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How to Outsource - Planning Projects Before You Post Them on Freelance Job Boards

Over the past few years outsourcing has become a common source of saving money and getting work done online. People from all walks of life contribute to this widely accessed industry by posting assignments they need help with as buyers, or by posting their profiles as freelancers. As this trend is becoming a fact of life for many people, a frequent question is commonly asked, "How to outsource projects in order to get effective and efficient solutions?"

Project planning experts always say, "The success of a project will depend solely on the amount of effort, skill and forethought you enforce in its initial planning". It is important to take particular steps while planning projects before you finally post them on freelance job auction sites, this is required if you want to get true value for money.

Once you get a grasp of all the facts, you will be better qualified to design and post your job, this may possibly take a lot of practice to get right. Applying these techniques again and again will develop your project planning knowledge and in time you will truly acquire the secrets of outsourcing.

Rendering A Comprehensive Specification:

When you discover some task that you think you could outsource online, you should at once note it down. Later when you decide it is something you want to pursue, you will need to make a well defined and detailed account of what you require from the service provider. Jot it down on a piece of paper or just use Notepad on your PC.

Once you have got a brief description, you should begin to create a detailed specification for your provider so that your job can be done effectively and efficiently. Remember, a great specification is the most basic step towards effective project planning before outsourcing a project. Ensure you keep in mind the following while writing specifications:

The heading should clearly display who the job is for e.g. Expert Writer for Software Documentation Project and .Net software engineer for GPS based iPhone Ring Tones.
The spec must be short and explained in uncomplicated and easy language, you should make it reader friendly so that providers don't hesitate reading it. Usually a short but vivid specification based on two to three paragraphs is recommended.
It should have a set due date. Clearly state the skill sets required, and request some sample work.
You should give a budget so providers who see your project can come to a decision whether it pays enoughfor them to persue or not.

Here are a few of the most expert tips you should hold in the forefront of your mind while finding out how to outsource.

Price and issues about payment:

You can get anything for a large fee! But getting true value for the money spent is and can be, difficult and requires a lot of thinking and planning. If your job is a long one and you want to continuously monitor your providers progress, it could be better that you go for hourly payments for your project. If you have a short term project and supervising your provider is not important then simply go for fixed price.

Always remember, good providers favor hourly jobs. Always sort price issues before you delegate the job, endeavor to assess your providers experience before you decide to pay the amount requested. If he or she is absent any necessary skills, try to persuade them to a lesser amount.

Some Secrets!

These are important outsourcing secrets which you should be aware of while planning your projects and studying outsourcing:

Always ask for sample work.
Let your provider know that you have more assignments if the job is completed professionally. This will ensure that the job gets completed to the highest possible standard.
Make it a habit to put a due date four days before you want the job to be finished, this will give you an opportunity to ask for any changes. This will also cover you in case the provider is late!
Make it a habit to set your budget lower than you can afford.
If service providers have bid a large amount, ask them if they would drop their prices; you never know when they may agree!

It is hoped that if you take anything away from this article, that it is the fact that project planning is an integral any outsourcing project, whatever the size or budget.


Steven Brough is a Technical Designer and a Project Manager from New Zealand. You can read more about learning how to outsource and other outsourcing tips at Steven's website Freelancers Elite


Webmaster message: While I agree with this article, that it's important to thoroughly plan any project before outsourcing, I would like to comment on the idea that good providers favor hourly jobs. Paying for a project on an hourly bases puts the cost of all provider mistakes and incompetencies on the outsourcer, while paying a set fee for a project puts the cost of all provider mistakes and incompetencies on the provider where it belongs. Avoid paying hourly. After all, if the provider has some legitimate reason why the project can't be completed for the original estimated cost, you can always agree to provide some additional funding.

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