Thirty percent of an employee’s salary goes to taxes and fees — which means that companies are losing out on that 30 percent by choosing to keep talent in-house as opposed to outsourcing. Outsourcing is a great way to cut costs and streamline workflow. When you outsource your work — whether it’s marketing tasks, design initiatives or others, you’re making the decision to go with an expert, outside team — which also means you don’t have to hire your own in-house team. This cuts costs because you don’t have to hire people and pay them a full salary. You just have to pay the company based on their rates — and that’s it.
Not only does it cost less to outsource your tasks as opposed to hiring in-house teams, but it also ensures that these tasks get completed by experts who understand how to complete them in the best ways possible. This means that the results will be higher quality, driving higher results.
When you choose to outsource content, you’re choosing to work with a dedicated team of experts that know the industry inside and out. If you’re looking for a marketing campaign that sells, choose an agency that eats, sleeps and breathes these tasks. Similarly, if you’re looking for dedicated IT help, an IT agency that knows about the latest innovations and new technologies can give your brand the edge it needs.
In-house team members might not have the same dedicated expertise because oftentimes, in-house employees wear many hats. They are working on a lot of things at once and can’t necessarily dedicate the appropriate amount of time to the specific task at hand. By outsourced teams can.
Outsourcing talent and tasks leads to quicker turnaround times because they are dedicated to these tasks and have strict deadlines to meet. In-house teams have a lot of different tasks, campaigns and operations to run, meaning timeframes are oftentimes more stretched out. But these outsourced companies are used to working under specific timeframes and can achieve the results you want in a more timely fashion. It also takes time to hire a new employee — on average, it takes 42 days to fill a new position. That’s 42 days between you and the beginning of that task.
In business, timeliness is everything. You need quick turnaround times, fast results and efficiency. You don’t have time to waste, and you don’t have time for trial and error. So outsourcing tasks can ensure you get the projects you need to be completed when you need them.
Outsourcing is so successful because it can give you access to a world of talent — you’re not restricted by the physical constraints that come with in-house employees that have to live in the area. Instead, you can work with experts across the world that come with their own knowledge, talent, and experience — and considering that 58 percent of the global outsourcing market comes from countries outside of the United States, you will likely see input from all across the world.
This outside talent is vital for a fresh perspective and innovative ideas. And it’s always nice to hear a new opinion or idea, getting a fresh set of eyes and ears that can bring innovative perspective and concepts to the table.
Overall efficiency is streamlined when you outsource projects and campaigns. This is because you’re working with a team of dedicated, knowledgeable professionals that come to the table ready to tackle your project and yours alone. Studies show that most small business employees and entrepreneurs work more than 40 hours a week — which doesn’t lead to a lot of efficiency if you add a whole new project to the mix. Which is why outsourcing your work leads to quicker, better quality projects and content. They don’t come with in-house biases or misconceptions. They don’t come burdened with other tasks. They come with ideas and opinions that have never before been heard or explored. And this can lead to exciting innovations.
This means that you can get a whole new perspective on a task that can help you see the results you want, and in a quicker amount of time. These companies are experts in their respective fields, and that means that they come with a portfolio that amazes, providing you with content that steals the show.
Questions To Ask The Best Outsourcing Companies
Outsourcing companies are oftentimes more cost-effective than hiring your own employee, team or freelancer. But it’s still vital that you know how much these agencies are asking for so that you can budget accordingly. Each agency will come with its own pricing structure, so asking as many questions about costs will do you favors in the long run and help you decide which to choose.
- What are your pricing plans and tiers?
- Do you require to be paid per project, on retainer or according to time worked?
- How do you want to be paid?
- What kind of contracts do you use?
- How much do you charge for specific services?
A con of outsourcing your talent and projects can be limited communication — which is why it’s important you learn from the start how you will be communicating with your agency, which ways they prefer to communicate and how fluid they are in creating a dialogue.
- How will you communicate with me?
- How frequently will you be communicating with my team?
- Can I reach out on a fluid schedule or do you prefer scheduled meetings?
- Do you prefer phone calls, skype calls or in-person meetings?
- Is there a point person that I will have regular contact with?
