Tips to outsource successfully

15 Effective Tips for Successful Outsourcing

Discover 15 tips for successful outsourcing, from cultivating a positive culture to setting precise goals with your provider.

15 Effective Tips for Successful Outsourcing

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Outsourcing is a key strategy for businesses looking to streamline operations, tap into international talent pools, and reduce costs.

Although you may face some challenges when trying to achieve successful outsourcing, hiring talent with specialized skills and reaching your outsourcing goals is feasible with the right outsourcing model.

This article will explore the advantages of outsourcing and the most successful outsourcing strategies, from choosing the right service provider to fostering a positive culture. We’ll describe a no-fluff approach that you can use as the foundation of your successful outsourcing strategy.

What Advantages Does Outsourcing Offer?

Outsourcing isn’t just about cost cutting. This business process is also a strategic move with numerous benefits. 

That being said, successful outsourcing comes with three key advantages:

  1. Lowers staffing expenses: Outsourcing enables you to cut down on costs associated with in-house staff, such as office overhead. You can also benefit from further cost savings by hiring offshore or nearshore talent, who can often provide their services at lower rates.
  2. Enables your team to focus on their core competencies: You can outsource specialized or routine tasks to professionals who have the specific skill sets to complete them more efficiently than your in-house team. This can free up your internal teams to dedicate more time and energy to core functions.
  3. Improves efficiency and productivity: Outsourcing can streamline processes, introducing better operational control to achieve strategic goals. With the right staff augmentation model, you can hire individuals or teams that already have well-thought-out processes and procedures in place. 

15 Tips for Outsourcing Successfully

Successful outsourcing involves strategic planning, finding a model that’s proven to work, and partnering with a trusted outsourcing provider that offers the best service-level agreement for your needs.

To implement a successful approach to outsourcing, follow these 15 tips.

1. Pick your service provider wisely

A reputable outsourcing vendor can help you create and implement a tailored model that optimizes your business processes in the long haul. 

That being said, 60% of finance and accounting contracts for business process outsourcing services won’t be renewed by 2025. This is attributed to certain providers struggling to devise a cost-effective outsourcing strategy that aligns with their clients’ needs.

Therefore, it’s critical to consider a range of factors when choosing an outsourcing partner, including its reputation, past experience, and pricing model. It’s also important to learn the difference between onshore, offshore, and nearshore outsourcing providers and determine which type best suits your needs.

2. Clearly define what you need to get done

Understand what you aim to achieve through outsourcing, whether it’s cost reduction, accessing specialized skills, or improving efficiency.

Once you’ve established clear outsourcing objectives, evaluate your current internal processes to identify the areas that can be outsourced. 

Consider an outsourcing solution for those functions that are non-core, repetitive, or require specialized expertise, such as:

  • An IT staffing firm working on your new app
  • A consultant for a go-to-market strategy
  • A remote team to take over customer support activities
  • Creative teams to enhance your digital marketing activities

Your budget will determine the financial scope of the outsourcing project, so consider factors such as operational costs, potential savings, and the impact on your overall financial strategy in your outsourcing journey.

3. Ensure people take ownership of their tasks

A successful outsourcing strategy keeps all stakeholders accountable, including leadership, in-house staff, and outsourced workers. First, define roles and responsibilities, explaining how each task contributes to the overall project’s success. Communicate task expectations, project goals, and the significance of individual contributions.

4. Stay updated and implement best practices

Devote regular time to hands-on learning by:

  • Reading industry materials
  • Participating in interactive webinars for real-time insights
  • Engaging actively in LinkedIn groups and professional forums

As for keeping your business up and running from an HR perspective, invest in cross-functional workshops, share success stories within your team, and conduct worker feedback surveys.

A business owner, happy after successfully outsourcing talent

5. Create and maintain a positive outsourcing culture

Foster an “open-door environment” where team members feel comfortable seeking clarification and sharing insights by:

  • Allowing team members to make decisions related to their tasks within the limits of the project. Avoid micromanagement, but continuously monitor the overall quality and progress of the project.
  • Making sure to recognize and reward the contributions of your outsourced team through virtual ceremonies, shout-outs, or even small tokens of appreciation.
  • Embracing transparent communication through video meetings, collaborative platforms, and instant messaging.

6. Ensure onboarding covers everything

Firstly, you need to develop a detailed virtual onboarding process that covers all aspects of the role, project, and company policies. Provide clear documentation and resources to guide new team members through the onboarding process.

