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Author's profile photo Lesley Vos

Assigning business operations to outsourced specialists for max results

The global market size of outsourced services had reached $92.5 billion before the pandemic. In 2021, its value was $245.91 billion already, with Grand View Research projecting the industry to get the $435.89 billion mark by 2028.

The reasons why both big and small companies choose BPO (business process outsourcing) include its cost-effectiveness, access to an international talent pool, and general efficiency:

With professional and trustworthy vendors at hand, business owners can focus on their roles and primary goals.

Most outsourced jobs and services include technology development, accounting, HR consulting, help desk (customer care operations in call centers), and content writing for business and marketing goals. And yes, it’s tons of business operations to save time and costs for a company, but it’s also where the challenges for business owners appear:

How to find the right outsourced specialists, and what details to consider when assigning business operations so they would do everything right and with max results?

Here are the most common problems you can face when outsourcing:

1) Lack of experience in working with outsourced specialists

When new to outsourcing, all the processes will be overwhelming: 

You don’t know anything about the best practices of finding, choosing, and organizing the work with vendors. You aren’t familiar with standard concepts and workflow yet. It might appear challenging to convey your business vision to a group of people you haven’t worked with before.

What to do:

Consult an experienced vendor before diving into the world of outsourcing. Ask to guide you through the process and explain all the possible risks and pitfalls. A trained specialist will help you define requirements and understand whom to find for business operations you plan to outsource.

2) Lack of expertise with a task you’re going to outsource

With a lack of competence in IT, accounting, or any other sphere you’re going to outsource, you won’t be able to assess the vendor’s skills and results of their work. There’s a risk of mishiring and misjudging:

How to know if your business operation needs a team of IT specialists with years of experience or a graduate from a cheap coding bootcamp can also deal with it successfully?

How to check their competence and understand if the results of their work meet your business needs? It’s not that obvious when you don’t clearly understand the required technologies and solutions.

What to do:

First and foremost, you’ll need to set clear performance standards for your project. If you have an in-house team, ask a specialist from a corresponding sphere to define requirements for tasks and monitor a vendor’s work. If you don’t have such a person in your staff or can’t afford to hire it, then see the previous point:

Find a trustworthy (and reliable) vendor who can help you fill the knowledge gap.

3) Choosing the right vendor

That’s all good and well, but another challenge appears based on the above:

How to know you choose the right vendor, knowledgeable and trustworthy enough to rely on in your business operations?

A partnership with an unsuitable specialist or marketing agency can cost you dear: Not only do you risk losing money here, but your business reputation can also suffer.

What to do:

If looking for a vendor company to outsource, check reviews at reliable resources like Clutch or Top Developers and examine vendors’ official websites to learn about their experience. Consider their background of working with businesses like yours, and carefully read about their cases.

Also, you may wonder what size of an outsourcing company to consider for hiring:

While a small one doesn’t easily scale up or down, leaving you no room for growth, a big company might charge too much or take a less personal approach to your project. A good practice would be to find the middle ground:

Assess your company’s size, brand awareness, growth potential, and revenue to decide which vendor you can handle. Don’t go for an enterprise-sized outsourcing company if you’re a small business or a startup: It won’t be cost-effective. At the same time, don’t hurry up to rely on the cheapest vendor on the market: The results of their work may appear far from perfect.

If looking for an independent outsourced specialist for some tasks (a content writer, a web designer, etc.), do your best to check their portfolios and feedback from other clients of theirs. 

4) Choosing the appropriate outsourcing approach

With three standard outsourcing models available, how do you know which one fits your case best? 

Consider your business goals, budget, requirements, and project duration to choose the most appropriate outsourcing approach:

  1. Time and material model: Here, you pay only for a substantial portion of a production process to avoid extra cost and poor results. It suits best for long-term partnerships, allowing changes on the go.
  2. Fixed-price model: As a client, here you’ll provide the complete list of requirements for your project (scope, exact deadlines, and budget). It works best for one-time projects like article writing for your business blog, a landing page design, etc.
  3. Dedicated development teams: Here, you find extra workers to your team to fill in a knowledge gap rather than delegate the whole project to them. You will still have in-house experts and be in charge.

5) Lack of communication with your outsourced specialists

Time management and proper communication are critical for efficient work with outsourced specialists. By implementing continuous communication to the workflow, you can avoid misunderstanding and control all the processes for max results.

What to do:

Ensure to integrate different communication techniques into your project schedule: chats, calls, feedback loops, or even in-person meetings from time to time, if possible. Project management tools like Trello or JIRA can help sync your vendors and share all the details with them.

You’ll also need to keep track of all documentation, understand all the risks, be aware of cultural differences when working with outsourced specialists outside your country and cultural background, and always define your project’s duration, requirements, and costs clearly.

If new to outsourcing, you are likely to face challenges first; but with a reliable outsourcing partner, you’ll get a team of professionals who’ll walk your business through each step.

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      Author's profile photo Tyler Jackson
      Tyler Jackson

      I agree, there is a lot of useful information in your article. By the way, I already have multiple positive experiences with IT outsourcing. If you need, I can also give you some tips.