If you are a professional, executive, entrepreneur or small business, outsourcing can be a great benefit to your business or projects. If you know when to take advantage of outsourcing or make it a part of your day-to-day business operations it can prove to be very beneficial to your business. You don’t have to outsource all business operations or tasks. Many companies choose to outsource everyday.
If you are new to outsourcing, then you may be confused as to why you should outsource, who you should outsource to, when you should outsource, who should outsource, what & where you should outsource. To help you make the most out of outsourcing, making the right decision about outsourcing can go a long way in helping your business to stay on top.
Many solo-professionals & companies are outsourcing today. If you are not sure about venturing into outsourcing, then analyze your personal needs, the needs of your company & find out if your business really needs outsourcing. You can start by asking yourself a few questions :
1. Is my company finding it difficult to meet my customer/ client needs ?
2. Do you want to remain small but keep a huge market presence ?
3. Are you or your managers not sure about which products or business operations make or lose money ?
4. Is you company experiencing challenges based on operational issues ?
5. Does my company lack the experience to grow my business ?
6. Do you have important, nonrecurring, projects but no resources to handle them ?
7. Are certain business tasks not central to generating profits or competitive success ?
8. Is this job or task a routine, one that wastes time & energy ?
9. Do you have temporary tasks that only come in cycles ?
If you answered yes to more than one question then you should consider & venture into outsourcing. You may not call it outsourcing, you can call it seeking extra help. When you choose to outsource you are not losing control of your business you are gaining a partner in your business, someone to help you gain control of your business & manage it better.
Outsourcing can help you to efficiently deal with many business challenges. Outsourcing can help you to :
1. Meet customer/ client needs on time
2. Make a huge market presence, especially if you want to stay a small business or solo-professional.
3. Make the right decisions about product lines or business operations
4.Overcome operational challenges
5. Get access to professional services & resources who can competently handle your projects.
6. Relieve business stress, relieve the burden of day-to-day business operations, so you can focus on other important things.
When should I Outsource ?
You should outsource when you or your personnel want to focus on other aspects of business or your core competencies. While you focus on more critical business functions, other non-critical, but necessary, business operations can be handled by your outsourcing provider. A good time to outsource is when you want to :
1. Get access to professional services.
2. If you want to have a low cost way to complete business operations or office tasks, on time and in a better manner.
3. If you do not want to invest in extra or new staff, software, technology, resources etc…
4. It is less expensive to have someone else do it than to handle it in house.
5. The activity or operation can be done cheaper in-house, but drains resources that could be used elsewhere.
6. The activity isn’t one that you or people in your company enjoy doing.
7. The skill is so specialized that it is not practical to have a regular employee do it.
8. You have an employee on vacation, out of the office or you need to take a vacation or leave the office.
9. You need temporary assistance with a task.
10.You just need temporary help until you find new employees.
Outsourcing is a great option for everything from payroll, accounting, typing services, accounts receivable/ payable, data entry, email services, customer service, business management, business consulting, website creation or maintenance, web analytics, research & analysis, financial services, transcription, data mining, tax processing or preparation, marketing, digital image/ editing services, office management, client maintenance, schedule maintenance, real estate, creative services, art & art design services etc…….
As you can see the list is endless for outsourcing business operations or projects. The main advantage of outsourcing is that it enables you to invest your resources into more profitable activities. Companies or professionals should not outsource functions that may be negligible but essential, such as phone services or customer service operations for a small business that relies on building on rapport with a loyal customer base.
Once You Decide To Outsource
Once you decide to outsource here are some tips to help you find the right company for you or your business :
Do Your Homework.
You can ask companies in your area for recommendations on good outsourcing firms, contact a Virtual Assistant, search the internet for a list of services that offer what you need, ask someone about internet companies.
Select A Compatible Company.
Pick a company that has the services that you need and can accommodate them. Between you and the chosen outsourcing firm, create or see if they have a contract that allows you to adjust the terms of the agreement to suit unforeseen circumstances.
Establish The Standards That You’d Expect
Communicating the standards of performance that you’d expect is a must. Outsourcing may mean the loss of direct supervision & control. Outline these standards in detail in the contract.
Arrange For Constant Communication
Check on the outsourcing company periodically to make sure that it’s doing it’s job correctly. You can prevent possible problems, by staying aware of what’s going on. Make time & schedule regular meetings with your outsourcing company, to stay informed & discuss any problems or just get up to date information on your project.
Get A Backup Plan For Emergencies
In the event that the outsourcing company can’t complete the job, get backup resources & copies of the work or records that they’ve done or half way completed.
If you see a need to outsource in your company fill a need, reap the benefits of outsourcing today by working with a Virtual Assistant.