Archive for January, 2010

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The Top Five Reasons to Outsource

January 31, 2010

Originally uploaded by ShashiBellamkonda

by Bernadette Doyle

I’m a huge fan of outsourcing. I think every business owner should outsource as much as possible.

I’ve been outsourcing for a number of years. I now have a team of virtual assistants located around the world, and I can’t imagine doing business without them. It doesn’t matter if you outsource to one person or to one hundred. Making the decision to outsource will have such a profound impact on your business that you won’t ever look back.

Today, I’ll give you my top five reasons to outsource.

1. It will grow your business.

Outsourcing will help you free up more time, which you can devote to the business. This seems pretty obvious, but sometimes it can happen in surprising ways. I’ve mentioned before a client of mine who came to me, asking for help in attracting new clients. However, she was so bogged down in administrative work that the last thing she actually wanted was new clients because that meant more paperwork. But as soon as she started to outsource her administrative work, her business started to take off. Wouldn’t you like to hand over the mundane parts of your business to someone else to deal with?

2. It helps you decrease costs.

Sometimes you need to play mind games with yourself, and start to quantify every cost that’s going on in your business all the time. You are the greatest asset that your business has. You are the hardest worker, and you come up with new ideas and new products and new plans. Your time is worth so much to your business. But if you find yourself doing routine tasks instead of earning money for your business, you are costing yourself money. You’re completing the accounts or updating the website when you could be meeting with a client. These tasks could be carried out by someone external to your company, and would cost a fraction of the amount that you could otherwise be earning. Outsourcing should not be an expense, but rather a cost saving exercise.

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Help Your Business Grow: Utilizing Outsourcing Companies

January 27, 2010

by Kristin Waldman

Even if you run a large corporation or a small scale operation, virtually any business can gain from employing outsourcing companies. Handling any company depends upon you having astute business sense and the skills to reduce outlays of money, time and resources. Having a permanent base means paying for staff and this can eat into your funds drastically. If you were offered a service that minimized these costs whilst still delivering professional work, would you use it?

Lots of companies think that the sole purpose of using outsourcing means is to save time and money, but there is in fact, much more to outsourcing than meets the eye. With in-house staff on your payroll there is a lot more to consider than just wages such as costing and sourcing training, maternity leave, unauthorized absence, doctor’s appointments, vacations and much more besides.

It is wrongly assumed that you can only really outsource IT work to providers; this is actually a misconception. You will find a myriad of outsourcing companies with the skills to deal with much more than IT work, and they can have several specialist niches that they cater for. So using these companies will help your business in many more ways than you imagined. Just think of the money you can save by not having to employ another in-house member of staff and only using outsourcing firms when you need them.

An advantage of using outsourcing is adaptability. Hiring outsourcing companies means that you are employing well-trained and knowledgeable people without having to keep them on your payroll permanently. Using these businesses on a need-to-use system means that you will save a little against hiring another full-time employee for your office.

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The Changing Outsourcing Landscape

January 25, 2010

Originally uploaded by * etoile

by Kim G.

India has long been the dominant country when it comes to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), however, times have changed.  The National Outsourcing Association (NOA) published a report titled “Best Practice Outsourcing and Offshoring” which pointed the issue Indian offshore providers face –increasing operational costs forcing some providers to relocate their centers to cheaper areas in India in order to compete more effectively, although this move has not hindered a recent surge in emerging outsourcing destinations. “Despite recent optimistic predictions from the NASSCOM conference, India is experiencing the effects of a global slowdown and a reduction in IT spending.  Costs for Indian vendors are also on the up.” –NOA report. Indian BPO providers may not be the only ones experiencing increasing operational costs, other offshore providers experience this as well but at a lesser extent as countries such as the Philippines receive strong government support.

Proof of Indian outsourcing providers struggles are evident as Infosys Technologies Limited (NASDAQ: INFY) forecasts its first annual revenue fall for the year to March 2010 due to client pricing demands. INFY is looking for 12 to 15 deals worth $1 billion or companies worth 10% of Infosys’ revenue. The firm is considering acquisitions in Europe, Latin America, Australia and Japan, a step that could help boost slowing growth by geographical diversification.

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What three trends should all small businesses watch closely in 2010?

