Today’s competitive business landscape has forced owners to be on their toes when it comes to being on top of the latest strategies in operations, admin, sales, marketing and other key business areas. With so many aspects to cover, many think that the best way to conduct business efficiently, while remaining on top of things, is through outsourcing.
Firstly, what is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the business practice of delegating operational work to an external party for a specific period of time in exchange for professional fees. Companies have been outsourcing operations for a long time, but the Internet has made it bigger and more popular in recent years. So today, numerous functions are being outsourced, like accounting, IT, customer services, HR, recruitment and digital marketing.
Outsourcing has proven to be an effective cost-reduction practice as companies can cut a huge portion of their operational expenses through hiring remote staff. But more than that, outsourcing allows them to maintain the efficiency in their core operations.
The concept of outsourcing has evolved from a business strategy into a necessity, especially in digital-first countries where outsourcing plays a big role in business. But before you jump on the bandwagon and start outsourcing some operational tasks, read on to find out what outsourcing really is and how you can be successful with it. Linh Podetti, founder of Outsourcing Angel—an offshore recruitment agency with a virtual team of over 70 around the world—shares with us the different facts about outsourcing to guide you towards effectively building your business. Watch this video to find out how to outsource effectively today!
How Can I Outsource?
According to Linh, there are four different ways you can outsource:
1. Outsourcing to local virtual employees
This method is best for companies who need to delegate tasks to a person who has an understanding of the local market. Local virtual employees work in the same time zone as you do, and they can be physically present in your office when you need them to be.
However, this option can be expensive. You don’t want to risk hiring someone with mediocre skills just so you can provide minimum wage.
2. Outsourcing with a third-party company
Partnering with a third-party company can also be beneficial, particularly if they specialise in a niche area, such as a marketing agency that can handle all your marketing needs, or a bookkeeping firm that can get your accounts done.
This is a more cost-effective option as you will only need to hire them based on your need and you won’t have to spend on office equipment, space, and benefits and incentives for an additional headcount. If things don’t go well, it’s easier to let go of a third-party agency’s services than to dismiss an in-house employee.
The disadvantage of working with a third-party company is that you may not have full control of them and are limited by their internal processes as they also service other clients.
3. Outsourcing to freelancers
When you outsource to freelancers, you can save on overhead costs, such as rent, equipment, utilities or insurance, and you only hire when there is a need, no matter how short the project is.
However, freelancers are also engaged with other clients, which means they are not so dedicated or focused on your company. Moreover, it may also take time to source and train a freelancer that will get the job done and on time.
You might also want to be careful in handing tasks with a very tight deadline. An enduring concern about freelancers is that some of them lack commitment, and they might put off your work at a later time or tell you that they are unavailable to accept your project at the moment.
4. Outsourcing to offshore virtual employees
Today, most outsourced work are done in developing countries like the Philippines and India, as these are the places you can get access to top-notch talent at a fraction of the cost. They are skilled and dedicated, and they can work part-time or full-time for your company without added operational costs and lower salary expectations.
You can find offshore virtual employees on websites like Upwork or Fiverr. But it can be challenging to spot the right fit from such a large database; it takes skill and experience to hire an employee. You can’t afford to rush the sourcing and recruitment process. The recruitment time and reference checks should be the same process as an in-person employee, which involves going through previous works, portfolios and interview multiple people until you find the right match.
For Linh, this particular outsourcing roadblock was what got her to start her own company in the first place. A good 10 years ago, when Linh started dabbling in outsourcing, she wasted so much time and money outsourcing to the wrong people. So she started Outsourcing Angel to help companies hire only the best virtual employees. The virtual assistants at Outsourcing Angel are experienced, reliable and good-natured. So many of them have been in the company for years, enjoying the different benefits and perks that other outsourcing companies may not provide.
So when you decide to outsource important projects, it is best to hand the work to someone competent and reliable. This is the smartest decision you can do to scale your business and increase profit this year.
If you believe this option is the best for you, we recommend booking in a free consultation with us. We will be happy to help you develop a long-term strategy to scale your business profitably with a dedicated virtual assistant that you can trust!