POTTSTOWN PA – Outsourcing is a common practice in today’s business world, but it’s not solely the domain of large companies, according to members of the Pottstown chapter of SCORE, the Service Corps of Retired Executives. Small business owners use outsourcing to handle work overflows, receive specific expertise in a new or unfamiliar area, or handle routine administrative tasks that take up too much of their time and attention.
The decision to outsource certain functions requires a professional approach, particularly because small business owners may be understandably leery about relinquishing control over a task they have handled from the outset.
Developing a successful long-term relationship with an outsourcing partner requires effort on both sides. It’s important to treat it like a partnership, because that’s what it really is. A vendor who supplies a vital service for a business is like part of its staff, so owners should go through a similar interviewing and reference checking process before you “hire” them.
Using outside service providers who have experience working with particular type of businesses is important. Owners will want someone with the technology and expertise to deliver cutting-edge services.
Be sure to ask detailed questions about the service being sought, and the access to someone who can answer questions and solve problems as they arise. For most small business owners, this kind of accessibility and service are top priorities. If the firm under consideration won’t be available when something goes wrong, look elsewhere.
Also ask candidate firms for current and past clients who received services of a scope similar to what you’re looking for. If possible, ask for references to similar clients to properly gauge how well the company understands specific needs. Always meet with a service provider’s leadership, as well as the people who will be working directly. Eliminate any doubts about their ability to handle what may be critical tasks for your business.
A “go-to” resource for help is the Outsourcing Institute, the world’s largest professional community dedicated solely to outsourcing. It provides information about outsourcing trends, articles on securing IT and business processing services, and tips for ensuring an outsourcing partner delivers a desired level of performance.
To learn more about successful local outsourcing, call the Pottstown chapter of SCORE at 610-327-2673. SCORE is a national nonprofit organization of more than 10,500 volunteer business counselors who provide free, confidential business counseling and training workshops to small business owners.
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