5 Key Points to Consider When Outsourcing

The pros and cons of outsourcing
The pros and cons of outsourcing

Outsourcing tasks or services can be a cost-effective way to build your business centre brand and develop your reputation. But it’s essential to research and select your outsourcing partner carefully to ensure that the legacy they leave is remembered for all the right reasons.

In a recent article on OfficingToday we suggested that outsourcing content marketing requirements could help business centre operators to grow and develop their brand.

Outsourcing certain tasks can indeed help to free up your time and leave you to get on with developing your business centre brand in line with your own specific skills or talents. It can be cost-effective, as you only pay for what you need, and you can recruit niche talent too. However, there are potential pitfalls to consider when outsourcing. What if the result is of a poor quality? How do you find someone that understands your business? Do they have the necessary skills or qualifications?

The outsourcing market is vast, and covers a massive range of markets from content marketing to cold calling. Before outsourcing any tasks, think carefully. Choosing the right outsourcing company or individual could reap rewards for your business – but like any recruitment process, it’s a decision that could have a lasting impact on your brand, and should be approached with the same due care and attention.

Knowing Your Business
When choosing an outsourcing partner, it helps if they know your business. Finding a firm or an individual with a working knowledge of your business is half the battle, because they will already know how you operate and what your clients need. For instance, when it comes to IT, flexible workspace operators are spoilt by suppliers like WUN and RJmetis, which know the industry inside out and have developed specialist systems dedicated to business centres and flexible workspace operators.

The People Factor
The flexible workspace sector is all about customer service. If you intend to outsource customer contact roles like sales or support, you must choose a business that places customer service high on its priority list. Otherwise, your own business reputation could be tarnished and you could lose custom.

In vs Out
How will your outsourced resources blend with in-house staff and customs? Will there be any cross-over? It’s important to consider the effect that outsourcing will have on your existing workforce and on your customers. Ensure that any work carried out in-house and remotely complements each other, and if the two are likely to clash, that suitable processes are in place to ensure a seamless delivery.

Value, Not Price
Your workspace business is important to you, your clients, and your staff. Always opt for value. Outsourcing is indeed a great way to save money, as you pay only for what you need. But be wary of cheap services – you could wind up with poor results that not only hinders progress, but damages your reputation too. Consider small, local businesses as well as larger national firms. You’re more likely to get better value and better service from a local independent firm. However, larger firms may have tighter processes in place, and may also have more experience of your sector.

Research, Research, Research
Which brings us onto our last point – research. Take time to research prospective outsource partners. Shop around, speak on the phone, meet up, ask for references, and read reviews. The services they provide could have a lasting legacy on your brand, so don’t rush into an agreement. Ensure it’s the right fit for you, your business, your staff and your clients, and consider them as a long-term partner rather than a quick fix.

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Have you ever outsourced tasks or services? What are your experiences? How did you approach the outsourcing process? We’d love to hear your experiences – leave a comment in the box below to share your thoughts.

Image source: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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