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4 Questions to ask yourself if you’re considering offshoring and my Frank feedback

Are we offshoring a problem?

If you’re looking at offshoring to solve an issue in your business, you need to look at that issue first. If you’re offshoring something that doesn’t drive results locally then it might not work offshore which can lead to a negative experience. How can you expect an offshore team to ace something you haven’t been able to make work in your local team?

Have we identified tasks that are suitable for offshoring?

Not every role or task in a business is suitable offshore. For instance if a company comes to me and says they want to offshore their sales team, I would question whether this is appropriate. It might be better to keep your client contact local so you can have more control over their go-to-market.

Take time to work out what things you can offshore, look at what other companies have made work. It’s best to start with small, repetitive well documented tasks and increase from there rather than offshore complex work first.

Do we have enough time to dedicate to making this work?

Offshoring is not plug and play and you get out what you put in. Before investing in an offshore plan, work out how much time you can invest. Is there someone in your business who can lead it? If not, consider if having an external advisor is a good option to keep you on track.

Do we have buy-in from the business for an offshore model?

It’s likely your local team will work directly with the offshore team. Are they invested in this? Have you communicated the strategy well and does the local team understand what it means for them? Consultation is key here - don’t fall into the trap of your local team fearing that you’ll replace them with cheaper offshore resources.

When done well an offshore team can significantly enhance the performance of a local team and your business overall. Keep your local team informed and engaged in the process.

Are we offshoring only to save costs?

Businesses offshore to save costs - that’s true. But if it’s your only reason then consider it carefully. Putting immense pressure on cost saving from offshoring can detract from the results if you’re expecting them immediately. It takes time to set up a successful offshoring venture and needs a mid-to-long term view rather than purely short term.

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