There are businesses out there, just like yours, that are growing their profit, delivering a better client experience, and reclaiming their precious time and energy, all off the back of their decision to build an offshore team.
Not only have I seen the game-changing impact that outsourcing has on a business, but its rapid rise in popularity over the last decade is a testament to the fact that this is now a fundamental change to ‘business as usual across most industries.
But are you still a little unsure about outsourcing? Does it make you feel a bit nervous? If so, let me start by saying how common these feelings are. Done the wrong way, outsourcing creates huge risks in your business and can be an enormous waste of time and energy. But if you do it the right way, your business will operate better, it will grow with ease and you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do this sooner!
So how can you be more confident in the decision that you’re making and maximise the chance that you get it right?
Well for starters, I hear A LOT of assumptions about outsourcing out there which, to put it bluntly, are just plain wrong. And I’d hate for you to be making your decision based on these falsehoods.
So to help you shortcut your decision-making and ensure you’re walking into this decision armed with all the facts, I want to dispel the 3 most common myths that our team regularly hears about outsourcing.
Myth #1 – You’re supporting a ‘sweatshop’
The first myth we hear is that supporting outsourcing is supporting a ‘sweatshop’. And to be honest, sometimes this is true. But a lot of the time, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Many businesses offer their Filipino workforce a very healthy income, a modern and professional working environment, manageable working hours, plenty of job perks, and excellent career progression opportunities. At 5 ELK as an example, we offer our team free private health insurance for them and their families.
So if this is something that concerns you, I encourage you to dig a little deeper with any business you’re considering working with but don’t tar all outsource providers with the same brush. Like the financial planning industry, not all businesses are built equal. There are some dodgy operators out there, but there are plenty of good guys as well.
Myth #2 – Aussie Admin staff are better than Filipino ones
The second myth I’d like to dispel is around the quality you can expect from an offshore team member.
Most people set their expectations low and think that outsourcing means settling for someone who is 60% – 70% as good as their Aussie equivalents. Well, I’m going to be a bit controversial here, but I stand by every word of it. I spent over 15 years working in financial advice businesses in Australia, and I truly believe that our Filipino admin team is BETTER than most of their Aussie counterparts. And I know many other people in Australian financial advice businesses who also share this view.
And the reason for this is simple – businesses like 5 ELK have very comprehensive onboarding processes, training departments, and ongoing support for their staff. Most businesses in Australia, are too busy to spend sufficient time training and upskilling their back-office team, let alone having roles and teams dedicated to educating and upskilling them.
But in the case of outsourcing businesses that employ hundreds of support staff, it’s a lot more feasible to have comprehensive programs for developing employees. In turn, we bring more structure and rigour to your back office, and our training and support become a significant part of our value to your firm.
So if you’re thinking of hiring an offshore team member don’t set your expectations too low! When you partner with the right business, you’re going to be bringing a high-quality employee into your team and with the right ongoing support, their value to and impact on your business will exponentially grow over time.
Myth #3 – Your clients won’t like this decision
And last but not least, the third myth that may be holding you back from outsourcing is that your clients won’t like it. In other words, what if this decision unsettles your trusted client relationships?
This is a common fear and we have worked alongside many businesses who nervously clicked send on an email to their clients to introduce their new team member. And then… crickets. No pushback, no concerns, and only support from their valued clients.
This fear, about what your clients will think, probably lives more in your head than your clients’ heads because when you think about it, we’re all dealing with offshore team members in many parts of our lives, your clients included. The experience of calling an overseas Telstra call centre 10 years ago, as an example, used to be strange and frustrating but nowadays, it is a lot more commonplace and effective. As long as you take care of the security side of things, which a great outsourcing provider will help you do, most of the time your clients won’t just be comfortable with this decision, but they’ll appreciate the extra support in their relationship with your business!
So they are the three biggest myths we hear. But let’s not sugarcoat it, the decision to outsource IS a big one for your business, and you’re right to be cautious about it. But my advice is to just make sure that you’re being cautious about the right things – don’t bring factors into your decision-making that aren’t real issues.
If you choose the right business to partner with, your new offshore team member will be valued and looked after, they will become a huge asset to your business and your clients will love them.
So arm yourself with the facts, mitigate the risks and you’ll be on your way to making one of the best business decisions you’ve ever made.