by Tara
15 replies
Some years ago I was a closeout merchandise broker...I sucessfully found deals worth thousands of dollars...being a broker, I put the deal together...Although I had a Non-Disclosure in place, this did not stop some buyers from cutting me out of the deal.

Fast-Forward to today. I do not see a difference in outsourcing my valuable clientele to other companies. What is to stop them from contacting my clients and working with them directly and, or upselling services to them? Just in the case of my previous business I feel some of these guys are just sitting back waiting for others to bring them High-End clients. I know the big benefit to this is that it makes your business scalable. However, the thought of me putting in the quality time and leg work to obtain my clients and them being stolen, weighs heavily in the back of my mind.

Any thoughts... How do you protect your clients?
#outsourcing #risky
  • Profile picture of the author truly_gifted
    Originally Posted by Tara View Post

    Some years ago I was a closeout merchandise broker...I sucessfully found deals worth thousands of dollars...being a broker, I put the deal together...Although I had a Non-Disclosure in place, this did not stop some buyers from cutting me out of the deal.

    Fast-Forward to today. I do not see a difference in outsourcing my valuable clientele to other companies. What is to stop them from contacting my clients and working with them directly and, or upselling services to them? Just in the case of my previous business I feel some of these guys are just sitting back waiting for others to bring them High-End clients. I know the big benefit to this is that it makes your business scalable. However, the thought of me putting in the quality time and leg work to obtain my clients and them being stolen, weighs heavily in the back of my mind.

    Any thoughts... How do you protect your clients?
    I think that's a risk that you take in any type of business UNLESS you go it alone. And, once you reach a certain point, it will be nearly impossible to maintain your business and enjoy life if you have no help. It makes no sense to build a business and then become its slave. That's the whole point of being your own boss...FREEDOM!

    If you have an attorney, you could have them draw up documents protecting you from unscrupulous outsourcers who try to move in on your clients. Of course, if you're outsourcing to people/companies overseas, that will do you no good. So, your best bet is to have a rigorous screening process for any potential contractors; you could also break up your projects in a way that each of your employees only got to see a small piece of the work you're doing. That would make it a bit harder for them to steal your clients, although, there's no real way to guarantee it at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tara
    Thanx truly_gifted those are good suggestions. Especially like prescreening. The biggest concern are the overseas contractors and that's where most ppl seem to be hiring out their work.

    I am intested in all thoughts on this topic...please chime in
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  • Profile picture of the author Transcripts
    Tara, after looking at your home page, I'm confused by your question, because it looks like you are in the business of outsourcing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tara
    @ transcripts...what home page are u referring to...No I am not in the business of outsourcing...The company which I started in 2005 is telerepsathome.com which helped my members find legit telecommuting and home employment jobs! So I am not sure what you are referring to. My homebased employment company is the only IM business I have ever been involved with, now... I am doing fan pages and some other Seo for clients.

    So just trying to get ppls thoughts and daily experiences on protecting their clients
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  • Profile picture of the author Transcripts
    Oh, I thought you placed people to work at home for other companies.

    I've worked for companies as a "freelancer" "outsourcer" or like a "telecommuter" for years and years now. I've never attempted to contact their clients directly, even though I know who they are, because I have integrity. But, that is something that would be hard to gauge when outsourcing, or even hiring in your own city.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tara
    @Transcripts so you know the industry that I use to work in, and you know that as far as homebased workers are concerned the last thing they want to hear about is companies outsourcing jobs that could be kept at home...But don't want to get off topic

    Since I moved into this niche..I have grown concerned about outsourcing work because I know that it is inevitablely something I will have to do sooner or later in order to grow. We all appreciate ppl like you transcripts that show integrity

    Again..Warriors feel free to chime in:-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Transcripts
    You can outsource without having to offshore. I'd say your best bet would be to try to get a recommendation from someone else for the services you are seeking. Also, try placing an ad in craigslist there are a lot of talented people out of work and you might find someone you can work great with locally. If you are working with them locally it would be easy for work to get around to you if they were trying to poach your clients :-)

    I've seen threads on here about outsourcing so hopefully an experienced WF will come along and offer you some input.

    The good news is it's a nice problem to have :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author cctvinstallers
    You have to be careful, as we all know stealing clients not only happens with outsourced help overseas , but is probably more likely if you actually employ someone with any go about them in the USA.
    Maybe you can withhold some information to make it harder for anyone to do ?
    Otherwise just keep your business to yourself and spend your time on your best clients.
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    http://localsearchspecialist.co.uklocalsearchspecialist.co.uk
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    • Profile picture of the author BiancaRaven
      The biggest concern are the overseas contractors.
      Please don't think that every non-American will be this way. I'm Australian and the majority of my clients are from the USA or the UK. This means they're outsourcing work to me as an "offshore" provider.

      But being from outside the USA does not automatically mean I'll do the wrong thing, break an NDA, contact clients directly or do any of the things that seem to be commonly attributed to any 'offshore' provider.

