If you run a business, you will know that outsourcing has many good qualities. There is no doubt that you can benefit hugely from outsourcing if you do it correctly as it cuts costs and improves standards. The problem is getting it right in the first place. Lots of businesses make silly mistakes when it comes to outsourcing because they are either ignorant or not focused on the job. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake because then you won’t reap the rewards. To make it work, you need to make sure you cover these bases.
Strike When The Time Is Right
As the owner of the company, you will find it hard to delegate tasks to an outsider. That is reasonable because you don’t know if they are going to share your vision and foresight. However, while you are clinging to power, your business is going to struggle. The time to outsource is quite easy to spot if you are open to the prospect in the first place. As soon as you can’t afford to perform the tasks internally, you need to pick up the phone. Alternatively, you should always consider it when you are wasting time and energy that you could put to better use.
Pick The Right Tasks
In all honesty, you could outsource every one of your business processes and still run a profitable and successful business. The thought isn’t too appealing though because it would mean that you wouldn’t do anything. What most businesses tend to do is come to a compromise. First and foremost, they start with the tasks that they can’t complete on their own because they lack the skill or the experience. Then, they move onto the jobs that save them time and money. Customer service is a great example of outsourcing a job that saves time and money. Marketing, on the other hand, is something you may delegate to a professional if you lack the expertise. If you need inspiration, here are the most popular jobs that businesses outsource.
The one sticking point you may encounter is the outsourcing company themselves. Although most of them are good at their jobs, some of them are cowboys. If they don’t share your enthusiasm or professionalism, avoid them like the plague. You only want to work with businesses that suit your needs, which is why you need to choose wisely. The best option is to take a look at their credentials. Do there specialize in any particular sector, or are they a jack of all trades type? How long have they worked in the industry? Are there testimonials from their previous or current customers? Answering these questions should give you a better insight into the company.
By Sumasoft (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Know What You Want
Before you sign an agreement, write down what you want to achieve from your partnership. Look at these goals as a plan. By writing them down, you can look at them and figure out whether you are making progress or going backwards. Plus, it also makes it easier to translate it to your company of choice. The easier you can communicate, the more chance you have of hitting your briefs.
Still, it is not just them that can be a problem – you can also present a problem to them. How? You can present a problem through your business processes. You may be focusing on whether it is a good idea to do business with them, but they are doing the same thing. Before they jump into bed with you, they will want to know the risks. If the risks are high, they may not choose to form a partnership. But, if they are low, they will be happy to strike a deal. Any company that asks for a financial risk analysis from you beforehand is a good sign. It shows you that they are a professional and organized firm that takes their business seriously. These are the types of firms that you want to work with if you want success.
Obviously, communication is a huge factor in your success as a business. You put a lot of emphasis on communication within your internal processes, so do the same with outsourcing. In fact, it is even more important because you won’t converse with them on a daily basis. As they are not in the office, they are out of sight. And, out of sight means out of mind. All you have to do is send off an email or pick up the phone to make sure there are no problems. Plus, you can make sure that you are getting what you need from them by frequent communication. Remember that they may not be experts in your sector, and they may need help from time to time.
Treat Them As One Of You
The easiest way to communicate effectively is to embrace them into the company. If you treat them as outsiders, your relationship will suffer. A good business relationship is essential if you want the process to be a success, so you need to get on good terms. Instead of seeing them as a separate entity, treat them as an equal. Talk and share information like you would with anyone else in the company. That way, you can achieve the best results possible from your time working together.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that a good thing does not last forever. Your partnership may work well for a time, but it could start to deteriorate. As soon as it does, you need to cut the cord. Don’t stick around for sentimental reasons because it is a business deal, and business comes first. To make sure you are not in a one-sided relationship, review your progress on a regular basis. If the numbers don’t add up, it is time for a change. Or, you should also change if there is another firm that offers a superior service.
Outsourcing is essential, but it is not a foregone conclusion. Thankfully, these tips make it less risky.