Should You Outsource? 4 Things to Consider First
Business is now tougher than ever, trying to stay afloat in a continuously evolving environment, searching for ways to remain competitive. One of the quickest and most efficient strategies business owners look at is outsourcing: the practice of hiring a company (a business process outsourcing company or BPO) to do your company’s functions. These functions are mostly non-core business functions like admin tasks, customer support, marketing, and bookkeeping.
It sounds easy and can be a viable option perfect for business. However, whilst it may be true that any business can outsource; not all are necessarily ready.
So the questions become: Should you outsource? Are you ready to outsource?
How do you know if you’re up for outsourcing? Most will tell you all about the benefits of costs savings, however there are many other areas to consider. To evaluate whether your business is outsourcing-ready, here are a few items to bear in mind:
The level of involvement you wish to have
Handing over tasks that you usually take care of can cause anxiety, as you worry if your outsource team can do as good a job as you. That’s why it’s important to determine the level of involvement you wish to have. You need to set expectations with the BPO company as to who is in charge of what. Are you going to train the team yourself or leave it to their management? Are there certain areas that you’ll still want sign off on? These check points and boundaries are important to set from the start, to allow the outsource team the freedom to take care of things so you can get back to developing your business.
Your goals for outsourcing your functions
You’ve decided to outsource your work, but for what purpose? You should consider both short and long term objectives. For short term goals, you might simply be looking for additional manpower to finish off a project. On the other hand, long term goals allow you to look at how efficiently your operations perform, or the quality of service you provide to customers. Both options should be analysed and documented from the start.
The outsourcing model suitable for your business and your goals
Now that you’ve identified your goals and the sort of involvement you want to put in, it’s time to check out an outsourcing model that suits you. Here are some of the most common models BPO companies offer:
· Seat Leasing – Recommended for business owners who want to monitor everything closely, these BPO companies simply source people for you. You will provide the necessary training, and ongoing staff management. BPOs will be in charge or their physical equipment, payroll, and other HR policies. Simply put, this is an extension of your business office, just located elsewhere.
· Fully Managed Team – For business owners who want more than cost savings and who are looking to achieve goals such as higher quality of service for customers, a fully management service might be more appropriate. BPO companies source staff, provide all the training, support, and development lead by a manager who, in turn, works closely with you. This requires very minimal supervision from you, allowing you to focus on other key areas of your business. At hammerjack we provide a dedicated team just for you. We believe every business is unique and we make sure our solutions are the right fit. Read more: The Right Fit]
· Plug-and-Play Solutions – Your business tasks are performed by a pool of shared resources who specialise in these functions. This is an extremely cost effective model as there’s no long term contracts and pricing is transaction based. Check out hammerjack’s range of Lite Solutions here.
The outsource service providers
Now it’s time to start doing the real research: searching for the right outsource service provider.
What should you look out for from a BPO? Read Does Your Outsource Provider Have These 3 Things? to identify the key attributes for success.
Preparing yourself and your business for outsourcing requires patience and thorough evaluation. It’s a big step, after all. Once you’ve decided it’s time to outsource, do your homework and you’ll reap the benefits.