The Efficient Outsourcer

 

 

The efficient outsourcer

Outsourcing professional services is a great way to keep a franchise head office streamlined – on budget, if staffing overheads are proving challenging; flexible to adjust to changing business conditions; and on track of critical projects.

While outsourcing everything in an office is not possible – and potentially not always advisable depending on the needs of clients, staff and franchisees – there are key benefits to be gained by bringing in external experts in areas such as finance, marketing, information technology or administration far beyond the practical and financial.

A fresh approach

Outside ideas can inject fresh thinking and new ways of doing things into your business. For example, an expert social media consultant is going to be up to date with the latest trends, data and platforms. Freelancers, consultants and third-party businesses can bring a fresh approach and recommendations, while freeing up time for your employees to work on other projects within their expertise and job descriptions.

Set clear goals

Before engaging a third-party provider, it’s important to set clear goals in what you are hoping they will achieve for your business. Are you merely seeking them to undertake a task and depart – for example, writing fresh website copy? Alternatively, are you seeking them to run something on a day-to-day basis, such as bookkeeping services, to free up administration time from your team so they can focus on other tasks?

Before engaging a third-party provider, it’s important to know what you want them to achieve for your business.

Perhaps you are working on a critical project and want the business to build something, such as a website, software or strategy. From there, do you want the third party to run this new website or implement the strategy, or to hand it back to your employees for ongoing, day-to-day management?

Depending on your goals with the process, you will need to ensure that this is made clear to the third-party business and steps are taken within that process to ensure that you are getting what you need for the short, medium and longer term. 

Get what you need

Let’s take the example of building a website. You may want a new website with specific capabilities, new content and original design. However, once the site is created, you ideally want your central employees to be the ones updating and maintaining it. As part of working with a third party, you need to be assured that the website, once completed, can be regularly and quickly updated by your own staff – any training or resources should be provided, and support mechanisms put in place to ensure that the site can be customised as needed. Without these assurances, you may be left with a website that is unworkable unless you continue to engage the designers, which may be more expensive and time-consuming than you had initially budgeted.

If you hire a third party to build a website, you need to be assured that, once completed, it can be regularly and quickly updated by your own staff – training or resources should be provided.

Alternatively, in the case of a bookkeeper, this may be ongoing work that is outsourced. You are not expecting the bookkeeper to teach your staff how to order receipts and account for payments; you are paying for the bookkeeper to handle this task on your behalf, so their processes, templates, equipment or software may be of little concern to you. You anticipate it to be an ongoing relationship and you are paying for their time and expertise over the longer term.

If you hire a bookkeeper for ongoing work, they will handle this task on your behalf, so you don’t need them to teach your staff their processes.

Assess the relationship over time

It’s vital to know the difference between these types of outsourcing so you can set clear goals, guidelines and processes. In addition to core goals that are expressly communicated by way of contract or agreements with third-party providers, it’s important to continually assess the relationship to ensure that value is still being provided. Regularly check any briefs or arrangements to ensure that it is still what you require, and adjust if necessary.

By setting clear goals and monitoring the practicalities of the arrangement on an ongoing basis, you can help ensure that outsourcing is handled efficiently, effectively and adds value to your business. 

By setting clear goals and monitoring the practicalities of the arrangement on an ongoing basis, you can help ensure that outsourcing is handled efficiently, effectively and adds value to your business. 

 

Corina Vucic is the director of FC Business Solutions

 

03 9533 0028

cv@fcbs.com.au

https://www.fcbs.com.au