September 3, 2010
Outsourcing is a valuable tool if you hope to succeed as a small business online. The simple reason behind this is that outsourcing to trusted freelancers will cut down dramatically on labor costs, leaving you the extra time and money to better spend in promoting your business through marketing and product development.
Of course, you must make wise decisions as an online company when it comes to outsourcing by using outsourced employees for the more menial tasks, like writing content, administration, web development, link building, and blog management, while leaving the more important projects for yourself and your top staff members, like market research, managing social media profiles, and networking with other companies in your niche.
Once you have hired several freelancers as your outsourced staff, using the best tools will cut down on serious stress, disorganization, and potential pitfalls within any project that you embark on. In fact, it is not recommended to outsource without using these time tracking tools under any circumstance, or you could risk long-term problems in the productivity and success of your company.
- RescueTime: RescueTime is an ideal tool for outsourcing that helps you to control and better understand how your outsourced staff spends their attention and time. One of the best portions of this tool is that it does not require any data entry, and all you have to do is install a small application that will track what websites and software are being used by your employees. This is best to manage a team of several people, especially if they are not working in a physical office with you. This tool alone will keep your staff accountable for their time and work within any project that you hire them for.
- ClockingIt: This tool is a free hosting application that will help you to keep track of time and tasks for any freelance project. ClockingIt offers project management features so that you can plan, see the project schedule, and know if any outsourced employees have fallen behind. The Time Tracking alone is a valuable feature that will give you reports to offer to your clients on which tasks were completed within a project in a certain amount of time.
- BaseCamp: BaseCamp is helpful software for outsourcing to several employees, which will offer features like web based documents, milestone management, to-do lists, time tracking, file sharing, and a messaging system. This tool is, in fact, perfect for outsourcing to people all over the country or outside of the country so that they can collaborate, communicate, and upload their work within a project for further editing or feedback.
- ProjectPier: This is a free PHP application that is used for managing teams and projects with a user-friendly web interface. This tool needs to be downloaded and installed into your own server, and it will help your staff collaborate, facilitate communication, and complete tasks in an organized manner as an outsourced team. For any small businesses starting out in outsourcing, this is an invaluable free tool that will give you the freedom to manage several employees within other areas of the country.
- ActiveCollab: ActiveCollab is fantastic project management software that allows you to collaborate within your own server or local network. You can work with your own staff and outsourced employees in a simple environment that will help you control and manage all project data. Some of the features of ActiveCollab include tracking progress on projects, assigning tasks, team communication, e-mail support, shared files, notifications, time trackers, milestone management, and the ability to invite new freelance employees to a project.
The truth is that as a small business, there are no better tools that you can use to manage freelance or outsourced employees. Outsourcing has its own slew of benefits when done properly, and these tools will make the process much more organized so that you can delay or even prevent using a physical staff for years into the future. Speaking of future, outsourcing is truly a modern concept that is becoming more and more popular as small businesses turn to freelancers online for many of their day-to-day tasks and support. In the same manner, numerous skilled professionals are turning to freelance careers in work-for-hire so that they can outsource to online companies based on their specific skills and qualifications.
With the multitude of skilled professionals available for outsourcing, this is the perfect resource to enhance the success and productivity of your small online business!
Nitin has been a full time blogger for over three years. These days he is busy with his outsourcing provider venture – Offshore Ally, a full time virtual assistant company. His team of seo assistants are trained on most blogging and internet marketing related jobs, so if you are looking for any help then its the right place to get you started. You can contact him on his website or catch up with him on his twitter profile – http://twitter.com/offshoreally.