Thursday, October 29, 2009

Are you Outsourcing?

BANGALORE, INDIA - APRIL 13:  A tutor conducts...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The word outsourcing will make most people cringe including myself because of what some companies have been outsourcing, but outsourcing should not be a bad word but you have to do it right.

Outsourcing has gotten plenty of publicity lately especially with so many companies outsourcing their customer service functions to places like India. Recently I had issues with my Internet Service Provider and it turned out the company I go through has outsourced everything to India. This is where the problem arises because the guy on the other end of the line only knew what the computer told him to do; by the end of the day I changed ISP’s to a company that does not outsource their customer service functions.

That is where many companies are absolutely failing when it comes to outsourcing. Instead of outsourcing functions that do not directly affect the customer, they are outsourcing their direct link with the customer and putting their customers and their futures in other’s hands.

So what should you outsource?

As a small business owner there is plenty of areas that you can outsource that will not affect the service your customers get but improve your operations and finances.

An example of outsourcing that a small business owner should seek is accounting services. While I have extensive experience with numbers, many small business owners are not numbers people and should try to find someone that could do their paperwork better than they could.

Another popular source of outsourcing for small businesses in the last few years is virtual assistances. Virtual Assistants do a large range of tasks that will free your time to build the business.

In other words outsource tasks that someone else can do better than you can or that will free up your time to be more productive. What you do not want to do is outsource anything that will affect the level of customer service that your customers will receive.

There are other side benefits of outsourcing including giving business to your fellow small business owners, having more people who know about your business and if you treat them right will talk about your business, and finally another source to network with.

So by all means outsource, just make sure you do it right.

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