Businesses need to be competitive to make a profit so they’re always seeking solutions that reduce their overheads. Offshoring core activities is one way to reduce overheads, keep control of a business’s intellectual property and keep their data secure.
In this blog article, we look at offshoring and outsourcing and we consider if there is a right and wrong time for a business to consider either option.
There are countries that are considered the back office of major corporations located somewhere else. China, Vietnam, India are some of the nations that provide goods production and professional services for businesses located in western countries like USA, Canada, UK, and Australia. These countries are used for offshoring and outsourcing.
Is Outsourcing Another Name For Offshoring?
The short answer is no, outsourcing is quite different in its workings to offshoring. With outsourcing, your business has essentially signed a contract with a service provider to deliver the services on behalf of your business.
The similarity between the two services is the business or team providing the manufacturing or professional service is usually located out of state or in another country to that of the business.
Where in the business is full outsourcing is popular?
Server and Website Hosting is an area we’re all familiar with and most businesses outsource this service. The other areas deemed more sensitive and systems critical to a business also often outsourced are:
- Technology hardware & software
- Data communications
- Software development
- Payroll services
There is more control over the process with offshoring as the business can dictate the terms and use its own rules and systems.
The starting point is to choose where you want your business process to be carried out, i.e. in which country and area.
Setting up a team or purchasing a business in another country to roll out the service is not as challenging as it might appear as countries like those aforementioned are used to the activity.
The offshore team will work exclusively for the one business and therefore adhere to their methodology.
An example of where this activity is prevalent today is in the professional services sector. Law firms and accounting practices readily place services offshore to reduce staff costs. An Accounting firm will locate part of its practice in a country and hire qualified workers i.e. accountants who cost less than their peer in the area or country the Accounting firm is located.
Is there a right or wrong time to consider outsourcing or offshoring?
Timing Is Everything
Yes, as timing is everything especially with everyone connected online in social media.
The reputation of a business can be damaged if clients start complaining of a negative change in the service. Therefore a business needs to do a thorough analysis and weigh up the pros and cons of moving core processes or systems offshore or into the hands of another business entirely as is the way with outsourcing.
Managing the move will be challenging as people don’t like change especially if it costs them time. Just think of how annoying it is to visit a website or use the App you use regularly only to find its user interface in a new design and it’s functionality changed.
Learning takes time and requires patience so it’s important for all businesses moving to an offshoring or outsourcing model mark sure their staff and end users are managed during the transition and that their experience is satisfactory with knowledge of much better service on its way.
Business Tips You Need To Know As a Small Business Owner
There are various strategies that business owners embrace to stand out in the market. From staying focused, getting creative, and finding ways to surpass competitors, these strategies boost businesses to greater lengths.
When it comes to operating a small business, you need to adopt a flexible approach as customers build trust with you. Thankfully, due to an upsurge of digital commerce platforms, it is much easier to get valuable business tips online. Let’s discuss some prominent business strategies you should consider for repeat success.
6 Tips For Growing Your Small Business
Make Realistic Goals
The biggest hindrance that pulls down businesses is lack of practical objectives. Sometimes, in the excitement of a new business, owners come up with huge, unattainable goals. The best approach to use is to break down your progress in a matter of months and years. For instance, you can forecast the number of followers you want to attain on your Facebook page after a month, one year, or even a decade. When you understand what you want to achieve, it is easier to navigate your business operations as you pursue it.
Concentrate on Your Strengths
There is a history of companies using different approaches to success. The strategy may work better with big companies that can afford diversification but may fail with small enterprises. As a small business manoeuvre through the growing process, it is wise to concentrate on one thing at a time.
Remember that each specialization costs money, for example, you will need to invest in marketing and advertising and if relevant, also branding and packaging. The best thing to do is to focus on a profitable niche and work around it for your breakthrough.
Understand the Legal Requirements
In any business, there are various government rules stipulated based on size, industry, and location. There is a high chance of facing heavy penalties if one fails to follow the rules to the letter.
