Internet-marketing-and-outsourcing

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.

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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.

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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 client. Common 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.

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When Outsourcing is the Best Solution

There are times when outsourcing is the only option available for reasons such as no in-house employees are qualified or available to complete the particular task. However, there are also times when outsourcing is not the only option but it is also the best option. In these situations, outsourcing becomes a wise business decision as opposed to a requirement or a matter of personal preference. This article will discuss three situations where outsourcing is the best option. These options include:

* When outsourcing saves money

* When outsourcing helps make deadlines

* When outsourcing increases productivity

When Outsourcing Saves Money

Outsourcing becomes the best solution when it saves the company money without compromising the quality of the work. Companies whose goals are predominately financial in nature often focus on the bottom line in determining whether or not to outsource projects or tasks. When the cost savings results in inferior work it is certainly not the best solution. However, companies who are able to outsource projects to highly qualified and capable individuals while still saving money enjoy the benefit of knowing they selected the best solution for their software related problems.

Whether or not outsourcing saves money is a concept which many have difficulty understanding. When most people think of outsourcing, they picture citizens of third world countries working for substandard wages but this is not an accurate representation of outsourcing. Nowadays outsourcing often involves hiring high priced, domestic consultants to tackle complex software problems under aggressive deadlines. This explanation makes the issue even more confusing for some who think it is impossible for it to be less expensive to hire a high priced consultant than to complete the task in-house.

Examining labor costs is often necessary to see how outsourcing can often reduce costs. Outsourcing may carry a higher per hour rate but it is important to note that the company is often not required to pay benefits such as social security, Medicare and workers’ compensation to the consultant. Additionally, the consultant may work offsite meaning he is not putting a drain on company resources. Examining these factors is necessary to determine whether or not outsourcing is the best option.

When Outsourcing Helps Make Deadlines

Aggressive deadlines often make outsourcing the best available option. Most companies do not want to have to turn down work because they do not have enough staff members available to complete a particular project. Having the ability to outsource software jobs makes it easier for a company to compete for more jobs than their staff could possibly handle. This is because the managements know they have a network of consultants to rely on during times when schedules are tight. In these cases outsourcing becomes the best option.

Whether schedules are originally set to be rather aggressive or become accelerated do to problems earlier in the project they can become a hassle for many companies. Regardless of the cause of the scheduling concerns, clients may not understand if the consultant is unable to meet the required deadlines.

When Outsourcing Increases Productivity

Outsourcing also becomes the best solution to a problem when it results in increased productivity. Consider the tasks you intend to outsource and determine the amount of time it would take for these tasks to be completed in-house. Now consider the amount of time it would take to have these tasks completed through outsourcing. If the answer is outsourcing would be quicker, it is logical to go ahead and outsource these tasks. The reason for this is the consultant can be more efficient with the tasks.

When considering productivity it is also important to note that employees who are handling multiple tasks often take longer to complete each individual task then they would to complete each of these same tasks if they were his only responsibility. This is because employees who are multi-tasking are not necessarily as efficient as they believe they are. The main problem with multi-tasking is when switching from one activity there is a small delay each time the employee switches tasks because he often has to review his recent progress and remind himself what he intended to do next. Conversely outsourcing singular tasks allows the individual to focus 100% on each task.

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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.

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Try Outsourcing When You Need an Ebook Written

Writing ebooks is one activity which is outsourced with a great deal of frequency. Ebooks are books which are published and distributed in a software format. Some consider them to be much more convenient than regular books because they can be downloaded to computers, laptops and a number of multimedia devices making it convenient for the individual to take the ebook with them everywhere they go. Another advantage of ebooks is they are typically less expensive than traditional books. This is because the publishing costs associated with publishing an ebooks is significantly lower than it is for publishing regular books. Outsourcing the writing of ebooks is a fairly common practice. There are a few simple guidelines which should be followed when selecting the perfect writer for the job and outsourcing the project.

Select an Accomplished Writer

One of the most basic guidelines for outsourcing an ebook is to select an accomplished writer who has experience relative to your niche subject. While giving a chance to a new writer is certainly noble, an ebook is not the ideal situation for making such a noble gesture. If you feel strongly about a particular writer who does not have relevant experience try offering him the opportunity to complete a smaller job for you such as a website article. An ebook is a large project in which you invest a great deal of time, money and energy and you want to be sure the end results are of a high quality.

