Even the small, fledging business maintains a web presence of some kind – a blog, a website, listings on every social media site imaginable or simply a post on Craig’s List offering low cost accounting services in a geo-specific part of the 24/7, global economy.
The “small business best practices handbook” has been revised. A human no longer answers the business phone and we’ve all been caught in automated-call-center hell. In fact, it’s become the norm – unfortunately.
And while these trends all impact the small business in a significant way in terms of productivity, in market expansion and in required understanding of web marketing strategies, perhaps the greatest impact on small business practices is outsourcing.
More and more small business owners are outsourcing routine operations, running their businesses leaner. Today’s business owner can outsource anything. Need a virtual assistant to run day-to-day operations? You can find one on bid-fer websites like oDesk, Elance and other sites where virtual assistants post profiles and client feedback to help you select the VA right for your company’s needs.
You can outsource legal services, bookkeeping, accounting and tax preparation services, marketing and SEO services, site text copy writing services, all of the above or none of the above. You may simply require a data entry clerk. No problem. You can rent one, and at a lower cost.
Staff is expensive. Salaries, benefits, lost productivity due to sick days, personal days, holidays, vacations and other off time digs deeply into small margin businesses like insurance brokerages, CFAs and other service providers.
Outsourcing delivers a roster of benefits:
- You only pay for work performed.
- You pay less because some of this work is outsourced to economies in which $20 is a day’s wage, and a good day’s wage at that.
- You only pay for services you actually need. This requires an analysis of your current business model to identify business activities that can be outsourced and, just as importantly, those business activities that should remain “in house.”
Outsourcing Smartly Philippines outsourcing
During your analysis, keep in mind the needs of your client base. For example…
… if your company bills the client base monthly for services rendered, accurate, reliable accounting and billing services are a critical part of your business model. Conversely, if you only invoice clients annually, or when services are rendered, perhaps this routine chore can be outsourced to a bookkeeping service in Mumbai.
Look Locally First
However, when outsourcing, look locally first. There are many locals who are outsources, and often, these individuals are highly-motivated, work-at-home parents or part-timers who can lower your business’ operating costs. Local outsources understand the culture and the nuances of language that an off-shore outsource might miss.