which the problem would be resolved in both cases. If there is an expert readily available to tackle the problem it will likely be resolved relatively quickly. However, if in-house employees are currently overburdened, they may not be able to make this problem a priority. The Workload of In-house Employees The workload of in-house employees often comes into question when considering whether or not to outsource a specific software related task or tasks. In the previous section we discussed the importance of outsourcing when the in-house employees are not qualified for certain tasks. However, this is not always the case. Often in-house employees are fully capable of completing a task but they are unable to do so because of their current workload. In a situation when all of the in-house employees are unavailable to take on additional tasks, outsourcing again becomes a viable option. Will Outsourcing Save Money One of the main factors company’s consider when they contemplate outsourcing is whether or not they will save money by outsourcing. Hiring an expert on a contract basis can certainly be expensive but it is often a worthwhile investment especially for highly specialized work. The cost of outsourcing is usually higher in terms of the hourly rate of the employee but overall the costs may be reduced. When considering work performed by in-house employees it is important to realize the cost of the work includes the employee’s hourly rate, the cost of benefits such as social security, Medicare and workers’ compensation and resources such as office space, hardware, office supplies and other incidentals. After factoring in all of these costs it becomes clear that outsourcing isn’t always the more expensive option. Another factor to consider when calculating the costs of outsourcing a software problem is how quickly the problem can be resolved by outsourcing as opposed to handling the problem in-house. This will depend on the capabilities and availability of the in-house staff. If there is not a capable staff member available it may take significantly longer to handle the problem in-house. The Benefits of Outsourcing Finally, the benefits of outsourcing should be considered in deciding whether or not to outsource particular tasks. We have already touched upon some of the benefits of outsourcing but for the sake of completeness we will include a list of some of the most significant benefits below: * Decreased labor costs * Access to industry experts * Flexibility in scheduling * Increased manpower With so many benefits it is clear that outsourcing can be a viable solution to many software problems. The bottom line in determining whether or not to outsource a particular software problem often involves comparing the benefits of outsourcing to the costs of outsourcing. Word count 676
Outsourced Not Outsmarted There are many who tout the advantages of outsourcing as essentially a little known secret to success. There are certainly a number of distinct advantages to the process of outsourcing. Some of the most notable advantages include cost reductions, increased possibility for profit and the existence of a larger workforce without maintaining a staff of salaried employees. All of these incredible advantages may make outsourcing seem as though it is an ideal resource in all situations but this is not true. There are certain precautions which should be taken when outsourcing a project. It is important to be mindful of these precautions when outsourcing a project to ensure the project runs smoothly. Verify Candidate Qualifications When outsourcing a task or project to an individual, care should be taken to screen all applicants carefully before deciding to outsource the work. This is important because you want to be sure to outsource the work to a qualified individual. Awarding a project to an unqualified individual can be a costly mistake if they turn in sub par work at the conclusion of the project. It can also be costly if it results in unnecessary delays or setbacks as a result of the lack of qualifications. One way to avoid being outsmarted by fancy resumes hyping the accomplishments of an individual is to verify all of the information on the resume before awarding the project. This may entail contacting previous employers as well as references to determine the capabilities and work ethic of the individual. Taking the time to verify the information on the resume can help to ensure the individual you outsource the work to is truly qualified to complete the project. Outline Project Requirements Carefully When outsourcing a project it is important to be very clear in outlining the project requirements. This is important so both the client and the independent contractor understand all of the requirements of the outsourced project. Preparing contract documents stating the exact project details and compensation to be provided is a good idea as well. Taking this extra precaution will ensure the client does not have to pay fees until the contract specifications are met. A contract can also be helpful if disputes arise and mediation is required to resolve the conflicts. Additionally, it is wise to include information regarding the required deliverables in the contract documents. This should include the exact end product which should be submitted. In this portion of the document the client can specify information regarding whether they require the project submitted as a hard copy of the completed project, a soft copy of the completed project or both. Schedule Periodic Milestone Meetings Regularly scheduled progress status meetings are very important when a project is outsourced. These meetings should be scheduled often enough to ensure the project does not fall too far behind schedule during any one phase of the project. These meetings can be helpful to both the client and the independent contractor. The client will benefit because they will remain in control of the project and can intervene if the independent contractor is heading in the wrong direction with the project. These meetings are also beneficial to the independent contractor because they can prevent him from being caught by surprise at the conclusion of the project if he misinterpreted the project requirements. Word count 554
