Micro-Entrepreneurship For Dummies
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Just because you own a micro-entrepreneurial business doesn’t mean you need to do everything yourself. Still, sometimes outsourcing your work to strangers doesn’t make sense. Before you decide to give your work to someone else, take a closer look at the disadvantages of using outsourced workers.

When you’re dealing with humanity, you’ll have issues. People don’t always come through when you need them to. So when dealing with your critical business projects, you have to be wary of whom you’re dealing with.

Here are some issues that can be problematic with outsourcing:

  • Loss of control: Allowing someone, especially strangers (which in some cases may live thousands of miles away in a land outside the reach of US law) to handle some important aspect of your business means you lose some control over your work, which can potentially hurt you. At least with employees and family members, you can monitor and manage what they do because they can be in your midst.

    Finishing work with someone in a remote town in Asia or some other faraway spot can be difficult. Although you can do your due diligence before you use these types of workers, it’s still a justified concern. If being in total control is a primary concern, then you may want to re-think outsourcing.

    Of course, if you’re outsourcing with someone you know (maybe an ex-coworker, for example), then some of these concerns may not be justified.

  • Quality of work: The quality of work from outsourcers both foreign and domestic can be all over the place. Hiring a techie in Bratislava named Sergei for only $7 to create a full business website may seem like a deal, but remember the “you get what you pay for.”

    To reduce potential issues, get references and don’t skimp when hiring an outsourced worker. Strive to get a better worker for a higher price because you’re already saving by doing outsourcing in the first place.

  • Impact on customers: Using outsourcing to service customers in any way may be a concern and something you should seriously monitor because you need to be aware of how the workers are interacting with your customers.

    Any worker acting on your behalf will have an impact on customer relations. You probably have heard the horror stories of how some major companies outsourced their customer service functions to lands where there was a real disconnect with their customers back in the States with language, culture, customer sensitivity, and so on.

    As the micro-entrepreneur, you and/or people you trust or can easily oversee should primarily handle your customer service.

  • Time factor: Sometimes the issue is timeliness of the work. If an outsourced worker is late on deadlines regarding work that your customer needs as soon as possible, that tardiness can definitely be an issue even if quality is acceptable. Make sure that guidelines for timely work are in place.

  • Security and privacy: When you’re dealing with outsourced workers, be wary if the work to be done involves sensitive data, particularly customer data. This type of information can include customers’ Social Security numbers, financial accounts, and so forth. This type of information is readily bought and sold in dark corners of the digital world. Be safety-conscious here and limit access where possible.

  • Language barrier: When you hire an outsourced worker outside of your native language, you need to communicate clearly with him about the expected outcome of the project. Misunderstandings can lead to shoddy quality of work or delays in your timeline.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Paul Mladjenovic is a certified financial planner, micro-entrepreneur, and home business educator with more than 25 years' experience writing and teaching about financial and business start-up topics. He owns RavingCapitalist.com and is also the author of Stock Investing For Dummies.

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