Sometimes you can’t devote adequate time to an issue or don’t have the necessary experience. Instead of taking on all the work yourself, you may benefit from outsourcing to specialized firms. If this is appealing, here are five things you need to consider as you look for partners.

1. Think About Security

If you work with a partner, you’re going to have to hand over certain data. It’s essential that you think about cybersecurity when you do this.

Is the shared information sensitive? Would a breach put your business and customers at risk? It’s best if you can keep this kind of information in-house to prevent a mess. However, if you absolutely must share sensitive information, you need to have a thorough chat with your partner about the cybersecurity they have in place to prevent breaches.

2. Own Your Data

In the event you’re seeking a partner for website development, you should make sure you keep ownership of any data or code that’s generated. Otherwise, you’re giving up control over your website. Before you sign any contracts, make sure the fine print clearly leaves the code in your possession.

3. Have a Liaison

Your outsourcing partners should have one point of contact with your company. This can be you or an employee you appoint as the liaison, but it should be only one person. Not a department, not a team — one person.

Why does this matter? Multiple contacts can lead to confusion as people make different or conflicting requests. Your partner also needs to know where to send questions and your business needs to ensure they’re answered in a timely manner.

4. Do Your Research

Before you sign a contract with any company, it’s essential that you do your research. You’ll be putting a lot of power in your partners’ hands and you need to know they can deliver. Make sure to read reviews and look up any applicable organizations where complaints may be lodged.

5. Define Your Goals

You’ll also want to define what you want to accomplish by outsourcing. Are you looking for expertise? Are you trying to make your workload more manageable? Are you trying to save money? What you want to accomplish will determine which partner is the best fit.