Outsourcing Everything except the Profit When it comes to outsourcing, there is no doubt about the fact that the most beneficial advantage is the ability to reduce costs by outsourcing tasks and projects when appropriate. Some Internet marketers take the concept of outsourcing to the extreme by outsourcing the majority of their niche marketing tasks. In other industries this strategy could lead to imminent failure because the client may lose control of the project. However, when it comes to Internet niche marketing this strategy can be very effective and result in the marketer have a greatly reduced workload and a substantially larger profit margin. Why Outsourcing Almost Everything Works In the Internet niche marketing industry, outsourcing almost all of the required tasks can be a profitable strategy. Some of these tasks include copywriting, website design and website management. The marketer may chose to outsource all of these tasks and keep the most important tasks, namely niche selection and keyword development, to himself to ensure he remains in control of these critical elements. Outsourcing Content Creation Copywriting is one element of Internet niche marketing which can easily be outsourced. There is a plethora of talented writers with experience in writing copy for websites which is informative, interesting, accurate and also persuasive. There are many talented writers offering their services who are capable of creating this type of content. However, there is a much smaller pool of talented writers who are also skilled at the art of search engine optimization (SEO). These writers have the above mentioned skills but are also capable of weaving keywords into the articles in a way which appeals to both search engines and those reading the website. Outsourcing Website Design Similarly to the writing industry, there are countless website designers who are capable of creating high quality websites that are both aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. Again, there is a much smaller pool of website designers who have the capabilities of designing a website so that it is well optimized for search engines. SEO is critical to the success of any Internet niche marketing campaign because high search engine rankings improve website traffic. For this reason it is easy to understand why those with SEO skills are in such high demand. It is also easy to understand why those in the Internet marketing industry are willing to pay so much for these services. Outsourcing Niche Website Management Internet marketers who are balancing multiple niches have an even further opportunity to outsource even more of their responsibilities. They may find those skilled in the art of management to oversee a few of the niches. These managers will assume the responsibilities for organizing content for the website, and developing and maintaining the website design including the ongoing SEO effort for the website. Special care should be taken when outsourcing management responsibilities. While it is important to verify the qualifications of copywriters and website designers and to search for highly qualified candidates, this is especially important when outsourcing tasks of a management nature. This is important because the tasks assigned to this individual can have a more dramatic impact on the niche market. If the manager fails to do an adequate job overseeing the assigned tasks, the niche may begin to wane in popularity. When this happens regaining the attention of audience members who were disappointed in changes occurring in the website can be extremely difficult. Word count 567
Outsource Your Ebook While Upsizing Your Profit Ebooks are fast becoming a very popular method of conveying information, promoting Internet niche websites and generating a profit. Ebooks are similar to regular books but they are distributed in a software format via email or the Internet instead of being printed and distributed as a hardcopy. There are some ebooks which are available for download free of charge but most ebooks charge a fee for the download. This, however, is not the only way ebooks generate a profit. Ebooks can also generate a profit by selling advertising space in the ebook. Most ebooks do not openly have ads but many of them are written with the intention of promoting a particular website, product or service. Rather than a traditional advertisement, the ebook will likely feature links to more information on the advertiser’s products or services surrounded by information subtly attempting to entice the reader to research the subject further. How Outsourcing Your Ebook Can Save You Money? The fact that outsourcing your ebook to a professional writer can save you money is confusing for many people. Most people assume anytime you hire an individual to do work for you, it is automatically detracting from your profit margin because you have to compensate him for the work he provides. However, in the long run outsourcing the task of writing your ebook can save you money. Consider taking on the task of writing the ebook yourself. Unless you are a professional writer, your work will likely be inferior to the work a professional would produce. This can be costly because investors will want to see a finished product before committing to sponsoring your ebook. If the work is sub par they may withhold their investment dollars. This can cost you both time and money in searching for a new sponsor. Now consider how long it would take you to write the ebook. Can you really afford to focus exclusively on writing the ebook? Most likely you have other responsibilities to attend to. This means the ebook may take significantly longer to be completed than it would if you outsourced the work to a professional. Finally, consider the editing process. If you plan to have the ebook edited you may have to allow additional time for the editing process if the work was completed by an amateur. If the ebook is in editing for too long you could incur additional costs. Issuing a Press Release for Your Ebook Can you write an effective press release? An effective press release is one that entices readers to investigate the subject of the press release further. Issuing a press release along with the release of your ebook can be one way to draw traffic to your ebook. High traffic is necessary to bring potential customers to the location where they can download your ebook. For this reason outsourcing your press release to a professional writer is also recommended. Your press release is likely the first component of your marketing strategy and if your press release is not effective it may doom your ebook to failure before it even has an opportunity to attempt to sell itself. Outsourcing to an experienced press release writer can be rather expensive with many individuals charging in excess of $1.00 per word for these marketing tools. Savvy Internet marketers realize these prices are a bargain for the profit they will gain from a truly effective press release. Writing a Sales Letter for Your Ebook A sales letter for an ebook is a very important part of the ebook. This is a 1-3 page document which is typically included at the front of the ebook and provides a summary of the information which is provided in the ebook. The sales letter is usually visible to readers before they download the ebook. The purpose of this is to entice the reader to purchase the ebook. It is logical to outsource the writing of this document to the same individual who wrote the ebook. He is the one who has the most comprehensive knowledge of the information contained within the ebook and is most qualified to write this document. Word count 693
