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  • Writer's pictureKatie Paolino

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Outsourcing in Your Company!

Outsourcing Your Accounting

Today we're discussing 4 mistakes to avoid when outsourcing a critical task in your company!

The top 4 mistakes I've seen include:

1. No overlap plan.

2. Not interviewing company properly (just focusing on price).

3. Not embracing them as your team.

4. Not asking questions (accountability) .

1. No overlap plan!

If you outsource to one individual, like a singular contractor, you lose some of the benefits of outsourcing. One of the major perks of outsourcing is avoiding the stress and work of turnover and interviewing and hiring. But if you're depending on one individual as your outsource partner, you may have the same turnover risks as if you were keeping it in-house.

That's not to say an individual can't be a great outsource partner, but you want to make sure you have a really strong connection with them, you connect with their processes, you connect to their culture, and that they have a plan for when they're sick or when they go on vacation. You need to know what happens when they are not available!

2. Not interviewing a company properly (just focusing on price)!

The second mistake people make when outsourcing is not vetting the outsource partner properly. When people come to us, their first question is often about price. And of course the numbers do have to make sense for them, you don't want to waste your time on researching a solution that isn’t in your budget. But the conversation can't end there! So it might not be the best first question. You are outsourcing a position on your team. That means you're also outsourcing a part of your culture. You have every right to interview an outsourced partner as if you are interviewing a potential new team member. Because essentially you are.

What to ask before outsourcing

1. If it is a team of people that will be working for you, how do they hire? How do they interview? How do they train?

2. What are their values?

3. How do they make sure their team is fully integrated into those values?

4. How do they communicate with your in house team?

5. How do they deal with conflict?

6. How did they keep their team accountable?

All of these are going to have a direct impact on your company outside of just the service you're hiring them to do. Their company culture is going to rub off on yours. How happy and satisfied with their jobs THEIR team members are is going to effect how they do YOUR WORK and how they treat your in house team. That outsource partner has the capacity to elevate your own culture or drag it down.

3. Not embracing them as your team!

A third mistake is to hire an outsourced partner that you don't trust. We have clients come to us that are skeptical. Then in every conversation, we can tell they're trying to catch us or they're looking for an error or the words they use tell us we are not on the same team. It is like they come in with their guard up and with a "you versus me" mentality. I really don't understand that perspective because I don't understand why you would outsource an arm of your business to someone you didn't trust. Now thankfully we do have a really strong culture, we do care greatly about our clients, we do have a heart to serve them and eventually that does show and that does win them over and we build strong relationships. But if you are considering outsourcing and you're skeptical of putting some level of control in the hands of someone else, I completely understand that, but start the conversation to get to know the company and see if it eases your discomfort! Have enough conversations that you're comfortable. If you never get there, don't outsource. You will never be able to max out the benefit you could be getting from a great outsource partner if you aren't open to it. If you are just looking for trouble, that is exactly what you're going to find.

4. Not asking questions (accountability)!

The fourth mistake is to have your guard completely down, just give your outsource partner the keys to the kingdom, never ask questions, and never look at their work product. It is still your company! You are still responsible for that segment of your business and you will have to deal with the consequences long after that outsource partner is gone if it isn't handled properly. So regardless of how exceptional the outsource partner is, be familiar with their work. Ask them questions and be familiar with what they're doing for you. Be familiar with how their company is doing. Build a relationship with them. Don't hire them, never talk to them again, never ask any questions, and then be surprised 3 years later when your bank account has never been reconciled. So many clients come to us with big messes full of shame and embarrassment because that is the exact position they're in, not always with an outsourced partner, but sometimes within an in-house employee.

So there you have it! 4 common mistakes that small business owners make when they outsource a critical task in their company:

1. No overlap plan.

2. Not interviewing company properly (just focusing on price).

3. Not bracing them as your team.

4. Not asking questions (accountability) .

To learn about 5 HUGE Benefits to outsourcing, make sure to watch that video here!

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