How To Do Outsourcing Well

 If you’re looking to take your business to new heights, then sometimes you have to realize and admit that you can’t always do it alone. You have more duties than you’re able to fulfill with your current team, and sometimes hiring new members of staff isn’t always the most cost-effective option. All kinds of businesses outsource to contractors and freelancers to take care of their needs, but sometimes it’s going to work a lot better than others. Here, we’re going to look at how you can make outsourcing work for your business.

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Be specific with your needs and goals

First of all, you should have a good idea of why you’re outsourcing in the first place. The obvious answer is to take care of duties that you can’t fulfill alone. However, you should be very specific in what those duties are. What are your goals and objectives through outsourcing, and how do you measure success in outsourcing? Which business functions are you looking to improve, how long are you going to need to outsource those services, and what kind of level of expertise do you need to fulfill them? Asking these questions can ensure you’re choosing the right freelancers or contractors, and can help you measure what success looks like, so you can see when things are going right or otherwise.

Choose the right model to suit your needs

There are different outsourcing models, and you should make sure that any freelancers, contractors, or outsourced service providers you work with are working with the model that best suits your needs. If your business relies on a number of outsourced services, you might even need to work with multiple models. The different types of outsourcing models include project-based outsourcing, traditional outsourcing, managed services offshoring, and offshore company incorporation. Take the time to research each of them, their benefits and drawbacks, and always know which one you’re going to need each time you outsource.

Work with them like an employee

There’s an unfortunate habit that business owners have to “set it and forget it” with their freelancers and outsourced service providers. Consistent and fruitful communication is vital to working well with any external help your business is seeking. You can make use of collaboration and communication tools like Slack, for instance, to keep up-to-date on the work of your outsourced service providers, and to offer them a channel to ask any questions or address any needs that they might have. Just remember, while the professional you outsource to is going to be responsible for the services that they provide, you’re the one who will pay for it if they’re not up to scratch, so the onus is on you to maintain communication. 

Integrate them into your internal setup

If you are using outsourced service providers to simply fill a skills or labor gap in your current team, then you should integrate them so that you can ensure they’re working to the standards that you expect. In the construction, electrician, and plumbing industries, for instance, contractors are often hired as additional workers on top of an existing team. Using tools like BuildOps Field Service Management, you can better integrate contractors into your scheduling, dispatch, and workflow management processes. This way, you can ensure that you’re using those additional resources to the best of your ability. Otherwise, you might end up leaving them feeling disconnected and directionless, which will certainly ensure that you’re not getting the most effective or efficient use of their talents.

Always keep an eye on the costs

One of the main reasons to work with outsourced service providers is to save on the costs of hiring a member of the team. Usually, this is best done when you’re hiring someone to bring ready-built expertise and experience to a temporary need. However, if you’re frequently working with contractors for much the same purpose, then the costs of hiring them may begin to outweigh the savings that they can help you afford. The longer you work with a contractor, the greater the chance that hiring them internally might be more cost-effective, instead. Track your costs, including not just the cost of hiring outsourced services, but time-loss and adjustment costs, as well, so you can decide when outsourcing isn’t the best answer anymore.

The right expectations, means of communication, and your ability to proactively manage freelancers and contractors can make outsourcing a powerful tool in the growth of your business, indeed. Take these lessons to heart if you ever plan on using a little outside help.

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