Precautions for Outsourcing Software Jobs Outsourcing software jobs is certainly a viable business solution for all types of industries. Software plays an integral part in many different industries and because software is constantly evolving and developing it isn’t always feasible to employ an in-house software staff capable of meeting complex software needspanies may find the ability to outsource software projects while still maintaining a certain degree of profitability; however, there are a few caveats to doing this. Outsourcing software jobs is a sound business practice but care should be taking to avoid certain pitfalls often associated with outsourcing work. Taking a few precautions can prevent the company from making mistakes while outsourcing such as outsourcing the work to individuals ore companies who lack necessary qualifications, making fatal scheduling errors and spending too much money to outsource the project. Properly Screening Outsourcing Candidates One of the most common mistakes made in outsourcing software projects is delegating the project to an individual who lacks the necessary qualifications and capabilities to complete the project efficientlypanies who regularly outsource work may establish working relationships with individuals they are confident will perform well but before these types of relationships are established it will be necessary to carefully screen each potential candidate before outsourcing a job. There are precautions companies can take when they are considering outsourcing a software project to ensure the candidate they select is well qualified to complete the project. The following are a few of the basic precautions companies should take: * Describe the project sufficiently in job advertisements * Review applications and resumes carefully * Schedule interviews with qualified candidates * Ask interview candidates to provide a list of work references * Verify each reference and check the validity of work history Establishing Schedules When Outsourcing Another mistake often made by companies who outsource is to fail to establish a firm schedule. This may not be especially harmful when the schedule of the project is flexible but it can be a serious mistake when the schedule of the project is not flexible. Finding a candidate who is qualified to handle outsourcing work is important but it is also important to find a candidate who is available when you need someone to complete the work. This is a significant point because some candidates may be well qualified but if they are not available when you need them they are not an ideal candidate to complete the project. It is best to discuss scheduling upfront when screening outsourcing candidates. This is important because it can be costly to spend time finding a candidate only to find out they are unavailable towards the end of the screening process. Spending Too Much Money on Outsourcing One final mistake companies often make when outsourcing is spending too much money on outsourcing. This includes money paid to the individual or firm to complete the work as well as money invested in finding the most qualified candidate. One precaution to take when considering outsourcing is to investigate all of the costs associated with outsourcing and establish a budge for having a particular project completed as an outsourcing endeavor before beginning to search for potential candidates. Doing this will enable companies to evaluate whether or not outsourcing is a wise decision from a financial standpoint before they invest too much in the process. When evaluating the costs associated with outsourcing a software project it is important to consider a number of factors. First evaluate the amount the client is paying for the completion of the project. Next assess the in-house effort which will be required for this project including management and recruiting candidates to complete the project. Determine the percentage of the budget which will be consumed by these efforts. Now it is time to look at the remaining budget and determine how much can be invested in outsourcing the project while still remaining profitable. The fees paid to the independent contractor or consulting firm should not be so high that they do not enable the company to profit from the project. Word count 670
Protect Your Niche When Outsourcing In the world of Internet niche marketing, the greatest asset is often the chosen niche. Many marketers spend a great deal of time, energy and resources selecting a niche which they believe is going to be profitable. There are certainly no guarantees a particular niche will be profitable but there are certain strategies for choosing a niche that has a high probability of success. One popular strategy for selecting a niche involves employing a principle similar to the concept of supply and demand. Statistical information supplied by search engines is used to determine the popularity of certain search terms. This information is significant because terms which are being searched frequently are terms which have a large audience of Internet users looking for more information on the niche subject. These are terms which are in high demand. From this statistical information you can build a list of potential niches. Once this list is compiled, it is time to begin researching the competition in each of these niches. Ideally the niche you select will be one which has a large audience and not much competition. These are niches which are in low supply. Choose the Type of Work You Outsource Carefully One way to protect your niche is to be selective about the type of work you outsource to others. Many Internet niche marketers are comfortable outsourcing their copywriting and their website design. However, they are more protective about outsourcing tasks such as marketing, niche selection and keyword development. This is because although copywriting and website design both involve optimization for keywords the strategies for doing so are readily available on the Internet. However, many marketers have specific methods for marketing and developing a niche and keywords and are not willing to outsource this work because it will likely involve sharing secret strategies. Share Keywords via Email Developing related keywords for the niche is a very important part of the