How can I maintain my business reputation when outsourcing services?

The reputation of your business matters. It matters most to your growth and development; if you have a poor reputation in the eyes of clients and prospective customers, you’ll struggle to progress from where you’re currently at.  

But while juggling the busy life of running a business, along with all the other things which may be on your plate, you may look at using the services of an expert to support you with some key business functions.

We’re talking about outsourcing the likes of HR, marketing, accountancy, sales and more.

So, when you find yourself outsourcing key functions of your business, how can you maintain your reputation when it’s somebody else doing the work on your behalf?

In a nutshell, it’s down to ensuring that you carry out ‘due diligence’ – the process of getting hold of all the material information you need in order to make an informed decision.

We’ve listed five questions to ask yourself to help ensure that your outsourcing partner service is not going to damage YOUR business’s reputation.

Do the people behind the company you’re outsourcing to understand you?

Before agreeing to outsource a key service, it’s important that your provider knows about your business’s short, medium, and long-term goals.

With this knowledge, they can ensure that every action they complete is aligned to your business strategy and, if it isn’t, they shouldn’t be doing it.

Sometimes, involving your team (that’s if you have one) in this process can be hugely valuable as their opinion may help your decision making.

Do you understand them?

We’re not talking about knowing everything about them, such as the names of their family or what their favourite food may be, but about whether you understand why they do the job that they do.

Outsourcing is, ultimately, trusting someone to do something for your business that you would be unable to do for yourself and / or do it in a better way. Be sure to understand why the person you’re outsourcing to does what they do, and always check they know what they’re talking about.

Are they experienced in doing what they’re going to do for you?

While we’re touching on ensuring someone knows what they’re talking about, ask for a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates the person you’re outsourcing to has already done what you are asking of them.

It’s no good outsourcing your marketing to someone who has zero experience in this area. Their success stories, and the testimonials off the back of this, will help inform your decision on whether they’re a good match for you.

Beware – people are very good about talking about themselves when they are selling their services to you. Don’t be taken in by them telling you what you want to hear, and ensure you get your questions answered in a comprehensive way.

A demonstratable knowledge of a particular subject, which comes with experience, should be evident in a company selling a quality outsourced service.

How do they compare to their competitors?

Many companies fail to conduct competitor analysis. When looking to outsource a key function of your business, it’s important to compare the market. You need to find the partner that works best for you.

For example, if you’re looking to outsource your company’s HR with an HR expert, take time to look at what their competitors may say too. This will not only help you to identify key elements of their services, but also provide you with the confidence that you’ve chosen the right partner.

Are they trusted by others?

Testimonials and case studies are everything. Without these, you’re leading into an outsourcing partnership blind.

Before agreeing to outsource, ensure that your provider is trusted by others and, even better, trusted by others in the same sector as you.

For more information and support about outsourcing – and to ensure you’re continually protecting your reputation – get in touch with our team today.

Nothing’s broken yet, but it may be too early to tell…

It has been a month since David Lowe took over Crimson Crab as Director after Rob and Wendy Briggs announced their retirement, so here’s what he has to say now he’s feeling a little more settled.

I’m delighted with how the first month has gone at Crimson Crab, and I don’t think that I’ve broken anything yet, but it might be too early to tell.

Over the last several weeks, Rob has been distilling his 10 years of accumulated knowledge into the squidgy object that passes for my brain.

It’s been a steep learning curve and my mind is spinning. This isn’t because Crimson Crab’s operations are complex (they’re not, they’re commendably simple, even though the subject matter that we deal with sometimes can be), it’s because there’s just so much of it.

As an example, the F2 Business Huddle doesn’t just happen by itself and I’m beginning to appreciate just what a slick operation Wendy and Rob have built up.

The last thirty or so days have then been an odd mixture of relishing the challenge of taking Crimson Crab forward, tempered with the knowledge that I’ve got a tough act to follow.

I’m getting a sense of what the company is about and also how we might in future be able to offer our clients more of the things that they need.

A couple of new ideas are presenting themselves and over the next few months I’ll be exploring whether they’ll resonate… I’m excited to share these with you.

On a personal note, it’s probably fair to say that I’ve been a little distracted during September.

A group of us made an attempt to get my friend who suffers from Motor Neurone Disease (and his purpose-built wheelchair) to the top of Mount Snowdon.

It wasn’t a total success, as the wheels on the chair buckled about ¾ of the way up, but we managed to get 43 of the 47 participants to the summit.

If you’d like to see in 8 minutes what was for most people 7 or 8 hours’ worth of effort, please follow the link at The Ascent – YouTube

Finally, I’d like to say a big thank you to Wendy and Rob for entrusting me with their baby.

I’ll always give my best efforts to maintain the standards and expectations that you’ve set for Crimson Crab and I’m confident we’ll continue to give the community that’s been built up around it the ongoing high levels of service and attention they deserve.