So you have a small business, and you are fantastic at what you do, but you are slowly finding out that some of the day-to-day activities are out of your expertise. Don’t worry, things such as accounting or tech support are things that you can outsource to save you time and even cut down on costs, thus leaving you free to take care of your business the best ways you know how.
1.Don’t wait too long
Early on in your small business career it is tempting to try and keep everything in-house, but experts in the field really caution against waiting a long time to outsource. This is because when you outsource it allows you to start projects immediately instead of waiting to recruit the right employees.
Outsourcing functions such as legal, accounting, insurance, benefits, marking and tech support are all things that experts recommend for small businesses. When you are looking for a vendor it is important to find the right fit with your business as well as the way you work. First you should:
2. Get referrals
For this you can simply ask other small businesses or even attend a Chamber of Commerce function or two and just ask around. It shouldn’t take too long for you to come up with a number of different vendors you could use. After you have a few names you will want to research them through the Better Business Bureau and similar sources.
3. Plan your budget
How much are you willing to pay for the services you are planning to outsource? As obvious as this may sound it is always a great idea to have a solid number in mind before you start negotiations. You need to figure out what your upper limit for spending on outsourcing is before moving forward.
4. Prepare some questions
When you first talk to each vendor you want to learn more about them and how they work. Things such as how quickly they can get the job doe, will they be assessing your business first, and so on are important questions you should want answered. You are looking to see if these vendors work best for your business and that depends on your specific needs. So have all those questions ready when you meet the vendors.
5. Working relationships
Once you have selected your vendors you need to focus on establishing and maintaining good working relationships. It is important that you share your preferred methods of communication. Having expectations set early on make it easy to address challenges whenever they might arise. Check with your vendors and employees often to see what it working and what needs to change.
Finally, be prepared to review and reflect on your outsourcing relationships. Just because you need a certain type of outsourcing now doesn’t mean you always will.