More businesses today are outsourcing than ever before. It’s flexible, cost-effective, and can provide a massive boost to your company. However, you have to get it right. The trouble is, it can be difficult to know whether a potential contractor is a good choice for working with you. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of six critical questions you must ask a third party service before hiring them. Read on to find more.
1. How Long Have You Been In Business?
Longevity in business doesn’t guarantee you an excellent service – but it can help you weed out any time wasters. A company that has been around for a long time has to be doing something right. Otherwise, they wouldn’t exist. Sure, sometimes it is worth hiring a new, fresh firm, but you will need to be rigorous to ensure they can do the job. On the whole, you should be looking for the best experience you can afford.
2. Who Are Your Previous Customers?
It is essential that you see some references before making your decision to hire. You will need to speak with former and current clients, and any company worth their salt will be happy to pass over the details. Also, ensure that the customers have a similar business profile to your own. Speak to the other clients and find out how happy they are. Does the company fulfil all their needs? Do they work in a timely fashion? Ask for honest feedback, and you should get a detailed rundown of how you potential partner operates.
3. What Is Your Security Like?
Safety is critical when you outsource – especially if you are looking into hiring something like an IT support team. You have to have that trust in place, and the potential partner should allay any of your fears. With regards to IT, the perfect partner will give you a rundown of all the security measures they have in place. They should also have a recovery plan if a security breach occurs. And, anyone who is working on your account should have the relevant qualifications and experience. While other areas of your business are less in need for security, there are still a few things you should watch out for. You might have to ask them to sign a non-disclosure agreement to ensure their confidentiality, for example.
4. How Much Do You Charge?
Of course, one of the most important aspects of hiring an outsourced partner is their pricing structure. Be as clear as you can on this, and ask a potential partner about their full rates – not just those advertised. Inquire if they have any hidden fees or charges, and be confident enough to question anything you are unsure of. Again, reputable partners will have good reasons for charging you and will be happy to discuss their pricing. If you encounter any hesitation or reluctance, it can often be a red flag. If you are hiring for a particular project, always ask for a full and final quote. This way, you will avoid any extra charges, and will also be able to plan your finances accordingly.
5. Who Will I Be Working With?
One of the problems you might encounter when outsourcing is that you end up working with someone you don’t expect. You could be wowed and impressed by an individual during the hiring process. But then you find out that a far less impressive person will be dealing with your accounts. Always make sure that you ask about the people that will be working with you.
6. How Will You Improve My Business?
Be specific when you are asking about the services a partner will bring to the table. While it is impossible to give guarantees in business, you need to know what you can expect. Your focus has to be on improving your business outcomes, and the service provider should be confident enough to give you a rough guide.
7. Will We Get On?
It is just as important to find people you get on with, as well as being impressed by their portfolios. Relationships with outsourced partners need to be fruitful in a business sense, of course. But, you have to realise you will be working closely with each other. If there are tensions, or you just don’t get on, it can make things tough. You will need to trust, like, and work with your partner – perhaps for an extended period of time. They will have access to sensitive parts of your business, too.
OK, so there you have it – the seven critical questions to ask before hiring a partner. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!