Assist in the Creation of the Book Outline

The outline for an ebook is very important and should be established before work on the ebook commences. It is acceptable to make minor changes to the outline during the course of the project but the bulk of the outline should remain the same. This is important because a well developed outline will assist in creating a logical flow to the material presented in the ebook.

The client should always take an active role in developing the outline for the ebook. The writer may have ideas about the content he wants to include or believes is relevant but the responsibility for making the decision regarding what belongs in the ebooks is ultimately up to the client. Establishing an outline ahead of time will ensure there are no surprises when the final work is submitted.

Have the Ebook Edited Independently

The final tip we have to offer for outsourcing an ebook is to have the ebook edited independently rather than allowing the writer to edit the ebook. The writer may do an excellent job creating high quality content that is accurate, informative and interesting and may also do a fairly good job of proofreading the document but it is always worthwhile to have a fresh pair of eyes review the document. They are not as familiar with the project so they are more likely to notice errors which were previously overlooked by the writer who may miss the errors because when he was proofreading he knew what he meant to write and subconsciously makes the correction as he is reading through the document.

The other advantage of having the ebook edited independently is that the editor can review the document in reference to the outline to ensure all of the necessary subjects were adequately covered in the ebook.

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The Advantages of Outsourcing

Outsourcing has become a very popular alternative for a number of very valid reasons. Outsourcing initially emerged as a way for companies to cut costs by having processes such as manufacturing and assembly done in overseas locations where costs were much lower. Lower wages and operating costs both contributed to these reduced costs. These lower costs were appealing because they greatly improved the profit margins for the companies. However, outsourcing is now gaining in popularity for a variety of other reasons. While cost reduction is still a primary advantage, other elements such as access to industry experts, a larger workforce and more flexible options are being embraced as welcomed advantages offered by outsourcing.

Cost Reductions from Outsourcing

As previously mentioned reducing costs was the original purpose of outsourcing and although outsourcing has since been demonstrated to have other significant advantages, cost reduction still remains one of the prime advantages. Companies look to outsource tasks which would be more costly to complete in-house. An example of this type of task would be a software related task requiring specialized training. Companies who do not have an on staff employee qualified to complete this task can benefit financially by outsourcing this task.

There may be significant fees required to retain the services of an industry expert on a contractual basis but the efficiency of this individual will enable him to complete the task much more quickly than it could have been done in-house. If the task were not outsourced an in-house employee would have had to complete the task and may have taken significantly longer costing the company more in the long run.

On Call Experts

In the previous section we discussed how having industry experts available to complete outsourced tasks can result in a cost savings for the company but having these experts on call also provides the potential for new opportunities for the company. With experts waiting in the wings to assist, the company is able to go after larger and more specialized types of work. This is important because in doing this the company can find themselves enjoying greater prosperity.

A Larger Workforce

Still another advantage to outsourcing is the benefit of enjoying a larger workforce when necessary without the hassle of maintaining a larger staff. Through outsourcing companies can bring in additional employees on a contract basis during times of prosperity without worrying about having to lay them off or keep them utilized when the surge of work begins to wane. This is particularly relevant in industries which enjoy peak seasons as well as off seasons.

Another advantage of having a larger workforce is the ability to generate a larger profit. This is important because smaller companies can find themselves in a position where they can compete with larger companies for bigger jobs by outsourcing a portion of the workload.

More Flexibility

Finally, more flexibility is another considerable advantage to outsourcing work. Even the most well planned projects may suddenly end up behind schedule or under a time crunch due to minor errors, changes in plans or other incidental activities. Smaller companies who do not have the resources to compensate for these inevitable mishaps may find themselves in serious trouble without the ability to outsource work when necessary. These companies can take advantage of outsourcing in times of trouble to help them deal with problems without alienating clients or performing poorly on a project.

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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.

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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.

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When Outsourcing is the Only Option

Deciding whether or not to outsource particular tasks is one of the many important decisions both large and small companies alike have to make often. This can be a difficult decision at times but often the decision making process is greatly simplified and it becomes clear that outsourcing is the only viable option. Situations in which this may occur are when the in-house staff is not qualified for these tasks, when the in-house staff is already overburdened and when there are specific client requirements specifying certain tasks must be completed by individuals with specific qualifications. This article will address each of these situations and discuss why outsourcing becomes the only solution in each case.

