Small Business Outsourcing is a widely misunderstood staffing option. Thanks to the early days of mismanaged overseas offices, premature technology and disjointed teams, LPO (Legal Process Outsourcing) & BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) started off with mixed reviews and skepticism by small businesses and law firms alike.
This is an unfortunate perception, because the truth is, effective use of an outsourced team, or relying on temporary or project based staff has been proven to reduce the cost of delivery for some projects and increase the potential profit margins when priced appropriately.
Over the last 5 years many new companies have emerged with both state side, and overseas offices. This new breed of providers has come aggressively into the small business market, differentiating themselves with their advanced use of technology, efficient project management and stellar customer service. Two major changes I have noticed in this field is the time and attention to detail spent up front during the discovery phase and the use of dedicated teams for each project or client.
When you purchase hours, or hire a service provider, the first order of business for them the team you’ll be working with and your office is to accurately define and scope the project. The extra hour(s) you may spend really thinking through what you need and defining what an acceptable end result may be will save you not just cash, but headache, frustration and ensure you will be satisfied with the relationship as a whole.
Here are some questions you can use to determine which projects are best suited for an outsourced team:
- Can these tasks be executed by a paralegal?
- If I had support staff in my office, which project(s) or portions of a project would I give them to complete?
- Is my time really best spent doing ______?
- Would someone with more experience using a particular program be faster / more efficient completing this task than I would be?
- Is data entry an appropriate use of my time?
- Would I pay someone my hourly rate to complete this task?
- When I calculate the hours I spent against the total amount I am charging the client, could I increase my margin by utilizing a lower cost support staff person?
- By answering a few of these questions you can quickly determine whether outsourcing would be a good match for your firm, or a particular project. We recommend that you spend some extra time up front getting to know your provider, and ask questions about their process or approach to your project, or staffing needs before moving forward with a relationship.
Do you have an outsourcing story you’d like to share with us? Perhaps there is a project you were able to complete with the help of an outsourcing provider that gave you some personal time back?
Interested in speaking to an outsourcing provider, or have a potential project in mind? We are pleased to share that the Total Attorneys Practice Management Platform offers the Legal Ease Solutions App in our Total App Store! Legal Ease Solutions is an award-winning provider of legal support services and is currently offering 10 free hours of service when you purchase a block of hours through the Total App Store. Learn more about Legal Ease Solutions and the Total Attorneys App Store Offer.