Last week I posted on the 5 things you can do to test if an affiliate partnership will work before you invest a lot of time and energy into a the relationship.  To grow your business you need to add capacity from time to time. Outsourcing work from time to time can help you in adding capacity.

do you love or hate outsourcing work?Many owners grimace at the thought of outsourcing work.  I always try to inquire why as it can indicate problems to come.

Creating good outsourcing work relationships is no different than delegating internally.  The only difference is the external contract with the company providing the services vs. the internal employee/employer contract with your employees.   So, what’s missing externally may be a sign of what’s missing internally as well!

Setting Expectations for a Good Outsourcing Relationship

There are 3 key operational elements that create a good outsourced relationship.

  • Deliverable Specifications
  • Quality Standards
  • Performance standards

Using KPI's when outsourcing workDeliverable specifications help you to communicate what you need built.  This might include schematics, diagrams, a bill of materials, procedural instructions and anything else someone would need to build or deliver what you want built.  Without the “blueprints” it’s a crapshoot as to what you’ll get if you are outsourcing work.

Next, you need a quality standard.  This standard communicates exactly how you plan to evaluate if they delivered what you expectations or not.

When owners experience bad outsourcing results it is usually because a quality standard was missing.  They assume everyone understands their expectation. Disappointment usually follows.  If you can’t overcome this problem for then you don’t develop the critical skill of delegation and it comes back to haunt you in the future.

Create Performance Standards When Outsourcing Work

Finally, the performance standard communicates your expectation on delivery when outsourcing work.   When do you expect it, and how should it be delivered?  If the work takes a long period of time you want to get status reporting. Make sure you communicated the frequency of reporting that you expect.

Pretty simple, but it doesn’t get done enough.  Think back to a time when you asked someone to do something for you and were disappointed.  Which of these 3 things did you forget to communicate?

We do it every day with everyone around us.  We do it with our friends, spouse, and children.  So, why are we surprised when we get the same result in our business when we outsourcing work?  If you need help schedule some time with me to get it right!

Share your experiences here of how you have found ways to improve opportunities for outsourcing work.  How has being able to effectively outsource for needed capacity helped you grow your business?