It’s a fast paced, changing world. More and more businesses are looking to outsourcing as a way of supporting their business in a timely, efficient, and cost effective way. Research reveals that over three-fifths (65%) of small businesses with fewer than fifty employees engage in business process outsourcing – and four-fifths (81%) of medium-sized businesses with between 50 and 249 employees do the same.
Outsourcing can be an invaluable tool to help with your business. Some of the most common outsourced business processes are accounting, marketing, administrative work and back-office.
If you are looking to outsource or have been outsourcing and are looking to change partners, we have put together some tips to help you get the most out of your business process outsourcing.
Why should I outsource?
As a business owner it is extremely difficult to delegate tasks effectively and trust others with something you have put so much of your time, energy and resources into. However, you can only do so much. For example, if your business starts to expand you will need support.
No matter how hard they try there is only so much one person can do, and only so many areas of expertise they can cover. At this point, it is vital that you surround yourself with people you can trust to help you achieve your goals for your business.
For an SME owner, choosing to outsource some business processes may be the ideal solution, as keeping someone on full time may not be as cost effective as outsourcing. Taking on new members of staff is also a big investment in time and resources. You need to be able to train them and supply the appropriate equipment and software for them to do their job. This will not be an issue if you outsource because there will be a fully trained team who are ready and able with the correct resources to help you. Infrastructure costs down, training costs down. Win win.
What should I outsource?
When choosing what processes to outsource, a good thing to consider is to only outsource in areas that do not require your personal touch. So reflect on yourself and your business, evaluate where your strengths and weaknesses lie and what holes there are in your business process which will prevent you from achieving your goals. This should give you a clearer view of what your company needs. There is no point wasting all your time agonizing over something that isn’t your forte, spend your time on things you are passionate about and what you do best.
If you work in an area where employees are highly technically proficient, but lack generalist skills, outsourcing can help. For example, tech companies may choose to minimise cost by outsourcing business processes to us, so they can focus on growth.
Don’t instantly go for the cheapest price
Most people are money conscious and want to make sure they are getting the most for their money. Because of this, it can be easy to be drawn to the cheapest quote and want to go for that option straight away. This can be a big mistake when outsourcing.
Although it is important that you are not being over charged, make sure you get multiple quotes so you can see the industry standard price for the service you are asking for. If someone is charging drastically less, they may not have the same level of expertise, years of experience or systems in place to help you, which in turn making them less reliable and a bad investment.
It is also very important to see what clients have said about the company, make sure you read through testimonials and event reach out to clients – if there aren’t any reviews that is not a good sign! So obviously price is a big thing to consider but it should not be the overriding factor in your decision making.
Making an effective partnership
Communication is so important with outsourcing. As you are working with an external company, it is vital they are made aware of your goals and expectations. This will help mitigate the risk of misunderstandings and false expectations. Therefore you should keep in frequent contact with your service provider and set up regular meetings where you can help resolve conflicts to align expectations and deadlines. After all, outsourcing is a partnership. It requires both sides to work together effectively in order to achieve success.
Carrying on, another way to help make your partnership successful is to have periodic performance reviews of your service providers, in the same way as you do for your business. This allows you to clearly identify any issues so you can rectify these problems as soon as possible.
If you have identified the weak spots in your business and can find a external company with the knowledge and expertise to bridge these gaps whilst making sure you work together effectively, business process outsourcing can be a brilliant asset to help your business grow. It give you time to focus on what is most important to you, and give you peace of mind knowing that your processes are being taken care of.
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