January 22, 2010
  • Social Media. It’s not only growing, it’s growing in importance. Be a part of it.
  • Opportunities. As the economy improves, opportunities will emerge. Look and accelerate your success.
  • Help. Big corporations want to help you. Whether it’s the software they develop, information, or other products, take advantage of the help that is out there. It is an amazing time to be a small business person because so many success tools and assistance are available.

source:  SCOREExpertAnswers

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A Brief Overview of Today’s Outsourcing Buzz Words

January 20, 2010

Originally uploaded by Wonderlane

by Daryl James

Offshoring, Homeshoring… in this global outsourcing economy, you can add -shoring to anything and make it a freelance buzz word. But what do all of these outsourcing terms mean? Here’s a brief overview of some remote freelance work vocabulary:

Outsourcing – Assigning a freelance expert(s) outside of your company to complete a specific business task in a more efficient and cost-effective manner than possible with your in-house operations resources.   Companies engage in a wide variety of outsourcing tasks, from software development to network administration to graphic design (though outsourcing isn’t limited to business tasks).

Is outsourcing right for you and your company? Perhaps you’re thinking about redesigning your website. Could a freelance professional with more technical expertise do it better?

Offshoring — Assigning an outside foreign freelance expert(s) to complete a specific business task in a more efficient and cost-effective manner than possible with your in-house homeland operations resources.  The question with offshoring vs outsourcing comes down to the following:  if a foreign freelance professional can get quality work done better and faster, does it matter whether they’re located in Minnesota or Moldova?

Is offshoring the right outsourcing solution for you? Establishing a clear outsourcing communications strategy is the best way to ensure your offshored projects will be successful. You’ll have to consider the freelance provider’s time zone, language, and cultural differences.

Nearshoring — Assigning an outside foreign freelance expert(s) from a nearby country (with a similar culture, time zone and language) to complete a specific business task in a more efficient and cost-effective manner than possible with your in-house homeland operations resources. Some companies prefer outsourcing to freelance providers who have a similar culture, share a similar language and/or are in the same time zone.

Is nearshoring a more feasible alternative for your outsourcing needs? It depends. If working with someone in the same time zone is essential, nearshoring may be just the thing for you.

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Outsourcing Will Help You Reach Your Vision

January 19, 2010

Originally uploaded by doug.siefken

by Bernadette Doyle

Are these routine tasks part of your usual work day?

Email correspondence – 1-2 hours
Record keeping – 1 hour
Sales (phone calls, proposals, appointments) – 2-3 hours
Web site maintenance – 1 hour

If you devote this kind of time to your working day on a regular basis, you are not spending your time doing what it is that you set out to do.

Doing all of these things is not why you went into business in the first place. If you don’t stop doing them – or at least stop doing some of them – you won’t have the time to actually do what it is that you truly love and set out to do.

Remember why you started your own business to begin with – it is where your passion and talent lie. Of course there are a number of required tasks associated with running a business, but that doesn’t mean that you are the only one who can do them.

This is why you need to outsource – delegate tasks to others so that you can focus on what it is that you do best.

There are two compelling reasons for you to consider outsourcing some of what you do for your own business:

• You don’t have to spend time doing things that you just loathe
• You can spend more of your time doing the things you really excel at.

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Outsource Customer Support and Save Money

January 17, 2010

Originally uploaded by Rob Lee

by Daryl James

Outsourcing customer support can be nerve-wracking. If you hire someone to build a website but don’t like the result, you’re out some time and money. Failures in customer support will cost you clients. Yet, if your in-house resources are drawn too thin, you can’t do a good job of managing your customers, either.

There are reliable, responsible people working from home, and the cost savings over hiring and housing office staff are obvious–there’s a reason it’s a growing trend. JetBlue has thousands of people fielding customer calls from their homes, and the airline consistently ranks high in customer satisfaction.

So it can be done. The question is, how do you do it right?

Profile Details: Scan feedback for comments that praise not just work product, but interaction: “a joy to work with,” “an excellent communicator,” “very responsive.” Also look for certification test scores in email etiquette and call-center skills. Anyone serious about the job will have taken the tests and scored well.

Enjoy the Interview: The best customer service people are extremely competent and genuinely dedicated to helping you out. They’re sympathetic and friendly, but always professional, not chatty. When you interview your candidates, make sure they’re giving you the vibe you want your customers to get.

Asset Allocation: Does the candidate have the time to commit to the schedule you need? Does she have the necessary technology and a quiet place to use it? Does she demonstrate the problem-solving skills the job requires?

Role-play: Practice a few scenarios to see how your top candidates perform. Can your prospective hire listen in on a few well-handled calls? You should definitely monitor the first few calls after you hire her and provide very specific feedback.

Measure Up: Set metrics for customer satisfaction that will let you assess your worker’s success, and provide a mechanism for rewarding her for a job well done.

Picking out an expert in human language and interaction can be harder than finding a programming whizz, but the combination of competitive pricing and premier talent available on online outsourcing sites makes this kind of outsourcing a viable, and valuable, option.

follow me on Twitter: @SmlBizSmlWorld