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Most common outsourcing problems and how to overcome them

outsourcing remote designers cartoon

Founders usually invest their life savings and years of hard work to open businesses not just to pursue a passion but to give work to other people.

For some employees, work is not only a source of income but an opportunity to do the things they love. Startups and SMEs offer these opportunities.

Leila Jana’s book entitled Give Work discusses employment’s hope-giving powers.

In the book, she tells stories of how uneducated people, trapped in a life of crime, prostitution, and drugs, are given the chance to uplift themselves through meaningful work.

She has encouraged big companies to adopt the outsourcing model instead of simply giving aid to poor countries.

For small and medium-sized companies, outsourcing is helpful in managing expenses because, for a fraction of the cost, you get the same quality results.

Moreover, you don’t need to manage employment concerns enabling you to focus on other tasks.

But outsourcing is not a magic pill. It is the reason why many entrepreneurs end up having more problems than solutions sometimes.

So, let me discuss how to deal with some outsourcing issues to make sure that everything runs smoothly in your business.

What are the most common issues when outsourcing?

Miscommunication

Miscommunication can happen in any area within the business. If mishandled, it can even lead to financial loss and wasted resources. When you are outsourcing, it doesn’t hurt to over-communicate.

The distance is a challenge but you need to make sure that communication between you and the service provider is always up to par.

Signing up too soon

There are so many outsourcing companies out there and some of them are posers.

Of course, they’ll look good at first because they’re trying to onboard you so before you sign up, seek feedback or testimonials then countercheck. Due diligence is essential.

Risk of data leaks

When you assign tasks to service providers, you also entrust the data of your company to them.

The risk of data leaks and privacy breaches should be an angle of concern when considering outsourcing. They should always guarantee your data privacy.

How to find a suitable outsourcing company?

Outsourcing companies can be likened to Peter Parker meeting 2 more Peter Parkers in Spider-Man No Way Home.

They’re like one super employee who can replicate their skills and tackle bigger and more complex problems in your business.

spiderman meme tom holland andrew garfield tobey maguire
The three generations of Spider-Man recreating the famous meme (Source: Sony Picture)

Unfortunately, like in a multiverse, outsourcing opens the risk of running into problems, variants, and failures.

Now how do you fix a collapsing multiverse? Every Spider-Man and their villains must return to their own universe and Peter (Tom Holland), stronger and more mature, had to settle in one path.

Finding the perfect outsourcing company takes trial and error. But when you find The One that’s mature, efficient, and effective enough to stand by you as you go through business challenges, it’s worth the investment.

Now back to the real business universe.

Remember that you will be entrusting your business’ data and processes to people outside your company. There are several factors that you need to consider. These are:

  • Corporate Values – Make sure that your company’s and the service provider’s corporate values are aligned, so you won’t have difficulties communicating your goals and expectations to them.
  • Price – Make sure that you are making a good deal by comparing different companies’ service charges. But make sure that you don’t prioritize price at the expense of quality. Quality still comes first.
  • Reputation – Check the background, success stories, and case studies of your chosen service provider. Always deal with reputable companies so your time and money won’t be put to waste.

How to improve communication with your outsourcing company?

The first thing that you have to do is to recognize cultural differences. Note that you might be outsourcing your services to people from other countries due to labour costs.

Language and time barriers can be felt but with proper planning, they can be overcome.

It’s also helpful to set specific instructions and deadlines with the service provider so that quality services can be delivered despite the differences in cultures.

Due diligence is better than cure

Avoiding outsourcing mistakes can be challenging, especially if it’s your first time engaging with one. But with due diligence, you can minimise the impact of possible mistakes.

Plan B always comes in handy. Leave room for error because outsourcing companies are still made up of erring humans.

Finally, before closing the deal with an outsourcing company, make sure to have every detail of the contract communicated well with a clear exit strategy.