One of the keys to good working relationships with outsourcers is to have clear agreements. These agreements should cover just about any possible disagreement that could come up over the course of your working relationship.
Here are a few things that your agreements or negotiations should cover.
==> Payment Terms
Generally you should avoid paying outsourcers upfront. Instead, whenever possible use an escrow service.
If you can’t do that, you may have to put a 50% deposit upfront. Alternatively, you can opt to put a smaller deposit upfront and pay in segments as the project is delivered.
Lay these terms out in the beginning.
==> Rights, Intellectual Property
Who owns the rights to things produced in the outsourcing agreement?
If you’re paying for outsourcing, you’ll usually want to retain all rights to anything that’s produced. In other words, any content, any code and even any ideas generated in the process belong to you.
If you want the right to name the content, in other words to claim that you wrote it yourself without crediting the outsourcer, make sure that’s spelled out in your agreement.
==> Time for Delivery
When are you expecting the project to be finished?
If it’s a single part project, then a deadline is simple enough. If it’s a multi-part project, then you’ll want to make sure the various milestones and their respective due dates are all spelled out.
==> Confidentiality and Security
Confidentiality and security become an integral part of the agreement if you’re doing longer term or more sensitive projects.
For example, if you’re hiring a personal assistant, it’s possible you’ll give them access to your email account and even your credit card numbers.
If that’s the case, you want to make sure you have precautions in place to protect your confidentiality and security.
If you’re outsourcing to a firm, check what kind of security measures they have in place. If you’re outsourcing to a person, give them access to sensitive materials over time as you trust them more, rather than all upfront.
==> Are Edits Part of the Price?
One big thing you should negotiate beforehand is whether or not fixing or changing the product is part of the price. This is particularly big in programming jobs.
If you ask someone to code up something for you, you’ll almost always want to have a few things changed once they give you the first draft.
Are these changed included in the original price? Or will you have to pay for those changes all over again? This can be a big source of disagreement if it’s not negotiated beforehand.
These are some of the most important things to negotiate before beginning a working relationship with an outsourcer. As a rule of thumb, try to negotiate any snags that’ll come up before you begin working together, rather than after.