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5 Outsourcing Best Practices for Small Business Owners

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Frustrated, confused, and you felt like you’re pretty much at your wits’ end, that’s how most business owners feel when wearing all sorts of hats just to keep their business running. Does the struggle sound familiar? Have you been wearing all sorts of hats yourself. You are not alone. I can tell you for sure that a good number of small business owners are struggling with the exact thing right now. Also, because their pockets aren’t as deep as they’d like it to be, they don’t have the option of hiring the ideal workforce that they need in their local areas.

#TheProblemIsReal

If you’re sick and tired of having to deal with the same problem over and over again, then allow me to share a viable solution to your problem.

Outsourcing.

There is a reason why in 2015, about 2.3 million jobs from the US were outsourced. And if that figure isn’t enough to show you how viable of an option outsourcing is, consider how studies have shown that organizations can benefit from a massive 15% cost reduction through outsourcing.

Pretty amazing, huh?

Before you start typing in the keywords “best Business Process Outsourcing company” in Google’s search engine, however, I need you to hold your horses and to check out 5 of the best practices that you should consider when outsourcing.

Let’s hop right in.

1. Don’t pick a vendor mainly because they are offering the cheapest service.

Let’s face it. One of the first few questions that we ask ourselves when deciding whether or not to transact with anyone is, “How much?”

Of course, this remains true even when looking for the best best business process outsourcing (BPO) company where small business owners can outsource their tasks to.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is definitely some wisdom in asking that question. In fact, we should be asking that question even in the earlier stages of any negotiation, so that we can determine whether or not there is a chance for your budget, and the vendor’s price to meet.

I’d like to give you a word of caution, however. After you do some digging on how much outsourcing companies price their services, you’ll realize how the difference in their prices could actually be like heaven and earth.

Instead of making price your main factor for deciding which vendor to go for, I urge you to focus on value. I know. It sounds common sense. But I’m sure that if you’ll look at your previous purchases, you’ll come to remember several of them where you’ve felt that you should have bought the more expensive items, since the one you bought (the cheapest one) didn’t do you any good at all.

I’m warning you about the same thing right now.

These are some of the things that you can look into when deciding the value of a BPO company:

  1. Does the company have a robust security and risk management system?
  2. Can the vendor adapt to your business’ needs or your IT platforms?
  3. Do they care about your success?
  4. Check if the company has a quality assurance system in place. Having a 3 tier quality level check would be ideal.
  5. Do they have a skilled workforce?

These are just some of the many things that you can look into before deciding whether or not you’re dealing with the right outsourcing company for your business.

2. Don’t just dump your problems to the vendor.

Look. If you couldn’t fix the critical internal issues that your company is dealing with, even though your company is equipped with business context, culture, and history (among others), what makes you think that a 3rd party vendor can fix your problems for you?

I’m not talking about problems that can be dealt with by an outsourcing company like additional manpower, of course. A good example is outsourcing,

Before you outsource anything, you need to make sure that your company is ready for the move. You need to do some cleaning first to achieve a level of clarity, that would allow you to equip your vendor with the business knowledge that they need that’s specifically tailor fitted to the dynamics of your brand.

Sadly, other businesses expect the third party vendors to do magic. They dump all of the problems that they can’t solve to the BPO company, then they get disgruntled when they see terrible results. I mean. Seriously.

3. Communicate regularly.

A clear line of communication; without it, your outsourcing endeavors are bound to fail.

You need to establish clear expectations, and make sure that your vendor has a solid understanding of what it is that you are expecting from the final output. In addition to that, the managers of their company should also be able to convey the message clearly to their employees — the frontliners, otherwise, their efforts wouldn’t be aligned to what your goals are.

Be very discerning about how they are receiving your message. Others would just nod, or say “yes”, even though they don’t really understand what you’re talking about. A good strategy to make sure that they understood you is to ask them about their opinion of the matter. Their answers will give you a clearer idea of how much of what you said were they able to really absorb.

4. Put value in training.

The people you’ll outsource your tasks to will tend to lack domain knowledge, that’s OK. You can remedy that by taking the time to train your agents regularly.

Here’s a thought… if it took you years to learn the tricks of the trade of your business, what makes you think the vendor that you’ll outsource your tasks to will be able to learn it in a couple of days?

If you want them to perform at optimum levels (the soonest time possible), you need to take the time to train them regularly.

5. Regular evaluation.

When outsourcing your tasks, the mistakes, and challenges can come from different angles. In fact, it’s impossible to predict where the problem might arise since there are too many factors that can spark the problems.

A good strategy that your company can employ is to do regular evaluations with your vendor.

You can talk about your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) with your vendors, the common objections that your agents are facing, or even discuss logistics.

As you meet with your vendor regularly to evaluate these different facets of your collaboration, you’ll be able to uncover areas of weaknesses that can cause possible problems in the future, and be able to implement preventative measures.

What’s next?

Have you been outsourcing some parts of your business process? What kind of insights can you share in terms of making the whole endeavor successful?

Please take the time to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Jimmy Rodela is a Freelance Writer and a Content Marketer. He is the Founder of the Guild of Bloggers. He is a contributor on websites with millions of monthly traffic like Yahoo, Business.com, Monster, Business2Community and Social Media Today.