Outsourcing Trends & Best Practices of 2018

Cody McLain


In today’s economy, outsourcing is the common thread that ties everyone together from the largest of corporations to individual professionals who want to free up some time in their busy...

In today’s economy, outsourcing is the common thread that ties everyone together from the largest of corporations to individual professionals who want to free up some time in their busy schedule. When it comes to your business and your opportunities to outsource, you probably fall somewhere in between.

The fact is, outsourcing is accessible and extremely powerful – and that’s why you should be utilizing it in your business model (if you aren’t already). In this article, we’ll review the top outsourcing trends from 2018 along with current best practices and some insights on what’s to come over the next few months.

The Top 3 Trends from 2018

#1 New Technology

Technology is constantly evolving, so it’s really no surprise that it’s made its way into business process outsourcing.

Businesses are utilizing new technology to place an emphasis on process automation. Automation is touted to save workers somewhere between 240 and 360 hours a year, so it’s no surprise businesses are quickly jumping on to the AI, Ml, and automation bandwagons.

Technology is also helping companies be more effective with customer engagement. Businesses are turning away from their call center models and focusing more on real-time engagement with followers through full-fledged social media teams who can tweet back at questions and comments in an instant.

#2 Skills Shortage

There is a definite skill shortage that businesses are currently managing, and outsourcing has helped businesses keep themselves afloat when there isn’t enough local talent or resources to complete a project.

Rather than having to do without, many businesses are using outsourcing to unlock top industry talent through freelance platforms and/or their own websites. They’re able to hire a specialized and experienced individual off-site to handle all of the tasks that no on-site worker has the time or knowledge to address, putting a silver lining around the skills shortage.

#3 Continued Growth

Many countries have established themselves as popular outsourcing destinations – India, the Philippines, and Malaysia. Moving into 2019, these countries will keep growing as they continue to build their reputation as fast and affordable sources of outsourced labor.

The “gig economy”, or localized outsourcing, in countries such as the United States and Canada is continuing to grow as experts predict that, “27 million Americans will leave full-time jobs from now through 2020, bringing the total number of self-employed to 42 million.”

These numbers are staggering, and they prove how many individuals are turning to freelance as the supply of outsourced/contracted work continues to grow for skilled individuals.

What Services to Outsource

There is very little that can’t be outsourced in today’s economy. Freelancers are on every corner and can be assessed through a variety of platforms aimed at businesses of all sizes and budgets.

That gives your business tons of potential outsourcing opportunities that are eating up your team’s time. Reach out to someone who specializes in a particular task/field and get the work done ahead of schedule with the same or better results.

#1 Digital Marketing

Unless you have skilled Digital Media Experts in-house, there’s really no excuse to manage your online presence on your own. Not only is it putting undue stress on your team that lacks the knowledge to do things properly, but their lack of experience also leads to missed opportunities.

For instance, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rules are constantly evolving as search engines like Google continuously learn and adapt to user behavior. For your business, that means you need an expert on your side that is specialized in their field and always staying abreast of the latest best practices.

#2 Branding & PR

As consumers continue to shift their values and become more focused on the story and ethics behind the companies they interact with, it’s important that your business establishes a strong brand and keeps that brand consistent.

However, managing a brand is no easy feat, and neither is creating one. Chances are you don’t have a brand strategy laid out for your business and, if you do, you probably aren’t following it like you should be. By outsourcing to a professional marketing or branding agency, they can help get you on the right track so that you can begin outpacing your competitors.

One of the best parts of working with professionals is that they are going to do all the major, complex research for you. The foundation of your brand’s success will be rooted in the accuracy of this research – a huge thing to consider.

An agency will help you craft a unique and effective brand strategy by researching your intended audience and then deciding what will speak to them the best and where. The agency will then help you “activate” across all of your available platforms.

#3 Graphic Design

High-quality photos and videos are more important to your business’ success than ever before. As your competitors continue to advance their marketing methods and establish a strong brand strategy, you need to stand apart with the use of stunning visuals that wow customers both on the streets and online.

Things like your logo, flyers, business cards, ads, social media posts, and other marketing materials have a direct impact on your business’ brand and how customers perceive your company. By hiring a professional graphic designer, you can get stunning results in no time.

#4 Payroll & Accounting

While your business’ money matters are something you hold very close to you, outsourcing them can prove to be the smartest choice.

Taking the DIY approach can land you in hot water, and it can also cost you a substantial amount of money if you aren’t well-versed in tax law and all numerous deductions your business could and should take.

When it comes to payroll, local, state, and federal regulations are changing constantly. Trying to keep up with them yourself is going to get your business in trouble and end up costing you valuable time and money.

Anything to do with getting paid or paying your employees is best left to a professional who spends every hour of their workdays managing business finances. Plus, when you outsource these tasks to a professional, you pay them for the hours they spend working on your business for you. That means no hourly wages for time spent twiddling their thumbs and no need for benefit packages.

Contract labor helps you shave off the extra costs that part-time/full-time employees in-house will tack on to your operating expenses. When it comes to outsourcing your accounting – there’s no excuse.