How to ensure that outsourcing works for you

Member Blog Feature : V-Assist by Jutta

I have written articles in the past on why businesses should outsource Virtual assistants and how to make the best of such a relationship. I think though that as a Virtual assistant the scope of what I’m asked to do is so vast that it would not be amiss to give some advice on how to go about outsourcing in general. Virtual assistants are themselves asked to find outsourcing partners on many occasions – Bookkeepers, Accountants, Content writers and Events co-ordinators to name a few – so I am aware of what kind of relationship will work best if directly partnering with these people and unless you take a mindful and strategic approach, your outsourcing arrangement could fail .

It is a broad subject, but I am a believer in getting to the point and making things as simple as possible, which is one of the reasons my V-Assist business is so successful, so here in simple terms and with just a few prudent points, is my advice on how to ensure that outsourcing works for you…

Ensure it is of financial benefit to you

At least in the short term, make the decision to outsource based on saving money if you do so. Big business knows that when a service is often required and the bills start growing to employ those services, it may well be a better business decision to have your own people, factory etc. So, decide if it will help you financially?

Have clear goals and a strategic vision

Make sure that outsourcing falls into line with your longer term goals and strategic vision. It is vital therefore that the decision to outsource is taken at top level, as it is there that strategic vision and plans are made. Is your company’s long term plan set on being Human resources rich? – i.e. Employing and training people is a vital part of what you ultimately do. If your long term goal and strategic vision is to remain very I.T orientated though and lean and mean with regard to human resources, then outsourcing in many areas is probably a better decision. To make your outsourcing relationships work for you therefore, ensure that the companies you outsource are also privy to and on board with these goals and strategic plans.

Choose the right people

This is so critical …and where a Virtual assistant who understands outsourcing could really help. To give an extreme example, if your business requires specialist accounting services and you hire a glorified Bookkeeper, the outsourcing experience will not be a successful one! Do the required interviews to ensure the person or company you hire is right and there for the long haul, just as you would do when hiring a permanent employee.

Manage the relationship with strong communication at all levels

Just as you would need to manage a permanent employee, you need to manage relationships with outsourced entities. Open communication which affects all stakeholders should be practiced by scheduling regular meetings and with feedback reports. This relationship should also definitely include senior level support as well, in the case of larger companies.

Have solid contracts and agreements

So many times I have seen businesses take on outsource entities and not even bother to have any form of contract or agreement in place. If you will be expecting your outsourced businesses to be there for you in the long term, adhering to your policies and adopting your strategic vision, make sure they have signed contracts and non disclosure agreements where necessary too.

Enlist the help of a virtual assistant

As stated earlier, an effective Virtual assistant can help you with every aspect of these relationships, in particular with recommending the best services and people. My involvement with the world’s largest networking organisation (B.N.I) puts me into contact with hundreds of accredited suppliers of all manner of services, so let me use this to your advantage.
I hope this article on how to ensure outsourcing works for you has been helpful …If so engage with me on LinkedIn or contact me and start to experience how an online Virtual assistant can change your life!

For further information on Jutta and her Virtual Assistant business please visit our members page.