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The business services industry has exploded in the past decade or so. More companies than ever before are starting to outsource all manner of tasks to third-party firms, and there is an enormous market for contracting in expertise, rather than hiring it full-time.

But the big question is - how do you appeal to these companies that outsource? We’re going to explore a few of the things that all companies will be looking for, to ensure you are attracting - and retaining - the right kind of client of your services business.

Save them money

First and foremost, business owners don’t outsource to spread the wealth - they do it to save money. So, whichever industry you are in, you will need to have a good idea of the lay of the land when it comes to wage structures and employee pay scales.

Charge too much, and most companies will either look elsewhere or just hire someone full-time. But charge too little, and the company is likely to suspect you aren’t experienced or skilled enough to do a proper job for them. It’s a fine line, and a delicate balance to strike - only thorough research into your field will give you a clue as to where you can pitch your services.

Give them value

Of course, the money you charge your clients needs to give them a return on their investment. And the better value you can give them, the more likely they are to stick around and keep using your services.

You should be aware of this need for value when looking for clients, too - it’s the first thing they will be looking for. Make sure you have case studies and testimonials that prove you are the real deal - you can put them on your website, marketing materials, and include the figures in your pitch.

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Be secure

Part of the issue with outsourcing is that there can often be a few security issues. You might have to access the company’s portal from a remote location, for example, or bring in a laptop to work in their offices. It’s little things like this that can create entry points for hackers and fraudsters, and you have to be incredibly careful to avoid doing any damage.

To give your clients assurances, it’s worth getting something like a Service Organization Control (SOC) Report. Why get a SOC audit? Well, any company who is worrying about security will want assurances on the quality of your system's security. You might have access to financial records, sensitive analytics, and all kinds of other data - all of which could prove disastrous if you lose it. A SOC Report will highlight to your clients that you take your security obligations seriously, and can often be the difference between winning and losing a pitch.

Be innovative

Finally, there is an enormous number of businesses out there, just like yours. And when it comes to the crunch, unless you offer something different and innovative, it’s going to be hard to stand out from that huge crowd.

Your potential clients will be incredibly wary about outsourcing to services they are unsure about, so it’s essential that you are able to be innovative, but also be able to explain your vision, methods, and estimated results.