The laws start from the business launch where you have to register with the state. You then have to pay your taxes on time and keep records. When you start hiring your employees, there is also a list of regulations that you must follow to protect both of you.
Keep in mind that as your business grows, some of your workers may violate some of these laws. For example, by illegitimate means, they may try to embezzle funds from your company. In such situations or any other instances that involve the law; your business will benefit from engaging a reliable lawyer to handle it for you.
Learn to Delegate
As you start running your business, you may find it convenient to handle all departments. However, as the business thrives, it is a struggle to balance everything without burning out.
When you are not in the right state of mind, you may not manage to push your business to the success you desire. As a result, your reputation may get affected as you head to losses. That’s the worst mistake for any type of business and especially a growing one.
As a business entrepreneur, you should introduce a tradition of effectively giving instructions to your juniors and partners. By using that approach, your business will progress well, even in your absence.
Surround Yourself with a Reliable Support System
As a business owner, operations may isolate you from what is happening around in the market. The main focus of keeping in touch with other business owners within your niche is to share in-depth information beneficial to all. From such interactions, you may learn the techniques they used to enhance their operations.
Sometimes, you can also seek advice on the best suppliers or vital documentation processes when branching out. Do not fear to share your failures with dependable people who can help you out. It might not be easy to get time to network, but if you manage to maintain trustworthy contact, your business will thank you for that.
Strive to Satisfy Your Customers
As much as you invest immeasurable time and money in your business, without customers, everything is a waste. A happy customer will always come back and refer to others. For a satisfying experience for all, you should initiate fulfilling approaches in all departments. Start by coming up with a customer care desk that handles queries and complaints.
Take advantage of online platforms to reach out to your old and potential clients. You can also get out of your comfort zone and introduce creative and amusing ways to attract more clients. For instance, if you are running a hotel, you can give discounts on specific menus or introduce a happy hour.
Make it a habit to follow up on your customers and confirm their satisfaction with your services or products. In the end, your customer-focused approach would pay off as you significantly reach out to please them.
Did you enjoy our exhaustive guidelines on how to run your small business effectively?
Follow our future advice on how to enhance your business while avoiding grave mistakes within your industry.
Wise Words Before Starting A Business
Preparing yourself for a new role business is vital. There is no room for ‘winging-it’ even when it’s your own company! First impressions matter most, so you’ll want to hit the ground running with the wisdom, education and right mindset to face off the many challenges that will come your way. To top it off, you will need to know how to navigate your startup during tough trading times like an economic recession or pandemic!
Rather annoyingly, no one set rulebook can help you with starting a business, and there’s no blueprint to follow as no entrepreneur’s journey is ever the same.
Despite all that, there are things that many business people wish they knew before embarking on such an endeavor. In this article, we give our wise words on can make the difference between taking the straight or winding road to success with a new business.
Money Isn’t Everything
While it’s possible to get by without sound financial acumen, it’s really not where you should want to be when you’re the owner of a business. Even if numbers don’t come naturally to you learn and appreciate the financial statement and other important metrics like profit and loss. When you are competent with the balance sheet of your startup, you can dig deeper and know exactly what it is going to take to make your startup stable. For example, cash flow is king – not capital. Many early businesses have been able to raise a sizeable amount of investment and grow the revenue, but despite this, these businesses have eventually failed.
Cash flow keeps the wheels turning in a business
With ample working capital derived from cash flow, you can focus on improving the business while your team works in it.
Strategic planning to avoid troughs and peaks that threaten your service levels and thus, business reputation is an example of working on the business.
Worrying about money is detrimental to productivity, and with great cash-flow, workers are paid, marketing continues, sales go up, and your business can go from surviving to thriving.
Get An Education
Just like with money – education isn’t everything, but it will give you the confidence to make the right business decisions. Business is no walk in the park. You will need to arm yourself with skills and in areas that are currently foreign to you. Formal tertiary degrees and courses, provide the foundation from which you can grow as a business manager.
