By covering these areas before you get started, you will ensure yourself of not having any major problems down the road. One of the biggest reasons that companies and providers have a hard time getting along is because they do not ask the appropriate questions up front.Listed below are the five critical questions to ask, and points to discuss before you get started on your project.
1. Both companies and providers should ask the other for background information before any agreement is put into place. By doing this, you will ensure yourself of knowing who you are dealing with. It is common place for companies to ask providers for a resume, work samples, and a past list of clients. This will allow you to learn as much about the person and their experience as possible. But on the other side, many providers often times forget to ask questions of the party that is going to be hiring them. This can turn out to be a huge mistake. There are a lot of companies that are not financially stable, and may have a hard time paying you according to terms. By gathering information about the company that is hiring you, you will be able to find out if here are any special circumstances that you should be aware of.
2. In any business transaction there is money that is going to be exchanging hands. For both parties, this is often times one of the most important points of the project. The first thing that both parties will need to do is agree upon a price that is fair to both parties. On many occasions it will take a couple of offers and counter offers to find a good price; this is touched on in more depth in Chapter Five. After both parties have agreed to a price for the project, a written agreement should be written up by one or both of the parties. Every year hundreds of outsourced projects get completed without a written agreement in place. Even though it is possible to do business without an agreement or contract, both sides will be putting themselves at risk. In the agreement, the financial terms should be clearly stated
so that both sides understand. Your agreement should include the total cost of the project, as well as any overtime costs that you have agreed upon. Also, make sure that the agreement states
when payment is supposed to take place, as well as the method of payment. This is
important because there are many different payment options available such as check, money order, bank transfer, or online systems such as PayPal.
3. To go along with point number three, you will also want to detail costs for any overtime or revisions that will need to be done. This can be agreed upon in two ways. First off, you can decide that the overall cost of the project includes all revisions and any overtime hours that may incur. If one of the parties is not comfortable with this method, you can set up another way of payment. You can either decide on a per hour rate, or a per revision rate. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages
to both sides, and should be outlined up front.
4. When you outsource a project, chances are that you are going to have a time frame in which it needs to be completed. This is something that needs to be worked out with the provider in order to avoid mistakes and set backs. Not only will setting a time line be
beneficial to the company, it is also needed so that the provider can set aside the appropriate amount of time that they need in order to complete the project. In addition to a final due date, you may also want to set up reviews and check points during the project. This way you will be able to assess the
work, and make sure that everything is moving along as scheduled.
5. The method of delivering good or services is an important
topic that needs to be discussed up front. For copywriting and ghostwriting jobs this is very important because there are several different ways to transfer the work back and
forth. The company that is outsourcing the project should have an idea of what form they want the work delivered in, and then work with the provider to make sure that this is doable. When you are
dealing with writing projects there are a number of different programs that your project can be completed in. They include: Microsoft Word, plain text programs, PDF files, and a couple of other less popular options. At the same time, you may also want your provider to send you a hard copy of the project via fax or mail, or a copy of a disc so that you can download everything onto your computer.
The same standards hold true when you are dealing with software projects. If you do not make it perfectly clear up front how you expect to transfer the work, you may end up finding out in the end that one party cannot accept a certain type of program.
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