“Jack of All Trades, Master of None” is a pretty well known proverb. It is a perfect definition for any entrepreneur that starts a new company. With limited work, limited client base, a single person can handle almost all functions of the business. But with growing business this begins to change. One would need masters to be employed in all the aspects of the business to make it a success and foster its growth. This is where many businesses run into a dilemma. They require professional experts for various non-core business functions, but they just don’t have the financial reserves to do that and without engaging professionals, they cannot grow. This is a perfect scenario for outsourcing. It is something that many small firms in over the past two decades have realized and have exploited.
Outsourcing firms are groups of well organized and properly managed professionals that specialize primarily in certain domains that you may have trouble handling yourself. Typical jobs could be data entry, IT or software development, Human Resources management functions, etc. These are vital aspects of your business, but given the size of your business, you cannot afford to run them in-house. Hence, outsourcing them is an excellent alternative.
The outsourcing firm is not delivering you a service or a product. They are more closely integrated than that. A service or product company would sell you their deliverable and then provide you some support in running and maintaining it. With outsourcing, they work with your firm to help you achieve your goals – their business models require a closer knit with yours.
With outsourcing, companies can save a lot in expenses as they avoid the overheads of maintaining in-house manpower for such jobs. Besides, the outsource service providers would employ the best practices and latest technologies which may not be feasible for you as a standalone company.
Among the functions that have been outsourced over the last two decades the customer support has probably been a very bad example. Companies looking to cut costs have outsourced these functions to other firms and have burnt their fingers with customer satisfaction. The fact that the customer support agent cannot make many decisions on behalf of the main company and poor training in handling the issues has led to this sorry state. However, if executed properly, outsourcing is still an excellent alternative for customer care.
Lastly, the idea of off-shoring your work. Off shoring is a form of outsourcing where the work gets transferred to a foreign land to exploit the skill set and costs benefits. This has been largely objected to in many countries as it amounts to shipping jobs abroad. However, these are low level jobs that get shipped out and this actually generated much better job profiles in the country. However, many people fail to realize this and object to off-shoring.
Thus, there are many functions in your business that you could outsource. Make sure that you implement the outsourcing model properly, lest you have bad experiences like customer care. Off-shoring, too, is a good option for your business if you want to benefit from skill professionals at lower costs.