2020 has been one crazy year and it’s only half way over at this point. In many ways it feels Apocalyptic. We’ve had extremely disruptive issues with the impacts of a pandemic, racial tensions, riots, solar flares, Sahara Dust and who knows what’s next. I think it’s either Locust or Frogs? When I see this much disruption it’s an indication of major long term evolution. I’m the eternal optimist when it comes to mankind’s ability to survive and thrive. We’re just experiencing the birth pangs of a new world. My hope is that we all end up better, stronger, more compassionate and more highly connected than ever before, but it will take an enormous amount of work by evolving how we think, work, live and more.
As businesses around the world consider how they can return from the torment inflicted by the corona-virus, they must adapt 5 solid traits that will be critical for their business leaders to find their way to the next normal (I’ve really grown to dislike that wording). Those 5 things are resolve, resilience, re-imagine, reform, and revamp. These stages will likely overlap and the order might differ, depending on the business, the sector, and the country.
It’s with this fresh and open perspective that these company leaders need to consider doing things differently than they’ve done before. Flexibility, scalability and cost flexing become extremely important. Cost cutting is the first move for many but it’s truly not a cost cutting solution that is needed for long term success and survival. It’s innovation and creation that lead to a strong RIO in this new world! If businesses are going to spend it needs to yield the biggest bang for their buck as possible. Thinking outside the box when looking at old traditional models is the way to go, and that brings outsourcing vital functions of a business to the forefront.
In this article, we will discuss why businesses should ‘opt-in’ for outsourcing their business needs and in what way it can help them to overcome challenges due to the looming corona-virus crisis and future repeats of crisis like this.
Michael Hansen – CEO of Cengage
“The one thing I’ve personally learned is you’ve got to get ahead of the curve, don’t try to deny it or put your head in the sand, and wish for the best. These are the times when a culture and an organization gets tested.”
What is Outsourcing?
Well let’s make sure we define this properly first. Outsourcing is a method of agreement where a company reaches out to external vendors to carry out their business functions like sales, customer care, accounting, IT, administrative work, etc. You can take a few steps here to relocate the business tasks to a nearby country known as near-shoring, a distant country known as offshoring, or a North American center known as onshore. Within those options there are levels and types of centers who specialize in certain types of work, industries, or verticals. Those centers may be a brick & mortar type center, or a virtual model like my company, Leading Edge Connections, where all our teams are 100 % work at home for years. You need to investigate which style is most suitable for your particular business needs. A few other tasks that can be outsourced are inventory management, orders, transactions, payroll processing, etc. Apart from that, you can also outsource other non-core processes such as image manipulation, transcription, data conversion, accounting and bookkeeping, OCR clean up, and more. The sky is the limit!
Importance of Outsourcing
With the help of outsourcing, you can let a third party company handle your business tasks or jobs. This not only helps in eliminating the business load, but also helps in cutting down the operational costs. You can reduce burden expenses with employees, recruitment, training, technology, and more. Cost-cutting is one of the top reasons why companies prefer outsourcing their needs to a service provider. However, it is not the only advantage it offers. Apart from these, there are more benefits that can be gained through outsourcing. These may be less known to the world so let’s take a look at few more great reasons.
- Allows you to focus on your true business
Most companies usually outsource vital tasks to save money as well as brainpower. To prove this, let us take the example of the human resources department. HR is typically a 100% cost center in a company. HR employees spend most of their time working on non-strategies tasks like maintain records. But by outsourcing, this time can be rather spent on more important matters, like engaging employees and improving job satisfaction. In that case, the non-strategic works can be outsourced to companies, while HR employees can focus on using their brainpower to help the company grow.
- Access to latest and greatest technology
While outsourcing certain tasks to a company or individual, you should be associating with them and forming a true partnership. This partnership can help you to gain access to the latest technology that can help in improving your business. For example, let’s say you are outsourcing sales responsibilities to a company that uses a leading edge Sales CRM like SalesLoft or Outreach.io. In that case, you can get access to this software and the enablement provision by this tech without having to take on the burden of the entire platform, it’s maintenance and management.
- Finding top talent
Outsourcing also provides the company with an opportunity to hire people having unique skill sets and knowledge. For example, let’s say there is a business organization that is looking to hire customer care or sales professionals. Finding top talent isn’t easy. Job postings, ATS costs, recruitment are just the start of that. Then you take into consideration a lack of experience in certain areas may cause poor hiring decisions and cost company’s money in attrition and unemployment. Lastly, most businesses are landlocked to a certain geo-footprint that may not be the most advantageous to hire the help needed. Outsourcing opens the door to alleviate the cost problems and also drive efficiency and expertise.
- Launching new projects
While launching a new project, a company may take weeks or even months to gather up and secure the resources that are needed to get started. For that, they need to recruit and onboard a large number of employees before launching the project. However, if they do not have the time to wait for the launch, then they can consider outsourcing their needs to a company has the required resources to take on the new project. One of the biggest benefits of outsourcing to a company like mine is the flexibility and scalability with new projects. It’s the difference between beating the curve or lagging behind.
