Outsourcing is such a huge decision to make for you and your business! Once you’ve made that decision and found your perfect partner, you need to make sure that your relationship is as efficient as possible. Forget emailing each other large files, instructions or reminders. Here are a few tools that you need to know about to make sure your outsourcing gets off on the right foot.
Cloud sharing for documents
The first piece of technology that you need to decide on is a cloud sharing system. The more popular options are Google Drive, Dropbox or One Drive. These are great if you need to share large images with your outsourcing partner. All are free until you reach a certain level of storage.
Depending on how you like to visually arrange your tasks, project tracking and task allocation software such as Asana, Evernote, Slack or Trello are a must for your business. You would use these to perhaps document a workflow or project and then allocate tasks to users. This is a particularly valuable system if you are taking on a virtual assistant to help you with your daily tasks. A simple step by step description ensures that everyone knows what is expected of them, and the time frame required for completion.
You can also use this to track how someone is progressing on a task, reducing the necessity to continually email or call to get updates.
Some apps don’t have the ability to add additional users. This can cause a huge hassle as no-one wants to turn over their passwords to someone they don't know that well. Solutions such as LastPass or Zoho Vault can store all of your passwords and allow you to give access to a specified user if need be. Whilst you will need to pay a monthly fee for many of the options, check out PC Mag’s review of free password managers.
Consider these systems as your productivity friends! They act as a vital connection between your existing programmes to reduce manual entries. Zapier, IFFT and Microsoft flow are all examples of workflow connectors. You will need to check each workflow connector for their list of apps that they can work with.
The applications of connectors are absolutely endless! Check out Zapier’s list of ideas here.
Many free graphic creation apps such as Canva have the functionality to allow you to invite team members to collaborate. This can be a great time saver if you need to share work or make small changes to the same graphic. It also helps to give your outsourcing partner an idea of the look and feel of your brand.
Making the decision to outsource can be a particularly tricky one. However, with the use of the right tools you can ensure that all parties know what is expected of them and can complete your projects in the most efficient manner.