As a VSE (Very Small Enterprise) or SME (Small and Medium Enterprise), your goal is to grow; to become a visible company with projects. This ambition, although justified and healthy, cannot be achieved without precise organisation, in which each wheel is tested, studied and set to the nearest millimetre. Yes, your product or services and your human resources will be part of the job. However, in a competitive environment such as it is today, with an accepted globalisation, it is time to go even further if you want to grow. For this, outsourcing is not only a possibility, but a tool, a partner which you can count on. Why and especially how to take advantage of this solution when you are a small or medium-sized enterprise?
As a small business, you have every reason in the world to turn to outsourcing. These include saving money, improving performance and increasing efficiency. If large companies give the impression of having understood the process without apparent effort, as a VSE or SME, you may have some questions.
Outsourcing: the beginning of the process
Any outsourcing process starts with a clear view of the workflow to keep in-house and the workflow that can be handled by a third party company. In general, companies choose to outsource tasks that are considered time-and resource-intensive, yet have low-impact and are repeatable. The most frequently outsourced positions include human resources, satisfaction surveys to assess the quality of your services, secretarial services, teleshopping and telemarketing, to name but a few.
Work less to earn more!
Many back-office tasks are essential, but without added value. They exist to maintain the flow of operations without helping the development of your VSE or SME. More simply, how does your remote secretary service enable your company to manage reports, transactions, accounts receivable and others? The answer is simple: this service, or those mentioned above, cannot concretely generate new revenues or attract new customers. This is where outsourcing makes sense: it “removes” your company from low-value-added services, allowing it to invest in tasks and actions that will allow it to reap benefits: development of a new service or product, expansion, recruitment, digital marketing and others.
There is, of course, a sine qua non to this: outsourcing low-value-added tasks requires a structured process and well-defined objectives. Without a carefully studied preparation, without precise checks, outsourcing will not perform its function and this is avoidable.
Make the most of your employees’ talent
Outsourcing allows companies to offload time-consuming tasks and resources without participating in its development. As a result, it allows companies to be more efficient, since they are able to let their employees focus on better management of essential tasks.
By choosing outsourcing, you will allow your VSE or SME to get the best out of every employee in every department. To go further, it will allow your company to better recruit and therefore to grow. For its part, the service provider will set up trained teams with all the necessary equipment to take over!
Today, some countries, such as Mauritius, have managed to move up the outsourcing ladder. The service providers present in the country offer quality services and have a workforce that is qualified, certified and, above all, more affordable. In addition, they have all the options to hire, train and retain their agents.
The 5 keys to successful outsourcing
For an outsourcing, it is necessary to take into consideration the following 5 points, which will serve as the base of your project:
Where, when, why and how to choose outsourcing
This is not about growth or increasing efficiency. Go straight to the point thinking about cost reduction, building a team dedicated to a particular task and freeing up resources for a specific project.
How can the outsourcing of certain tasks or services free up time, finance and resources so that your company can focus on its core business and offer value to its customers?
Planning for change
Outsourcing is a profound change in the organisation of an enterprise, including a VSE or an SME. However, it requires good upstream planning, through:
- The preparation of its employees and managers, who must adhere to these changes. To do this, prepare answers to the questions that may be asked (ownership of the strategy, modification of existing teams, reinvestment of saved costs or time to deploy the outsourcing process),
- A change in the flow of work and, of course, in the organisation of the enterprise.
Finding the right provider
A good service provider must be flexible and willing to integrate fully into your team. He must be able to participate and engage in a frank and straightforward conversation, to provide a detailed proposal and to allow the visit of his premises, to name but a few.
If there are pre-established performance standards, you, as a client, need to set your own standards. To do this, you will need to set up metrics and benchmarks and performance indicators, depending on the service to be outsourced. Do not hesitate to ask the service provider to propose its performance indicators.
The goal is to find a balance between its benefits and your goals.
A pilot project
A proposal made by a provider should not be accepted head-on. Instead, outsource a small part of the service, which will require less initial investment. This test will allow your company to observe the effectiveness of the provider before you commit any further.
If the goal of your SME is to evolve and grow, you must proceed with as much visibility as possible. By choosing outsourcing, you make the bet to work with high-level specialists for reduced costs. Outsourcing is an important decision and the companies that have made this choice stand out as winners!