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The Proper Amount of Management When Outsourcing

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Improving productivity at organizations sometimes comes down to a question of outsourcing. There are tasks that you can more productive at if you ask someone else to tackle them for you.

That’s the topic of a guest post by our own Robby Slaughter for an Indianapolis small business marketing firm. The full article includes several major pieces of advice:

Ask for reports, but don’t expect results

There’s a reason that marketing generally takes a long time to be effective, even in the digital age. That’s because the market is busy doing other things besides checking out what you have to offer!

For example, if your outsourced marketing provider starts writing blogs, don’t expect to get a thousand hits to your website in the first  day. But do look for them to offer you reports that demonstrate steady growth.

Marketing is about craft, but it’s also extremely scientific. If your outsourced marketing provider isn’t giving you data and showing you how they run real experiments, you may need to look elsewhere.

This suggestion doesn’t just apply to a marketing firm. In fact, anytime you delegate to work to someone else, you should be looking for status updates before you are looking for meaningful progress. That’s because it takes time to get results, and you need to see activity first. If you want to know how to delegate workplace productivity, start by changing your perspective. If you don’t know what someone is doing, how do you know what you’re looking for?

Slaughter also notes:

Ask what you can do to help, and keep your commitments

Any serious outsourced marketing firm can tell this story a hundred times over: the client who was excited about a big project but kept dragging their feet on getting the content delivered.

Sure, you can write the content for your own website and brochure. At least the first draft, anyway. But if you don’t meet deadlines and send over information in a timely manner, your outsourced marketing firm isn’t going to be able to create customers out of thin air.

business consultants discuss content

© Flickr user Ed Yourdon

Passing along a task to another person (or an outsourced firm) isn’t about tossing it over the wall. Sure, you don’t want to force other people into dealing with micromanagement during productivity growth. But if you go silent, you create as many problems as if you meddle too much. As with many things, it’s all about finding the perfect balance. While that isn’t an easy task, it’s definitely a worthwhile thing to strive for.

Finally, Slaughter suggests:

Be Prepared to Get Out of the Way 

A major part of what your outsourced marketing firm will do is creative work. And we know that creativity cannot be rushed. So if your new partner says they need a week to work on some designs, don’t call every day asking for updates. Give them the space to do incredible work (and pay their bills on time so they can feel your respect.)

This may be the most difficult aspect of mental preparation for outsourcing marketing. We all want to see how our business is being promoted, but in reality the best place for you to be is only in the room when you are invited. Creative types need the freedom to be able to bat around ideas before getting designs, copy or concepts to a stage that you can review.

If you need help with your own small business marketing, consider talking with the fine folks at Roundpeg.  And if you want to meet with business improvement consultants, contact the team at AccelaWork. We’d love to help you find the best path for your organization.

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