Use a cloud-based storage platform like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive. Create dedicated folders for each aspect of your outsourcing strategy, such as:

  • Communication plans
  • Onboarding resources
  • Recognition initiatives
  • Documents regarding rules, regulations, internal conduct codes, and exclusive work ownership agreements

Additionally, you should assign a dedicated onboarding buddy or mentor to each new team member. Attend to aspects like data security, intellectual property, and quality control with the help of your legal executives.

7. Be open to making adjustments

Develop project plans with built-in flexibility. Anticipate that unforeseen challenges may arise, and have contingency plans in place. While your outsourcing agency should be able to anticipate and address potential challenges, it’s best to prepare a flexible approach for agile adjustments to timelines, resources, or methodologies.

8. Create open and transparent communication channels

To stay aligned with your outsourcing service provider, you’ll have to establish open and transparent communication channels.

Consider using free communication tools such as Google Chat, or opt for more popular apps like Slack. For complex projects that require task management and enhanced data security, consider project management tools like Jira and ClickUp.

9. Don’t overlook your current team

Although outsourcing can offer many exciting opportunities, don’t forget to leverage the existing skills and knowledge of your in-house talent.

Your internal teams typically have a deeper understanding of your organization, business goals, and core operations, which you can use in combination with the specialized skills and efficiency of outsourced talent. A harmonious blend of internal and external expertise often leads to optimal results.

10. Set goals and establish guidelines

Establish the right type of goals for your outsourcing venture using the SMART technique. Clearly define expectations, guidelines, and deadlines to align the efforts of both your internal team and the outsourcing partner. Clarity ensures everyone works towards the same objectives, helping you meet key performance indicators.

11. Record internal processes

This documentation serves as a valuable reference for both your team and the outsourcing partner. A well-documented process enhances efficiency, minimizes misunderstandings, and facilitates seamless collaboration.

Here’s how to record your internal processes:

  • Document each process with a step-by-step breakdown.
  • Outline the roles and responsibilities associated with each process.
  • Incorporate visual aids like flowcharts, diagrams, or process maps.

12. Pick the right outsourcing model that fits your business

Whether you choose nearshoring, offshoring, or onshoring, consider the unique dynamics of your company. When choosing different outsourcing models, you should account for:

  • Your well-defined outsourcing goals
  • Your business strategy and operational objectives
  • Factors like proximity, cultural alignment, and cost-effectiveness

Don’t expect miracles overnight. Business process outsourcing will impact your internal collaboration, operations, and efficiency, so give it time and trust the process. When in doubt, consult with your service provider before making a decision.

13. Start small

Embark on your outsourcing journey with manageable tasks. Starting small allows you to test the waters, refine processes, and build a strong foundation.

Similar to assessing the results of a minimum value product (MVP), starting with a couple of outsourced professionals or requesting a tailored projection of costs, different scenarios, and social impact from your outsourcing service provider is a great idea.

As you gain confidence and experience positive outcomes in your outsourcing progress, gradually scale your outsourcing endeavors.

A business owner using a checklist to outsource successfully

14. Actively monitor progress

Continuously monitor project advancement by implementing regular check-ins, progress assessments, and feedback mechanisms. When you engage with team members, go through the KPIs and address any challenges using staff management tools like the ones we’ve mentioned.

Proactive monitoring can be time-consuming, but it provides real-time insights and allows for lean adjustments, enabling you to improve quality and productivity over time.

15. Choose a provider that can accommodate your needs as you grow

In the event of outsourcing success, expansion is natural. When choosing an outsourcing partner, prioritize scalability. Look for a provider with demonstrated capabilities to accommodate your evolving needs.

Opt for an outsourcing provider like Near that connects you with highly skilled professionals, helps you reduce costs, and embraces your growth potential. Having the right partner ensures that embarking on new, successful projects is not just feasible but easily accessible.

Final Thoughts

Successful outsourcing is a tangible reality within reach. To make it happen, you’ll need a reliable partner and a solid outsourcing strategy.

While it may seem difficult at first sight, an outsourcing partner like Near can provide support throughout the process. With our talent pool of over 35,000 candidates based in Latin America, we help businesses in a wide range of industries successfully outsource their business functions by filling their open positions in under 21 days.

To get an even better understanding of our outsourcing strategy and how we can apply it to your business, see how we’ve saved $500k in payroll costs for Delve, a fast-growing Inc. 5000 firm.

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