When you’re a small business or contractor, outsourcing is a fact of life. You can’t possibly manage all the tasks that your business requires, so you have to outsource to experienced providers who can fill in the gaps in your knowledge. Many businesses outsource IT, design, and accountancy work regularly, establishing the practice as a mainstay of the modern business world.
However, outsourcing is always a big gamble. You’re entrusting the inner workings of your company to another service you don’t know, and you have to hope they can deliver as they claim they can.
To try and remove some of the element of concern from this issue, here are the key, definitive questions you need to find answers to when you’re considering outsourcing to a specific company.
Question One: “Have They Worked For Businesses Like Me Before?”
If the answer to this question is “no”, then you need to be very careful. If you’re hiring a graphic designer for a new logo and they have no history producing logos, then you have reason to be concerned. Yes, they might be able to do the work flawlessly, but do you really want to take that risk?
Outsourcing to a company with an established reputation is a far safer choice.
Question Two: “What Does The Industry As A Whole Think Of Them?”
When you want to know how good a company is beneath all their marketing bluster, look for how the company is judged within the industry. If you’re looking to outsource IT services, then the well-respected firms detailed on Prosyn.co.uk are a good place to start– featuring on such a list indicates industry acceptance.
It’s also useful to check if the company you are contemplating outsourcing to have won any awards, as this is another surefire sign of respect within their industry.
Question Three: “Do They Respond Quickly To Questions?”
If a company is slow to respond to your questions, or doesn’t call you back when they promise they will, then this does not bode well for your future business relationship. EasyMarketing.com states that it is generally accepted that emails, for example, should be responded to on the same business day– if you’re waiting longer for a response, it might be time to walk away.
Question Four: “Do They Listen Or Talk During Meetings?”
You want to find a company who listens more than they talk; a company who want to know exactly what you want, rather than trying to dazzle you with a sales pitch. If you find yourself listening to a never-ending sales spiel, then this is a sign of a company who just want business– they’re not particularly focused on your business, so it’s wise to walk away. Look for a company who listens to your exact requirements and explains their ability to assist, preferably without the conversation running into hidden sales techniques
If you find a company that can pass all of these considerations, then it looks like you have found the perfect organisation to outsource to.