You’ve worked hard to build your business with your own sweat, blood, and maybe even tears. Now that you see it taking off the ground, the tasks are multiplying and there is only so much you and your in-house staff can do.
This is where outsourcing comes to the rescue. Outsourcing is obtaining services externally – often from someone located overseas. Outsourcing is a common practice because it simply works. Companies decide to outsource some tasks, so they can keep focusing on core business processes which are crucial to business growth.
Are you planning or are you ready to outsource? Before you do so, here are some questions you need to answer.
- What Do I Need to Outsource?
Before you outsource, you must know specifically what you want to remove from your plate. Do you want the vendor to take care of your social media platforms or your website? Do you want them to take over the graphic designing necessary in your company? Knowing what you want to outsource is the first information you need because then you will know the kind of people you are looking for.
- Why Do I Need to Outsource?
Companies outsource for a lot of reasons. Some are looking to cut costs, focus on more important business tasks, or want to hire experts. Whatever your reason for outsourcing is, make sure that it will benefit you and the business significantly.
- How Will My Employees Take It?
The word “outsource” can easily worry some employees because it means you are taking some of their responsibilities away and handing them over to complete strangers. Some may resist the idea and even think they are getting the pink slip. It is important to inform your employees first before making any decision. Tell them the reason/s you have decided to outsource. Get them involved and assure them that they will be taken care of no matter what happens.
- Do I Have the Resources to Hire an Offshore Employee or Team?
Outsourcing means money. It is no different than hiring another employee or set of employees to join your company. It’s just that they don’t report to your office. Outsourcing can either cost you more when you hire experts or save you money, but just the same, you have to make sure that you have enough resources to take care of your in-house staff and pay your vendors.
- Where Can I Find Quality Vendors?
Outsourcing can be a risky move for your business, too, so it is important to know where to find trustworthy and people who actually know what to do. There are plenty of websites and forums where you can connect with people who do freelance work. If you have friends with experience in outsourcing, you can also ask them for advice on where they find awesome vendors.
- What Do I Look for in a Vendor?
Outsourcing work can be challenging, much more looking for capable vendors. When searching for a vendor, you must make sure that they are credible. But how do you know someone is credible without meeting them? What I normally do is ask for their resume, portfolio (if necessary), or their website. If I like what I see, I then proceed with an interview which can be done through audio or video call. During the interview, try to get to know the vendor professionally and personally. You can ask questions that can easily gauge their skills.
If you want to be more meticulous, you can ask for a show-off piece. A show-off piece is something you ask from your prospective vendor to produce with your instructions. This way, you can see how well they follow instructions and if you can work together well. You want to deal with vendors who can work on their own or with minimal supervision, who can understand easily, and who knows how to ask the right questions.
- How Will You Impart Your Business’s Information to Your Vendor?
When outsourcing, your vendor should be privy to some business information for them to do their job. You know how they say two sets of eyes are better than one? This is another advantage in outsourcing. Your vendors may see something that you cannot. They can offer ideas and suggestions on how you can continuously grow and improve your business. Thus, sharing business information is crucial, as well as communication.
Once you find the right vendor for you, you have to agree with your preferred way of sharing information and communicating, this way you are able to streamline all your processes.
When I first outsourced, I had a hard time. I felt like I was letting go a part of my business; but it turns out, that is not the case. As much as I want to do all the work by myself, I had to accept that I can’t – it’s simply impossible, well, because we are only human. Outsourcing is not a sign of your failure or your employees’. It only goes to show that business is growing, and we need more hands.