by Amit Mullerpattan
The expanding reach of the Internet and growth of online collaboration tools have all changed small business outsourcing dramatically in the past 3-4 years.
Let us take a look at 10 key trends for using independent contractors for projects and even ongoing staffing needs, and how they shape up in 2009:
1. The “Outsourcing Life” is hip
Popularized by the best seller The 4-Hour Workweek, more people are realizing that they can get their work done by someone else even if they are a solo entrepreneur. According to statistics published by US Small Business Administration, 56% of US small businesses with 100 employees or less, have fewer than 5 employees. If your business is one with no employees or a very small number of employees, you may find yourself over-stretched for time, and in need of outsourcing in both your personal and professional life. Driven by the economy and the need to watch expenses, more businesses will opt for contracting relationships and hold off hiring new employees as long as possible.
Small businesses are also continuing to push the envelope on what can be outsourced. They are discovering elements that can be outsourced even in previously “core” activities. For example, an Australian small business we work with specializes in online marketing, but also uses multiple telemarketing providers to cross sell their product range to customers.
How to benefit from this trend:
- Re-examine what you consider to be activities only you or your employees can do.
- If not the entire activity, can some parts of this at least be outsourced?
- Be prepared to invest some time up front in training your outsourcing partner.