Getting started with outsourcing can be intimidating when you’re trying to stick to a budget.

Check out these useful tips recently featured in Matt Keener’s podcast with StartUpFASHION.

1: Use the Fixed Price Feature

Start out by posting a fixed price job rather than an hourly job. After going through the Outsourcing Planning Guide, think through your needs and try to categorize a few things into a single fixed price project.

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You don’t want to post a project for $10. Quality freelancers likely won’t even look at the project. Remember “you get what you pay for.” Packaging your needs can help you get to a budget that will attract quality workers. Here’s how:

2: “Package” Your Needs & Attract Quality Freelancers

Try to think of 3-4 tasks or a very value-added thing that you could package into an oDesk project. A good guideline for a beginning budget is approximately $200-300 and requires maybe 5-10 hours of work. Of course this is dependent upon your needs and could be a little less or a bit more depending on what you think the going rate is for the tasks you need completed.

Packaging your needs into a project is a good way to attract people who could eventually become hourly consultants for you. If they do a great job on a small project, that’s a way for you to build a rapport on a very limited risk basis.  This, then, can be leveraged into an opportunity later on once you’ve built that relationship with them.

Remember, there are now millions of freelancers on oDesk and Elance, thousands of which might be interested in helping you. Effectively packaging your needs into a specific project will help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

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3: Identify Low Risk, High Reward Tasks

Start by identifying your specific needs. Remember that the sector of small business that is usually the smartest to begin outsourcing is lower risk tasks that may provide higher value by getting them off of your plate, such as administrative help. This could include things like managing projects, managing your to do lists, taking meeting minutes and organizing them in a shared file on Google Drive, or even graphic design projects such as developing a new concept or altering design files.

You want to choose something that’s very clear, something that is low risk, and something that the client or the end user isn’t going to see. You’ll give the project to the contractor, he or she will send you the finished product, and then you can decide for yourself if the job is well done or not. Start there and then add responsibility as you go.

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Becky Trowbridge is a freelance marketing professional. She offers a wide variety of marketing support services, including content creation, social media cultivation, and landing page design.

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