success of an Internet niche marketing campaign. Keywords are absolutely critical and conventional wisdom holds that an extensive list of keywords should be developed for a particular niche to be successful. Some in the industry recommend developing approximately 200 keywords for each niche. There is a great amount of effort put into the process of selecting keywords and those who are savvy do not want to make it possible for others to find their list of keywords on the Internet. Including a list of keywords on an advertisement seeking a copywriter or website designer will be searchable by others in the industry. For this reason it is not wise to post keyword lists where others have free access to the keywords. This may sound overly paranoid but it is commonly known that Internet marketers often make the mistake of posting their keywords on job boards and those who are interested in harvesting these keywords visit these websites frequently to gather information. Transmitting the keywords through a protected email account or via telephone is a better way to protect the work you have put into developing your niche. Use a Non Disclosure Agreement Finally, a non disclosure agreement (NDA) is one way for the marketer to protect his niche when he is outsourcing. An NDA is essentially a document specifying the rights of the employer and employee in regard to sensitive materials. The NDA can be drafted to include any terms the client sees fit. Some example of the restrictions the contractor may agree to by signing an NDA are: * A definition of which materials are sensitive * Restrictions on how materials can be transmitted * A stipulation precluding the contractor from competing in the niche during a given time period * A duration of time for which the contract is binding In protecting a niche market the above terms can be used when outsourcing. The client may specify the sensitive materials to be the niche and the related keywords as well as any information regarding marketing strategy. The client may limit the methods in which the sensitive materials can be transmitted to secure emails and telephone conversations. The duration of time for which the contract is binding is up to the clientmon timeframes include the duration of the project or a set number of days, weeks, months or years. In niche marketing a timeframe of at least one year after the project is completed is recommended to prevent the contractors from entering the same niche immediately after the project ends. Word count 741
Raising the Bar through Outsourcing The stereotypes associated with outsourcing are often very negative in nature. However, it is actually possible to utilize the concept of outsourcing to receive the highest quality of work possible. Outsourcing no longer only refers to overseas sweatshops where employees work long hours for meager pay. Outsourcing now also occurs domestically and often at prices which are more than generous. Thanks to savvy entrepreneurs who realize the benefits of offering their services on a contract basis, outsourcing has become the wave of the future. This article will take a look at how outsourcing can actually lead to superior work and increased profitability. Top Quality Work from Industry Experts One of the most advantageous aspects of outsourcing is the ability to employ industry experts for the completion of certain tasks. This becomes beneficial in situations where a business is faced with a complex problem which is beyond the expertise of the in-house employees. Outsourcing gives the business the opportunity to outsource the task of solving the problem to a highly qualified candidate. Although the business may pay a hefty sum for the individual’s services this fee will likely be significantly less than what it would have cost them to solve the problem with their in-house staff. The amount of time it would have taken coupled with the potential for costly mistakes makes it clear outsourcing is the right decision in this scenario. Another scenario where tasks may be outsourced to an industry expert is when the business is faced with the task of performing more work than they are capable of handling in-house. During aggressive deadlines or unexpected delays, outsourcing can be used to complete projects according to unyielding deadlines. Flexibility in Scheduling Many businesses balance the workload they take on based on the number of employees they have on staff capable of assisting in each individual task. However, outsourcing gives businesses the ability to consider accepting more work than their in-house employees are capable of completing. An example of when this is beneficial is when consultants are awarded more projects than they had anticipated and are suddenly in a situation where they are not able to meet their deadlines due to larger than anticipated workloads. Another advantage to outsourcing is the ability to take on larger projects than usual. One of the most elementary factors often considered when awarding projects to consultants is the number of staff members who are available to work on the project. Clients evaluate this number with their project needs and schedule to determine whether or not they think the consultant is capable of completing the project on time. Consultants who outsource portions of their projects are effectively able to increase the amount of employees they can afford to have working on a particular project. Reduced Operating Costs Finally, outsourcing can help companies to produce higher quality work by enabling them to reduce their operating costs. Outsourcing can save companies a great deal of money because they often do not have to pay benefits such as social security, workers’ compensation and Medicare to those who perform work on a contract basis. Additionally, those who perform the outsourced work typically do the work from their own office meaning the company does not have to provide resources for the individual. Although these costs may seem trivial, they can really add up especially if outsourcing is used on a regular basis. Combined with the reduced operating costs, many companies find that productivity is increased through outsourcing. By outsourcing work to qualified individuals, the in-house employees are freed of additional responsibilities and can focus exclusively on the tasks they were hired to perform. This is significant because without outsourcing these same employees might be tasked with attempting to perform complicated tasks for which they are not properly trained or qualified. When this happens there is a significant decline in productivity as the employees take longer than necessary to complete the more complicated tasks and do not have time to complete the simpler tasks. Word count 668