Jacqui Frost

Outsourcing: The Tango Of The Office

It really does take two to tango ...

Posted on: 22/05/2014   By: Jacqui Frost

Why is outsourcing like a Tango? Well, the Tango involves a lot of fancy footwork and staccato changes in direction, as well as a constant push-pull exchange of energy. To an observer, it is difficult to see who is leading and who is following at any given time ...

The dancers must always coordinate their movements, or they will soon trip each other up and fall over! Very much like your relationship with an outsourcing agency!

The dancers must always coordinate their movements, or they will soon trip each other up and fall over! Very much like your relationship with an outsourcing agency!

There are many aspects of a business that can be outsourced: call handling, diary management, mailshots and event management are just some examples. Outsourcing can free you up to focus your talents on your core business. Ideally, you and the outsource agency will coordinate your operations like partners dancing a Tango.

Sometimes, business owners inadvertently trip the outsource agency up. Here is how this can happen:

  • As a busy business owner, you realise that you haven't enough time to do everything yourself and need to outsource some tasks.

  • You find and appoint a virtual office agency and hand over the work to be outsourced.

  • Unfortunately, you find it hard to let go of the tasks you have outsourced! After all, it's your business and you know best. You interfere in the tasks assigned to the outsource agency, micromanage and deviate from the agreed procedure.

  • The outsource agency - and your clients - become confused because they are no longer sure who is in charge of what. This gives your business a poor image.

There is an unequal push-pull and nobody knows who is supposed to be leading or following at any given time. It is impossible to collaborate properly. When you outsource you don't want to lose control of your business, but it is important to know that if you keep interfering in the work of the outsource agency you can damage relationships.

Also, jobs can fall through the cracks because no-one knows who is doing what. This can result in a loss of flow through your business processes, which is as unproductive as Tango partners tripping each other up.

"You have to learn to give up control (at least temporarily!) if you are going to get any benefit from outsourcing."

We'd like to suggest these steps for a successful outsourcing relationship:

  1. Choose a reputable agency with a proven track record, to set your mind at ease.

  2. Decide which tasks you will outsource and which you will still handle yourself. The Office Genie will put together a customised package for you, so that you only pay for call handling at the time you need it. You can add on other services, such as diary management and mailshots, as and when you need them.

  3. Step back, take a deep breath and give the outsource agency space to make the magic happen! With a reputable agency like The Office Genie, your clients will think that you have taken on new staff and won't even know that you have outsourced! Abracadabra, it's like magic!

  4. As you become more comfortable with outsourcing and have established a firm relationship with your outsource agency, set aside time to periodically review other tasks that can be delegated to the agency.

Now that you know the four steps and why it really does take two to tango, why not call us on 01604 529170. We're ready to keep pace with the push-pull of your outsourcing needs!

Until next time ...


More about Jacqui Frost ...


I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.

Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!

I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.

Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!


+44 (0) 1604 529170



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