Choosing to engage an outsourcing partner to support your operations can be a fantastic decision. Outsourcing your projects has many benefits beyond costs savings. If you’ve decided that offloading your work is right for you, you have to understand how to find the right BPO partner.

This is a detail oriented process that if done wrong, can end up costing more than you save. Today, there are many excellent options for service providers that can handle almost any project request. Finding the right one can be a huge step for ensuring your business grows successfully.

Start by looking at yourself

iStock_000010106679MediumChoosing what stays in-house is your first step. Your company may have set up a rock star team but if their time is being spent inefficiently, then you’re going to fall behind. Figuring out what processes to outsource requires first determining what must stay in your court. Also, make sure you have your goals laid out to have a clear idea how the tasks will grow over time.

Set your priorities for outsourcing

While helping lower operating costs is an important reason to choose a BPO, outsourcing provides numerous other benefits. Outsourcing can allow you to go to market faster with your innovations, since it effectively multiplies the size of your workforce. A well positioned BPO partner may also provide new revenue opportunities through their market insights. Support services can ensure a superior customer experience, retaining customers and boosting demand. You need to understand all the benefits and trade-offs and what that means for both the top-line and bottom-line.

Find a BPO partner that compliments your needs

No BPO provider has all their bases covered. Finding the right BPO partner is just like hiring a new employee – they need to fill the gaps of your needs. Figure out both the expertise that makes the partner unique and also their limitations. Does the company have experience with the tasks you wish to outsource? What services does the company avoid? Their location can also be a huge asset, particularly the time zone they work in and their knowledge of a foreign market.

Be prepared to scale your partnership

As your business grows, so must your partnership. Every BPO partner should have the capabilities to meet your needs in the long term. Hiring freelancers or interns may fill an immediate need, but scaling the process by multiples means managing a disparate workforce. Your service provider needs to have a formalized management structure to not only grow their project team but also to oversee the workflow. For particular projects, having the flexibility to constantly manage fluctuations may be the deciding factor.

Evaluate the standards of the company

The outsourcing industry has matured to a degree that outsourcing providers can be scrutinized like never before. Ensuring quality services is the first standard. Does the company have a well-defined training program? How will projects be reviewed for accuracy?

Also, consider how the company treats its employees. What opportunities do employees have to progress within the company? Does the company provide development programs to strengthen its managers? Companies that invest in their employees demonstrate their commitment to their work.

Look at the social impact

Over the last decade, the outsourcing industry has become increasingly cognizant of the potential it has to provide valuable employment to vulnerable communities. Look at the greater social good the company is providing. Impact sourcing providers – BPOs working in vulnerable communities – are leading the industry in seeing the untapped potential of a new community of talented workers. Understand what values your provider has so they can be carried through onto their work.

Partnering with a social enterprise can also enhance your own business’ corporate social responsibility. Customers are attracted to businesses that are committed to a greater good. By displaying publicly your support for initiatives like impact sourcing, you distinguish your company and gain an edge on your competition.

By evaluating a BPO partner holistically, you’re laying the foundation for a promising future. Sometimes your outsourcing needs may seem short term. Even so, choose a BPO partner you can see yourself working with in the long run to make a wise investment from the onset.