A small business can have many outsource partners that provide a multitude of services for your organisation. An underlying benefit of outsourcing is that it gives smaller companies access to services that are otherwise out of their reach.
To put this into context, what are the chances of your business hiring a full-time marketing team? Can you feasibly afford the costs of paying each member of the team a salary and benefits? No, not while you’re a small business! Instead, outsourcing lets you pay a set fee to call upon a team of marketers that run your strategy for you.
Sadly, like all things in life, there are good and bad outsource partners. The best ones will provide an excellent service that helps your business in various ways. It shouldn’t necessarily be cheap, but it should represent excellent value for money. A bad outsource partner will be a waste of money as they hold back your business and make you question if you could’ve done a better job without them.
So, how do you find the best outsource partners, regardless of the services you require? It all comes down to these tips:
Look at That ROI
As a business owner, ROI should be at the forefront of your mind when conducting any transaction. What will you get out of this partnership? I’d go as far as to say that the cost of the outsourcing partner doesn’t matter that much. It’s all about the return you get on your investment.
If they help you make twice as much money per month, then sign them up straight away. But, if they can’t promise substantial returns, it’s a waste of money paying them.
The best partners will provide evidence to support their ROI claims. Most of them lead with a figure to try and draw you in. However, you need to see substantial evidence that this can happen.
Again, this is no problem for the best partners – they can whip out some old client case studies and show you the figures. When you know what you can gain from working with a company, it instantly makes them worth your time/money.
Consider the Speed of Service
Speed is everything in the modern business world. You can’t afford to sit around waiting for things to get done.
In actuality, this is why some business owners oppose outsourcing. They prefer to keep things in-house where you can monitor the speed of service and get things done as required. Some argue that outsourcing leads to delays as you have to wait for the company to respond. Realistically, this is only an issue when you choose the wrong partners!
Instead, you should only hire partners that offer a speedy service. They should be able to get back to you as soon as possible and deal with any of your demands/queries. As you’ll see if you click here, many outsource partners will advertise their speed of service as a key selling point.
The example you’ve seen states that the company responds within 10 minutes. You can get some companies that are faster than that, but you don’t want to partner with someone who gets back to you after a few hours or days!
This point is particularly important when finding outsource partners for ongoing services. For instance, IT support, HR support, etc. You may need to call on them at any time, so they have to be ready to respond.
Look at the Location
It can be debated that the advantage of outsourcing is that you can connect with businesses all over the world. Typically, outsourcing is linked with India, as a lot of companies are based there. Businesses across the globe will hire outsource partners based in India, usually to deal with customer services. It was seen as a more affordable way of accessing these services as local partners were too expensive.
However, it was soon discovered that this might not be a significant benefit. Working with partners in different countries holds a few issues. To start, there can be a language barrier that’s hard to get around. You may have to translate things into a foreign language, then translate them back to English when getting a reply.
Or, if you use an outsource partner for things like customer service, it can look back when the customers struggle to understand the agent. Even though you’re not technically in charge of them, it reflects poorly on your customer service methods.
Secondly, there are time differences to take into account, which links back to the speed of service. Can you work with a partner in Australia if they’re fast asleep when you’re at work? Realistically, the more local a partner is, the better. They will have a better understanding of your local market, as well as being more accessible.
Check the Reviews
By now, you might find a few partners that tick the first three boxes. They propose an impressive ROI, their speed of service is quick, and they’re in a convenient location. Now, you have one last task that separates the best from the rest!
Every single company on planet earth should have reviews or testimonials from previous clients. If you can’t find any, that’s a massive red flag right away. Especially if you can’t find them by doing a Google search. Not all companies have reviews on their websites (they should, but some don’t), so you can look elsewhere.
Obviously, you want to find the company with the best reviews. If current and previous clients all provide rave reviews, it tells you this partner can be trusted. They clearly deliver on their promises and help businesses grow and improve. When the reviews are negative – or non-existent – it’s a sign to walk away before you waste money.
Use these four tips to create a checklist for your potential outsource partners. If a company ticks every box, they’re worth hiring. Do this for every service you hope to outsource. In turn, it ensures that your business ends up with excellent outsource partners that can help you excel in your field.