First and foremost, all outsourcing agencies and companies are different and they provide a wide variety of services. If you need analytics help, you don’t want to reach out to an IT company. So it’s important that you ask specific questions about their services and what they can do for you.
- What services do you provide?
- Can you work on multiple projects with differing services?
- What tools do you use to measure the success of these services and campaigns?
- How can your company help my brand succeed?
- Have you worked with other brands in my industry in the past?
If you’ve got a project that needs completing, it’s likely that you want it done fast. And if you’re enlisting the help of a dedicated agency, then you’re hoping it can get done in a timely manner — and with an expertise — that you can’t achieve in-house. Here are some questions that can help you better understand turnaround time.
- What is your deadline schedule?
- Do you assign deadlines for projects as a whole, or do you meet small deadlines throughout a project?
- Will I be notified when you’ve hit a deadline?
- How long does it usually take for you to complete these types of tasks?
- How long has it taken in the past for you to complete these types of campaigns?
Of course, experience matters. A portfolio with extensive work and expertise is vital when it comes to choosing an outsourcing company. You want to know you’re working with professionals, so you have to ask questions about projects they’ve worked on and brands they’ve worked with in the past.
- Are your clients satisfied?
- What brands and projects have you worked on in the past?
- Have you worked on campaigns in my industry?
- Will a dedicated team be working on my project?
- How will you manage my project?
How To Choose The Top Outsourcing Companies
Outsourcing companies come with an extensive portfolio of past clients and projects. This shows their expertise and talent, with campaigns that come with actionable results. These companies work with brands like yours, and they work on campaigns and tasks that are likely very similar to the ones you’re looking to get completed. This means that these companies know what your audience is looking for and can complete these tasks accordingly.
The professionals working for these companies come with talent and expertise that makes them leaders in their field. And you want leaders and innovators to be working on your content to ensure it succeeds.
These outsourcing companies work with clients that are looking for results. They have goals they need to reach and know what business, marketing and design goals that your company needs to hit — and they can likely pinpoint and highlight these goals for you in order to put your brand on the path to success. Additionally, they work with the analytics and tracking tools your company might not have access to. This means you will get immediate and accurate insights.
They come with years of experience as well as a host of tools and resources for tracking progress, meeting ROIs and more. They know what it takes to complete a project in a way that meets goals and sets the stage for business growth and innovation in the future.
This isn’t their first rodeo — these outsourced teams know how to put together a plan that will get your project done on time and with high-quality results. In-house teams are juggling a variety of tasks, and might not know the intricate steps that go into crafting a successful social media campaign or track product analytics. But these companies do, and they can ensure that you understand the process going forward. Similarly, 97 percent of employees and executive cite lack of alignment in a team as something that impacts a project. That’s why it’s so important that these agencies have plans in place to keep them on the same page throughout the process.
A plan is vital for success — you can’t just wing it, after all. And these companies know that. They’re well versed in how to take an idea from conception to reality, hitting the necessary deadlines and meeting your goals and objectives along the way.
An outsourced team comes with a fresh set of eyes, hands, and ideas. They might not be experts when it comes to your brand, but they are experts in the industry and know what it takes to create an innovative concept and campaign that can give your brand the content, campaign, and services that will deliver the best business results — whether that’s with a creative new ad campaign, product update or more. A Deloitte survey found that more companies are looking towards their outsourced agencies to come up with innovative pathways to success, so that’s just another bonus these agencies are providing their clients.
Innovation leads to success — brands can’t expect to grow if they’re not coming up with new ideas. And an outside company can help with that, providing them with new paths to success in an exciting way. You might know about your company, but they know what works.
Outsourcing companies come with a deliberate and efficient process that they use to put together a team, manage a project, meet deadlines, pinpoint actionable insights and provide brands with the completed tasks and projects that will see results. They aren’t making it up as they go along — but instead coming with a set-in-place plan that they can customize to each and every brand.
A strong and outlined process delivers results. And that’s what you’re looking for when looking to outside talent. You’re looking for experts with a portfolio and a passion for what they do. But they also need to have done it long enough to know what works — and with a results-driven process, you know you’re going to be happy with the content.
