Win the Race: Outsource!

Outsourcing business and getting new customers should be considered the most essential aspects of running a business. That is if you wish to be in the business the next decade as well. You know it strengthens the brand too, so why not do something about it? In the era of digital world, everything needs to move faster than ever, including decision-making.

There is no progress without a struggle. There is also plenty of fish in the sea but not that many sharks. A determined carnivore has instincts like no other as it recognizes the potential and sees what others do not – an opportunity.

Why now?

You know there is recognizable improvement happening in the global economy at the moment. In Estonia the past years have been economically splendid but only recently has this been the case in the northern neighbor Finland too as we can see from this article:

http://www.focus-economics.com/countries/finland/news/gdp/finland-implements-labor-reform-as-q1-gdp-results-show-modest-growth Yes, it’s the coldest country in Western Europe but that does not mean the business is glacial too! Forget the past sluggish years, look forwards and act while you still can call yourself a forerunner. It’s time for the bigger bite.

How much do you really know about outsourcing?

An idea: the market has been divided once again and there is room for action. This will not last long since this is a fast-paced phase as the economy in the whole Europe grows. That is not the biggest news here, though. How to take advantage out of the situation? Outsource! Why? Scientific studies from different fields show us some important main reasons. These are always debatable but surely do not go wrong if one says they are:

  1. Helping to focus resources on the core activities
  2. Reducing costs
  3. Converting fixed costs to variable and
  4. Benefiting from suppliers’ investment and innovation.

Motivation can be divided into four categories: financial, technical, operational and political.

Steps to take into account:

You can outsource pretty much anything; Project management, customer service, meeting bookings, recruiting, you name it. What is it that you would like to do for the betterment of your business but do not have the time or the right people for?

The first step, however, cannot be done by anyone but Yourself: The Decision. After that configure a cunning plan with a proper outsourcing company and create more, better, bigger. But how to recognize THE outsourcing partner you want and should team up with?

Outsourcing is tempting and doable. If the motivation is to thrive in your business then why not focus on outsourcing some of your operations! You might have the ideas but not the adequate amount of hands to make things happen for you.

Things you should know!

Before choosing the tasks you wish to outsource make an observation at your business once again and identify your core values and strengths. The moment you decide to outsource may become the moment you put your business at risk. If you are the owner of the business, you should always keep this in mind. Why? Because you are hiring faceless staff. Because you are entitling strangers to take part in the future of your business. However, the increase in outsourcing has largely become acceptable. The simple reason is the reduction in cost, gaining flexibility, and access to resources and know-how that a company is unable to afford alone.

Wondering if the author is supporting or opposing outsourcing? The answer is that outsourcing may bring benefits, yet, there are always also risks. Thus choosing the right company to outsource to can be frustrating work.

Best outsourcing companies

The below checklist is our helping hand to you for finding the best outsourcing companies for you:

  1. Pick the right activities to outsource: Would you like to see your core know-how leaking? If the answer is no then to avoid outsourcing the area that may have the direct impact on your customers and business.
  2. Pick the right help: After identifying activities that need to be outsourced, the next task is to pick the right partner. There are many companies and freelancers offering the know-how that you need. Take a few moments to compare and contrast them, it costs you nothing but time. But time is money, you say. In the end, a little time is a small cost for finding the best outsourcing partner, who will bring value to your business.
  3. Consider all the costs: the main reason for outsourcing is that it would cost more for you to execute the operation yourself. Be wise with your choice, keep looking around for the best possible price (with the best possible quality).
  4. Preparing for a solid and transparent contract: Outsourcing takes place out of your sight, so it is important to keep track of the process and quality of the work. A contract should outline specifics about payment, the creative and other rights, expectations and roles, and outline an exit strategy. It establishes relationship and expectation with the provider and serves as a record of any activities beyond.

Any mistake can be fatal these days when the world is changing faster than we can adapt. Having a well-prepared plan for outsourcing will both help you prevent those fatal mistakes and boost your business’s performance. We hope the list will be of use for you when you consider outsourcing.

– Katrium Team




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(Outsourcing, Team Work and Business Management. New York, US: Nova, 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 2 September 2016.)

