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Nov

How to choose an outsourcing company that won’t screw up

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Find out some practical recommendations for choosing an IT outsourcing company

Are you a startupper or a manager of a digital agency? Are you looking for a contractor or you just need a website that will be a great jump-start for the development of your business? Wanna start small and grow with your IT contractor? If you say yes, then this article on some insights of looking for an outsourcer that fit your needs is right for you.

More and more companies all around the world choose to outsource IT aspects of their business. It makes more sense than you might think of:

  1. experts with competency in cutting-edge technologies will work on your product;
  2. your company can focus on its core functions;
  3. It's proved to be a cost-effective solution (however, it’s better not to treat outsourcing as a cost-saving measure only; remember that it’s about the quality of your software that is hard to reach in-house).

There are more reasons big players and start-ups go for outsourcing, but, apparently, you’ve already made up your mind about whether to outsource or not. What we would like to concentrate on in this post is where you can outsource your product to and how to make sure you won’t regret it after.

First and foremost is to understand what exactly you want to outsource and what parts you can deal with by yourself, if there are any.

Where to outsource?

1

Freelancers

You can consider offshore/onshore freelancers whose work will be way less expensive. You should remember to analyse your needs and technologies you prefer to use. With these clear requirements in mind, you can start looking for freelancers who could make you project.

However, you should always mind the risks that are quite high. Yes, you can find portfolios, references and certificates of a freelancer. The risks are not only in a fact that he/she can disappear one day. It is also about miscommunication and mismanagement.

Besides, if you are looking for somebody who can provide you with a complex solution, you might find it hard to select a Jack of all trades among freelancers. Even if you know such a person, remember that Jack of all trades can turn into a master of none. You can search for individual freelancers at the sites like Upwork.com or Freelancer.com.

2

Multinational IT outsourcing company

You’ve definitely heard about huge multinational outsourcing companies, like Accenture, Luxoft, etc. Well, their names are all around, but who is their target audience? Such outsourcers are mostly aimed at huge enterprises. As a rule, they can provide solutions for any business needs and they can handle any security demands. The projects in such a company can last from several months to… forever. No surprise, they often welter in bureaucracy like any other huge corporations.

3

Smaller outsourcing companies

There is also an option to outsource your product to a smaller outsourcing company. They can help you create IT solutions using cutting-edge technologies, make sure that all processes are managed properly and adjust your communication with the team to your needs and wants. These companies usually work with small and medium-sized enterprises, and startups. They are more flexible and open than companies with thousand employees, yet (in most cases) more reliable and expertised than solo freelancers.

Sounds nice? It does… but you still need to make sure you are choosing the right company among thousands of them.

Where to look for such a company?

So you’ve opened your laptop in order to search for a perfect outsourcing company. First thing to do is to think about technology: we’ve already mentioned that understanding what expertise you are looking for is desirable. You will need this information to check what competence a company has in each and every aspect you want to outsource, what their experience is, if they have a good customer history and/or if they’ve had customers within the same domain as you are.

Second thing to keep in mind is the region/country you are ready to outsource to. What economic and political situations the country is in at the moment, what taxes are, what average wage is, how well people in this country can speak English. You need to find the least risky and the most beneficial option. We’ve already analysed Pros and Cons of outsourcing to Ukraine in one of our previous posts.

Where can I find an outsourcing company?

The bad news is that there is no single heaven search engine that will find your soul outsourcing company. We would like to offer you to use a combined approach to deal with this task.

1

Ask your friends

You know that word-of-the-mouth is the best way to choose a restaurant or a hotel to go. It works for choosing an outsourcer too. Ask your friends, partners, Facebook contacts if they can recommend you someone. As a result, you might end up with a nice list of a few tested companies and the process of shortlisting them won’t take that long.

2

Google

Let us say the most popular phrase in the world… “Google it!” You can find forums and reviews, sites of possible candidates for working on your product, etc. To make things easier and faster, try more specific searches:

3

LinkedIn

First of all, it is a system that you can use to get the most objective idea about the company; you’ll be able to check the following points:

  • who company’s followers/contacts are: do you have any common connections? How many connections do they have?
  • if they make their own authentic posts.

This information will show you how much the company cares about its status and what expertise they have.

You can also connect with future potential partners who you’ve already chosen on Upwork using Linkedin.

4

Upwork

If your call for help gives zero results, you can try a resource like Upwork. There you can find not only freelancers but small outsourcing companies too. You will see their client history, feedbacks and portfolios in one place. Upwork also provides you with some collaborative tools as well as tracking system so that you pay for the work that’s been approved.

Although it looks good, there are some disadvantages you can see if you scrutinize some practical cases of cooperation using Upwork. Most service providers have come to an idea that to be successful on Upwork they need to charge quite low prices for their work, which usually leads to poor quality. You can still find some good outsourcing companies that have exceptional feedbacks and look trusty.

If you want to start cooperation using Upwork, you need to know about extra costs for using this service: contacting the service provider you’ve chosen directly will save you up to 20%. Working with a company without using Upwork won’t influence the quality: if a company has a good image on this resource, they are likely to care about their reputation. Besides, you should take into consideration that it’s not only you who pays for Upwork services, but the outsourcing company too; so you can agree on the best rates as both of you win working bypassing Upwork.

What should be the further steps?

If you’ve already shortlisted companies that meet your requirements and look solid, you can contact them and start communication. It’s very important not to hurry on this stage. Apart from meeting managers and negotiating terms of possible cooperation, you can request more information to have a big picture:

  1. Check their accounts on Dribbble, GitHub, Facebook as well as their website.
  2. Ask them to show you their office during the video call.
  3. Have Skype conversation with their key employees. You can ask them things like “How long have you been working here?” or “What expertise do you have?”. You will gain understanding whether you should expect high staff turnover and how happy employees are with their jobs.
  4. Check examples of their code if you have a tech partner you trust.
  5. Give them a test task.

If you follow these simple steps, you can avoid unpleasant surprises in the future. You shouldn’t worry about being persistent in finding out more about a company. Don’t sign any contracts unless you are 100% sure that this is a dream team you’ve been looking for.