What is Outsourcing? And What to Outsource?


Outsourcing is now commonly used by all businesses be it big or small companies. By definition, it practically means assigning work assignments to external parties be it freelancers or firms instead of having the company do everything. Most of the time, those freelancers and firms are not related to the company be it personal or business relations. The most common outsourcing activity is hiring freelancers or professional agencies to perform highly specialized elements of a project. This could include software development work, marketing activities, customer service roles, data entry or admin services, and more.

In outsourcing, the client company does not instruct the outsourcing partner how to perform its task but, instead, focuses on communicating what results it wants to buy; it leaves the process of accomplishing those results to the supplier.

Some of the Benefits of Outsourcing are:

1. Cost Savings

Outsourcing activities normally reduce costs as you don\’t need to invest in extra software, hiring costs, and direct costs related to having employees and their benefits.

2. Time Savings

By outsourcing tasks, things can get done quicker and more efficiently.

3. Flexibility

Since the resources are external, you can bring them based on your specific needs, for the time you just need them (even for short periods of time)

4. Higher Efficiency

Outsourcing non-fundamental activities to external resources allow you to focus on your core business activities.

5. Access to Scarce talent

Having access to talent that can be scarce or very expensive is an advantage when outsourcing. For example, for US companies, outsourcing your software development needs is common practice with multiple benefits, especially when it is done in a Nearshore model to countries like Costa Rica, that is very close to the US, works in a similar time zone, have a strong alignment in terms of the business culture and the way they do business while having the benefit of a lower cost for highly talented resources.

How does it work?

Outsourcing is a strategy that companies use to improve their competitiveness, but in many cases, the company knows they need help but they are not sure about what. It is here when it is key to clearly define what needs to be done, what are the skills and knowledge needed, and the specific requirements that the company has for the work to be done (technology uses, tools, methodology, etc)

Choosing the right outsourcing partner can be a challenge and the best approach is to first define the final result and your expectations of the outsourcing relationship.

What to Outsource?

Aside from data entry, website design, article writing and software engineering, there are many other services provided by outsource resources. Here are other services that are available for outsourcing:

1. Voice talent

As part of advertisement and marketing tactics, businesses place podcasts and radio advertisements. Of course, not all people are given the golden voice to work in these advertisements. The voice talent outsource resources are now available to provide support.

2. Customer Service

There are businesses that require a staff that will address certain queries about their service. There are also those that need a support center if in case something goes wrong. Instead of hiring in-house staff and providing equipment, the practical choice is outsourcing this need. The employer can hire three to five outsource resources to go online on specific time shifts and answer calls and concerns from clients.

3. Recruiting

Finding the right people to do certain tasks is a challenge especially if an employer is looking for someone on a long-term basis. That\’s why employers find staff that can screen prospective employees to see if they are fit for the vacant position.

4. Accounting

One of the challenging aspects of a business is book keeping. Hiring an office based accountant or getting the services of an accounting firm will definitely be expensive. Today, book keeping is possible online. Just send the entries and a trusted accountant can help manage it.

5. Transcription

Transcribing a video or an audio clip may be simple but it becomes really hard when the clip is more than an hour long. One of the outsourced services available today is transcription. This job is usually on a fixed priced basis. The outsource resource transcribers are paid based on audio hour.

6. Translation

This is a service popular to companies that are striving to target markets outside their region. There are many languages out there aside from English. In order that other countries understand a service or item that a company is selling, they find translators who can convert an English copy to another language.

7. Personal Assistant

This is another popular service being outsourced today. People can now get virtual assistants to handle clerical tasks that are necessary in the course of their business. Virtual assistants are usually asked to handle calls, answer emails, follow up clients, prepare reports and schedule meetings.

These are just few of the services that can be outsourced. With outsourcing, businesses can now be managed even at the comforts of home. To your outsourcing success!

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