Top Value Propositions & Differentiating Factors Of The Best Outsourcing Companies
Businesses of all sizes encounter the need to outsource at some point in time. Small businesses may engage a third party for HR outsourcing because the expense of maintaining human resources in-house can’t be justified. Enterprise-level businesses may offshore manufacturing and production in order to reduce costs so their products can be priced competitively.
Whatever the reason for seeking outsourcing may be, the need to find a trustworthy partner is always the same. An engagement with an ineffective outsourcing company can have disastrous results, including everything from project delays to security breaches. It’s essential, then, to choose the right outsourcing partner to do business with. Below we cover the basics of outsourcing and go into detail about what to look for in an outsourcing company.
What Can Outsourcing Companies Do?
Outsourcing companies exist to handle many aspects of a company’s business, from office tasks all the way through to manufacturing functions.
Some common outsourcing services include:
- Business Process Outsourcing - Commonly abbreviated to BPO, business process outsourcing entails the outsourcing of any number of time-consuming office tasks. BPO services are usually categorized either as back office or front office functions. Back office functions are internal company tasks like accounting or payroll, while front office tasks include customer-facing services like call center staffing and management.
- Human Resources - HR outsourcing is a category within back office BPO. Businesses that cannot afford to fully staff and maintain HR services in-house may choose to assign certain HR functions to a third-party outsourcing partner.
- Data Entry - Data entry outsourcing entails contracting a third party to handle data input and upload tasks like account applications and invoices.
- Medical Transcription and Medical Coding - The need for services in the health sector is on the rise. Medical transcription and medical coding are administrative tasks in the medical field that are frequently outsourced. Specific certification is required to be able to do these jobs.
- Transcription and Translation - Audio transcription and document translation are common outsourcing functions. Outsourced transcribers can work faster and do more accurate work than in-house teams, and most companies don’t maintain the right talent on staff to handle translation projects.
- IT Outsourcing / Web development Outsourcing - Increasingly, companies are outsourcing web development to third-parties in countries where labor costs for this technical work are lower. Countries like India, Costa Rica, Portugal, and many Eastern European nations have become popular destinations for offshoring development work.
- Quality Assurance Testing Outsourcing - Large QA testing projects can pose logistical challenges for companies that are trying to get a product to market quickly but don’t have enough skilled employees in-house to conduct testing on a large scale. QA outsourcing helps fill the gap.
Benefits Of Outsourcing
The chief benefit of outsourcing is usually cost savings. Outsourcing work to a country where labor is less expensive invariably reduces costs to the company doing the outsourcing. Outsourcing can also help improve efficiency by freeing up in-house employee time to focus on core business objectives as opposed to ancillary tasks. Finally, contracting with a third party means additional resources assigned to a task or project, which means work can be completed at faster speeds.
Where To Outsource Your Business Functions
Location is a key consideration in deciding where to outsource your company’s business functions. Outsourcing can be handled in a number of ways. Offshoring is when a business outsources a task or category of tasks to a company in a foreign country. Nearshoring describes the practice of outsourcing to a company in a neighboring country. Technically the term ‘outsourcing’ simply means contracting certain business functions to a third party, even if that third party operates in the same country.
The location of an outsourcing partner influences a number of things. In the decision of where to outsource work, there is a delicate balance between cost savings and work product. Offshoring to countries where labor is inexpensive will invariably result in cost savings, but the distance and language barriers may affect the quality of the work product. Nearshoring, on the other hand, may result in moderate cost savings but has the benefit of timezone proximity and closer language and cultural alignment.
Top Outsourcing Companies Invest In Security
Though outsourcing has many benefits, it isn’t entirely without risk. The process of handing over control of specific business functions to a third party necessitates, by its very nature, a certain amount of data sharing. There’s risk in inherent in turning over materials to a third party, which is why choosing an outsourcing partner that is invested in security above all else is essential.
Top outsourcing companies make security a core concern. They are committed to thoroughly training employees on how to handle information and reduce security risks. They maintain high levels of security at their offices and facilities. When interviewing potential partners, be sure to ask for specifics on the company’s security processes, as well as on their protocol for dealing with breaches.
The Best Outsourcing Companies Are Strong Communicators
Communicating effectively with an outsourcing vendor, especially one that is operating in a language other than its mother tongue, is a consummate challenge. Communication issues can result in crossed wires, project delays, and costly mistakes. As such, it’s important to choose an outsourcing company that can communicate effectively.
