How Outsourcing Improves Cash Flow
Business Process Outsourcing for SMEs: Yes or No?
Outsourcing for the first time may seem like an overwhelming prospect. Transferring your processes to an offshore location and entrusting your operations with a provider you have just started speaking to can be daunting. We created a short guide to outsourcing in the Philippines for you to learn the ropes and what it entails when you outsource.
To make sure things work in your favor when you outsource to an offshore location like the Philippines, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Start small (Dip your toes before jumping in)
If you have no experience with outsourcing, start with small projects. Rather than hire an entire team, for instance, you can start with just one or two offshore employees. You can also opt for short-term assignments in the beginning. This will cap your expenses and make it easier to opt-out if you realize that the arrangement isn’t working for you. It also lets you get a feel for outsourcing without committing to a long-term, high-cost venture.
You can also start by outsourcing low-risk processes such as back-end services. You can outsource more complex services later on when you feel more confident.
2. Invest in training (The most significant outsourcing investment you’ll ever make)
You have to train your offshore team to get processes done the way you’d like them to be done. Orient them on your business and brand so they can represent you properly. This lets your team perform better and meet goals consistently. This also makes them less dependent on your feedback, enabling them to operate and make decisions independently. This frees up your time and energy, allowing you to focus on other endeavors.
3. Know what you want (The outsourcing business is all about specificity)
You need to know what kind of employees you’re looking for and what results you want from your outsourcing venture. The hiring process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on how stringent you are about the screening process. Either way, you’ll lose time and money if you’re indecisive about applicants. Make sure you know what qualifications they should meet and what trade-offs you’re willing to make to cut the process short.
Likewise, it would be best to have concrete and measurable goals when outsourcing processes. This makes it easier for your offshore team to deliver results.
4. Stick to a budget (Don’t mix business and pleasure… too often)
Avoid add-ons and unplanned expenses as much as possible. The low rates in your offshore destination may make it seem like you have more money to spend than you do. Don’t get carried away by the lower overhead expenses. Set a budget and stick with it until you feel ready to outsource more significant projects.
5. Be sensitive to employee welfare (Generosity wins)
That said, be generous with your employees. Give them competitive job offers and essential employment benefits to encourage them to keep working for you. A high employee retention rate helps tremendously with project continuity. You can always replace employees with others willing to work for less but will cause disruptions in your operations.
6. Keep lines open (Don’t be afraid to communicate)
Clear and constant communication is critical to a successful outsourcing venture. Assign a point person as your eyes and ears on the ground. Have your team send regular reports so that you can stay on top of things and monitor their progress for the project’s duration.
When done right, outsourcing can help lower costs and increase profit margins. It can boost your productivity and enable you to focus primarily on critical business tasks. It also lets you expand your business and mitigate the risks of expansion. Look for a competent call center in the Philippines to help you get started. Contact us for your outsourcing needs.