For many business owners and department managers, the idea of handing over any duties to a third party can be unsettling. After years of careful nurturing, it’s not easy to simply toss aside duties to strangers.
No successful business is without risk, however, and when you’re overwhelmed and distracted from the tasks you care most about, it may indeed be time to outsource certain aspects of your duties. Before you take the plunge, however, make sure you are familiar with these five essential factors:
Know Your Requirements
Understanding your organization’s requirements can help you better understand the parameters of the outsourcing you require. For example, the requirements of a small family law practice are likely very different than the requirements of a busy university admissions department. One may require round-the-clock availability to answer urgent phone calls, while the other may only be interested in extra administrative support during normal business hours.
The key to a successful outsourcing relationship is a clear division of labor. You have your specialties and business process outsourcing partners have theirs. Focus on what your company does best. If you serve up the best-catered lunches in five counties, your employees should be devoting their time to cooking and delivering your meals, not answering phones or chasing leads.
Know the Process
No transition is seamless, and when you’re preparing to outsource a particular business process, you’ve got to be ready to thoroughly explain how things are done. That’s not to say that you need to study web design to hire someone to redo your company website, but you should probably study up on how your website has been updated in the past. Even a basic understanding of how your organization already handles these tasks can make the transition to outsourcing a little simpler.
In many cases, outsourcing companies allow you full control of how your business will be handled. For example, creating a customized script for a virtual receptionist can ensure quality across every call they take. Because you’re literally scripting the conversation they’ll have with your customers, you retain control over your company’s customer service offering and brand image.
Know What’s Worth Outsourcing
It can be tough to know where your company ends and your outsourcing partners begin. In many ways, outsourced employees do indeed become part of your team. With that in mind, it’s important to decide what tasks actually need outsourcing. It can be tempting to throw relatively benign tasks like covering phones onto the pile of duties your team is already shouldering. Unfortunately, though, these kinds of tasks can seriously detract from a person’s focus. Whether you need a specialist or someone to handle the grunt administrative work nobody around the office wants to do, it pays to have an honest look at what tasks are indeed worth outsourcing.
Know Who You’re Hiring
In an increasingly global world, there are more freelancers and third-party companies competing for your business than ever before. Many times, these professionals all race to the bottom to outbid competitors and increase their workload. You can certainly hire the cheapest option, but you tend to get what you pay for. Rather than focus solely on price, do your research to know exactly who you’d like to hire. Ideally, you’ll select an individual or company with plenty of experience, hard data backing up their sales promises, a cost-effective approach, and maybe even a free trial to get your feet wet.
Know Why You’re Outsourcing
When shopping for outsourced labor, it’s easy to get caught up in the wide array of prices, services and options available. Before you begin your partnership with a particular person or group, though, take time to remember why you wanted to outsource to begin with. Assigning administrative tasks to a third party can mean more time for you and your team to focus on the most important duties on your to-do lists. It can also mean a better work/life balance for everyone involved. As you shop around, stay focused on your reasons for outsourcing.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and begin an outsourcing partnership that is based on trust, communication and respect, consider MAP Communications. A leader in the call center industry, MAP has been answering phones and helping grow businesses for nearly three decades. Offering bilingual answering services and outsourced customer support all based in the United States, MAP is the ideal outsourcing partner. Opt into our services during particularly busy times, or increase your company’s availability by offering round-the-clock live answering support.
We even offer a free, week-long trial of our services to give you an idea of how MAP can change your office for the better. When you’re ready to give us a try, simply fill out this form and a friendly MAP employee will be in touch shortly.