Why consider outsourcing your business online? It all comes down to focus and the best use of your time. If you find dealing with all things online in your business is actually taking you away from your business, then it’s time to outsource. After all, managing your online presence can end up being a full time job! Here are some tips if you’ve decided it’s something your business needs.
1. Understand what’s on the table
Find out the full range of services your potential outsource provider can offer. This includes what they can provide and what they can’t. It’s always best to have a full understanding of their strengths and their limitations. Beware of providers who say they can do everything. Be sure to ask them how they achieve this.
2. Check on their current capacity
This is especially important if you believe you may require a lot from them. Choosing a supplier who is able to handle your needs immediately makes a good fit.
3. Be clear on your requirements for outsourcing
Even if you want to outsource everything, it may work best do it in a systematic, little-by-little approach as you build a relationship with your provider. My recommendation is always to outsource the things you can’t do yourself, or that you know will be quicker or cheaper for someone else to do.
4. Understand the task before outsourcing
Whenever you outsource anything, it’s advisable to have a bit of an idea of what’s involved so you can provide good instructions, or in an emergency, you can actually carry out the task yourself.
5. Find someone you can communicate with
Check how the particular provider likes to communicate with you. Does this method suit you? Often if you are outsourcing online tasks, the communication is usually online as well. That may not be your preference, so check if there are other ways to make contact. Think about the type of communication that might suit you best — Skype, telephone, instant message or face-to-face — and if this is something that can be organised with your outsource supplier.
6. Ensure your provider has the right expertise
It’s often better to outsource to someone who is going to do a much better job than you or is an expert in the field. Otherwise, you may not be able to fully handball the task. If your provider is not as competent as you thought they were, it may take a lot of time and energy trying to work out what they know — and what they don’t know — and what elements you need to do yourself. Someone who is at a higher skill level will most likely be able to simply get the job done when delegated.
7. Find out if they also outsource jobs
For example if you plan to outsource your web development, check whether the person or the company will actually do the web development themselves or whether they are a reseller and will outsource the task to someone else.
8. Plan for a disaster
Determine the process or procedure if something doesn’t go to plan. It’s natural that issues may arise, and it’s good to identify who is taking responsibility. If there is a problem, who would you need to contact?
Developing a great outsourcing relationship can take time to get systems, procedures and working styles clicking. However, it’s well worth pursuing. It can certainly lighten the load if you can engage someone to help you.