When you first start out in the realm of business ownership and management, you may think that it’s you against the world. But chances are that before long you will find that you start collaborating with third parties to make your life a whole lot easier. While there are plenty of forms of collaboration out there, the most commonly engaged with is outsourcing. Outsourcing is a relatively commonly employed business practice which involves the distribution of certain tasks to independent third parties outside of your company. Not only does this remove a huge workload from your shoulders, but it comes hand in hand with various other benefits too. Jobs can be completed faster, you can gain the expertise of people trained or educated in different areas to yourself, you can make use of other business’ resources and specialist equipment, and you don’t have the added responsibility of becoming an employer in the process! However, when you’re giving this kind of responsibility to an individual, agency, or company who lies outside of your own company’s jurisdiction, it’s not surprising that you’ll probably feel a bit wary when it comes to choosing the right person or group to carry out the job. After all, failures on their part will reflect badly on your company. So, here are a couple of different ways to effectively vet potential candidates!
Perhaps the most effective way to determine whether the third party will be able to meet your small business’ needs and requirements is to conduct a supplier audit. This will allow you to send in a neutral individual who will judge the third party’s capabilities. You will be able to determine whether they have the capacity to meet your demand (and whether they have the scope to increase their workload if your demands rise). It will also show you whether the quality of their work meets your expectations. An audit can also determine whether the intended collaborator’s values and policies comply with your company’s, eliminating ethical risks that could come hand in hand with a partnership.
Another area to look at is the third party’s previous reviews. If they have done a good job in their previous ventures, they should be happy to supply some positive feedback that they have been left from past collaborations. They should also have an extensive portfolio of their previous work.
Conducting a Trial Run
Before getting involved in any form of long-term contract, you should suggest and request a trial run. Perhaps you can see how you work together for a month or so before committing to a year or longer. While contracts can reduce costs (as many third parties will offer discounted rates for guaranteed work), a trial period will give you the opportunity to feel completely comfortable in getting involved with this sort of commitment.
As you can see, third-party collaborations can be extremely beneficial for a small business. But you need to ensure that you find the right party to work with! Hopefully, these steps will help to make this process a little simpler!