How to Get the Most Out of Business Outsourcing

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Outsourcing helps your company save time and resources. They help you think about things from a different perspective and help you innovate.

Outsourcing helps your company save time and resources on various projects, such as web design, app development, social media campaigns and online marketing projects.

There are many different ways to maximise the potential of your outsourcing relationship to better benefit your company.

Choose Wisely

These are some the key considerations when choosing a third-party company to work with:

  • Do they have experience in your sector?
  • Have they worked with other companies that are a similar size to yours?
  • How long have they been in business?

When it comes to choosing an outsourcing partner to work with, treat the process like you are hiring a new employee. It is up to the firm to make a good impression on you, so think of your first contact as less of a sales call and more of a job interview.

This also means that you should check their references thoroughly. Most agencies will have a portfolio featuring work that they have done with other clients. You should get in touch with some of these clients to find out more about your potential partner. Just as you would with a new employee, get in touch with someone that the agency has worked with previously to understand more about their business and what it is like to work with them.

Related Article:Business Beware: Top 12 Mistakes To Avoid When Outsourcing

Understand the Barriers

Most affordable outsourcing partners are located overseas, so you will have to take cultural differences into consideration. One of the major things to consider is national holidays. Find out when the agency you are thinking of working with have their holidays, and make sure that they don’t coincide with busy times for your company.

The same goes for standard work hours. If the time difference is negligible, then you should be able to work together easily and communicate at reasonable times throughout the working day. However, if your employees work flexible hours, you could benefit from working with an agency that is up to 5 hours ahead or behind.

Pool Your Own Resources With an External Agency

An outsourced marketing or web design firm offers up specialist expertise to perform to benefit your business. However, that doesn’t mean that they should work on your project completely on their own.

Since your staff should know your business better than anyone else, ensure that a couple of your employees are in close contact with your outsourced agency; they can cooperate to leverage all available resources for one cohesive strategy that will benefit your company.

While it is beneficial to have several of your staff members involved with the agency, ensure that there is just one person on your team who is in charge of your  who can make the important decisions. Without this single point-of-call, the relationship can get messy and cause confusion on both sides. So, assigning a single person to this relationship will help your staff and agency work together more effectively and deliver the right results.

Having your staff work closely with the outsourced agency can actually enhance their own skills and knowledge. In fact, it is a mutually beneficial relationship, as your own team will learn more about marketing or web development and the external agency will learn more about your business’s specific sector.

Related Article:Freelancers to the Rescue: Top 5 Tasks to Outsource for Small Businesses

Set Goals and Measure Your Progress

For ongoing outsourcing projects like marketing, it is important that you set goals and benchmarks. You should know what you want your company to achieve from outsourcing, and check up on the progress regularly to ensure that your agency is meeting these goals. You can revaluate as necessary, but assessing your goals should ultimately let you know if your outsourcing party is providing the results you’re after or if you should seek out another agency.

Reduce Your Time-To-Market

If you have an innovative or ground-breaking new product, app or website that you want to get to market as soon as possible, outsourcing is often the best way to go. An external agency has the resources necessary to offer a quick turnaround time when developing an app, creating a website or establishing a marketing campaign.

Time-sensitive products are ideal candidates for outsourcing. Currently, the mobile payment sector is expanding rapidly with more and more companies launching new products regularly. In this type of situation, outsourcing would be an ideal option, as you would want to beat the competition to market with new technology.

Related Article:Let It Go: Outsource These Tasks to Keep Your Business Running Smoothly

Treat Your Agency as a Partner

Look at your outsourced agency as a partner rather than a vendor, as they can really benefit the growth of your company. Your outsourcing partner has specialist resources and tools, and they can provide you with valuable insight about improving your processes or products. You should be able to feel comfortable asking for advice on certain topics that could benefit your business. 

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