Often, those who start a business are looking for a sense of control - mastering their own destiny. They are the ones piling the work onto their plate, taking on added burden where possible. It is sometimes, then, counterintuitive to think about ways to reduce workload and increase efficiencies.
Exploring outsourcing for your company should not be overlooked. We have found that outsourcing certain elements of our remote video auditing company, Arrowsight, have allowed us to focus on core competencies. In fact, every element of our business that we can logically and reasonably outsource, we do. Typically, outsourcing gets a bad rap; you may think about dealing with call centers, but that is not even close to how outsourcing can be used effectively.
In looking to outsource elements of your business, the focus should be on what one needs to be successful: Is it product development? Installation or monitoring of equipment? Client relationship management? Or could it be innovation?
For example, it is not in the best interest of our business, and, in turn, our clients, when we handle the installation and maintenance of video equipment. We have also found that in some cases, other organizations can actually sell our services better than we can. By partnering with terrific outsourcing partners, we have been able to focus on building world class technology and service delivery mechanisms, resulting in tremendous results for our clients. It is because of this that our business has grown by double digits year-over-year since 2008.
When deciding which areas of your business you might be able to outsource, it is often helpful to ask yourself the following:
- Which area(s) of my business do I want to personally focus on growing or optimizing?
- Are there any services I can be doing a better job at providing?
- What do I do on a daily basis that, if outsourced, would allow for more time to focus on "important" items?
Frequently, outsourcing allows entrepreneurs to compete at a higher level. When you are able to pay more attention to the bigger picture and your true core competencies, the fundamentals of your business often get stronger.
Once you decide that outsourcing is for you - and you have decided which services to outsource - it is time to find the right outsourcing partners. It is critical to find partners you trust and have confidence in to meet your expectations.
Look for the partners who are known as the best in class for their domain expertise. And don't be afraid if it costs a bit more. This holds true regardless of whether you are looking for a sales agency, a software developer, security or a call center. If you want the best clients and customers, you must be prepared to pay for the best partners.
It can be hard to let go, but outsourcing can ultimately be a rewarding endeavor that helps your business thrive.