Do you want to start offloading tasks but need some successful outsourcing examples to work off of? In this post, we’re outlining ten examples of outsourcing that can get you thinking about what you need help with.
What Is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the process of handing over a task or a business process to an outside entity. These third-parties act as an extension of your business for a limited time.
The great thing about outsourcing is the fact that you can hand over almost any task. When it comes to overseas outsourcing examples, they always involve tasks that someone can do over the internet. Some examples of outsourcing include:
- Admin or back-office tasks,
- Customer-facing tasks like live chat services
- Core business functions like sales or production
A business can outsource to anyone outside their company. You can outsource to an individual who lives in a building right next to you. If you want to leverage certain outsourcing benefits, you can try offshore or nearshore outsourcing. This is where you hire a company or individual in a different country to perform tasks for you.
Benefits of Outsourcing
Cost-effectiveness is the selling point of outsourcing.
One main reason to turn to outsourcing is the costs of maintaining full-time, in-house workers. Benefits and salaries are just the tip of the iceberg. You also have to account for taxes and other overheads. With outsourcing, you don’t have to worry about those things.
Some countries charge lower rates for the same quality of service. A lot of US companies outsource overseas to India, China, and the Philippines because of better rates.
Though, don’t get us wrong. This is not to say that these countries are havens for cheap labor. Their lower cost of living simply means you are more likely to get better deals on rates. This is especially true if you live in places like California, New York, or other states where prices are inflated.
Your time is even more valuable than your money. Chances are the tasks you want outsourced are those you don’t believe are worth your time to do. That’s an honest take and completely valid. Why would you spend time on outsourcing examples like data entry, logistics, or manufacturing? If it’s not something that you’re passionate about or is a good use of your skills, outsource it!
Say you do value and care about these tasks. Even if you want to do it yourself, you can’t do everything. You only have 24 hours in a day and not sleeping is a pretty bad idea.
Outsourcing frees up both you and your staff to focus on your strengths. Lower priority tasks could be taking you away from core business areas. They could even be distracting you from investing yourself fully into making your business succeed.
Access to Expertise
We love a hands-on business owner who can handle multiple tasks and perform excellently. However, as much as we may want to, we can’t be good at everything. Enter the experts. Their value is that they have already invested a lot of energy and resources honing their craft.
These companies have done trial and error for you. The result- optimized processes, fast-learning, and quick problem-solving capabilities.
Experts save you both time and money. They’ve invested in becoming the best so you can be confident investing in them.
Risks of Outsourcing
Lack of Control
When outsourcing anything, you are giving up control over that particular task or project. While it isn’t full control, it’s enough to make people hesitant to choose to outsource. If you are someone who values being involved in every step of the process, outsourcing makes it difficult to do that. This is especially true the farther away you decide to outsource.
It’s very possible that the service provider could be doing things that do not meet your standard of quality. Even the same products made in separate countries can taste very different. This can be due to the materials used, equipment used, or management styles. If you are a products-based business, you can outsource close by. This way you can inspect the progress and result yourself.
Data security is non-negotiable. Whether it’s customer information, financial data, or product details, you need proper protection. The risk for data breach or misuse is never zero. However, there are a lot of companies who make security guarantees. In fact, some have entire pages dedicated to it. But you must ensure these companies are legitimate and not scammy.
10 Common Outsourcing Examples in Business
1. Marketing and Advertising
A lot of companies know how to make a great product or service. Not a lot of companies know how to market those products well. This is where sales, marketing, and advertising outsourcing come in. These individuals or teams are well-versed in consumer gaze. They know what draws people in, what mediums to use, and what platforms your target audience uses. They can help you develop effective strategies to not only generate leads but also improve conversions.
2. Customer Service
Apart from physical staff in stores, customer service can be a completely remote process. For instance, say you are running an ecommerce store. You can hire another person or team to take care of customer emails, FAQs, and even install live chat services. These entities will learn about your products and services and provide the best customer experience possible.