The Qualification of In-house Staff

Sometimes outsourcing becomes the only option available because there are no in-house staff members qualified to perform a particular task. This often occurs when a task requires a highly specialized degree or area of expertise. This is especially problematic when the task in question is one which is extremely rare. When this is the case it does not make sense for a company to hire an employee with these capabilities when they will be rarely utilized because employees who are not productive are expensive to the company. However, if this task becomes one which is required regularly, the question of whether or not to outsource the task becomes more complicated. As this article is focusing on situations where outsourcing is the only option, we will not delve further into the factors which complicated this decision such as labor costs and increased manpower.

Smaller companies often face the problem of not having staff members qualified for particular tasks more often than larger companies. Larger companies obviously have a larger pool of employees to pull from and it is therefore much more likely for the smaller firms to have gaps in their level of expertise than it is for larger companies to have these gaps.

The Availability of In-house Staff

Sometimes outsourcing becomes the only option based on staff availability. A company may have a need for tasks to be completed rather quickly. Although it may be a task for which several in-house employees are qualified, current workloads may make it impossible for these employees to take on these tasks. When this occurs, outsourcing again becomes the only option. Company employees are often multi-tasking and may be working towards several serious deadlines at any one particular time. Management is tasked with the responsibility of doling out work to lower level employees and when they feel as though their in-house staff is not able to take on more work, they often turn to outsourcing as a solution.

Workloads often become a factor in outsourcing when there are projects which are particularly time sensitive in nature. Employees and employers often have to prioritize the multiple tasks they are managing but there are times when a number of projects or tasks become urgent simultaneously and when this happens it may become difficult to complete all of these tasks with only the assistance of the in-house staff.

Client Requirements

Sometimes outsourcing becomes the only option as a result of client requirements. Depending on the complexity of a task, a client may require the consultant firm tasked with completing a task to have the task performed by an individual with specific qualifications. These qualifications may include specific training in certain types of software, exact education requirements or previous work experiences. Companies who do not have in-house employees who meet these specific requirements have no choice but to outsource the task to a qualified individual.

When this is an isolated incident, companies often outsource the task and do not make efforts to attempt to hire a full time employee with these qualifications. This is a wise decision especially when the client requirements require an expert in a particular niche of the software industry. Employing an employee of this caliber would likely be rather expensive especially if he would rarely be called upon to utilize his advanced skills.

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Why You Should Outsource Your Internet Niche Ebook

Unless you are an accomplished writer yourself, outsourcing your Internet niche ebook is an absolute necessity. Most people have the common sense to hire an electrician when they are having electrical problems in their home and a plumber when they are having plumbing problems but these same people often make the mistake of thinking they do not need to hire a professional to write their ebook. This article will discuss the benefits of outsourcing your ebook to a professional and will identify some of the pitfalls of not outsourcing this work to a professional.

Why Paying for a Professional Written Ebook is Important

Those who are orchestrating an Internet niche marketing campaign should realize the importance of hiring a professional writer to write their ebook. An ebook is often used in this capacity to serve as a promotional tool for the other elements of the niche marketing campaign including the website.

The ebook you publish will be the first impression many form regarding your niche campaign. You want this first impression to be a positive one so it is important for your ebook to be incredibly polished, free of spelling and grammatical errors, accurate, informative, interesting and written in an appropriate tone. An accomplished writer can meet all of these needs while creating an ebook that is well researched and provides all the information you requested in the outline.

Benefits of Outsourcing Your Ebook

There are many benefits to outsourcing your ebook. The most obvious benefit is that, provided you choose a well qualified candidate, your ebook is likely to turn out looking extremely professional. This is important because a high quality ebook is much more likely to persuade readers to investigate the subject further by visiting the niche website mentioned in the ebook.

Another benefit to outsourcing your ebook to an accomplished writer is it will greatly reduce your own workload. Attempting to write the ebook on your own would be a mistake if you are not a skilled writer but there are still many marketers who go this route. They often spend much longer than anticipated on the process of writing their ebook and wind up with sub par results. Outsourcing the ebook not only creates much better results but also relieves the marketer of the pressure of trying to write the book themselves.

