What Is Outsourcing?
Despite its connotations, outsourcing is an option available to businesses of all sizes. The word “outsourcing” might conjure up a notion of large, corporate businesses farming off their employment and call answering overseas. In fact, many SMEs currently benefit from outsourcing certain aspects of their business to third party companies, either to save themselves time, hassle or because they don’t have the expertise in-house.
Outsourcing an arrangement by which one company employs a third party to be responsible for a department, service or other aspect of their business. Services that are commonly outsourced range from accounting to IT, from marketing to call answering. Outsourcing is a cost-effective way of ensuring your work is done by a professional, without the additional costs, hassle and time of having to train and employ your own staff in-house.
Advantages of outsourcing
You get a professional service at a fraction of the cost of employing your own team. For instance, if you can’t afford to hire your own dedicated SEO manager, experienced social media executive and design team, you could benefit from outsourcing your marketing strategy and implementation to marketing specialists.
This would be preferable to trying to balance learning the basics of marketing, having a go at SEO, social media, website design and management, PPC and analytics yourself, on top of running your business.
Many outsourcing specialists will have access to tools, industry knowledge and information that your business does not have. Call answering specialists, for instance, have an entire call centre dedicated to answering calls 24 hours a day – and never missing one. As a business, you can’t necessarily afford to invest in the technologies, customer service training and number of front-line staff that make this 24 hour dedication possible.
What to consider when thinking of outsourcing
One of the immediately unattractive aspects of outsourcing for many business owners is that it requires you to implicitly trust a third party with sensitive information about your business, as well as potentially managing parts of your client relationships.
For these reasons, it is crucial to research as much as possible about your potential outsourcing partner. Are they credible, dependable and professional? What results have they delivered to others in the past?
Where possible, you should seek out their previous or current clients through TrustPilot or their website. Contact these companies yourself and find out whether they would really recommend the service.
Many outsourcing companies understand that the needs and requirements of each of their customers vary dramatically; namely, no two businesses are the same. Arrange a consultation to discuss why their services will, or won’t as the case may be, work for you. Let them know your price bracket and what you were hoping to get for your money.
Outsourcing is a cost-effective way to improve your company’s reputation when you partner with the right company. Make yourself aware of your options and weighing up the pros and cons of each proposed arrangement for your business. Whether you want someone to manage your finances because you’ve never had a head for numbers, or just to free up your time by taking your calls, outsourcing could be an effective, professional way of alleviating your head ache.