Monday, February 08, 2010

Outsourcing Basics

Lately I have been hearing a great deal about small business owners looking for a way to get out of doing all of their back office functions so that they can focus on growing their businesses. I don’t know if it is the economy that has changed many of their focus but the word “outsourcing “ seems to be on the minds of many small business owners that I come in contact with and in the publications that I read. This makes me laugh because when I mention the word outsourcing and did seminars about the benefits of it many years ago (the mid 90’s to be exact), many small business owners were not open to the idea. I am now under the impression that since there has been a considerable change in the small business marketplace in addition to the economy as a whole, most small business owners are looking for ways to cut cost at the same time maintaining (or increasing) productivity. Well here is a brief overview of outsourcing and how it works.

What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing as per Wikipedia is defined as the process of subcontracting to a third party.

What can be outsourced?

For the small business owner, many processes can be outsourced. Among those include bookkeeping, website design, search engine optimization, lead generation and other administration and marketing tasks.

Where can outsourcing be performed?

Many of the larger firms outsource their functions overseas to areas such as India, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines. Most small business owners feel that this is not a secure process and worry about data security issues. Outsourcing has come a long way, and what many small businesses don’t know is that when they send their information to large businesses, it is already being sent overseas. Case in point when you call customer service of a large corporation the call is usually sent overseas and those people have access to your data.

How do I outsource?

The first step to small business outsourcing is locating reputable outsourcing firms. The best way to do this is to join social networks and search for the firms there. If you are a small business that can provide outsourcing, be sure to let everyone know (on the social networks) about your firm and how your outsource process works.

I hope this time around that small businesses will quickly embrace the outsourcing function so that it will help them increase their productivity, save time and focus on more revenue producing activities.

The Tech Accountant
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