This is probably one of if not the most common business process outsourcing examples for product-based businesses. Few companies have the resources to produce their own products at scale. This is where white label manufacturers come in. They have the tools, equipment, and real estate to produce items for you. This comes out incredibly cheaper in the end.
4. Business Development and Sales
Business development is one of the business process outsourcing examples that I like to lay out. Business development is a broad role with many components that you need specialized skills to fill. Sales actually falls within business development. Another major area is partnership development, which ties in with marketing.
Examples of outsourcing here include tasks like market research and analysis, sales channel and strategy development, customer outreach, and company value growth.
5. Shipping and Logistics
We can talk about only a few areas that are more successful outsourcing examples than shipping and logistics. These two tasks are among the most tedious, repetitive tasks in any business. Yet, they are so vital to get right every single time. If you’re not using a done-for-you service like Amazon FBA, you will thank us for recommending that you outsource this as soon as possible.
6. Accounting and Bookkeeping
This area of business involves maintaining a general ledger, ensuring financial accuracy of documents, and prepping and filing taxes. It requires some specialized skills, so you’re better off not trying to learn it all yourself. Hand it over to more experienced persons, like the folks at EcomBalance.
7. Information Technology (IT)
It’s been a stereotype for a while that “IT guys” only help you when you don’t know how to work a computer. While they certainly can help you with that, their duties encompass far more than that. Take cybersecurity, for example. One way for a company to safeguard its sensitive data is through a strong IT department. They help build databases but also help put up safeguards and backups in case something goes wrong. IT is also in charge of networking and installing the proper software and tech hardware needed (like servers).
8. Human Resources
We at Outsource School can help you a ton with the hiring process. However, we highly recommend that you hand off even this process itself once you understand the basics. Some of the most successful outsourcing examples that we have from our clients are completely outsourced systems. This means outsourcing to an HR manager who takes care of everything from job posting for recruitment and interviewing candidates to onboarding hires and managing them within teams.
9. General Admin and Executive Assistance
This is another among the most popular outsourcing examples and for good reason. We mentioned how valuable time is for a business owner. The best way to protect your time is to pass off all the most time-consuming, repetitive tasks as soon as you can.
10. Software Development
This and similarly high-tech tasks are great examples of outsourcing for skillsets. You don’t need to hire in-house developers unless you are a software company or agency. You will also not do well learning all the high-tech knowledge that you would need to build your own software. The best solution, therefore, is to outsource the project.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I minimize risks to my business when outsourcing?
The greatest risks to your business when outsourcing are due to misunderstandings. First, therefore, we urge you to set very clear expectations with any hires before you begin work. Come to an agreement on every aspect of every project or role. Then, get everything down on paper and make sure both parties have no questions before you sign it. This can help you to avoid so many possible issues down the road.
Another common risk you face is due to the anonymity of the internet and the difficulty of prosecuting outside your country. It’s relatively easy to cheat online and hard to run after people who do it. So, we highly recommend that you do your due diligence before putting money on the line. Only hire from reputable companies with a long track record of client satisfaction.
Can I outsource multiple tasks to one person?
Absolutely! A lot of freelancers are used to managing multiple tasks at once. The important part is to set realistic expectations and deadlines. Also, know that you will pay higher rates for people who are skilled in different areas.
What Is Outsource School?
Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.
Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.
Free resources you might like:
- Outsource School Case Study: How We Scaled to 45+ VAs and 8 Figures in Revenue
- Free VA Calculator | See How Many VAs You Can Afford
- Free Training on 5 Keys to Working With VAs
- Learn Outsourcing 101 | Guides, Downloads, and Checklists
We hope that these successful outsourcing examples have piqued your interest in outsourcing. Despite the risks, you can benefit greatly from outsourcing, especially with a partner who knows all the tricks and can help you be more successful at hiring smart.