How do I Break into the Outsourcing Market?

Sonal Panse

With globalization, outsourcing has influenced the way many companies conduct their businesses. It makes business and economic sense to outsource certain work processes to other companies well-equipped to handle them, and to utilize the time and resources thus saved in expanding the business on other important fronts. On the other hand, high-level, specialized work delivery is the reason why outsource service providers do well in the outsourcing market.

Both service providers and their clients can benefit from having well-designed websites.
Both service providers and their clients can benefit from having well-designed websites.

To break into the outsourcing market, it is essential to understand how outsourcing works. Individuals and companies can outsource work processes to other individuals and companies in the same country or in other countries. The service providers may directly provide business process outsourcing and other services, or may work in collaboration with other outsourcing companies.

Customer service is an area that is commonly outsourced.
Customer service is an area that is commonly outsourced.

The first step before entering the outsourcing market is to research all possible avenues. A company seeking to outsource work ought to look up service providers online and find out about both their capabilities and their service track record. The company needs to be clear about which work processes it can profitably outsource, and be aware of the amount of control it may have to relinquish if it outsources. It is essential to know outsourcing rules and regulations, particularly if outsource offshore work is involved. Understanding and preparing for language and cultural differences can help smooth out any communication issues.

Service providers, on the other hand, need to be clear about the services they can provide, the quality of work they are capable of and the type of companies they can work with. It is important for service providers to know how to plan a scope of work (SOW) for an outsourcing project, and how to estimate project cost and the time frame for completion. To stay afloat in the outsourcing market, service providers need to invest in the latest technologies, keep abreast with outsourcing market trends and constantly upgrade their skills.

Given the importance of an online business presence, both service providers and clients will benefit from having well-designed websites. These should highlight their services, work philosophy and goals, work process, work portfolio and contact information. Having an accessible website can make it easier for service providers and client to connect with each other.

The next step is to establish contact by email, phone or direct visit, and discuss the work to be outsourced. Once the service provider and client decide to work together, they need to prepare a clear work plan and a legal work contract. The work contract should ideally detail the amount and quality of work expected, the outsourcing project pricing, the number of people working on the project, their skill levels and responsibilities, and the work hours they will keep.

The contract must mention the technologies that will be used to execute the outsourced project, the time frame for work completion and the manner of work delivery. The contract should also include possible penalties for work delays or below par work. There should be an exit strategy in event the partnership does not work out.

A certain amount of training for integrating work processes between outsource and in-house workers may be necessary. It can take several months to smooth out work details and set up the outsourcing facilities. If an outsourcing project is well-planned and well-executed, with clear communication between all parties involved, the outcome will be a win-win situation for everyone.

Tech support is commonly outsourced.
Tech support is commonly outsourced.

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