If you’re new to outsourcing it is usually a good idea to start with a small team or a single team member. This helps with learning how to incorporate an offshore team member with your onshore team without the stress of managing multiple roles and complex tasks all at once. It is also a good idea to keep the initial tasks more internal until you are comfortable with your processes to start exposing your clients to offshore staff. Once you have made the decision to expand your team, the next step is to figure out where to start.
Where should I start?
There is no perfect blueprint for offshore team growth because each business is individual and unique. However, there are basic guidelines you can follow to ensure the best possible offshore experience. Below is an example of how one company built and grew their offshore team. As you can see in the first stage the roles are internal and less-technical. With each stage the roles become increasingly technical and customer facing. However, other companies have been successful by starting with customer facing roles and growing their team from there. Again, it all depends on your individual business needs.
What roles are best for the initial offshoring stage?
Roles that are less technical are often the best to start your offshoring journey. Depending on your business needs this could be a Personal Assistant, Bookkeeper, IT support/helpdesk, Virtual Assistant etc. From the above example we can see they started with a Bookkeeper and a Virtual Assistant. Starting with one or two offshore team members is ideal for most companies as it helps you to adjust your processes and procedures without having to manage a large team. Further, it helps you to identify where there is excess capacity and where you need extra help e.g. where a new team member would fit. It is much easier to add another team member when compared to reducing team size.
Planning is key to successfully building and growing an offshore team. Developing a strategy for your offshore journey is necessary to move forward efficiently. Clearly defining roles and regularly reviewing team performance can be the difference between offshore success and failure. Click here to learn more about improving productivity with your offshore team.
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