Derek Gallimore is a contributor to Entrepreneur.com and a member of the Entrepreneur Leadership Network. This article was first published on Entrepreneur.
Throughout the past year alone, the outsourcing industry has been in the spotlight due to companies realizing its importance in keeping operations going amid a pandemic. However, as a small business, you might tend to overdo this method to maximize your benefits.
In the same manner, not utilizing this enough won’t give you the outcome you expect.
Outsourcing nightmare stories you’ve probably heard of
Outsourcing should not be rocket science for small businesses. Though, you have to watch out for a few mistakes you might make when outsourcing. Most of them have common themes such as the following:
- Poor quality output – Clients lowballing on their outsourced services in terms of cost usually sacrifice the quality of output they receive. They could end up getting a sub-par service from incompetent talent or experience delays and inconsistencies while working on a project.
- Miscommunication issues – Though a rare instance now, clients complain about the miscommunication issues they face due to language barriers. A common communication issue now involves companies not being able to reach their team immediately for urgent demands. This results in delays in fixing system issues, which brings inconveniences to their customers in return.
- Data security issues – There has been an increasing concern about data leaks and breaches within outsourcing providers. This usually involves having customer and company information sold to hackers and suspicious personnel outside the outsourcing company. Data security issues like this cost a lot to businesses worldwide.
- Intellectual property issues – Clients outsourcing development and design could face issues on intellectual property with a single mishandling by their outsourcing provider. For instance, they could face the consequences of their staff using a copyrighted image for their website without the permission of the owner.
What you shouldn’t do when outsourcing
A simple mistake can cost you more resources, time, and effort, which defeats the idea of why you outsource. It can even set your business up for failure.
You can prevent having your own horror story by avoiding the following when outsourcing your functions.
Going on cost savings alone
Do not base your outsourcing on cutting costs alone. Yes, there are service providers that could give an ultra-low fee for each call or project you delegate to them monthly. However, always keep in mind that a “too good to be true” deal has several repercussions.
Don’t be cheap in the quest to find quality outsourcing. This is because Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) providers also invest in infrastructures, equipment, compliances, and tools to hire the best talent.
Not creating proper strategies
Creating plans and strategies is one of the most crucial pieces of advice first-time clients should follow. Yet, some of them still jump straight to outsourcing just because they see other companies get successful with it.
While it’s good that positive stories encourage you to try outsourcing, doing so without planning your next steps and expectations could lead you to disappointment.
Outsourcing too many roles at one time
Some clients think their service provider can do anything they delegate to them. As a result, they become “outsource-happy” and delegate almost all of their business functions in one go.
Rushing the outsourcing of too many functions to outsource in one go will not go well. You’ll need to strategize on your measures and purpose in delegating your functions.
Letting your team on their own
Your outsourced team may want to feel like they are a part of your company. At the same time, they need to know the processes and responsibilities covered by their line of work.
As much as possible, do not let your team work on everything on their own. While they can work on setting up and fixing your systems, they may not maintain it the way you expect and according to your branding.
Leaving out your backup plan
Lastly, companies need to have a backup strategy in case their service providers do not meet their expectations.
Not having one can pretty much damage your brand identity and reputation to your customers. Issues within your processes won’t be easily fixed, which can result in bigger churn and unsatisfied clientele.
Think of what Kylie Jenner learned from managing her cosmetics brand.
Instead, do these steps
The best way to avoid mistakes in outsourcing is to plan your next steps forward. Here are some of the next steps you can do easily.
Analyze your company structure
As implied, you don’t have to delegate all of your functions to a service provider if it’s not necessary. Rather, focus first on an area you want to improve, such as customer service or software development, and how your team can help to develop this aspect.
Guide your outsourced team along the way
Your relationship with your team does not end with training your processes. Most service providers now offer co-managing solutions where you can monitor and update your team on their progress. You can be as involved as you want in fixing any problems they could encounter along the way.
Take advantage of this and try to incorporate your company values and culture into your remote employees.
Get your in-house team on board with outsourcing
Another nightmare story you may encounter is when your in-house employees “rebel” or won’t cooperate with your outsourced team.
Make sure to get your in-house team on board with outsourcing as well. Gather them beforehand, tell them what to expect, and reassure them that it won’t negatively affect their performance. After all, outsourcing should be a win-win for you and your in-house team.
Getting smart in outsourcing
Outsourcing can be a double-edged sword for businesses. That’s why you should get smart on your strategies and carefully manage them to make sure they’re at par with your purpose. One of the ways to get smart in outsourcing is to look for a provider you can count on for your business needs.
A suitable outsourcing partner does not just simply get the work done. Rather, they help you feel safe and secure when you pass on your information and resources to them.