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A Wider Reach: Using Outsourcing Effectively

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Outsourcing is nothing new, but it is so important now, that when you are looking for creative ways to accomplish your business goals while also reducing your outgoings, you use outsourcing as much as possible. Using cost-effective approaches to hire external service providers can help you to achieve your goals. However, it’s not as simple as this. What does it really take to use this component in an effective manner?

Be Clear With Your Scope and Your Schedule

As obvious as it sounds, any successful project will begin with a clear statement of what you need to accomplish. When you define your requirements upfront, this gives you a far better idea of who you would like to work with, but also who would like to work with you. When you are working with an external resource, whether this is third party inspection services to ensure your machinery is up to code or your computer systems three from potential cyber-attacks, the service provider needs accurate and comprehensive information. This means you have got to dive deep into your business and be absolutely clear about what you want, but also your schedule requirements.

Look for Appropriate Experience in Your Third Party

In an ideal world, the service provider will have the appropriate experience. It’s not nice to be a new company’s “guinea pig.” When you start to outsource complex components, you need someone that is able to complete projects but also show examples of their work. That’s not to say you should not take a punt on an external provider that has no experience. Ultimately, you need to trust your gut. But when you are looking for real results, you’ve got to hire them as if they were a full-time employee. This means you’ve got to ask the relevant questions and engage with them, especially if you have any concerns about their capabilities.

Incorporate Project Milestones

Milestones don’t just help you to keep track of the process, but it gives you the opportunity to evaluate your relationship with the outsourced service provider. When you start to work with project milestones, it also gives you the opportunity to tie payment to each step. Rather than paying the entire fee upfront and hoping for the best, you can pay approximately 20% to 30% of the project price upfront, and award payments based on each completed milestone. In addition to this, you have to be clear with regard to the ownership of the product. You can incorporate this into your contract, and it’s especially helpful when you are engaging an external party to complete something like a product that you intend to sell.

Outsourcing is a fantastic way to get additional help with your business, but you’ve got to remember that when you are putting your trust in an external party, that you protect your business properly. Outsourcing can be the savior of any business but only if it is done right. It’s so easy to leave on external resources to get the work done, but the best outsourced relationships are symbiotic ones. 

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