Pitfalls of Not Outsourcing Your Ebook

There are some significant pitfalls which often result from not outsourcing an ebook. One of the most common problems that occur when the ebook is written by an amateur is the ebook ends up sounding too much like a sales pitch. Most Internet niche ebooks are written for the purpose of promoting the niche but the promotional aspects of the ebook are usually rather subtle. Instead the ebook is written with an authoritative tone and presented as an ebook providing the reader with knowledge on a particular niche subject. The ebook will, however, likely include persuasive undertones directing readers to particular websites for further information.

Another pitfall of not outsourcing an ebook is a final product that is poorly written with glaring grammatical errors and other mistakes. These mistakes will likely be evident to even the most casual reader of the ebook. When these errors are easily detected, it is not likely the reader will put much faith in the message being conveyed by the ebook. They will likely assume the carelessness in writing the ebook carried over into the research process therefore, tainting the information presented in the ebook.

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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.

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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 needs. Companies 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 efficiently. Companies 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.

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Your Job Just Got Easier with Outsourcing

If you are like most Internet marketers you often find yourself wearing a variety of hats. Those involved in the industry of Internet marketing are a hard working breed by nature and are typically not afraid to roll up their sleeves and become involved in all aspects of their marketing campaign. From brainstorming to develop a niche to designing aesthetically appealing and well optimized websites and from writing scintillating website content and intriguing press releases to remaining active on industry message boards, Internet marketers do it all. However, problems arise as the individuals become more successful. Their niche markets begin to thrive and increase in number and completing all of these different tasks for several different niches is no longer feasible. This is when it is important to know what aspects to outsource to other qualified individuals. This article will take a look at outsourcing both copywriting and website design.

Outsourcing these two elements to professionals enables the Internet marketer to retain control of crucial elements of the business such as creating new niches and promoting existing niches. These two components are the most critical and by retaining absolute control of these elements and overseeing other elements it is not likely the quality of the niche markets will be compromised by outsourcing.

Leave the Copywriting to the Professionals

The copywriting required for an Internet niche marketing campaign is one of the first elements which should be outsourced. The content you provide on your websites, as well as in press releases, sales letters and ebooks is likely the first impression potential clients get of your niche market. Logically, it stands to reason that your copy should be well written, concise, informative accurate, persuasive and search engine optimized. With so many requirements it is obvious this work should be completed by a professional copywriter.

The services of a quality copywriter, especially one skilled in search engine optimization (SEO), may be a significant expense with many copywriters charging close to $1.00 per word for optimized content and over 30 cents per word for content which is not optimized. However, those in the industry of Internet niche marketing realize the value of quality copy for their websites and are willing to pay these fees because they know they will be more than compensated by the success of their niche markets.

Let the Experts Design and Optimize Your Website

We have already discussed how writers with SEO skills are a valuable commodity but it is also important to note that website designers who possess SEO skills are critical to the success of Internet niche marketing campaigns. SEO is so important because high search engine rankings can drive a great deal of traffic to a niche website. Internet users constantly rely on search engines to find them the most useful information for particular search terms and as a result it is not likely these same users will visit websites buried on the third or fourth page of search results. More realistically, they will visit the first couple of links in the search results and find the answers they are seeking. This is why it is so important for those in the industry of niche marketing to invest in SEO.

Keyword density is one component of SEO which is usually handled by the copywriter. However, there are many other SEO strategies which can be incorporated into the design of a website to bolster rankings. Some of these strategies are careful selection of domain names and titles, use of META and ALT tags and clean website design which contains an easy to navigate sitemap. These are just a few of the most basic SEO strategies but techniques and strategies for SEO change regularly as search engines adjust their algorithms and industry professionals attempt new techniques to improve their rankings. SEO is not a simple process and is basically a full time job. For these reasons hiring a website design firm with SEO capabilities is critical to the success of Internet niche markets.

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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.

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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.

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Tips for Outsourcing Ebooks

Ebooks are quickly becoming very popular in the Internet niche marketing industry. Ebooks are essentially books which are available in software formats and distributed either through email or Internet downloads. There is usually a fee associated with downloading an ebook. These fees are usually considerably lower than the fees associated with purchasing a hardcopy of a similar book. This is because ebooks are typically less expensive to publish.

