The benefits of outsourcing today are unique and timesaving. No one really has enough time, especially in the B to B corporate world and in marketing departments in particular. Everyone is taxed and asked to do way more than they’re possibly able to do in a day.
To do lists are an arm long and they never really get taken care of. They always just have the top five. Five things to do in any given day and you add six or seven more things to your to do list every day. This blog post is just going to outline a few of the challenges and a few of the benefits of outsourcing.
Challenges of Outsourcing Your Marketing
Let’s go into three top challenges of outsourcing. A lot of times, when people think of outsourcing, you automatically think of international resources in India or China or something like that. Often times, that’s the location for a lot of these resources. Just inherently in international and multicultural kinds of conversations and working arrangement, you have the challenge of time.
Outsourcers and you happen to be on a different clock
Your outsourcers are on a different clock than you are. Quite frankly, that happens to me all the time. I have a 24/7, 365 day team that I work with. I call them the Team of 10 who are in basically every different time zone that you can imagine.
Myself as the manager, I’m challenged to be able to align and relate to those resources in their time zone. Sometimes, I’m speaking with someone at 5 o’clock in the morning and it’s actually 7 o’clock at night for them. A big challenge of outsourcing is time management. You need to know where your clock is and how to manage with your team.
Cultural differences are there
Cultural differences and needs are to be understood. There’re different things that come into play when you’re working with individuals from a different culture or a different county such as:
- Language barriers
- Cultural barriers
- Spiritual barriers
- Religious barriers
The number one thing that I would like to advise and tell people through this blog post is treat your outsourcers like human beings. Treat them like people and be respectful of the outsourcers you work with.
They have lives. They have children. They have jobs, right? Their job may be to help work with you and provide a benefit but they’re people too, right? Ask them about their holidays. Ask them what they have planned in the weeks to come. Not only can you manage your time better but you’re respectful to them because you work with them.
Level of communication is different
Number three challenge is just being able to communicate the jobs. The challenge of understanding a task that is relevant for outsourcing is critical.
When you think about a job you may want to give to someone, especially someone who may have a bit of a language barrier. They may not understand English quite as well as you or you can’t understand them quite as well when you speak.
The jobs that you outsource have to be:
- Task based
- Very specific
Meaning here’s what we want you do. We want you post a blog and then retweet it and put a social media tag xyz.
Outsourcing Makes Life Easy But It Still Needs Work
You have to be able to define your work in a step-by-step fashion. Step one, step two, step three and step four. What I’m getting at is:
Task has to be specific.
It has to be repeatable.
It has to have specific action steps
It must have a sequence of work flow to follow because it’s hard to ask someone who may not really understand your company or the project services to do and understand the language. It’s hard for them to think on the fly or come up with the things on their own. It’s much better and it’s much more effective to be very task based in what you’re explaining to them.
Three big challenges of outsourcing are time management, being respectful and kind to your resources are and then there is the process or tasks you choose need to be practical and task based.
Benefits of Outsourcing
The last little part of this blog post I want to get into is the benefits of outsourcing. The benefits of outsourcing, I think are pretty obvious to a lot of people but again highlighting them here is important because some people think, “Oh, number one benefit of outsourcing is I’m just going to radically reduce my cost.” Well, maybe, maybe not.
Cost reduction is somewhat a benefit and somewhat not? You may reduce the cost of the actual hour billed for creative design. An actual hour billed for content publishing to your website, right? The hourly rate might go down but the time to actually complete the process, complete the task may go up.
You may go from a $20.00 resource to a $5.00 an hour resource but the job takes you five times as long. You’re actually losing money. You have to be very conscious that the benefits of outsourcing are not necessarily around cost reduction.
Leverage is the real advantage of outsourcing
Outsourcing is all about leverage. You build an ability to have more things done at the same time. I’m an individual but I have five people working right now on different things around my business. It allows me to free up my time for the things that are more critical and more important. Leverage, freeing up your time to focus on the things that really matter is a huge part of outsourcing.
Balance between outsourcing & insourcing
Another big benefit of outsourcing is the balance between insourcing and outsourcing. When you’re doing project management and resource management, insourcing is when you have tasks that need to be handled by your team. They’re specific. They’re critical. They’re only those kinds of work that need the perspective of someone in the organisation. You have to keep it in-house. They’re not the complex task that you can’t really put in a sequence.
You keep those in-house but a lot of the other tasks that just keep people busy and they’re not really focused on the strategic things that are going to move a project or a company forward.Those are the ones you want to target for outsourcing. You want to figure out if you can get them into workflow. You want to figure out if you can get them into a task and then get them out the door and have somebody else do it.
Outsourcing polishes your ability as a manager
The third huge benefit of outsourcing and I’ve experienced this numerous times in the projects I’ve done for my clients and managing agile project teams is the number one benefit of outsourcing. It improves your ability as a decision maker or a company owner or a product manager to be able to solve problems. That sounds funny but it’s true.
With outsourcing, you can solve just about any problem you can think of…
Way more effectively
Way more efficiently
Way more quickly than trying to hire a body, bring them in, train them up, and then getting it done.
What I mean by this here’s an example: It is a Saturday morning and I was working on a project and I needed some help. The resource that I had lined up to do it wasn’t available to post 10 new web pages to my website.
I was stuck – because I needed to go and take my son to swim class and I couldn’t do the work. I fired up my favourite community – the oDesk Community – oDesk.com which is a great service for finding resources to help you with projects. I fired up oDesk. I did a quick search on website support, website masters, content publishing. Found a resource and talked to them.
I just happened to hit them that it was the middle of their afternoon and they were online. They were interested. I communicated the job. I told them the details. I had already specked out the steps for it. Got them engaged, outsourced the task and I was out the door in less than an hour and a half.
There’s absolutely no way in God’s green earth that you can get worked on that quickly than finding an outsource service and finding someone who’s an expert in that.
The number three benefit of outsourcing is just the amount and scope and speed of problem solving. I have a bit of a super power in this regard. One of my close friends said to me one time is like I was searching for what I should focus on in my business and he said to me, “You are the master outsourcer.
You can find a resource to solve just about any problem faster than I’ve ever seen anyone be able to do.” Focus on that and help businesses realise that the balance between insourcing and outsourcing and the effective use of outsourcing to solve problems is a massive need.
Outsourcing is a big chunk of my successful line of business
That’s what I do. A big chunk of my business is to manage outsourced resources and I have focused on b to b technology companies, clean tech companies. I really work with product managers and marketing directors who have an immense need to get jobs done and problems solved but don’t have the cash or the resources to do it all in-house.
That’s what my organisation does. I’m the owner of Inbound Marketing Service. We can help you with all of your outsourcing needs. Part of what I’ve learned in my 15 years of working on different internet and web related projects is that the benefits of outsourcing definitely outweigh the negatives.