Across industries, businesses with large customer bases and complex services can become overwhelmed with the number of responsibilities to be managed. Oftentimes, the load is so heavy that duties are delegated to employees who would normally not be performing such tasks. Or worse, more attention must be paid to operations that are important to your business yet not representative of its core functions and purpose.
For example, you may need to temporarily dedicate more time to emailing, producing and reviewing invoices, and organizing company data with significantly less attention to product development, marketing, or customer relations. This may gradually derail business growth in terms of productivity, a dynamic customer experience, and, of course, revenue. There are many ways that you can begin to combat an overflowing workflow, one of them begin outsourcing.
What Does Outsourcing Entail?
Also referred to as business process outsourcing (BPO), outsourcing is when a business enlists the services of an external service provider (ESP) to complete highly specific work that would otherwise reduce business productivity and efficiency. This work can be anything from administrative duties to marketing, to customer service.
Notice that these roles are not representative of the core functionality of a business but are still essential components to keeping it running smoothly. The additional help allows business owners to dedicate more energy and resources to essential company development tasks. This also allows companies to cut costs related to administrative work and spend time improving profitability.
There are three main categories into which BPO is divided:
- Offshore: This refers to when the ESPs work remotely, particularly outside of the country in which the company is located. For instance, a business based in Turkey may need ESPs based in the United States for overcoming language barriers in international marketing. Any individuals contracted to work in this context would be an offshore vendor.
- Nearshore: These contracts are also international; however, the workers are based particularly in a country that is adjacent to the country of the business in question. A business based in Tanzania offering contracts to ESPs in Kenya would be a great example of nearshore BPO.
- Onshore: ESPs in onshore contracts are located in the same country as the business. This is most appropriate when a business must be able to communicate frequently with their ESPs in the form of conference calls, for example. Where projects and administrative duties are time-sensitive, this is often the most appropriate option for BPO.
What Outsourcing Can Do for Your Business
One of the first things you learn as an entrepreneur is the skill of delegation. Outsourcing is perhaps the most effective application of that skill. When you outsource work, you are firstly decreasing costs for your business in terms of both time and money. There will be a significantly reduced need to train new staff, fewer employees needed on the premises, and newfound flexibility in avoiding the fixed-cost plans required for permanent employees.
Additionally, because your in-house staff will be able to focus on their formal job requirements, there will be a substantial improvement to non-core business activities. Individuals or companies that are assigned to complete tasks in which they specialize can produce faster results than employees that are stretched too thin. This serves to improve the overall functionality and reputation of your business as a whole. In-house staff will welcome an improved work environment without there ever being a need to compromise the quality of the products and services provided by your business.
Outsourcing is one of the most reliable ways to improve your business flexibility and performance. Integrate this practice into your business workflow and watch your staff thrive and your company soar.