One of the most common complaints about outsourcing and delegating is that the situation doesn’t work out. Projects are delivered late, the contractor doesn’t produce a desirable result, and entrepreneurs often feel like they spend more time managing their contractors than they do running their businesses. These complaints all boil down to one simple challenge – establishing and maintaining control. The following steps and tips will help you delegate and let go. Then you can rest assured your contractors will follow through and deliver what you need.

#1 Find The Right Contractors – The right contractor or service provider is someone with a reputation for professionalism. Ask your associates for recommendations, visit the provider’s website or blog, and talk with them. The right contractor is also someone you feel you can communicate with.

#2 Create Systems – Systems are put into place to make sure no steps are missed and that procedures are followed. Systems don’t have to be complicated. A checklist is a system. When you create systems you make controlling your team much easier. Everyone knows what’s expected of them and how to follow through. Systems make communicating much easier. You can email a checklist to a contractor and know they have the materials they need to complete the job.

#3 Establish Metrics – How do you know when you’ve achieved success? What are the performance indicators that you want the contractor or service provider to achieve? You might look at how long it takes them to complete a job. For a copywriter you might evaluate the conversion results of the material. You might also use deadlines and checkpoints as performance indicators. Decide how you’re going to measure success, and then measure it.

#4 Delegate The Results, Not The Process – In the vast majority of situations you want to delegate the results you want and let your contractor figure out how to achieve them. For example, you wouldn’t tell a designer how to design your logo or what software to use. In some cases, if the task is strictly an administrative task, the process may be predetermined. However, there’s still probably some room to leave the provider to the task and trust that you’ll get the results you want. Delegating the process is a waste of your time and energy.

#5 Communicate Effectively – Documentation and consistency are the name of the game here. Find systems that support streamlined communication. Leverage technology here. You can use project management tools to set deadlines, organize communications and share documentation.

Establishing and maintaining control over your team means knowing what you want and creating systems to support success. Then you can communicate your needs and step back and let your team take care of the rest.

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