A Beginner’s Guide to Outsourcing
For many up-and-coming entrepreneurs, outsourcing any aspect of business may seem impractical or unhelpful. How could you possibly trust anyone else with the operations of your company? As the captain of the ship, you surely know best!
After a certain point, however, these same business owners usually come to realise just how beneficial outsourcing can be, particularly when they begin pursuing international market expansion. As you start expanding business overseas, you come to understand that extensive growth requires the careful use of resources and the guidance of experts – and outsourcing allows for both. Here, we examine the best areas of business to outsource as you take your business international, and how you can best develop your professional relationships with outsourcers.
Consider where you need the most help
Today, it seems there is an outsourcer for every need (and sometimes there’s an outsourcer where there is no need, too!). How do you know when to enlist someone and when to keep things in-house? Think about which areas of business always seem to slip when things get busy. Do you always face payroll delays during hectic periods? Do you struggle to update your marketing strategy? These weaker areas may be a good start.
Also consider the strengths of your in-house teams. Even if you have a great in-house HR department, they might not have the necessary expertise in the language and culture of your target market. In this case, outsourcing could be the way forward, regardless of how competent your employees are.
Ask yourself: Will outsourcing lower my costs?
In some situations, you may be tempted to hire more employees to bolster your in-house teams. This may be the right move in certain circumstances, but in others it simply doesn’t make sense financially. Weigh the costs of hiring people with niche expertise against allowing an outsourcer to do the work for you – often, you’ll find that you save time, money and energy by finding a good local specialist instead.
Carry out due diligence
It’s essential that you carry out due diligence with outsourcers the same way you would with suppliers, manufacturers and other partners. After all, your outsourcers are essentially an extension of your team, and you need to ensure that their operations are all efficient and compliant so that your business remains efficient and compliant. In-person visits are, of course, preferable, but if you are unable to meet an outsourcer face-to-face, conducting in-depth research and talking on the phone can give you a good idea of how they work.
Set up an effective communication strategy
Once you’ve found an outsourcer you want to work with, you need to make sure that you develop a communication strategy that suits everyone involved. We typically recommend that you designate one person on your team to act a liaison between the outsourcer and your company so that communications are as streamlined as possible. Make sure that everyone is aware of the preferred channels of communication and any recurring deadlines. Setting out this information from the start will help you keep everything on track moving forward.
For companies looking to expand internationally, the decision to outsource can be a daunting one – but Galvin International can help. We work with you through each step of the expansion process, connecting you with the specialists, partners and outsourcers you need for international success. What’s more, we help you implement the systems and actions that help your business grow on a global scale. Interested in learning more about outsourcing for international expansion? Get in touch with our team of professionals today.
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