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.

Crab Insight September 2020

Red Tape Busters Volume 7, Issue 12, Reassurance

Welcome to the September edition of Crab Insight

Our focus this month is on outsourcing. The business practice of engaging an external party to perform services or create goods that traditionally were done in-house by the company’s own employees. 

For example, a business may take the decision to outsource bookkeeping duties or the functions of human resource departments, such as payroll or recruitment, or health and safety activities as doing so may be more cost-effective than retaining an in-house specialist for each area or for a business owner trying to become an expert in each.

When used properly, outsourcing is an effective strategy to reduce expenses, and can even provide a business with a competitive advantage over rivals.

Whatever your outsourcing strategy you need to make sure that the company carrying out the work you require will not present additional risks to your business.

Claudia Crab’s September Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

To make sure you do everything possible not to get let down by someone else, do your diligence before selecting an outsourcing partner.

Robert Briggs – Compliance Director Crimson Crab

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 may also be used to focus on the core aspects of the business, trusting the less critical operations to outside organisations.

On the downside, communication with the outside provider can be hard, and security threats can escalate when multiple parties access sensitive and personal data.

 

Top tip – A great starting point to find out where you are, is our Business MOT

 

F2 Business Huddle Online

The next FREE

F2 Business Huddle online

is on

Friday 9 October 2020

12 noon to 2 pm

It’s going to be the biggest ever

F2 Business Huddle

so far

All the favourite features that you have come to know and love at the F2 Business Huddle – online


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.

Thinking of outsourcing : do your diligence!

This time of year many business owners look to outsourcing certain activities. This can be a great way of reducing the burden or growing the business.

On the other hand the wrong outsourcing partner can cause mayhem and add to the stress levels. Not an ideal solution!

To reduce the risk do some basic diligence:

  1. Do they have appropriate qualifications – this could be a recognised qualification or qualification by doing. In other words do they know what they are talking about?
  2. Are they experienced – have they done the work (or similar work) in the past and can you talk to a previous client about their experience?
  3. Do they comply with the relevant legislation – they need to know what laws apply to their business and be compliant with them. A great example is data protection. You don’t want to have an issue because your outsourcing partner doesn’t understand their responsibilities with your data!
  4. Are they insured for the work they will be doing for you – insurance is a safety net for you and may influence your bargaining position over rates!

The extent of the diligence you do clearly relates to the value of the contract but remember it is your reputation to lose!

If you are going to rely on recommendations from others, always ask yourself why the person is giving the recommendation. For example is it because:

  • they have experienced the service and found it to be satisfactory?
  • they know someone from a networking meeting?
  • they know someone from social media?
  • they are going to receive some form of payment for the introduction?

The rationale for the introduction is important to your decision making process.

If it helps Crimson Crab can carry out diligence on potential outsourcing partners read more…

Our Reputation Advocates have been checked against the membership criteria, so that some of the diligence legwork has been done for you. They also work to our Ethical Trading Policy and Code of Conduct to give added peace of mind. The directory of members is here.

What is sensitive personal data?

Sensitive personal data means personal data consisting of information as to –

(a) the racial or ethnic origin of the data subject,

(b) their political opinions,

(c ) their religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature,

(d) whether they are a member of a trade union (within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992),

(e) their physical or mental health or condition,

(f) their sexual life,

(g) the commission or alleged commission by them of any offence, or

(h) any proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been committed by them, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings.

If you have concerns about compliance with the Data Protection Act our Data Protection MOT may be just for you. Read more…

What is personal data?

According to the Data Protection Act personal data means

data which relate to a living individual who can be identified –

(a) from those data, or

(b) from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller,

and includes any expression of opinion about the individual and any indication of the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the individual.

Where the ability to identify an individual depends partly on the data held and partly on other information (not necessarily data), the data held is still “personal data”.

It is also very important to remember that the definition also specifically includes opinions about the individual, or what is intended for them. This could apply to notes made at an interview or a managers assessment of an individual at the end of their probationary period.

If you have concerns about compliance with the Data Protection Act our Data Protection MOT may be just for you. Read more…

Southern Entrepreneurs – PORTSMOUTH FREE EVENT

Regulation for Small Business

06 Dec 2016 10:00 – 13:00

Enterprise Centre – PORTSMOUTH

This workshop will give an awareness of the areas of regulation that may apply to a business and how to go about developing compliance controls as a response to the ever increasing number of regulations and need for operational transparency.

Find out more and book your place…