The term “outsourcer” refers to anyone who you give work to that doesn’t work in your office. In reality however, there are many different kinds of outsourcers in the world. Each different kind of outsourcer needs to be handled differently.
Here are the five most common kinds of outsourcers you’ll encounter.
==> The Part Timer
The part timer is just dipping their toes in outsourcing. They might have a full time job or they might be a student. They may be doing it for the experience or for a bit of extra cash.
For example, a graphic design student might try their hand at logo designs online.
While part timers can be more affordable, they also tend to be less reliable.
==> The Professional
The professional is a full time freelancer that does outsource work as their primary income source.
Professionals tend to be very reliable, because they have a reputation to protect and they want to continue to keep your business.
One downside to single-person professionals is that if they get sick or if their computer breaks, your deliverables might not get met.
==> The Outsourcing Firm
An outsourcing firm is a group of people who handle projects together. An outsourcing firm allows you to have redundancies. In other words, if the person who usually handles your phone calls is sick, someone else can take his place.
You also usually have security procedures. Outsourcers can’t take client data home for example.
The downside to outsourcing firms is that they tend to be more expensive than working with one on one professionals.
==> The 3rd World Outsourcer
Working with outsourcers based in the Philippines, India or any other developing country poses unique benefits and challenges.
Generally these outsourcers are much more affordable than first world outsourcers. However, there’s always a language barrier. It’s usually a trade off between communication and price.
That said, you can sometimes find very English fluent, highly educated individuals from developing countries who still charge less than their less qualified first world competitors.
==> The Former Employee
It’s more and more common today for employees to leave traditional jobs in search of less traditional forms of employment. Employers are also more frequently choosing to retain ex-employee services on a freelance basis.
Say you have an employee who’s worked as your in-house SEO consultant for the last 5 years. He’s decided he wants to go and start his own SEO firm. It’s not unlikely that you’ll want to be his first client.
These are the five most common kinds of outsourcers that you’ll encounter. Each poses their own unique challenges, benefits and drawbacks. It’s a good idea to look at options from each category before choosing which one(s) you want to work with.