When I first started in the business, I entered only knowing that the only way I will grow my team is through hiring employees that will report to the office everyday. That was the time back then – there was no internet. Hiring someone from another continent was completely out of the question.

But as time passed, technology only grew more significant and it’s playing more important roles more than ever. With this, the option that you can only hire in-house no longer stood. Outsourcing emerged and is now feeding many families, sending children to school, and providing a roof all over the world. I believe outsourcing has also given opportunities to those who are not privileged to have finished college, because outsourcing employers look at a person’s talent and capabilities rather than a piece of paper.

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Before I started outsourcing, I had no clue how it worked. The economy was not as good as it used to before, and practically all businesses, including mine, had to cut down costs. As I was looking for ways to do so, a friend of mine told me about outsourcing and how he does it to the Philippines. If, like me before, the concept of outsourcing is still foreign to you, let me explain it simply. Outsourcing is delegating business tasks to an external service provider or vendor.

It took some time for me to wrap my head around this idea. Frankly, I even tried to make it work with my in-house employees, because I was not prepared to take the leap. But in the end, it was just too much. There are just some things that cannot work no matter how much you try to force it.

To outsource your way to lower operating costs, you should have courage. This was something I did not have at first, hence I was uncertain to try outsourcing. I just wasted time and money, so take courage if you want to try outsourcing.

Second, gather information. If you have friends or colleagues who have tried to outsource before, ask them about their experiences and how they did it. In my case, my friend who introduced me to outsourcing did so to the Philippines. He had nothing but good words for the people he has worked with in the Philippines, so I automatically kept my eyes peeled for Filipinos.

Third, know the specific tasks you are going to outsource. In many cases, outsourcing is the best option because there are certain tasks that do not call for a full-time employment like answering e-mails, web design and maintenance, social media management, copywriting, blogging, and even data management. These things, while minor, still take time from your in-house employees. That’s why outsourcing is the perfect answer to this common dilemma.

Fourth, look for quality people. The reason I was convinced to outsource to the Philippines is primarily because of my friend. He only had praises about the people he was working with at the time. He kept on saying how talented and capable his service providers are. In outsourcing, you have to be smart in choosing the people who will work for you. They can make or break your business.

Fifth, be upfront and transparent. When outsourcing, you have to let your vendors know what you are looking for. Are you looking for a part-timer or a full-timer? Will you pay them a fixed fee or by the hour? Can they work flexible hours or should it be fixed? Of course, it is up to you how you can cut a deal that is beneficial and fair to both you and your vendor. If there is another upside in outsourcing to the Philippines, it is that the cost of living is lower compared to other countries. I am not saying outsourcing to the Philippines is cheap, but rather you get what your money’s worth.

Lastly, be EXTRA smart. Unfortunately, not all service providers can keep their end of the bargain. So, please be extra smart in weeding out candidates that are not up for the job. Take extra precautionary measures in hiring. As plenty of talented and capable vendors are, there are also people who are looking to make money without doing any real work, so be wary.

Outsourcing is a powerful method that can lead to the success of your business. When you find the right people, it can also permanently cut down your operational costs. We have technology to thank for because it made working together towards the same goal in different continents possible. Real-time communication and results can be achieved no matter the time difference and distance. You just have to know how to make outsourcing work to your advantage.

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In this climate, it never hurts to make the extra effort to save on your resources and allocate it on something else. Be wise with the decisions you make because each of them can bring you farther or closer to success.