Outsourcing has become something of a buzzword in business, but in some cases, outsourced projects have come under fire for failing to live up to expectations. Hearing about the less positive aspects so prominently in the news may have made you wonder whether it’s something to be avoided, but if it’s well-executed, outsourcing can be very advantageous. Other than having an idea that it means getting someone else to do your work for you, how much do you know about outsourcing and how beneficial it can be to your business?
When is outsourcing a good idea?
Any aspect of your business that is costing you time or that you don’t have the skills in-house to deal with are prime candidates for outsourcing. You may already be outsourcing some of your work without really realising it. For example, if you use a CPA to do your accounts, you have effectively outsourced that role. Likewise, if you use a maid service rather than employing your own cleaner, you’ve outsourced that role too. So you can see how the principle works, and then extend it to other areas of your business. Instead of trying to sort out your own IT problems, software upgrades, and security systems, you can contract a specialist IT company to take care of it all for you. You then just ring them whenever there is a problem and they take care of it for you, meaning you can concentrate on dealing with the aspects of your business that you are better suited to.
How do you outsource?
Just the same as if you were employing a new member of staff or contracting someone to remodel your house, do some careful checking to ensure they can deliver what they promise. Recommendations are a good place to start, so if you’re looking for a service, ask colleagues and friends what services they’ve used and what they thought of them. For many of your outsourcing needs, you have access to global resources, so, for example, you could be in Hong Kong and employ copywriters from the UK, or use an SEO specialist from Mississippi for your web design in Calgary. Anything that can be achieved via electronic communications can be sourced from across the world, so there’s plenty of opportunity to find the very best personnel for the projects you plan to assign.
Outsourced but not forgotten
Going back to the example of the cleaner or the accountant, you are unlikely to simply leave them to it without keeping an eye on what they’re doing. You couldn’t fail to notice an overflowing bin or an unexpectedly high tax bill because they will draw attention to themselves, but some services they may fall more under your radar. It’s never wise to abandon any part of your business to the care of someone else without monitoring how they’re getting on and ensuring they are achieving the outcomes you agreed upon.
Making use of specialist services to take care of certain areas of your business that you lack the resources or expertise to manage efficiently and you will be able to concentrate on the areas where you will add most value.