How to Outsource Small Projects

Whether you're a small business owner, a marketing professional or a senior executive, there are only so many tasks that can be finished each day.

Wasting valuable time on small projects that take someone else half the time to do (and often better), takes you away from more critical areas that are in your wheelhouse - think of a copywriter avoiding other projects when he or she spends hours trying to design an infographic with a subpar outcome. The alternative is outsourcing (in-house or out) for quicker turnaround and better results. With that in mind, here's how to outsource small projects.

Start with Your Network

Before consulting a service, consider who in your personal and professional network is equipped for the project. Perhaps there is a former coworker well-versed in the nuances of a project who is willing to pick up a freelance opportunity as they come up or on a more regular basis. Likewise, maybe there is a fellow business owner, marketer or executive who would love to contribute to your blog in exchange for a link back to their website.

When outsourcing within your own network, you are often able to understand a person's strengths and weaknesses, which can be advantageous not only in the selection process but also in expectation management. 

Check Out Marketplaces

A variety of marketplaces exist that either focus on one or two areas or run the spectrum for freelance services. Here are a few options:
  • 99designs: Whether it's a new logo, a website or application, a marketing asset (infographic, PowerPoint presentation, product packaging, etc.) or any other graphic-design service, 99designs is a good resource for providing a project brief and having designers compete for the project.
  • Twago: From app development to copywriting, individuals and companies can find experts on twago by posting a project and getting bids from contractors located around the world.
  •  Freelancer: To get started on, people post their projects and receive competitive bids. Freelancers on the network range from article writers to WordPress developers.
  • Hatchwise: From business card design to T-shirt design, Hatchwise users enter a "contest," which professionals bid on. The average project on Hatchwise gets over 100 entries to choose from.
  • Fiverr: One of the most affordable options for outsourcing small projects is Fiverr where services are offered for as little as $5 per job. Some projects cost more, but businesses can get some simple (a relative word) tasks done, quickly. Services include everything from writing and translation, video and animation, and programming and tech.

Get Detailed

Regardless of the medium chosen to find an outsource project, companies and individuals should ensure that they are very detailed when presenting the task. Elements like deadline, word count, expectations, color choices, branding guidelines, payment methods and more should all be communicated before someone is "hired" for a project. It's also important to note that freelance laws vary by state.

Being extremely detailed will help everyone involved ensure that outsourcing doesn't add more work than what it's worth.