DATE POSTED: 02/03/2016

With the new year comes new opportunities for you and your business – the opportunity to scale, to implement new innovations, and to expand in order for your business to grow. However, if you want to improve your overall performance for 2016, you may want to consider outsourcing.

Outsourcing may seem like a ridiculous idea if you’re used to being hands-on with all of your company’s key administrative tasks for so long, but it’s not an idea you should completely shy away from. Businesses, both old and new, had increased strategic partnerships with outsourcing companies in the past decade. In fact, udemy.com revealed 43% of the IT sector during 2013 was outsourced, and this number only continued to increase, with the percentage coming to 60% in the following year. According to HfS Research, this number is only expected to increase by 3.5% and 6.10% for IT Outsourcing and BPO Outsourcing companies respectively. In the same statistics revealed by Hfs Research, 31% of global businesses are expected to increase their level of outsourcing this 2016.

Of course, there are inherent risks. But you can always minimize the risk and maximize the success, provided that you do outsourcing the right way. Whether you’re new to the outsourcing concept or you want to improve your existing outsourcing partnership, here are five key steps that can help you to have a seamless, successful outsourcing strategy:

  1. Define clear goals.

The practice that you should implement first and foremost in any outsourcing relationship is to clearly define your goals and objectives. Determine what needs to be outsourced, what tasks the contractor needs to deliver, and what you expect to be achieved in the long-run. Objectives will help you evaluate how successful your strategic partnership is; measurable goals will help you monitor progress through the provided key metrics. A clear definition of these will benefit both the business owner and the outsourcing contractor along the way.

It is imperative that the definition of objectives and goals be an inclusive process. Be open for dialogue, state clearly what your expected outcome is. More often than not, the key reason to a project failure between a business and an outsourcing contractor is the lack of inclusion in outsourcing programs.

  1. Assess the cost vs. benefit of outsourcing.

Outsourcing comes with a price, but determine the cost and benefits that outsourcing can bring you. Businesses owners outsource their back-end tasks for several reasons, but the primary cause is to leverage their time. Outsourcing allows you to have improved efficiency for your business by letting the outsourced company who are specialized in the field, do the tasks for you and do it right in a short period of time.

  1. Choose the right outsourcing company.

With the great number of outsourcing companies available near you and offshore, how do you know which to choose? How do you know that they’ll do a good job?

In choosing the right outsourcing company, you can ensure that they’ll deliver within your goals expectations by asking them about their background first. What is their expertise? Who have they worked with? What have they done in the past? Referrals could also help you in the decision-making of choosing which contractor to outsource, but always remember to also trust your gut. What has worked for a particular company might not exactly work for you.

Offshore outsourcing is an option that you could also turn to since the cost of labor in developing countries are a lot cheaper but take note that this could also come with a catch. The difference in time zones, language and cultural barriers, and skills might be a hurdle. Be sure to talk to the contractor’s sales representative upfront, identify who will do the work, and know what they can and cannot do for you.

  1. Determine the deliverables.

Be clear and upfront on your outsourced deliverables. Clarify the resources, the roadblocks, and the schedule. Make sure that you and your contractor are on the same page when it comes to the tasks that need to be done so as to prevent any misunderstandings in the future. Remember that you’re outsourcing because you want to maximize opportunities, not risks.

  1. Manage your relationship.

As in any other business, one of the key factors to success is good relationship management. Treat your partners as valuable members of your team. Aside from informing them of your objectives and goals for your strategic partnership, it would also be wise to provide them with knowledge of your company’s vision and ambitions. This can motivate them to do their job better if they’re aware of what your business aims to achieve. Your outsourcing relationship can prove to be more victorious if both parties are committed to success.

Author: Outsourcing Insider

Outsourcing Insider consists of a team of regular blog contributors who writes topic about outsourcing and its relation to other industries like social media, finance, healthcare, sales and marketing, contact centers, and data and research.