OutStaff’s founder, Steve Cox, used offshore staff to help him kick start and grow his own technology and publishing businesses. Sourced through sites such as oDesk and Elance, overseas contractors provided expertise and additional bandwidth on a wide range of projects.
“Overseas contractors were critical to the success of my own small businesses,” says Steve. “Remote staff helped us to do things that, for cost reasons, simply wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.”
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While he has high praise for services such as oDesk and Elance, Steve says that these services aren’t for everyone.
“Outsourcing can be a real hassle. There are some excellent freelancers on employment portals and crowd-sourcing sites, but it takes a long time to find the good ones, and to distinguish between the professionals and the enthusiastic amateurs.”
When you find good freelancers, retention can also be a problem. “Unsurprisingly, good freelancers are often looking for permanent jobs,” says Steve. “And so retaining staff can be a problem.”
However, quality control is perhaps the biggest challenge in outsourcing. “QC issues are far and away the single biggest frustration when it comes to outsourcing. Time spent managing QC issues can totally wipe out any cost savings. If you've ever outsourced a project, you'll know exactly what I mean.”
Steve founded OutStaff to solve these problems for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). “We’ve tried to take the hassle out of outsourcing and to create a process that will deliver consistently excellent outcomes for SMBs,” he explains. “We only work with carefully-screened providers; we make the hiring process very easy; and we manage our customer’s projects.”