You should expect to have a point person assigned to your account who is communicating with your business regularly and managing the outsourcing team on the other end. Be sure to get a clear picture of the communication structure and an understanding of how often you can expect reporting to take place.
How Top Outsourcing Companies Market Themselves
Outsourcing companies operate in the B2B sector and their marketing efforts are centered on reaching and appealing to decision makers at companies in their target market. Though much of their efforts fall into the category of digital marketing, offline initiatives like print advertising, trade shows, and outbound sales are also part of the picture.
From a digital marketing perspective, content marketing in the form of thought leadership is key. Many outsourcing companies seek to differentiate themselves through thorough and useful content surrounding the business challenges of their target audience. Attracting traffic through search is, of course, an important element as well. SEO and paid search advertising are central marketing channels for many outsourcing companies.
Outsourcing certain business functions can help greatly reduce operating costs and improve internal efficiency. The success of any outsourcing initiative rests, however, on the selection of an appropriate partner.
Key considerations when searching for an outsourcing vendor include:
- Outsourcing services - There are outsourcing companies that can handle a number of different business functions -- from manufacturing to web development to data entry. Endeavor to get a clear understanding of what your company’s needs are before beginning your search for a vendor.
- Benefits of outsourcing - Cost savings and improved efficiency are the key benefits of outsourcing work to a third party. Getting projects completed faster may also be a benefit. Knowing which benefits are most important to your business will help in the selection of a vendor.
- Where to outsource - Companies can choose to offshore, nearshore, or outsource to a company that operates in the same country as they do. The location of the outsourcing company has implications in terms of timezone, language, and culture.
- Security concerns - Data security is a chief concern when outsourcing work to a third party. Top outsourcing companies may information security a core focus of their operations.
- Communication - Communication can be a challenge when working with a company based in a foreign country, especially when language barriers exist. Be sure that clear communication processes exist and that your business is confident from the beginning that the vendor can communicate effectively.
Top Qualities Of The Best Outsourcing Technology Companies
Choosing to outsource your company’s technology needs is usually an effective way to save money and relieve the pressure of having to maintain an internal team, but it isn’t without risk. When an outside company takes control of an element of your business, you want to make sure they’re equipped to handle the job. That’s why the top outsourcing companies are the ones who have years of experience in the field. They know the ins and outs of the business, and are well-positioned to manage your account. Be sure that whichever company you choose to work with has worked on projects similar to yours before and has the expertise necessary to make it a success.
A company is only as strong as the people who staff it. Top outsourcing companies have talented teams in place to solve their customers’ problems. Make sure you’re clear from the start about who your company will be working with and what the skills of the team are. Strong project management is a must, so ask to meet directly with whoever will be managing your account. This is your point-person, and having a good working relationship with them will have a positive impact on the outcome of your project.
Your company’s outsourcing needs are unique to your business, and the solutions your outsourcing partner provides should be tailored to meet those needs. Top outsourcing companies work to understand each client’s unique set of goals to ensure that the solutions they recommend are able to meet the core objectives of the clients. A cookie-cutter approach to outsourcing solutions will not work in your business’s favor, so you want to make sure that whoever you work with is open to customizing their approach. As your business grows your needs may change, and you want to be working with a partner whose solutions will evolve in line with your company’s needs.
You have a lot of control over your own internal employees, but this isn’t the case with outsourced resources. You have to be able to trust your outsourcing partner to deliver on time and to specification. Top outsourcing companies pride themselves on being steady, reliable partners to their clients. Be sure to contact references for the vendors you interview and ask about each company’s abilities. Did they meet the requirements laid out? Did they do so within the timeframe specified? How did they handle challenges and issues? The answers to these questions will help you get a sense of their reliability as an outsourcing vendor.
You should always know where your business stands, and that includes having a clear understanding of the status of outsourced business as well. Top outsourcing companies prioritize client communication because they know it’s the key to a productive and lasting relationship. Before signing any agreement, make sure you’re clear on how often you can expect to receive reports and communication from your outsourcing partner. Respectable companies will be committed to keeping you updated on a regular basis.