Top Tips for SMEs When Outsourcing

There are many, many benefits when it comes to outsourcing for your business. Including cost saving advantages, increased efficiency, the flexibility of resource, faster and more streamlined services, and of course, having unlimited access to skills and specialist talent that would be too expensive to hire in-house. But finding the right agency, contractor or freelancer to help with your business can be a daunting prospect. You’re entrusting these people with your brand, after all. So how should small businesses and growing SMEs go about outsourcing? Here are our top tips for easy, stress free outsourcing anywhere in the world.

  1. Consider Cost vs. Experience/Skills

When budgets are tight, the cheapest contractor may seem very attractive. But if you want a cost-effective solution that delivers and answers your brief in the long run, it’s important to weigh up cost vs. experience and skills. Be clear about what you need before hiring; if you have the time and expertise to manage someone effectively, the more cost-effective route could be the best one for your business. If you need someone with specialist skills to work autonomously and bring new ideas to the table without your constant input, spending a bit extra can be invaluable and much better bang for your buck.

  1. Meet Agencies / Freelancers in Person

Whilst outsourcing provides businesses with global flexibility and this often means working with expert talent from the other side of the world, it’s important to meet your contractor in person whenever possible. This allows you to build a connection, find out more about them, and comprehend whether you can work together effectively. Face to face meetings are important, especially if you’re nervous about outsourcing for the first time. But if it’s not possible to interview in person, be sure to schedule a phone or web chat to get to know them better.

  1. Listen to Recommendations

If you don’t know where to start searching for the right talent, try speaking to business owners within your own network. Networking events are great places to discuss resource and outsourcing needs as many SMEs in your position will have had to resource work at some point too. Getting personal recommendations from someone you know can give you total peace of mind when hiring, and word of mouth references are often more valuable than testimonials or reviews you see online.

  1. Connect on Social Media

Linking up with contractors and freelancers on social media is a great way to stay connected. But it’s also an easy and reliable way of finding more information; their experience, who they have worked with, who they follow, what industry events they attend, and much more. If you are outsourcing to an agency, find their company social media pages to learn more about how they run their business as well as their company culture. This is also a great way to understand their own personality and personal brand, and, whether they would fit in with your own company culture.

  1. Maintain Good Communication

To ensure a smooth working relationship with your contractors, communication is key. Establish the best form of contact that works for both parties (email, web chat, Skype, or face to face) and schedule regular catch-ups so you can keep on top of progress. If you do not have time to communicate regularly, assign a member of your team to be their main contact in the office. Not only does assigning a single contact improve workflow efficiency, but it allows freelancers and agencies a chance to build a good working relationship with someone from your brand.

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