With so many Internet niche marketers relying on ebooks as part of their marketing campaigns, it is certainly understandable that many are beginning to outsource the writing of ebooks to professional writers. As ebooks become more popular and the level of competition rises, it is necessary for the quality of the ebooks to increase as well making it essential to outsource these projects to qualified candidates. However, many may have concerns about the process of outsourcing. This article addresses these concerns by providing tips for outsourcing ebooks with success.

Select the Right Person for the Job

The first step in outsourcing an ebook with a great deal of success is taking the screening process seriously and finding the most qualified candidate to write the ebook. When searching for a candidate to write an ebook, place a detailed advertisement specifying the exact project requirements including subject, length, milestone goals and ultimate deadline. This is important because it ensures candidates are aware of all of the requirements before they apply.

You may still receive countless applications from those who are unqualified but that is where carefully screening the applicants becomes imperative. In reviewing applications pay particular attention to the quality of samples provided, the amount of relevant work completed and the ability of the candidate to following the instructions in the advertisement. All of these elements will make simplify the screening process by enabling you to eliminate those who do not follow instructions or provide quality samples of relevance to the project.

Next narrow the list of candidates to a few who are most qualified and interview these candidates further. Ebooks can most often be written by candidates from remote locations so there is usually not a need for in person interviews especially if there is a geographical distance between the candidate and the buyer. Phone interviews and online interviews are sufficient substitutes. After the interviews determine which, if any, of the candidates is most qualified and offer the opportunity to complete the project to this candidate. If none of the candidates seem just right it might be necessary to continue looking and screening new candidates.

Be Involved in Developing the Outline

Once a professional writer is accepted for a particular project, it is time to start developing an outline for the project, if this has not already been done. The marketer should be heavily involved in doing this so they can ensure the ebook includes all of the information they believe is necessary. Asking the writer to contribute ideas to the outline is appropriate but it is accepted that the client will provide the majority of these details rather than relying on the writer to do so.

Maintain Final Editing Rights

Finally the client should always maintain final editing rights in any ebook they commission. They may work closely with the writer during the process of writing the book but upon completion the ebook should be reviewed and edited carefully. This process should include editing the ebook for grammar and sentence structure, flow and style, accuracy of content and any other elements deemed of importance by the client. The client is the one ultimately responsible for the information contained in the ebook and he should do his best to ensure the ebook he provides is not only interesting and informative but also accurate. This is especially important in situations where medical issues are discussed.

Another important reason to maintain finally editing rights is to ensure all stipulations by advertisers are met accordingly. Many ebooks are sponsored by individuals or companies who expect their website, products or services to be recommended in the ebook in exchange for their sponsorship. For this reason care should be taken to review the final version of the ebook to ensure the sponsor’s needs are met and that direct competitors are not touted as being superior to the sponsor.

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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.

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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.

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Understanding Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a term which has received a great deal of attention lately. Despite the increasing trend in companies relying on outsourcing there are still some who do not clearly understand what is meant by the term outsourcing. This article will examine some of the key elements of outsourcing to help the reader develop a better understanding of the concept of outsourcing.

Outsourcing Defined

What is outsourcing? This is the most basic question many have about the subject of outsourcing. They are not yet interested in more complex aspects of the issue because they have not yet grasped the most basic understanding of the process. In the simplest language outsourcing is when a company delegates the completion of certain tasks to an individual not employed by the company directly. This individual may be an independent contractor or an employee of another company who is subcontracted to complete these tasks. In exchange for the individual’s services, he or his company receives monetary compensation.

This description of outsourcing makes it far easier to understand the concept. Most people incorrectly assume outsourcing only applies to situations where large corporations have products manufactured overseas by a subsidiary and don’t realize examples of outsourcing can be seen just about everywhere in corporate America.

Domestic Outsourcing

Domestic outsourcing refers to outsourcing where both the primary company and the independent contractor or subsidiary are located in the same country. One of the main reasons for outsourcing is to reduce costs but it is not always necessary to outsource work overseas to reduce costs. Cost savings will be discussed in greater detail in the section on the benefits of outsourcing but essentially outsourcing results in a savings as a result of a reduction of labor costs.

