Dan Radak, Negosentro | There are a lot of situations where outsourcing is clearly the better option. In a lot of cases, it comes down to simple math. You take into consideration the cost of starting a new department with factors like equipment, training and salaries and then compare it to the cost of outsourcing this service for a number of years.
Then, there is the issue of proficiency. It will take years before your team is able to match the level of proficiency that a specialized agency has to offer, due to having a better trained and more experienced team. Finally, there is the question of effort and diversification of your operations, which is, on its own, sometimes worth avoiding. With this in mind, deciding on who to outsource to is never an easy thing. Here are five things you should consider beforehand.
Even though the team you outsource to won’t be situated in-house, you want to be able to reach them 24/7. This is why you need to check what communication channels they are willing to work with. Sure, you can always send them an email or contact their customer service but are they willing to submit a report over a live Skype conference? These subtle details can make all the difference in the success of your future collaboration, which is why you need to insist on the answers right away.
Look at their digital footprint
Another thing you might want to take a look at is the digital footprint of a company you intend to work with and see their ratings, as well as read some reviews left by their former clients. Needless to say, these are not to be trusted 100 percent of the time, seeing as how a client might get outraged over something that is not the fault of the agency. On the other hand, this might not be a risk you are willing to take. This quick media monitoring project might be more than enough to uncover several dirty little secrets that your potential partner might try to hide.
One of the most important issues you need to be on the lookout for is the political occurrences at the location of your future partner’s headquarters. Needless to say, it is always bad to work with someone who comes from a politically unstable region, seeing as how you can never know when the local business regulations might start going against your interests. Therefore, it is usually for the best to go with major business hubs as a safe-play. For instance, if you want to improve your marketing campaign with a couple of great videos, it might be better to look for a video production company from Hong Kong than to look for a partner in a less stable region.
In the introduction, we mentioned that the expertise of the team in question might act as the strongest selling factor of the agency you are about to outsource to. Still, checking if they have a team that is capable of handling day-to-day operations isn’t an easy job. One of the simplest ways is to go through their portfolio and check if they have any previous experience on projects similar to yours.
A surety bond
At the end of the day, as a businessman, you need a guarantee that the job you’ve agreed upon will be delivered on the specified terms. If not, you at least want a guarantee that you will be compensated for any loss you might encounter due to this slip-up. In order to get there, you need a surety bond. Needless to say, this is one of the most vital steps, due to the fact that you still won’t know the full proficiency of the company you are working with. Therefore, this needs to be something you should insist on.
Finally, the problem with choosing a company to outsource to is never a simple matter. There are so many factors and variables to consider. Sometimes, you might dismiss a company that would otherwise be perfect for you just because something didn’t seem right during your check-up, while at other times, your partner will be perfect on paper only to disappoint you in practice. With these above-listed five factors considered, you will at least be at a minimal risk of being unpleasantly surprised.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and regular contributor to Technivorz.