Education provider, Victoria University Online say it takes less time to get an MBA when you do it online. These courses can either give you an overview of the business to enable you to be competent and confident with all aspects of the business. Alternatively, you can choose to study a specification so that you can get expert insight and understanding into a more focused department, such as finances and leadership.
It’s also a good idea to learn some of the key skills and characteristics that many businesspeople have, such as critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and good communication.
Shouldn’t Be Work All The Time.
It can be tempting as a business owner to put all your energy into making your business a success; however, putting in over 12+ hours a day can be detrimental as it may mean you’ll suffer from burnout.
Burnout will make you extremely unproductive and can force you to make bad decisions, so you must get that right work/life balance. Working fewer hours, or appropriate hours, will help you streamline your operations and make you more efficient, and a good way to do that is through various automated software.
Separate Yourself From The Business
Business owners at some stage look to move on, and thus they have an ‘exit plan’ to sell up. Knowing how to, and when to start to ease back, so the business is a valuable asset for sale without them in it is challenging, and this is when an exit strategist is required.
Your exit strategy should be part of your overall business plan and thus from the first day onwards you’re aware that you’re not the business but an employee and shareholder within it. Are you inspired to forge ahead with a startup? See our inspirational quotes.
4 Tasks That Your Business Should Outsource
With every period of business growth, there is more to do. Often a growth spurt can take a business owner by surprise and leave them with too much to do, and not enough time to do it.
Existing personnel are expected to take on tasks and responsibilities outside their comfort zone, and maybe you too need to upskill in areas you’ve got little hands-on experience, just to get the job done. What a recipe for ‘mountains of stress’!
Almost half of all entrepreneurs are taking too much on, and Gallup Wellbeing Index says it the women who are reporting their stress more than men. Hence, it’s hard to say which gender is better at delegation.
While there’s no single solution, mainly if the growth spurt is unpredictable, outsourcing tasks to third parties can lessen the strain on management. You may not need to use third party providers and being locked into lengthy service contracts instead look at a more flexible workforce.
Delegating appropriate tasks to freelancers or external teams allows you to focus on doing what you do best – and what makes you happy. This is leadership.
Managing everything in-house is unrealistic for most businesses today. However, some tasks require your special touch. It’s those that are too tedious, complicated or expensive that you’ll benefit from outsourcing. Here are four such functions.
There are several reasons to outsource marketing. Working with the right agency can give you a fresh perspective that’s backed up by professional insight. It will also be easier to scale up your efforts, not to mention lower overhead expenses.
Moreover, you can gain access to the latest technologies to improve efficiency and achieve more significant results, and this is especially valuable for smaller businesses that aren’t familiar with current digital trends in marketing. You can gain a significant competitive advantage by implementing a digital strategy that’s developed by experts.
In a whitepaper by Harris Poll, staff spend an average of 40% of their day handling administrative tasks. Most of it involves repetitive, menial activities that can be done by someone else for a fraction of the price. This includes data entry, document management, travel arrangements, inbox organization and proofreading.
Thanks to websites like Upwork, Fiverr and Guru, you can easily find a freelancer to do these things for you. The key is to pick someone who you can rely on to do the job right. This guide details where to start in the selection process.
As you may be aware, in-house lawyers aren’t cheap. But if you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing your business is compliant with all relevant rules and regulations, you need to have access to legal expertise. This can spare you the (much higher) cost of running into a lawsuit or another unforeseen legal issue.
These days, you can access legal services through online marketplaces like Avvo and UpCounsel, while Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom provide legal documentation
Every new employee increases your human resource responsibilities exponentially, so it’s a good idea to consider hiring outside help. Plus, several risks come with being unable to keep up with the demands of human resources, such as failing to make payments and file documents on time, not to mention hiring the wrong employees.
Outsourcing to a provider can ease the load and reduce your risk. Depending on your circumstances, you might not need to ship off everything. For example, a payroll company can process compensation while you handle the rest.
Businesses need to be more nimble to survive recessions and staff up when business demands it. Also, make sure you’re not overloading yourself with mundane jobs. Think carefully about the tasks that take up most of your time and outsource some jobs.
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