We all know the old saying, ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’. You don’t want to be that person, which is why we’ve created the following eight step plan to help set you up for outsourcing success.
1. Tell your staff
Once you’ve made the decision to integrate an offshore team into your business, it’s important to share the decision with your existing team and ensure you manage any initial push back straight away.
The alternative is to sit on the decision and then surprise your team when you actually start making changes to assist with onboarding your new offshore team member. Do this and you risk losing their trust and will ultimately set your outsourcing journey up for failure.
It’s most effective to engage your team up front, share your ideas, vision with them and ask them to think about how an outsourced team could help them in their job and day-to-day tasks.
2. Identify what tasks you want to send offshore
There’s no point making the decision to bring on outsourced resources when you don’t know what tasks they’re going to complete for you.
Once you’ve made the decision to outsource, you need to clearly define the tasks within your business that you’re going to have your offshore team complete. To do this you need to engage your existing team and ask them to help you by recording down the inefficiencies in their day.
This will give you a pretty good understanding of what candidate you need to look for.
To help you decide which tasks you want to send offshore, check out our Education Series.
3. Engage an outsourcing supplier
Engaging the right outsourcing provider with the correct model for your business and your work practices is crucial for success. Without being familiar with the Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) industry you could find yourself in a situation where you don’t really understand what to expect from providers, whether what they are selling represents good value and whether or not you’re opening your business up to unnecessary risk.
To ensure you’re choosing the right provider for your business, start by asking the right questions. Download our eBook, 33 questions to ask your outsourcing provider, for help.
When you’re shopping for an outsourcing provider make sure you go to any sales meeting armed with these questions; and you’ll very quickly learn who is the right match for you.
4. Get your technology right
Today’s technology is what makes outsourcing such an effective business solution. The tech is incredibly cost effective and easy to set up and operate. Basically, all you need is a computer, headset, webcam and web conferencing platform (we use Zoom).
From there, you need to move your processes and documentation to the cloud. This will ensure your offshore employees have access to everything they need and will help streamline communication between your onshore and offshore teams.
5. Create a Job Description and define your Key Results Areas
The outsourcing model that we’ve found works best for any business is to contract an outsourced staff member on a full-time basis who works for your business 100% of the time.
If you decide this model works best for you then you’re going to need to supply your outsourcing provider with a detailed outline of the kind of person you’re looking for and what sorts of tasks you’ll need them to complete.
The best format for this is a Job Description (JD) and a Key Results Area (KRA) document. Put simply, the JD outlines what skills you’re looking for and what tasks you want the employee to complete. The KRA document outlines how well you expect those tasks to be completed.
We have templates for these both, you can download these below:
6. Develop a training plan
A very common concern for businesses looking to outsource for the first time is ‘how long will they take to train’? The answer is, if trained correctly then no longer than training someone you hire locally.
You need to be very clear about your training goals and how you’re going to deliver them. Depending on the outsourcing provider you choose will also depend on how well the employee is trained prior to starting with your business. Regardless of this, your offshore team member is still going to require further training about the specific inner workings of your business - and this is down to you.
7. Manage your offshore team
Think of all the effort you’ve gone through, introducing an offshore team into your business, choosing a provider, recruiting an employee, training them and upgrading your technology for it all to fall apart because your offshore team is not being managed on an ongoing basis.
The set and forget technique doesn’t work with the management of anyone, let alone an offshore team. You need to have an effective management framework within your business that is consistently used to manage your outsourced staff.
You can manage your offshore time via online communication tools and WIP documents. To help, download the WIP template below.
8. Grow your team
Once you’ve bought on your first outsourced team member, you’ll very quickly become comfortable with how it all works; and, you’ll start to see for yourself the incredible benefits outsourcing can have for your business, if it’s done correctly.
Once you get it right once, you’ll begin to see other opportunities within your business where outsourcing could play a big part in improving processes, customer experience and ultimately, kickstarting business growth.