Outsourcing is a business strategy that involves delegating certain functions or tasks to external providers, usually to reduce costs, enhance efficiency, or access specialized skills. You can pursue it within the same country (domestic outsourcing), within the same region (nearshoring), or across different continents (offshoring).
Below, we will focus on outsourcing in Serbia, a country in Southeast Europe that has emerged as an attractive destination for outsourcing, especially in the IT sector. We will explore the benefits, services, and challenges of outsourcing to Serbia, and offer some tips on how to choose the best outsourcing partner in the jurisdiction.
Benefits of outsourcing to Serbia
Serbia offers many advantages for businesses that want to outsource some of their functions or projects thereto:
Affordability: With labor costs that are among the lowest in Europe, Serbia is your location of choice for outsourcing. Workers in Serbia earn significantly lower salaries than in other European countries but boast high qualifications and English proficiency.
Government support: The Serbian government has been working to promote IT industry growth. For this purpose, it invests in physical ICT infrastructure, introduces preferential tax provisions, increases investment in computer science education, and minimizes red tape for foreign investors.
Workforce skilled in computer sciences: Training in programming and technology starts early in Serbia and continues through all levels. Novi Sad and Belgrade are home to some of the most renowned educational establishments in the Balkan region, producing thousands of graduates in computer science and engineering every year.
Access to a network of double taxation treaties: Serbia has signed double taxation treaties with China, Cyprus, France, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Oman, Qatar, South Africa, Thailand, UAE, Vietnam, etc.
Stable political and economic environment: A stable and peaceful democracy, Serbia respects human rights and the rule of law. It has a strong and diversified economy that relies on tourism, fisheries, agriculture, and financial services. Serbia is a candidate for joining the EU and has been implementing reforms to align its legislation with EU standards.
Strategic location and time zone: Serbia is located in the heart of Europe, with convenient transport links and proximity to major markets. Don’t forget that it is also in the Central European Time zone, which means that Serbia has only an hour difference with most Western European countries and no difference with Central European ones. This makes communication and collaboration easier and more efficient.
Services you can outsource to Serbia
Depending on your business goals and needs, you can outsource a wide range of services to local providers in Serbia, including software development, web design, e-commerce, and digital marketing.
As for web design and development, local web designers will create attractive and functional websites for your business.
If you want to sell your products or services online, outsourcing your e-commerce services to Serbia makes perfect sense.
Similarly, to promote and support your business online, you can successfully do the same with digital marketing and customer service.
Challenges of outsourcing to Serbia
Outsourcing to Serbia is not without its challenges, and you need to be aware of them before you decide to outsource to this country.
Cultural differences can cause misunderstandings or conflicts between you and your outsourcing partner. Hence, respect the cultural norms and values of your Serbian provider, and communicate clearly and politely. In this regard, learning about the holidays and working hours in Serbia, and adjusting your expectations accordingly is an excellent strategy.
Legal issues may arise when you outsource to Serbia, especially if you do not have a clear and detailed contract with your outsourcing partner. So, make sure that your written agreement covers all the aspects of the outsourcing project, such as scope, deliverables, deadlines, payments, quality standards, intellectual property rights, confidentiality, and dispute resolution. Check the local laws and regulations that apply, including labor laws, tax laws, data protection laws, and the like.
Quality control can be a challenge, especially if you do not have a direct supervision or feedback mechanism with your partner in Serbia. This is why you need clear and measurable quality criteria for your outsourcing project, as well as regular performance evaluation checks. To enhance general performance, don’t hesitate to provide constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement to your outsourcing partner, and address any issues or problems promptly.
Tips on how to choose the best outsourcing partner in Serbia
In no small part, the success of your outsourcing project depends on choosing the best possible outsourcing partner in Serbia. Here are some tips on how to find your one and only:
- Do research on the potential outsourcing partners in Serbia, and compare their services, prices, reputation, portfolio, and testimonials. You can use online platforms such as GoodFirms or Clutch to find and review the top outsourcing companies in Serbia or ask for referrals from your network or industry peers who have outsourced to Serbia before.
- Communicate your needs clearly and effectively to your potential outsourcing partners in Serbia, and make sure that they understand your expectations and requirements.
- Ask for a proposal from your potential outsourcing partners in Serbia, and evaluate the proposals based on their quality, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness. You can also ask for a sample work or a trial project to assess your partners’ skills, expertise, and professionalism.
- Negotiate the terms of your outsourcing project with the chosen outsourcing partner in Serbia, and make sure that you have a fair and mutually beneficial agreement.
- Establish a relationship with your future outsourcing partner in Serbia, and build trust and rapport with them.
Alternatively, you can set up your own outsourcing company in Serbia, which doesn’t even require your physical presence in the country. Simply authorize a local representative through a power of attorney to do it for you. Eventually, you can visit the country which would require at least 3 working days. If interested in learning more about how to establish an outsourcing company in Serbia, you are welcome to reach out to International Wealth experts for a free consultation.