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4 Key Issues to Watch During an Outsourcing Trial Period

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Posted 6th November 2008 at 06:54 AM by dbarnum

For handy reference, this 3-part series contains info on these two other pages:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3: "Tips for Hiring a Personal Assistant / Virtual Assistant with a Team! (pt 3 / End)" '4 Key Issues to Watch During an Outsourcing Trial Period' is below....


Outsourcing is great most of the time. But you can run into trouble if you are not careful, getting poor quality work, late assignments completed -- if at all, and other headaches to deal with and juggle into your already hectic schedule.

What to look for during a trial period with outsourcing varies with the project. Four key issues to watch for are:


Is your work completed on time? Early is great. Late, especially for a trial period, doesn’t reflect well. Excuses of any kind just don’t seem to make the cut. Best option is generally to try with that person at a later time and see if things improve with this first round.

If you start off on the wrong foot and accept excuses, experience has found it often gets worse over time with those type workers. Not all, but in most cases. There are truly some legit excuses. But it’s generally best to try again later with a fresh project and after time has passed, so this worker knows you are strict with deadlines.


Was your work completed? Was it up to par? No one is perfect, so if minor revision work is needed and part of the deal, that should be fine. However, if major portions of the work come across with poor quality and simply don’t meet expectations at all, tally up a good payment for work completed, and close out your trial period, unless you have more time to invest for training and another trial period.

Sometimes you may want to give some individuals who you know are really striving for self improvement, say with tech classes or writing courses, or companies undergoing restructuring another chance. It’s up to you.

Just watch your deadlines and bottom line on profit. This is business, and you need to give back, but you also need to make a profit and keep your own client deadlines met.


Does the math add up with your communications versus project time? Leave emotions out, like Mr. Spoke on “Star Trek.” I.E. let’s say you hired out an hour task. Did it take 2 hours to explain? That math doesn’t add up, so it would be best to either do it yourself, or find someone who’s experienced and needs much less explanation time.

Another option is to make teaching tutorials in any variety of formats for your workers: PowerPoint slide shows, Word docs, videos, etc. An investment one time could then cover multiple teaching for this task, if it’s something that’s needed many times. If the task is a one-time thing, though, don’t waste your time unless the math is there, or there is a reason you need to take a loss at this time.


Once you find good matches with people and companies for outsourcing, find the availability and get organized. Find out things like:

a) their turn-around times for project tasks
b) their cap on ordering (for example how many articles can they write in a week? How long will it take for a mini-site)
c) their preferred payment schedule and type
d) their complete contact info, especially if you are working through a freelance site like Elance. Get email address, phone, Skype, etc.
e) any other pertinent info

…and keep copies of this info in a special folder for the service provider for handy reference. And backup this folder.

This ends the short series on, “Tips For Hiring A Personal Assistant / Virtual Assistant With A Team.” For more help in this area, bookmark this blog and stop back for more articles. There are some others here with even more tips, and more are coming up.

If there are certain issues or topics you'd like addressed, just give a shout! Send me a PM, email or other type of message, and I'll do my best to cover it.

Thanks for visiting and reading my blog.

Do you outsource? Your comments are welcome below.

See you soon!

Warrior (& team) For Hire!


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Total Comments 1


  1. New Comment
    dbarnum's Avatar


    PS. Take your time, best advice. Even poor writers can be trained. Find your own style you like, then see how you can get that across to your writers in brief bullet points, in project summary-type guidelines (no lengthy PDF ebook now, just a 1-page overview, double-spaced with bullets for an easy read). Not all writers are willing to work towards this, but many are today.

    "Seek and ye shall find...," Someone profound said that....

    And price - -leave that to individuals and companies, not a forum, my humble opinion. People in all nations, even here in the USA, need funds, it's as simple as that. New moms working minutes here and there, newly released prisoners with nowhere to turn and no place hiring with their backgrounds, many students and others in all nations need work. And many super talented writers write fast and for low pay for a variety or reasons, as they work in other fields in the same manner. Judge not on the whole. Just move forward and find good fits, rewarding along the way and giving back as you can and are able
    Posted 25th August 2010 at 12:53 PM by dbarnum dbarnum is offline
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