Overseas Outsourcing

Overseas outsourcing is the type of outsourcing most people already understand. This is where large corporations such as Nike, and even some smaller companies, employ manufacturing plants overseas in third world countries to upsize their profits. This is significant because their costs including wages, materials and building lease would be considerably higher in the United States than they are in these other countries.

Benefits of Outsourcing

Now that you have a clearer understanding of the concept of outsourcing, you might wonder why companies would go to the trouble of outsourcing certain tasks. Outsourcing is popular because there are a great deal of benefits to the companies who outsource the work. Some of the benefits include:

* Reduced labor costs

* Increased workforce

* Greater flexibility

One of the main reasons companies resort to outsourcing is it can significantly reduce costs. In the case of overseas outsourcing of manufacturing tasks, costs can be cut dramatically because there are lower wages and costs associated with managing and maintaining the manufacturing plants. However, companies also enjoy a cost savings when they outsource tasks domestically. Reduction of labor costs is the primary source of savings in this case. Independent contractors hired on a contract basis for the purpose of completing specific tasks are often not given benefits such as social security, Medicare and workers’ compensation.

Another benefit to outsourcing is enjoying a larger workforce without actually hiring additional employees. Companies who maintain networking relationships with qualified individuals have more opportunities open to them because they are able to rely on these individuals to assist them if they acquire large or complicated projects.

Finally, outsourcing gives a company a great deal of flexibility. Companies who have a significant workload and backlog of work where the majority of the employees are highly utilized might be hesitant to compete for new work because they do not have a great deal of employee availability. However, with a network of individuals to rely on if the need to outsource arises, the company has more flexibility in pursuing new work.

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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

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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.

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Do-you-compromise-quality-with-outsourcing

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.

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When Outsourcing Is Not a Good Idea

Outsourcing can really be beneficial for a number of reasons. Some companies enjoy benefits such as reduced labor costs, larger workforces, access to industry experts and increased flexibility through outsourcing. However, despite the obvious advantages to outsourcing there are some situations when outsourcing is not a good idea. Although there a number of scenarios where outsourcing is a viable business option there are other scenarios where outsourcing is not the best idea. In these situations it is best to keep the work in-house rather than attempting to make an outsourcing situation work out.

When Outsourcing is Too Costly

One of the primary advantages of outsourcing is a cost reduction. In many cases outsourcing results in reduced labor costs because costs such as social security, health care and workers’ compensation are eliminated. Additionally, the increased efficiency resulting when tasks are outsourced to industry experts can also result in a cost reduction.

Despite these many opportunities for cost reductions, there are some situations where outsourcing might be the more expensive alternative and it may also lead to a financial loss instead of a gain. This may include a situation where the cost of outsourcing to a highly specialized expert exceeds the budget for the project. Fees for individuals with highly specialized degrees or areas of expertise are often quite expensive. Another possible situation is one where finding an individual qualified to complete specialized tasks would be too expensive of a process.

When Outsourcing Causes You to Lose Control

Even when tasks or projects are outsourced the company responsible for the work likes to continue to manage the project and keep close tabs on the progress of tasks. It is important for the company to continue to manage the project even after it has been outsourced because they are the ones who are ultimately responsible for the successful completion of the project. Whenever an individual or company wants to deny the company access to project files or documents, outsourcing is a bad idea. The company who has the vested interest in the outcome of the project should never be excluded from participating in making decisions regarding the project.

Before outsourcing a task or project care should be taken to establish criteria for the management of the project. Depending on the length and complexity of the project it may also be wise to schedule regular meetings to provide updates on the progress of the project. During this time the contractor should provide the employer with all documentation necessary to evaluate the progress of the project and verify it is still on track for completion by the established deadline.

When Outsourcing is Not Permitted

Sometimes outsourcing is not a good idea simply because it is not permitted by contract requirements. Some project contracts may have stipulations stating the work cannot be outsourced to an individual or to another company. Inserting such a clause into a contract document is well within the rights of the clients. When they hire a particular company to complete a project or task, they expect all work related to the project or task to be completed by members of that company unless they specified otherwise when negotiating the contract. Violating the contract documents in this situation is not a good idea. The company could be penalized by the client. Penalties may include withholding payment or refusing to award future projects or tasks to the company.

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