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.

Crab Insight September 21

Red Tape Busters Volume 8, Issue 12, `Outsourcing’

 

Welcome to the September edition of Crab Insight

Now we are into September and the kids are back at school the weather has finally improved and we are all sweltering behind the desk again and it’s time to get back to business.
 
The Online F2 Business Huddle is back this coming Friday 10 September and we’re looking forward to catching up.
 
Crimson Crab celebrated ten years in business last month.  Over the last ten years, we’ve helped loads of businesses with their compliance conundrums and data protection difficulties. and look forward to helping more in the future.
 

Claudia Crab’s September Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

“Outsourcing”

“If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.” Ryan Khan – Founder of The Hired Group, author of Hired! The Guide for the Recent Grad, and star of Hired on MTV Networks.

Outsourcing is the business practice of hiring a party outside a company to perform services and create goods that traditionally were performed in-house by the company’s own employees and staff. Outsourcing is a practice usually undertaken by companies as a cost-cutting measure. As such, it can affect a wide range of jobs, ranging from customer support to manufacturing to the back office. Key Points

  • Outsourcing can be used to reduce labour costs, together with the cost of overheads, equipment, and technology.
  • Skill and knowledge gaps can be filled using third party experts.
  • Outsourcing is also used by companies to focus on the core aspects of the business, trusting the less critical operations to outside organisations.
  • On the downside, communication between the company and outside providers can be hard, and security threats can escalate when multiple parties access sensitive and personal data.

To make sure you do everything possible not to get let down by someone else, do your diligence before selecting an outsourcing partner. Our focus is to provide easy ways of carrying out diligence. If you need practical help please do take a look at our solutions:

 

 

The big question this month is:

How can I maintain my business reputation when outsourcing services? 

Look out for our social media posts and our blog later in the month as we help you explore this in more detail.
 
Top tip – Understanding your compliance obligations and responsibilities when outsourcing is crucial, our Business MOT can help

 


F2 Business Huddle Online

Friday 10 September 2021

12 noon to 2 pm

Future F2 Business Huddle dates for your diary

Friday 8 October 2021

Friday 12 November 2021

Friday 10 December 2021

Get your ticket on Eventbrite


Reputation Advocates

When you need a reliable and dependable expert click on the crabAccredited Crimson Crab Reputation Advocate Logo


Feedback

We love to receive feedback and it really helps us to improve our services for everyone.

 

Until next month look after your reputation!!

Ethical, legal, responsible trading wave
E: enquiries@crimsoncrab.net | W: www.crimsoncrab.co.uk  

Copyright (c) 2021 Crimson Crab Ltd, all rights reserved.

Avoid the HR blame game

HR management is critical for every business and helps companies succeed in hiring the right employees for a job, keeping team members engaged, and supporting their growth and development.

So why do so many companies fail with effective HR management?

Your workers are your greatest asset. It’s important that you take care of them in order for them to take care of your business. If you don’t, it’s probable that unwanted headaches may arise.

Looking after your team may come naturally to you as a business owner or manager, but having the appropriate policies and procedures in place ensures clarity and fairness.

Without the correct policies and procedures, you can make your business susceptible to various HR issues.

An example of such a problem that Crimson Crab has had to deal with related to the apparent lack of understanding of a leave policy. Something both employees and employers must be on the same page with.

The director received a text from an employee outside of the business working hours, with a request for leave.

The employee had already booked their holiday while expecting the response from the director to be an approval.

The request was for a significant break at a busy time of year. There was an unwritten rule that all such leave should be brought up first to avoid putting pressure on other team members to provide cover.

Quite rightly, the director acknowledged the request for leave, saying they would think about it.

A little while later, the request for leave was declined, and you can imagine the discomfort and uproar this caused between the employee and their boss… not to mention the workforce too.

Some time later the employee left the company. This triggered a formal complaint via an Employment Tribunal.

Eventually, the former employee withdrew their case and didn’t lead to a ruling. However it had consumed much time, energy and money which may have been used more profitably elsewhere

A lesson was certainly learnt. And what might that lesson be?

It’s important to have a robust policy which is clear to all staff and most importantly is consistently adhered to, and applied without fear or favour in a timely way.

If it was crystal clear how leave requests and there approval worked within this particular business – which forms an important element to any company’s HR management– none of this would have taken place.

It’s essential that everyone understands the HR policies and follows the processes in place.

For more information on how to keep your HR policies up-to-date with Crimson Crab, and to avoid the horrible consequences of issues which may arise, get in touch with a member of our team today.

