How to choose an outsourced service or business partner

When you run your own business, there’s a lot to keep track of. For example, there’s manufacturing and logistics, marketing, building and maintaining a website, accounting,¬†providing conference call services, hiring staff and even making sure your offices are kept clean and tidy.

While many of these tasks can be dealt with by an in-house team, sometimes it’s easier and more affordable to outsource certain jobs or establish a business partnership to offset the burden. The key, however, is to choose a company that offers reliable and effective solutions that will push your business forward, rather than cause more problems.

So, how do you decide which companies to work with? Read on to find out how to pick the right firms to deal with to ensure your business runs in the way it should.

Know when and what to outsource
While working with another company will come with a cost, it’s likely that the money will be worth it, as bringing in outside help will lead to an increase in revenue and more streamlined running of the business.

For example, maybe your business is growing and you need a larger team to accommodate the work or perhaps there are aspects of the business that you don’t have the time for – these are perfect reasons to outsource certain responsibilities.

Consult your professional network
If you’re not sure where to find a business partner or outsource help to, check with others in your professional network. They might be able to give you personal recommendations or suggest places to start looking.

There are a number of websites that serve as virtual marketplaces for contractors, while professional associations and qualifying bodies can also be options to consider.

Research the options
If you’re desperate for the help, it can be tempting to sign up the first person or company that shows interest in your project – but try to make an informed choice.

Ask to see examples of their previous work and arrange for an interview to get to know them better. Remember, they’ll be responsible for a part of your company, so you don’t want to hand the reins over to just anyone.

Make sure your requirements and objectives are clear
Whether you’re hiring a contractor or outsourcing from an agency, make sure your business needs and long-term goals are completely clear.

For example, depending on your needs, a company that offers a cheap and fast service by sacrificing quality might be sufficient. In other cases, it may be worth paying out a bit more for better work – by ensuring your requirements are understood, it can reduce problems later on.

Be ready to relinquish control
This can be especially hard for small business owners who, up until a certain point, took care of every part of the enterprise themselves. It’s completely understandable if you feel like the company is your baby, and you might even get a thrill from knowing that every element of the it rests on your shoulders.

However, you’re only one person and there’s only so much you can do before your health and personal life begin to suffer. Outsourcing can relieve the burden, but you have to be able to give up some of the control. If you’ve chosen your business partner wisely, you should be able to trust them to get the job done without micromanaging everything they do.

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