Well, I must say I enjoyed Halloween immensely this year! You only had to see the excitement and joy of the children all decked out in their finery to really get into the spirit of trick or treating. And some of those costumes were pretty spooky! I know my kids weren’t too keen on going close to some of the creepy menaces walking the street at twilight. But their fearswere quickly allayed once they realised that it wasn’t so scary underneath the mask.
Having worked in the outsourcing industry for many years now I’ve come across clients who were scared of sending work offshore. They’d heard about the concept, knew of the benefits it could offer to their business, but still they held back because of lack of understanding, support and FEAR of the unknown.
When I talk network with potential clients I usually pick up on a number of common reservations about offshoring work, but after talking with them for a while the client inevitably moves from reluctant to actually wanting to get into the global outsourcing market.
Today I want to address some of the common fears of SME offshore outsourcing so you too can stop FEAR from holding you back in your business:
Letting Go of Control
This is the big one for many female entrepreneurs who, being used to doing everything themselves for years, find it very challenging to let go and allow someone else to step in and take the reins in certain aspects in their business. But the fact of the matter is, if you want to grow and scale your business you can’t shoulder the burden of all the work, you need help. The key here is to be prepared. Give an ideal profile of the person you plan to outsource to. Getting specific makes it easier to find qualified candidates and train them in how you like to run your business. And I mean BE SPECIFIC. Make sure you plan thoroughly, have manuals, processes and training procedures in place to make the transition of work as smooth as possible.
When it comes to the security and confidentiality of your company’s information you can apply the same safe guards with an offshore contractor as you would an onshore freelancer. You can get the worker to sign a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement so you’re both accepting work with the understanding that the information you’re dealing with is of a sensitive nature. It’s also a good idea to require an Accountability Statement be signed which states that the freelancer you’re contracted to cannot outsource or reassign a task to another contractor without express permission. Internet security can also be addressed and be part of your contractual agreement before outsourcing work OR even supply the contractor with a licence for your preferred network security provider. If you practice safe transfer of information, including setting up accounts and safekeeping personal passwords that can be erased once the job is finished, you can provide yourself with peace of mind regarding the security of your business.
One of the defining aspects of the emerging SME outsourcing industry is the wide variety of prices that you’ll see advertised for certain services. With a bargain basement rate you can expect two things: 1. You’ll get no set up or ongoing support, what you pay for is what you get and 2. You’ll find that your contractor will be getting much less than what is advertised, sometimes compromising their human rights and basic living standards in the process. With this in mind it’s prudent to not be too much of a price shopper and rather, look at the savings you will make with a good offshore service compared to what you would pay onshore. Onshore SEO for example can cost thousands of dollars a month, but the same service offshore can more than halve your costs for the same outcome.
Keep in mind the unknown is always scary! But with the right advice, planning and support you can face your fears and take that next step towards building a business you love that works for you.
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