- Keeping up with the competition
Outsourcing is not only for large corporations and can be used by anyone. It is especially beneficial for small companies since they do not have the budget or resources to handle all their operations. It is best to outsource as it will fit their budgetary needs, and they do not have to worry about hiring more people just to bring in the fresh talents. In addition to that, it will allow them to compete with large companies by offering the same expertise, resources, and services to their potential clients. It’s one of LEC’s core functions. Giving small businesses a BIG BRAND feel.
- Mitigating Risks
With outsourcing, there is a decrease in the number of risks since you will be sharing the risks of new endeavors and business investment with your partnering company. That is why it is very important to choose the right company that can help in guiding your decisions, and managing the risks. For example, if you are outsourcing your accounting needs to a company, then make sure that they have a team of experienced accountants, who are well aware of risk analysis and management. Experience is key!
Now, let’s take a look at some types of tasks that you can outsource. Below are the various types of tasks or activities that can be outsourced by an organization.
Marketing & Advertising
Marketing and Advertising are essential for a company since they can help in determining its brand identity and reputation in the marketplace and with its employees. Therefore, with the help of a marketing or advertising consultant, or outsourcing firm, you can get an expert outside perspective, which is not possible with the help of an internal marketing staff. Professional freelance writers can also help in this case by developing high-quality content for boosting your marketing and advertising efforts. Along with this, you can outsource other activities such as brand development, press release, website designing, and various online marketing tasks like blogging, social media marketing, and search engine optimization. It’s imperative to do your research but finding great firms who specialize in these services like George Zwierko at RUMBO, Marko Katanic at Simply Grow, or Melanie Ross at Gather + Grow Media can be the difference between success and failure. Get a partner who cares about your business and can demonstrate past success.
Sales and Lead Generation
The number of calls is directly proportional to the sales and leads of a company. It means that if a company gets more calls, there is a high possibility that it can get greater sales and leads. So, once you are done with the initial outreach, let the task of closing sales and managing clients be handled by the outsourced internal sales force, or if they have the expertise, let the outsourced team handle the entire funnel. Make sure that the team is talented and are experts at closing sales rather than just making one type of call. Ask questions about their experience in your industry and what they can bring to the table with their experience. I’ve seen everything from traditional telemarketing B2C sales to Enterprise level B2B full cycle sales outsourced. Match your needed Performance DNA to theirs.
If you do not have a qualified support staff, then it’s better to outsource customer support for servicing your existing customer base. Customer Service and Customer Experience are the name of the game in today’s world. Handing this type of work off to experts who can build your brand responsiveness, improve first call resolutions, and implement tech that improves the customer journey is paramount. Anything from order entry, order support, general care, live chat or high end customer engagement, to include retention programs, can be outsourced to a center.
For handling administrative tasks such as data entry, scheduling, typing, travel arrangements, etc. you can either hire a virtual assistant or an administrative service provider. By outsourcing these tasks, you will get more time to focus on core activities that can help in the proper functioning of your business. The main thing here is to find an outsourced partner who can return value here. You want someone who can take you to the leading edge and beyond.
While IT operations are a lot expensive to handle in-house, average businesses have limited knowledge and ability to manage all its needs. That is why it is recommended to outsource IT tasks to a potential service provider unless you are an IT company.
There are many outsourcing agencies that deal with employee acquisition and human resource functions. You can easily choose them for outsourcing your needs, but make sure that they are well-versed with advertising, checking references, and screening appropriate applicants. It is even wiser to choose companies that are specifically dedicated to HR or employment service since they need to stay updated with the latest standards and laws of employment. Companies like NextPath Career Services with great leadership like Stephanie Markese are the gold standard in how to operate and bring value in employee acquisition.
Accounting and Financial Tasks
By outsourcing your needs to accounting firms or individuals, you can get assistance for all your financial needs related to invoicing, bookkeeping, analysis, financial reporting, planning, accounts payable and receivable, etc. It can save you a considerable amount of time, money, and stress.
“IT’S YOUR CALL” is one of our slogans at LEC. Whether you decide to keep in-house resources or outsource your tasks you need to do what’s smartest for your business. I will say that the post pandemic world has made this option much more important and relevant than ever! It is advisable to choose to outsource since it can help a great deal in growing the company during the pandemic situation. If you still think that it is a bit risky I would recommend hiring an outsourced consulting firm like The Contact Center Consulting Group. Hale Jay and his team there can guide and advise you on what’s best for you organization. You may be able to start by outsourcing the low-value tasks first as a test. Once you are satisfied with the result, you can think of outsourcing highly specialized tasks such as sales, marketing, customer care or IT.
If you have already decided to outsource some or all of your business needs, then gather up all the information about the company you wish to work and start all your due diligence. Also, make sure that the team you are planning to work with is professional, reliable, and revolutionary! Make sure they have worked on similar types of projects. This is your business make sure you treat it as such. It can be the greatest decision you’ve ever made.
For more information on how outsourcing works or how to create a proper selection process for hiring a BPO, call center, or some other outsourcing company contact me and I would be more than happy to assist.