Outsourcing tasks can help you minimize the costs of key functions for your company. When you partner with the right outsourcing providers, the outcome is that your work will be completed efficiently and on time. It also allows you to focus on other important functions of your business. But with all these benefits, why do so many companies back out of outsourcing? Perhaps it’s because of unscrupulous outsourcing partners who oversell their competencies or underestimate the sophistication of the project just to win the contract and deliver shoddy work. Or maybe these companies don’t take the right steps to make this service work for their businesses. Here are a few helpful tips to help your company enjoy the benefits of outsourcing.
1. Determine which activities to outsource. Figure out which activities to outsource and benefits your company will get from doing so. You can outsource for many reasons, including cost savings, short-term projects, a lack of in-house expertise, and venturing into new markets. But it’s important to outsource activities that require specific equipment or skill sets that your staff or your company lacks. For instance, if you need to update your website and you don’t have an in-house web developer, you can outsource that task to a competent website designer out there.
You may also need to outsource repetitive tasks such as shipping products, data entry, or payroll. Another area an outsourcing partner can come in handy is when you’re planning to expand your company overseas. Hiring an international recruitment agency, such as Global PEO, to assist you with setting up a top-notch team for your global expansion efforts can be a worthwhile decision.
Consider outsourcing small tasks at the beginning. Starting with simple, fairly small tasks before you can move to complex ones can be beneficial. It helps you review the quality of your partner’s work with less risk involved.
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2. Pick your partner carefully. When selecting a person or agency for your outsourced work, do a thorough vetting just like you would when hiring a new member of staff. Whether you’re looking for an accountant, copywriter, hiring agency, or any other professional, don’t make the common mistake of choosing the first option.
Start by setting the skill set for the partner. The goal here is to get a partner who has the right skills to perform the assigned tasks faster and efficiently. The next step should be preparing a list of potential partners who are not only reputable but also handle the tasks you want to outsource. You can get great recommendations from your business connections, professional associations, and even from the Internet.
Vet all those prospects and identify those that you feel know what you need and can deliver great results. Mail a request for proposal (RFP) to these potential partners. An RFP will consist of a price estimate and an outline of the services they offer, together with samples of their previous projects. This document allows you to do a side-by-side evaluation of each prospect’s information and finally settle one partner that you feel will meet your company’s outsourcing needs.
3. Set well-defined objectives and scope. Without clear objectives and scope, your partner won’t know what is expected of them and they may grossly under-deliver. Then you’ll start believing that outsourcing isn’t meant for your company when in real sense you’re to blame for failing to clearly set the expectations.
Set well-defined objectives for your outsourced partner. Be clear on the results you want to get from them. Concentrate on having the outsourced activities completed quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively. Even when you’re working with an international recruitment agency to help you hire talents from different parts of the world, it’s important to have clear objectives and well-defined scope in place.
Don’t force your partner to take on more tasks, which are outside the scope of work you agreed on at the start just because you want to fully exploit their expertise. They may fail to meet your expectations and you may wrongly accuse them of being incompetent. Before adding them more responsibilities, find out if they’re willing to take on more tasks and assess their multi-tasking abilities.
When you plan well and execute properly, outsourcing can work for your company. This will allow you to focus your time, energy, and resources on the core competencies of your business. It’ll also allow you to spend your time developing new goals and identifying ways to accomplish them.