Outsourcing is becoming more popular as technology propels the business world forward. And why wouldn’t it? Outsourcing manual, low-value tasks allows business owners to focus on better client service as well as those areas that will actually grow their business and keep them competitive.
While these points are completely valid, some professionals still have their doubts about outsourcing; will this affect the quality of work? Will this go down horribly with my clients?
To help ease these concerns, we’ve put together a quick outsourcing guide.
Top 8 Outsourcing FAQ’s Answered
Outsourcing is when you decide to ask someone, who is not directly employed by you, to complete some work for your business that is usually done by someone who is employed directly by you.
This depends on the task that you outsource and the agreement that you make with your outsourced provider. However, expect to compromise on turnaround time if you’re paying less.
The cost of outsourcing depends on what model you choose (for example, you could be charged on a per hour basis or on a per job basis). Don’t forget to also factor in any potential hidden costs, such as the time it takes for your staff to review the work.
Quality is a big worry for many business owners who are considering outsourcing. Like any job, there are no guarantees that your chosen outsourced provider will do as good a job as your staff, but then on the flip side, there’s also no guarantee that they won’t do a better job. Outsourcing is all about trial and error and doing the due diligence to find the right person. You can then put the necessary processes in place to ensure quality work (with minimal re-work) every time.
Outsourcing your client work is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly so make sure that you do your due diligence. The best outsourcers come recommended, but if you don’t have this, ask them; how they will guarantee the quality of work, where they are located, what office hours they work, the best way to contact them and when, and check things like their quality of English and their workflows.
Take the time to talk to your outsourcer to make sure you are 100% happy with everything before moving forward. If you’re not confident or you’re having doubts, outsource just a few low-value tasks first. This will give you the chance to iron out any kinks at low risk.
To test your outsourcer, start with ‘easy work’ with low-risk clients. Which clients do you struggle to make a profit on? Which tasks don’t take long to complete? Which tasks do you dread doing? If you choose the clients that, if things go wrong, you won’t jeopardise a strong client relationship, this is a great place to start.
It’s good practice, and in some cases, you are contractually obliged, to tell your clients that their work may be done by your outsourced team. This is especially true if you’re using staff outside of the EU as their data could be processed outside of the EU. You can do this easily by updating your contracts with ‘we may use a carefully selected contractor to complete your work’ and ‘your data could be processed outside of the EU,’ and also mentioning this when you engage with them.
Try outsourcing and see what you think
Interestingly when you talk about outsourcing, it produces a strong reaction – often one of fear. But before you get caught up in emotion, it’s worth taking a step back and thinking about outsourcing more generally.
You need to at least try it (with some low-value tasks) before making a solid decision. It may take some time and trial and error first, but when you find someone who can produce quality work for you consistently, you can free up the time to concentrate on the higher-value tasks; the tasks that will grow your business and ensure that you remain competitive.