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Watch Out! Five Dangerous CPO Pitfalls You Should Avoid

Written by: Lorraine Soldevilla
July 1, 2015 • 5-minute read

Watch Out! Five Dangerous CPO Pitfalls You Should Avoid

Outsourcing is pretty much known as the sweet ticket to increased efficiency and lower costs, but not everything goes smoothly all the time—especially when you’re just new to the outsourcing industry. To ensure that your business won’t fall apart when cooperating with a creative process outsourcing partner, steer clear of these five common pitfalls:

1. When you don't have a good strategy.

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Most people are so focused on the benefits of outsourcing that they actually forget what they need it for. We’re not saying small business should just abandon the idea of outsourcing—after all, even start-ups turn to outsourcing for help—but you need to determine exactly what you want to outsource before you even commit. This can depend on the scope of the projects your company is currently handling, things that you don’t specialize in (and may therefore need external help), or updates for your marketing strategy.

2. When you don't establish clear and secure terms with your CPO partner.


Misunderstanding often becomes the root of outsourcing problems. From pricing to process alignment, everything can be covered via a thorough discussion of the contract with your outsourcing partner. You can also share your expectations when negotiating, so that the company can let you know if these can be met—or even exceeded. Set realistic timelines for projects, and don’t ask or promise anything that’s too grand—outsourcing can expand your opportunities, but you also need security.

3. When you don't communicate regularly.


Aside from misunderstanding, poor communication can defeat your purpose for outsourcing. The key solution is fast and clear responding, from both sides. If your outsourcing team can’t move forward with the next task because you still haven’t given your approval or input, then you’re going to delay things and put the quality of work at risk. Using the right CPO tools for communicating and sharing materials, you can instantly send feedback and meet the required turnaround time to send information needed by your CPO partner.

4. When you're not responsible enough.

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Outsourcing can reduce your workload significantly, but it’s not a shortcut to an obligation-free job. You can't simply leave everything to your outsourcing partner—their output still requires your opinions and approval. It’s important that you see how the work done by your outsourcing partner is aligned with your business’s operations and objectives.

5. When you insist that the work is about YOU and YOUR business only.


You're the client, but that doesn't mean you need to have a say in - or the last word on - absolutely everything. You’re transferring work to specialists who have been trained in their chosen creative fields; consultants who know the best marketing and advertising practices for your business. When it comes to inbound marketing, the basic principle is that you value your target audience over promoting your own name. While your suggestions are crucial since you're the one who's immersed in the nature of your business, take a seat and listen to your partner’s recommendations. An independent perspective offers fresh strategies that you wouldn’t have been able to see before.

What do these points tell us? When working in the outsourcing industry, a trustworthy and well-maintained relationship is everything.

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Skills, expertise, and commitment are also key elements for outsourcing to work, but how can you focus on your own business if you demand so much from your CPO partner—to the point that you are consuming the time that they could have used to refine the outsourced work for you? From micromanaging on your own end to exchanging opinions and transferring tasks to your outsourcing partner, things will only work when you have trust in each other. By choosing the right CPO partner, it's very likely that you can eschew these pitfalls and produce excellent output that translates into marketing success for your business.

Need more information about outsourcing and how it can affect your business? Get the latest data and tips by downloading our eBook— A Practical Guide to Creative Process Outsourcing.


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Lorraine Soldevilla
Lorraine Soldevilla
When StraightArrow Alum Lorraine's not busy blogging and playing online games, she sails off to the world of books and poetry.



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