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How to outsource qualified support for your business

Article provided by Outsourced Finance

Starting a business means that you have the necessary skills to adequately achieve what you promise clients. Most entrepreneurs are experts within their own field, they usually become business owners because they are qualified to sustain their business.

However, even the most talented entrepreneurs and teams need outside help to increase efficiencies within their business. Outsourcing becomes necessary in the business when companies are unable to efficiently manage their everyday operations while achieving their strategic goals. When business owners or teams realise that they do not have enough time to execute strategies that propel their business to greater heights, it is a good indication that outsourcing is required. Jim Lanzalotto, a strategy and growth consultant, argues however that businesses should not merely outsource a service because they do not want to handle that specific responsibility or task. The key to determining whether your business even needs to outsource a service is to understand your business’ capabilities and competencies. Dr. Marc Resnick, a small business consultant provides the following example to help owners understand if they need to outsource, he asserts that “a small business that focuses on product design should not outsource anything related to developing its internal design talent or their design activities. But they should investigate all opportunities for outsourcing tangential processes like payroll services, IT and so on”.

Essentially, determining whether to outsource or not goes back to basics, it is about being honest about your team’s strengths and weaknesses. From there on businesses can determine what type of tasks or responsibilities they need to outsource, whether it is repetitive tasks such as data entry or outsourcing specialised knowledge and highly skilled expertise such as accounting bookkeeping or legal advisory services. Once your business has identified what type of outsourcing services they need, the next step is to find the right contractor that matches your business needs.

Here are 4 effective tips on how to find the correct people to contract for you:

1. Research your potential contractor

A good starting place for finding the right contractor most suitable for your business is research. Gather all the necessary information you need to make a decision. Through research, you will gain a clear understanding of the service provider, their previous work, their portfolio, the type of service offering they have, and understand if they have the capacity for your business size.

Looking at reviews left by their previous or current clients can contribute to your research, however making a decision should not be solely based on what other people have said about the service provider, use your discretion in such an instance. A better way of finding the most suitable contractor for your business is to ask for recommendations from your current network. Your network will most likely be more trusted than reviews on the internet.

Furthermore, your research will allow you to also determine if you are looking for quality or more affordable services or even both. Understanding this will help you make a thorough and informed decision.

2. Set performance metrics

Once you have narrowed down your search and you have a clearer view of the most suitable service provider for your business needs, identify and set performance metrics.

Are you looking for a contractor with a larger team, that has more capacity and can ultimately work faster? Or would you prefer a smaller team that will provide you with dedicated and valuable attention and perhaps better communication, even though they may work slower than the larger team? These questions will allow business owners and their teams to set performance metrics based on productivity, scalability, and overall quality of service which will be offered by the contractor.

3. Communicate your expectations

Setting performance metrics means that you will have to communicate them along with your expectation to the potential contractor. This is essential for tracking performance and ensuring that expectations are adequately met.

However, it should be noted that communicating everything does not end with a verbal conversation. Creating a thorough and detailed contract that meticulously outlines what is expected from the contractor is a necessary step in making the relationship between you and the contractor work. This will allow you to have a shared vision and understanding of what needs to be achieved, nothing should be left for the contractor to assume but instead, requirements should be laid out.

Setting these requirements also allows business owners to assess whether the contractor is suitable or even qualified to handle the responsibilities that they have been tasked with.

4. Step back and hand over control

Finally, once you have officially sourced the qualified and suitable contractor, you need to step back as the business owner or as the person who was previously responsible for what the contractor does. As a successful outsourcer, it is important that you allow the contractor to use their expertise to the benefit of your business.

Micromanaging the contractor does not result in successful outsourcing because although you are paying the contractor to do the specified job, you are still handling what they do. Micromanaging does not allow the business to maximise its investment of outsourcing a service.

Outsourcing the correct service providers, who fit your business goals can help streamline business operations and ultimately lead to growth. Outsourcing can help business owners and managers strategically maximise their time, make the most out of their resources. The key is to focus on what your company does best and outsource the areas that cause barriers to your business growth.

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