With the technology available today it is easier than ever to build a business which utilizes the skills and experience of labour around the world. Many entrepreneurs have recognized this opportunity and set up hugely successful businesses which harness the power of freelance workers. These workers also benefit because they are location independent; can work flexibly; and get well-paid for their in-demand skills.
The businesses this works particularly well for are any which are digitally based; as cloud computing means projects can now be worked on by people in multiple locations. Therefore, web design and translation companies, are two examples of business models which have flourished in the current climate. With the latter example it is now easy to work with native speakers around the world who can translate large and complex translation projects almost in real time. In an age when blue chip clients need their websites localized this is a huge benefit.
If you want to consider an outsourcing model for your business you need to bear the following key areas in mind.
A strong communication system is vital if you want to keep in touch with both your outsourced workers and with clients. VoIP connectivity is a great alternative communications method that allows for low cost voice and video calls; instant messaging; online chat; and screen share. These will prove invaluable when you consider that you will often have to train people overseas and maintain a constant dialogue about how work is progressing.
If you add to that the need to connect with people in different time zones and whose first language may not be your own, you can see the importance of having multiple ways to connect.
While it is possible to run an outsourcing enterprise from your own home it is important to present a professional image to the world. You probably won’t want to have your own private address and telephone number on business correspondence or when you are setting up a business entity with Companies House.
If you don’t want to rent office space a virtual office is a great alternative. This will provide a prestigious address; a location to send physical post to; telephone answering and messaging services; and some even offer occasional office space to meet with clients. Virtual offices come at a much lower rate than paying for a lease and utility bills, so are well worth the investment.
One aspect to bear in mind when you are outsourcing is to implement very strong internal systems so you can keep on top of how quickly work is being completed; the quality being produced; and where additional resources are needed to meet deadlines. Project management software can help considerably with this and you may also need to build a network of team leaders as your enterprise grows.
The great advantage to outsourcing is that you can react quickly to market conditions. For example, during a quieter period you are not paying employees’ wages as everyone who works with you is a freelancer. However, when there is high demand there is a wealth of skilled workers from whom to choose. There is also a wide range of skills on offer and you can often benefit from workers whose cost of living is lower and who have no overheads in terms of office space or commuting costs. Therefore they can often work at more affordable rates.
With all the benefits on offer, plus a huge rise in the availability of freelancers around the world, it seems that outsourcing is definitely here to stay and in addition, it is a model on which is it possible to build a highly successful business.