Tips for outsourcing your small business


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tips for outsourcing your small business

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Tips for outsourcing your small business

  1. 1. Here are some pointers for launching your outsourcing operation. 1. First, define your core ▫ Don't hand over the core functions of your business. Consider outsourcing other operations that are not as strategic. 2. Evaluate a service provider like you would a full-time employee: ▫ Ask questions, check references and ask for feedback from other clients who have used the provider's services. 3.Clearly define the scope and schedule for your project: ▫ Be up front about your project requirements so that service providers know about schedules and deliverables. 4.Don't choose a vendor based solely on price: ▫ Discard the highest-priced and lowest-priced bid. You want a balance of good value and quality results. 2013 IO Marketing – Proprietary and Confidential
  2. 2. 2013 IO Marketing – Proprietary and Confidential Negotiate ownership of the work up front: Make sure that you are clep product and any important components of that product. Make sure that the service provider understands how you intend to use the deliverables that they are agreeing to provide. Don't forget about support after the project is complete: Draft a support clause that ensures you'll get continuing support from the vendor after the project is complete. Get it in writing: Keep a written record of project goals, pay schedules and any changes. Start small: Start with a project that is relatively small and simple in scope to give you a better idea of the provider's style and capabilities about who owns the resulting work
  3. 3. 2013 IO Marketing – Proprietary and Confidential Review portfolios and samples: Consider asking the provider to do a quick mock- up or provide a basic outline of a work plan. Look for specific experience fit: You want a company with specific experience with the type of project that your company is undertaking. This is important when outsourcing complex technical projects such as software development. Tie compensation to clearly defined project milestones: Define a work plan for your outsourced project, with clearly defined milestones.
  4. 4. 2013 IO Marketing – Proprietary and Confidential 1. Public-relations services: Most small businesses cannot afford a full- time public-relations pro. 2. Virtual assistants: Virtual assistants, or independent entrepreneurs, provide administrative, creative or technical support by handling tasks like scheduling and filing. Outsource brokers: These brokers, exchanges and networks can recruit, interview and manage the services your company needs. 3. E-commerce solutions: Hire a provider that can turn your business's Web site into a cash cow
  5. 5. 2013 IO Marketing – Proprietary and Confidential 4. E-mail marketing: Your contractor can be thousands of miles and seven time zones away, but they'll market your business like they're in the same room. 5. Writers: Writing can be done from anywhere. 6. IT Professionals: Consultants are cheaper than hiring someone in-house
  6. 6. 2013 IO Marketing – Proprietary and Confidential Keep these tips in mind as your orientate yourself to outsourcing. 1. Carefully evaluate what can really be outsourced: Self-contained tasks or projects are more suited to outsourcing, while team tasks are not. 2. Consider management costs: Don't end up squandering the savings in training and oversight costs. 3. Be prepared for challenges: Even from across an ocean, personalities can clash, and schedules can take a while to sync. 4. Don't walk in blind: Get guidance in choosing a vendor and keep knowledgeable tabs on performance.
  7. 7. 2013 IO Marketing – Proprietary and Confidential Consider having a staff employee(s) act as a liaison: Consider entrusting an in-house manager to oversee the outsourced help. Watch out for hidden costs: Consider everything from layoff-related expenses and telecommunications costs for remote workers. Know the outsourcing ABCs: Alignment: Is outsourcing the right move for your business? Business case: Have you taken all costs into consideration? Culture: Can you bridge the cultural difference between your company and the outsourcer?
  8. 8. 2013 IO Marketing – Proprietary and Confidential Virtual assistants can do your grunt work without taking up office space. 1. Minimize the kickoff effort: Set up a single inbox where your tasks will be dropped for quick assigninment. 2. There's no such thing as too small: Even five-minute tasks can become cumbersome when they add up. Your assistant can get them done by “batching” them in meaningful ways. 3. Set up recurring tasks: You can have your virtual assistant perform tasks like keeping tabs on the blogs and newsletters of your business's fans and competitors. 4. Empower the assistant to take further action: Clearly lay out the next steps of tasks and projects. 5. Revisit the to-do list: Basically, hold on to important tasks that you should do and give the support and research tasks to the virtual assistant.
  9. 9. 2013 IO Marketing – Proprietary and Confidential By keeping costs low and intensely evaluating the potential and the plan, you can outsource to help your small business thrive. In no time, your company will be competing with the delivery capabilities of larger organizations, but you'll still be your own boss.