Every business wants to see its operations grow and expand, but that often causes its own problems. A company set up for success in a narrow market might not have the infrastructure and staff needed to run a larger, global operation. There are many ways to handle that, including hiring a bigger team, but many companies choose to focus on the areas only they can handle – and outsource much of the rest of the work to a third party, often overseas.
Outsourcing is a tricky business, with many businesses finding that if they don’t vet their talent properly, their company’s reputation can drop in a hurry. Who you outsource a job to is as important as any other staffing decision, but outsourcing properly can make it easier to get the most out of your business. In order to take advantage of outsourcing, make sure you keep these tips in mind.
Set Clear Expectations
Any time a company works with outside contractors, there’s the risk of crossed wires and certain complexities of the job getting lost in translation. This is a bigger risk when there’s a language barrier, as is often with outsourcing to a foreign country. This is why it’s essential not just to communicate your expectations effectively but ensure they’re trackable both in verbal contracts and with a digital paper trail that can be referred to if needed.
There shouldn’t be any room for ambiguity when outsourcing, especially when you have many points of failure on a project. With outsourcing, it’s easier for something to get lost in the shuffle and cause a schedule jam when a deadline is missed. Not only should you make your expectations for the project clear at the start, but it’s essential to follow up at different stages of the project.
Structure Your Process Flow
It’s essential to have a firm schedule and order of operations for your project before outsourcing, as it makes it easier to coordinate with your team. The outsourced part of this project may be out of sight, but they’re still a critical part of the team.
Setting up processes and procedures might be one of the lengthiest parts of the project, but it can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. The last thing you want is to have people on different pages regarding process flow – primarily if different parts of the project are being handled on different continents. Planning will save you from costly hiccups.
Establish Clear Communication Channels
Communicating with all team members, including those who were outsourced, is vital for smooth operations. In past times, the only way to stay in touch with someone on an outsourced project was to wait for them to reply to emails. Now, while working in different time zones may never be totally smooth, it’s much easier to facilitate instant communication from one side of the world to another.
Before you start, you might want to invest in a digital communications suite that uses cloud-based technology to combine your messaging, e-mail, and phone services under one package. Many of these systems include international calling plans for global business, so there should be a plan that works for your team no matter where your team is operating.
Establish a Clear Review Process
One of the essentials of successfully outsourcing your business is establishing accountability and regular check-ins. You don’t want to find out at the last possible second that a significant part of the project outsourced isn’t up to par. The key is to treat outsourced projects in a similar way to the ones handled in-house. Establishing the timeline and check-in schedule is equally important.
A Global Business for a New Dynamic
Outsourcing doesn’t have to mean cutting corners, and many companies that outsource are taking advantage of a massive global pool of talent. With the proper preparation and accountability, your team will be stronger than ever.