Owning and running your own business may seem like a glamourous position to be in, but those of us who are self-employed know that it’s a lot harder than it looks. When you’ve faced countless late nights and potential burnout – and you know that you need to hire a support team – there is one solution that seems to be the holy grail of business growth: outsourcing. It’s a low-risk way to get the skills you need to take your business to the next level.
For your business to reach its full potential you need to learn how to delegate tasks to a trusted team. As we all know, hiring an in-house team comes with its own set of problems. Lengthy recruitment processes, high overhead costs, lack of flexibility with working hours and in many instances, you are bound to a contract. These are a few reasons why outsourcing may be your secret weapon for true business success.
We’ve listed our top dos and don’ts to help your business succeed in outsourcing, as well as some common pitfalls to be aware of, so that you can identify them before they become a problem.
Find the right fit for your brand. In this day and age, there are countless options and talent out there for you to explore. However, make sure you do your research to make sure that they are the correct fit for your brand. Hiring the wrong outsourced team can have a very damaging effect on your business and the repercussions can last for months. Spend a bit of time formulating the right questions, ask them for their portfolio or previous work and make sure you know a bit about them before jumping straight in.
Make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t waste time going back and forth if you’re not completely sure what you need for a specific task. Make sure you have the right person overseeing your requests and expected results before the project begins. For example, if you are looking to outsource your marketing make sure you hire a virtual marketing manager who can oversee your entire marketing team and let all your marketing operations run smoothly and without any hiccups.
Spend your overheads elsewhere. By outsourcing your team, you can save money or use the excess money that would have been used for office rentals, expensive furniture and that fancy water machine on other areas to help grow your business. Speak to your financial advisor on the best way to invest your money into your business.
Use outsourcing to dip into the talent pool. This is one of the wonderful benefits of having an outsourced team. You are not limited by geographic location meaning you can hire from a wider range of experienced, specialised individuals from all over the world.
Communicate and manage expectations. This way there are no blurred lines when it comes to deadlines, commitments and prospects. Make sure there is clear, constant and precise communication between your business and your outsourced employees.
Expose too much information. Be sure to have a signed nondisclosure contract in place before giving your outsourced staff any intellectual property, customer/competitor information, data or company secreats. This is important to ensure that in the very unfortunate event of any kind of legal implications arising, you have everything covered.
Expect your outsourced workers to fall into your working hours. The main benefit of being an outsourced employee is that you get to choose your working hours. As long as the job gets done properly, don’t expect your employees to fall into the same working hours that you do. It’s unfair to expect someone working in New Zealand to fall within your company working hours in London. Having outsourced employees in different time zones is also an advantage as it makes sure that your work is being done around the clock.
Lose control. Once you have hired your outsourced team it may be easy for you to step away completely and let them run with the tasks at hand. However, it’s vital to make sure you have a bird’s eye view of all aspects of your business as to spot any problems before they arise and spiral out of control.
Hire someone without access to the right tools. If you are hiring a graphic designer make sure they have the correct version of Photoshop or Lightroom. If you are hiring a web developer make sure they have a stable internet connection before they begin the task. Depending on what it is you’re outsourcing, make sure that person has access to the right tools in order not to withhold a high quality of work and waste time.
Let it impact your internal company culture. If you have internal employees make sure that your outsourced ones are not affecting your company culture. An encouraging, happy company culture has a direct impact on employee happiness and leads to a higher level of productivity. Be clear and honest with your employees as to the reasons you are outsourcing and make sure they feel like they are not being replaced.
As you can see, there are many do’s and don’ts when it comes to outsourcing and it’s up to you to weigh them against each other. At the end of the day, it’s about what is right for your business needs to maintain healthy growth, increase brand awareness and make sure your business is on the right road to success.