The debate might still be raging. But we all know, outsourcing is here to stay. The world is flat and its more true than ever before, Thomas Friedman would nod quite forcefully there.

However, outsourcing can make either good or bad business sense, depending on your offshore partner. Having been in the business for nearly eight years now, I have seen both sides of it. There are some who continue to outsource with success while there are many companies who are left with burnt fingers and bad experiences only.

So, here is a brief guideline to outsource with success:

1.Safe Business Vs. Diamond Hunting

No news could be good news. But it could also mean the company is new in town. On the other hand, solid reputation is a safer bet, unless you are looking for the hidden gems. Companies with reputation have something on stake and are careful about who they work with and how. If word of mouth is what you go by, make sure your reference has worked with the company and has verifiable points to pass on

2.Long and short of the to do list

Many businesses thinking they have loads of work, shop for an outsourcing partner in a hurry and plan to plan along the way. That’s a big mistake. While your offshore partner could be great at what they do, they might be disappointing when it comes to planning your tasks for you. So, its better you plan it out a couple of month in advance, lay it out clearly and then find a partner who can finish it up like a hog.

3.The virtues of monogamy Vs. the ease of polygamy

Now, this is an important decision to make at the very outset. Many businesses have chosen the convenience of working with a single offshore company over competence and have ended up as outsourcing bashers. It’s well advised to first divide your tasks into groups on the basis of skills required. Then define the core tasks where competency scales over convenience. Rate each probable partner against these parameters and it will help you make a better decision.

4. Are you feeding the expansion or a blackhole?

Time and commitment makes hopeless relations work. That could be true in love, but in business early diagnosis works better. Before you start working, make list of simple verifiable tasks and hand them out first. Usually, your partner will take some time to get a grip and get going but then you choose them because they were the best at it. So, read the signs early and don’t delay looking for alternatives if you are sure you have given them enough time and opportunity.

5. It’s a business association and you are not The Master of Universe

A few times, a few people forget that they are looking for an offshore business partner, not slaves in an African marketplace. Racial generalizations, undertone of superiority and ill-disguised allusions are all absolute no-no, unless you have devised your business only as a cover for your racial wrath.

It’s true no relation can be broken down to formulae. Like every other relation, outsourcing should be mutually beneficial, compatible and once, with the right partner, calls for patience and commitment. With right understanding, attitude and inclination, every company can hugely benefit from the opportunities provided by offshoring.

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