Things you must know about consulting

Things you must know about consulting

You want value for your money. Whether we are talking about a new VR headset or a company using consultation, there are things you should know about consulting. Simple as that. A debate broke up in Finland in 2013 when the government used 700K+ for a research that delivered nothing but a hangover for the prime minister. Lack of call for tenders seemed to be the biggest creator of public bitterness. Public debate can easily turn into emotional wrestle but there is more to it really. It is important to see where the Euro is being put and why? They say the world is full of consultants but what are they all actually counselling about and for what reasons? You should bear in mind hiring a professional isn’t as expensive as an amateur. This wise quote has been well put out by the legendary oil well firefighter pioneer Red Adair.

Considering before the consulting

While consulting has become an industry and more people call themselves consultants, what is your own definition of a good consultant? While the vast majority of consulting projects seem to satisfy the executives, the recent report from Forbes Insight, “Perception Versus Reality: Are You Getting Enough Value from Your Consultants,” suggested different things. 75% of companies choose a company based on rate-based rather than value-based. The consequence after the recessions when companies keep the cutting-cost mindset. Edward Verlander’s book “The Practice of Professional Consulting” suggests that the pro is the one who can be trusted to use standard consulting methods and procedures, who gives advice and delivers solutions to issues on behalf of clients.

If you really want the value from your investment money, will you choose to work with multiple low-cost or a value-based service? It is only your life and/or company at stake here! On top of that, do not let consulting companies dazzle you with some meaningless presentations and bill you with superficiality work, by being aware of the things you should know about consulting.

Poor consulting is a waste of time. The fundamental thing is understanding the reason for bad consultation. The hardship of information and making the actual change. You are looking for a change to / or something when you hire a consultant or when you, as a prestigious and trusted consultant are trying to create rapid miracles. Time is of the essence so you might as well stop wasting time and concentrate on the things that are actually possible to change. High hopes, visions without a scientific background can look attractive on a paper but very seldom do those serve a cause. Nor does the fact that project managers and consultants hold different assumptions (mostly negative) about each other.

Harmonization of the relationship between consultant and manager

Corporate managers often believe that consultants are paid to tell the things they already know, ask awkward questions, and most importantly disappear after giving solutions for managers to implement. At the same time, project managers seem to be rigid and not willing to provide the consultation with enough insight.

Not all consultants are experts as they walk in with rudimentary knowledge. Not all experts make good consultants. The expectations of clients and consultants need to be clarified with harmonization. This causes communication between the two parties. Enabling consultants to have the best understanding of the client and thus design the best possible way to work with the client. Meanwhile, the clients can see how the consultants work and interact. This reveals a lot about consultants’ style and value.

The Change

HR Specialist Kalle Honkanen wrote with excellence about why the change can be an issue in companies. Using his own professional experience with the help of bestselling authors, brothers Heath opus “Switch”, a five-step model has been created. These steps can be crucial when a consultant sells their services. The main objectives: getting rid of the unclear change and finding the existing goods and duplicating them. Concrete actions mean something else than the banal advice of “live healthier”. What does that even mean? Things that work in a company must not be shadowed completely by the inefficient practices.

There you have it. The emphasis of a better change and what is more, with a good consultant who sees this, a real effort can be done. You probably now stopped to think about the other three steps but this article was about two things you should know about consulting. Fairness is a rare species of value nowadays since it does not fit into the concept of competition. Psychological aspects and adapting the intended program to the environment could be the remaining ones, though.

It always comes to the point where customer’s needs and values have to be evaluated. This considers companies trying to understand their segment but is also essential for modern consultants. Cost-effectiveness is not always the case. 30 elements of value is a pyramid model authors Almqvist, Senior and Boch published in a recent Harvard Business Review. Universal building blocks of value open the psychological understanding aspect and this can be crucial. Heavily related to the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the 30 elements consist of four bigger value areas: functional, emotional, life-changing and social impact. Using the model leads to cross-selling services and helps to grow revenue but also refine the actual product design.

You should remember that…

…activating the brain and talking about things face-to-face increase the risk of good consultation and change. Whether you are in the chambers of a call centre, outsourcing office or whatever business enterprise. “Visions and ideas” that were written into the research about Finland’s future mentioned earlier did not meet the expectations, one might say. That is, of course, easy to state afterwards. Could it also be that the questioners did not perhaps know how to ask the right questions in the first place? Going forward needs research, educated professionals, and fruitful conversations as well. Call a consultant, call a pro, learn about what things you should know about consulting.



Verlander, Edward G.. The Practice of Professional Consulting (1). Somerset, US: Pfeiffer, 2012. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 30 August 2016.

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