Outsourcing is a convenient way for businesses to ensure maximum growth without having to spend too much time, money and effort. In hiring a third-party outsourcing firm to do those tasks, this ensures tasks are maintained and are high quality while costing less.
But before a business decides to outsource, some things must first be put into consideration.
Consider the following points:
- What tasks should be outsourced?
- When should a business start outsourcing?
- Where can businesses outsource?
- How to train outsourced employees?
What tasks should be outsourced?
An essential part of deciding whether a business should start outsourcing is to determine what specific tasks will need to be outsourced. Luckily business owners can easily determine what tasks can ideally be outsourced without having to go through the process of trial-and-error since a lot of businesses uses outsourcing.
Some common tasks which can be outsourced by businesses include:
- specialised tasks, such as IT support,
- repetitive tasks, such as data entry and customer/technical support,
- expert-level tasks which require consultancy, such as financial and market analysis, and
- tasks such as graphic design and content production
When choosing tasks to outsource, make sure that the tasks to be outsourced are tasks needing a specialised skill set and are essential but non-vital parts of the core business strategy. That way, business owners can focus on core strategies without worrying about the tasks to be outsourced.
When should a business start outsourcing?
Ideally, businesses should start outsourcing after the business is established. This is because business owners should stay focused on achieving business goals, which can be pretty hard for fledgling businesses.
If, for example, business owners have to do certain tasks like accounting by themselves instead of outsourcing, they might find little time to do anything else.
On the other hand, medium-sized businesses may consider outsourcing tasks if directly hiring a full-time employee isn’t possible.
When businesses reach this point, their main goal is growth and expansion: outsourcing some tasks may be beneficial for business owners to focus on other vital tasks.
Where can businesses outsource?
Luckily for business owners, freelancers and consultants are willing to work for businesses looking to outsource. The internet has websites, such as Upwork and Freelancer.com, which are good places for business owners to look at skilled freelancers and consultants.
On the other hand, if a business aims to offshore, a lot of third-party companies offers their services to foreign businesses. These kinds of firms offer a wider range of outsourcing services and cover everything from employee benefits to facilitating proper employee training.
A popular option for business owners who want to outsource their work is to look into third-party companies in other countries such as India and the Philippines.
After a business has decided on what kind of outsourcing they’re most comfortable with, the next step is to create a detailed job description. This outlines which tasks are to be accomplished by the freelancer or the outsourced employee.
It is essential to indicate the expectations of the position, timeline and budget, if applicable in the job description. Asking for a potential employee’s portfolio or sample work is also a good way for businesses to gauge whether an applicant best suits the business’ requirements.
How to train outsourced employees?
While outsourcing definitely gives businesses an edge against other competitors, business owners also have to face certain challenges. When it comes to outsourcing, challenges such as training their outsourced employees, communication and quality assessment can derail efforts.
Working with outsourced employees means that a large percentage of a business owner’s working life will be spent corresponding via emails, video calls and online messages—especially for businesses who offshore their employees.
But instead of resorting to long-distance micro-management, business owners can instead allow employees to track their own progress, with a check-in at the end of every month. This builds employee trust and simultaneously allows business owners to determine whether an employee needs additional guidance.
It is also important to constantly interact and communicate with outsourced employees so they can feel that they are a vital part of the company regardless of the fact that they are remote workers.
Lastly, business owners should take the time to build a set of training materials which will make it easy for onboarding employees to get a good grasp of how they should approach their workload even without supervision from the business owners.