Crab Insight October 2020

Red Tape Busters Volume 8, Issue 01, Reassurance

Welcome to the October edition of Crab Insight

Our word of the month for October is Value. As we focus on HR management throughout this month, we believe having a team who know and feel appreciated can have a huge positive impact in many areas of your company. So make sure you show your staff that you value their work.

Claudia Crab’s October Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon
“If you are taken to a Tribunal and don’t have policies in place to cover such things as grievances and disciplinary matters – it’s too late and all you can do is damage limitation.” Robert Briggs – Compliance Director Crimson Crab

Make sure you deal with your greatest asset, the people who work for you, through appropriate Human Resources policies and procedures. Our sister organisation HR Wise provides a suite of documents which create a framework to facilitate good management including:

  • an employment contract (statement of particulars)
  • a staff handbook with a full set of procedures
  • access to an email support line

 

Top tip – Visit the HR Wise website for more information

 

F2 Business Huddle Online

The next FREE

F2 Business Huddle online

is on

Friday 13 November 2020

12 noon to 2 pm

Get your ticket on Eventbrite

Reputation Advocates

 

When you need a reliable and dependable expert click on the crab

Accredited Crimson Crab Reputation Advocate Logo

Feedback

We love to receive feedback and it really helps us to improve our services for everyone.

Until next month look after your reputation!!

Ethical, legal, responsible trading wave
T:023 9263 7190 | E: enquiries@crimsoncrab.net | W: www.crimsoncrab.co.uk

Copyright (c) 2020 Crimson Crab Ltd, all rights reserved.

How to protect the reputation of your business when outsourcing

There are many benefits to outsourcing work, from increased efficiency to cost advantages, it seems a no-brainer to take advantage of another’s skillset when the time is right for your business.

But, if you fail to do the due diligence when outsourcing and something goes wrong, it may cripple your business.

As a responsible businessperson, if you fail to conduct the reasonable steps to avoid a tort or offence within your company and they do arise, you’re at fault.

That’s why we’ve listed some considerations to support you with ensuring you carry out the due diligence and protect the reputation of your business when outsourcing.

  1. Do both sides of the agreement hold the same expectations?

Mismatched expectations can create countless obstacles in business. One way to avoid this from happening is to ensure everything is written down on paper, then agreed and understood by everyone involved with the outsourced work.

  1. Have a contract agreed.

Similar to the expectations have a contract which states what work will be carried out, completed by when and by who, as well as a clear price too. A contract has the power to be a simple reference for a solution to any conflict.

  1. What’s the reputation of the business you are outsourcing work to?

Seems obvious, right? But companies do fail to do their research regarding the reputation of someone who is completing work for them.

If the service someone provides isn’t recommended, why would you use them to support your company? You wouldn’t.

  1. Do they know their health and safety?

If an outsourced service poses a health and safety risk to your workforce and you don’t mitigate it, then if an accident takes place the responsibility falls on your shoulders.

  1. Is the company you’re outsourcing to savvy with data protection?

GDPR – you’ve heard it before and will continue to hear all about it into the future. Why? Because peoples’ personal data matters.

If you’re outsourcing work to someone required to deal with data within your business (making them the processor), for example, the personal details of your clients, then you as the controller are responsible for how the outsourced work is handled. You also need a written contract covering data processing.

  1. Are those claiming to be an expert actually an expert?

If you’re looking to outsource an element of your business, such as HR, then is the person claiming to have the ability to complete the work actually competent in it?

For further details on how to avoid having a negative impact on your business for when you outsource work, get in touch with Crimson Crab.

Employment status

An employment tribunal held that an Excel cycle courier was a worker rather than being in business on their own account, therefore succeeding in their claim for a week’s holiday pay.

The case applies the recent Court of Appeal decision in Pimlico Plumbers Ltd v Smith [2017] EWCA Civ 51.

(Boxer v Excel Group Services Ltd ET/3200365/2016)

How can Crimson Crab help?

Workers' Status

The Court of Appeal have decided that a plumber was a worker for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Working Time Regulations 1998 as well as an employee within the extended meaning of the term in the Equality Act 2010. This was in spite of the plumber’s contract labelling him as an independent contractor.

There is significant interest in worker status at present, especially following the employment tribunal decisions in the Uber and CitySprint situations and in light of the ongoing Taylor review into modern working practices.

(Pimlico Plumbers Ltd and Mullins v Smith [2017] EWCA Civ 51)