It is a permanent mission for entrepreneurs and small entrepreneurs: They must be creative to achieve their business goals while saving time and money. Outsourcing is a particularly effective strategy to do so.
9 tips for outsourcing to be successful and smooth
Clearly define the steps of your outsourcing project
Successful outsourcing must be prepared, with a timetable, specifications and accessible resources. The very first step is to define the requirements of your project in order to create precise, complete and realistic information on which your provider will base itself to provide you with a cost price and put in place the necessary human and material resources.
Clarity and precision will become the basis of your outsourcing project.
Assess claimants as candidates for hiring
Once you have defined a list of potential suppliers, evaluate each outsourcing company’s proposals and most importantly: ask them questions! As is the case with a job applicant, choosing a service provider can be a relatively subjective experience. Nevertheless, for a relevant, economical and efficient outsourcing that will allow your company to achieve its objectives, you must be meticulous in checking references, comments and opinions of other customers. This will involve building a dialogue in which you will express your expectations and concerns about the provider’s ability to meet your expectations. To use a popular expression: discuss without shame!
Choose an experienced provider
For an enterprise to grow, it must be able to rely on experienced and trained forces with the necessary equipment and resources. This also applies to outsourcing. Rely solely on a supplier who knows his subject and eliminate those who grope in their area.
Don’t just save money
While this may be particularly tempting, choosing a provider solely on the basis of its tariffs can be a trap. If this is your first experience with outsourcing, choose a service provider with a pricing grid between the very high and very low rates. It is about finding a service provider who will offer you value for money.
Take an interest in your provider’s portfolio and results
Check the chosen provider’s portfolio and make sure that his contracts have met his clients’ expectations regarding both the quality and the process. If in doubt, offer to give him a trial run throughout a well-defined period of time. A service provider who really wants to win a contract must be able to provide you with a reasoned description of his work and what he can offer your company, if it outsources.
This approach is not without a cost. However, it will allow your company to make considerable savings.
Always guided by a responsible and well-thought-out approach to your company’s development, start by entrusting the provider with a small project. This will allow you to gauge its organisation and its ability to meet your needs. You will know if it will be able to meet your expectations in the future, when it comes to taking charge of complex projects.
Pay your provider at specific times
Just as you need to clearly define the scope of the project, you need to define a schedule with clearly defined milestones and planned checkpoints that will give your company visibility on the completion of your project. This way, you will be sure that the deadlines are met, especially if you tie them to payments. In concrete terms, this would mean paying, for example, 20% to 30% of the total project price in advance and with the rest of the payments would depend on the completion of 3 or 4 stages.
Priorities must be negotiated upstream
Whatever the outsourced service, you must make sure that the provider has understood the purpose of your project. To do this, you must first negotiate the components of the service you expect and explain the “final product “.
The writings remain
As in any project, some components may be modified. This may be the scope of the service, the final “product” or the rates. In addition to a clearly communicated and searchable timetable, ensure that any information, agreement or refusal, however minimal, is expressed in writing. Take care to save any exchange as well!
Outsourcing may seem daunting, but being well prepared will allow your business to grow serenely. By allowing your employees to concentrate on their real job; by entrusting essential ancillary services and tasks to a specialised professional, you will see a positive impact.
To summarise the key steps:
Define your needs and prepare a clear calendar with steps to follow.
Take the time needed to choose a service provider who will be able to listen to you, offer and exchange ideas, and above all, who has proven himself with other customers. For this, proceed as you would to find a key collaborator.
Don’t rely solely on your service provider’s rates, as low prices can hide nasty surprises. Choose a provider whose rates remain reasonable.
What are the customer feedback for the selected provider? Again, take the time to dig and to research.
Offer a trial period to your provider by giving him a small project at first. This will allow you to judge its ability to meet your needs accurately.
Do not pay the full price charged to your supplier from the beginning of the collaboration! Proceed in clearly defined stages.
Be clear since the beginning of your project about what your provider needs to consider so that it meets your needs accurately.
Record all exchanges in writing and keep an electronic record whenever possible!