Not Defining Scope
Scope is the extent of activity, a range of operation. Let’s say you asked a builder to build a small cottage. Throughout the process, you ask for a larger closet or make other changes.
Every change affects the actual cost of the project. That is why you should always hash out what you want early on.
Once both parties have reviewed and agreed upon the project details, resist the urge to change things around. It’s okay to make small modifications to language, colors and maybe even layout, but some things are structural and require a lot more work than meets the eye.
If there’s something you really want to add, write it down for phase two. Complete what is agreed upon first.
Here’s a complaint I heard recently. Someone wants an image created for a blog post. She wanted a cat, wearing a vest and a purple hat jumping up and some text she was going to provide on it. What she got was a stock photo of a jumping cat with her text on it.
Granted, the designer could have done a better job at communicating their process. On the other hand, it’s Fiverr. You cannot expect custom photography for $5. Not even $20. A those rates, you can’t expect people to spend countless hours to find the picture either.
On the heels of unreasonable expectations is crazy deadlines. Telling your hire you wanted that yesterday will not motivate them to work faster. It only breeds resentment.
Short deadlines are sometimes inevitable, but if you are always working with short deadlines, then what you have is a project management problem. Tackle that first.
You Are A Poor Paymaster
If you worked for someone and they never paid you on time, would you continue working for them? I think not. Respect your hire by paying them on time.
And don’t haggle after the fact, either. Nit picking on a small pixel out of place or asking for a discount because of something insignificant reflects poorly on you.
Keep in mind that outsourcers talk amongst themselves. Good people don’t work for poor paymasters.
You Are Inconsistent
If you get someone new for every job and every task, this hurts you. Getting people up to speed on your business is a costly affair.
A regular hire already knows your business. They know your likes and dislikes. Because of this, they become faster and more accurate and over time, and end up costing you less.
Poor Leadership Skills
At the end of the day, outsourcing is a lot more about leadership than you think. Too many entrepreneurs come into the picture with the posture of a “boss.” I sit here above, giving all the directions, while you do the grunt work.
Whether you express it or not, this kind of attitude comes through. It comes across in the tone of your emails, and the deadlines you give.
It comes across when you hover over projects and when you negotiate every hour they clock.
Learn to be a good leader. You need them as much as they need you. Sure you can always hire someone new but remember Reason 4 above. Getting people on board is costly. If you are at all concerned about your bottom line — and you should be — keep new hires to a minimum.