      Perhaps the key to outsourcing successfully lies in gauging the integrity and professionalism of the individual contractor, rather than grouping anyone outside of familiar borders into the same category.
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  • Profile picture of the author LastWarrior
    Beautiful Tara. You have posted a great question that I think are in many
    people's minds! I too have wondered about the same thing since I work
    with many different outsourcers.

    I know I try hard to disclose as little as I can to the outsourcer(s),
    but if it's header or logo work which has the businesses' name, then it's
    hard. Then there's the issue of giving server or control panel access to
    the outsourcer. That there may give clues to the OS of what business
    you are working with.

    I do have one thing you can ponder, is that most all the people you deal
    with are honest and top-level and you won't have to worry about this
    problem. In the event you do, you can contact both the OS and the
    company you were working for and tell them how "under-handed" they
    were to exclude you. Maybe the business will drop them and continue to
    trust your judgment and work with you? I don't know, just throwing that
    out there.

    I know I had a problem and to have an attorney draw up a template
    contract only cost me $75, so maybe that's a good idea. Call several
    lawyers, tell them your situation and start getting several quotes on your
    costs on drawing up such a contract.(we're talking about working with
    outsourcers.... although much of it is probably not enforceable if they are
    over seas)

    Good luck and I'll be keeping an eye out to see the replies too. Take care.

    LastWarrior
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  • Profile picture of the author Tara
    @BiancaRaven...to clarify I would never say that offshore or overseas contractors are not trust worthy that would be very sterotypical and that's not my character. I believe their are trustworthy, professional ppl all over the world. With that said, from my experience I know it's no easy task to get a NDA to stand up even when ppl are in different states. So, if someone overseas was to breech your business it would be a hard fight, if at all. Like you said trying your best to gauge someone's integrity would be highly encouraged!

    @LastWarrior...thank you for sharing your experience. The lawyer template sounds like a good idea. I hadnt even considered giving server or control panel access.

    I know a lot of us are jumping on this Outsource Bandwagon but we also have to think about protecting our bread and butter which is our business...Hope more Warriors will give input here
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Cho
    i hired and interviewed over 350+ people and after got an assistant to start interviewing them. I only work with people who are better than me.

    Better web designer, better web dev, better salesman, better product manager, better article writer (i can't write for ish), for seo guys I just found couple backlinkers and trained them.

    Make your own team and they don't all have to know each other. Hire a project manager to manage everyone. No emails are ever sent to me. And my assistant make sure she sends all the emails through my account.

    Training your people will be pain in the ass but it'll pay off at the end of the day.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tara
      Originally Posted by choson View Post

      i hired and interviewed over 350+ people and after got an assistant to start interviewing them. I only work with people who are better than me.

      Better web designer, better web dev, better salesman, better product manager, better article writer (i can't write for ish), for seo guys I just found couple backlinkers and trained them.

      Make your own team and they don't all have to know each other. Hire a project manager to manage everyone. No emails are ever sent to me. And my assistant make sure she sends all the emails through my account.

      Training your people will be pain in the ass but it'll pay off at the end of the day.
      Great Tips Choson. Handpicking your own team...that could work :-)
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      • Profile picture of the author Alex Tran
        I find that doing client work involves 2 key factors: 1) does the client like you and 2) do you offer value. Most of the time, that is why they chose to do business with me in the first place.

        Since I worked to develop a good relationship with the client, they tend to stick with me. In addition, if I offer them value in terms of my service and support, they will order more from me. If I consistently do well by them, they will send me referrals.

        Most of them know that I outsource the bulk of my work. But I remain their single point of contact. I make sure that the work that is delivered meets with their expectations of quality and timeliness. If something goes wrong, they know that they can pick up the phone and call me to make things right. They would rather work with me because they have a business to run. They don't want to work with 3-5 different outsourcers.

        There are cases where the client has cut me out. But that is rare. In those situations, I am better off "firing" that client anyways. Those type of people don't appreciate value so they can be not profitable.

        A good contract helps. But in my world, relationships are everything.
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        • Profile picture of the author Tara
          Originally Posted by Alex Tran View Post

          I find that doing client work involves 2 key factors: 1) does the client like you and 2) do you offer value. Most of the time, that is why they chose to do business with me in the first place.

          Since I worked to develop a good relationship with the client, they tend to stick with me. In addition, if I offer them value in terms of my service and support, they will order more from me. If I consistently do well by them, they will send me referrals.

          Most of them know that I outsource the bulk of my work. But I remain their single point of contact. I make sure that the work that is delivered meets with their expectations of quality and timeliness. If something goes wrong, they know that they can pick up the phone and call me to make things right. They would rather work with me because they have a business to run. They don't want to work with 3-5 different outsourcers.

          There are cases where the client has cut me out. But that is rare. In those situations, I am better off "firing" that client anyways. Those type of people don't appreciate value so they can be not profitable.

          A good contract helps. But in my world, relationships are everything.
          Thanx! Alex this is good sound advice
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