Top 5 Outsourcing advantages

Top five outsourcing advantages :
 
To me, the purest form of outsourcing represents bringing in someone who has greater expertise to perform a specific task.

Think about it

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There are few of us who don’t do some form of outsourcing every day. If you have a gardener, or use a cleaning service, or take your clothes to a dry cleaner you outsource that work. You bring in someone who has greater expertise and a set of particular skills that you don’t have. You to pay someone to do something for you.

As a result, your time and resources are put to a greater value.

The purest form of outsourcing represents bringing in someone who has greater expertise to perform a specific task.

There are two big reasons why someone should outsource: it brings in a higher skill set, and it frees up time to make more money.

Greater freedom is worth more than outsourcing costs.

For the most part, the tasks I mentioned are things we could perform ourselves; however we elect to have someone else do them.

Business outsourcing isn’t much different. Do you hire a CPA firm to do your taxes? Do you hire an attorney or law firm when you need legal work? These are examples of short-term outsourcing contracts. These are individuals with higher skills. It doesn’t make sense to bring them on full-time.

Top five outsourcing advantages

 

1Focus on core activities:

Companies outsource because it allows them to stay focused on things they’re good at and on what makes money. A plethora of resources to set up a call center or to engage in other activities that could be handled by someone else doesn’t make sense, and for the most part should be handled by a third-party

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2Cost savings and competency:

Another key factor is that someone who specializes in a particular skill set can work cheaper and better than someone who has to go out, build the infrastructure, and learn a new aspect of a business in which they’re not really involved.

One example is a high-priced attorney. Generally speaking, a high-priced attorney is specialized in one area of the law in which they’ve invested years of learning.

Surveys show that high-priced attorneys actually cost their clients less money, compared to less specialized, lower-cost attorneys. Why? Because someone who specializes in a particular skill set already knows how to those types of problems for their clients.

A high-priced attorney specializes in one particular niche of law. They learn that aspect of the law so exhaustively that they can make arguments and defend issues to a finite degree and win cases most of the time. In comparison, a general attorney can’t.  In cases of law, it shouldn’t be on-the-job training or another day at the office. There is a big difference in that mindset.

If you think you can hire someone to stay on board cheaper than to outsource the task, consider other costs associated with hiring an onsite employee such as training, using the facility, and performance

.

3. Reduced overhead:

Keep in mind, the overhead required to have internal staffing can be significant, especially if your current physical capacity is already at its limit. In other words, bringing in more staff requires a larger office, more furniture, and extra phone sets, computers, and office equipment. These are all real costs that need to be taken into account when considering whether to bring someone in or to hire an outsourcing firm.

4Operational control:

Control of your business means that departments have accountability measures in place. Being able to step back and look at results rather than being involved in day-to-day activities can allow the business owner to focus more on the core, to see what’s really important, and determine what makes money.

Keep in mind that very few people go into business to conduct telemarketing surveys and handle customer service issues. Generally, they want to achieve those things in which they have a core competency. However, as a result of running the business, aspects need to be delegated.

When considering whether or not to outsource, ask yourself if you are willing to bring in an outside firm that is good at something outside of your core competence — and take your business to the next level.

5.Staffing flexibility:

Outsourcing gives you the ability to grow your staff quickly or to shrink it with ease. It also means that you avoid the cost of purchasing computer terminals, office furniture, and renting new space to expand your to accommodate more staff.  In addition, you won’t be stuck with extra office space and equipment when the time comes to downsize your staff. There also won’t be any legacy cost with unemployment.  It is not your problem.

What are the most common questions about outsourcing?

Okay, let’s say to you have decided to hire an outsourcing company. Where do you start?

If you don’t hire the right outsourcing firm by performing due diligence ahead of time, you can leave yourself open to unwanted exposure.

A few years ago, Apple Computer (before it became Apple, Inc.) was left with a black eye.

Apple’s entire business structure is unique in that they have about 30,000 employees. Their largest vendor was a Chinese company that manufactures their equipment. That company has over one million employees. One would assume that Apple officials had done research on the vendor, but it turned out that child labor was used to assemble several of Apple’s computers. This not only caused a great deal of embarrassment for Apple, it was also a bad reflection in general on the outsourcing industry.

How do I pick an outsourcing company?

A critical step that everyone should understand before engaging in outsourcing is that there are four types of international outsourcing firms: digital outsourcing, management processes, communications/customer service, and security.

Another critical aspect is to make sure that the firm that you want to do business with has operations in the country where you live in addition to the country where the workforce is outsourced.

Why are these aspects critical to outsourcing?

Using Apple’s case as an example: If the Chinese vendor had a U.S. presence, they would have been held accountable for violations that took place within their business — even if those violations took place in their overseas operation over time.

Bring it down to a small business perspective. For example: you hire an overseas telemarketing company; the firm you hire either doesn’t know what the laws are, or completely ignores them as far as Do Not Call (DNC) compliance. DNC violations carry up to a $16,000 fine per incident. Something else to note is that this also covers anti-spamming regulations.

Note: these calls on your company’s behalf all take place from overseas to America. Whom you think will be held responsible for any violations they make? Take a look in the mirror. These are serious violations. When you have this type of exposure, you want to make sure that whomever you’re working with understands the severity of breaking the law and the penalty for violations. They must be in complete compliance.

In fact, we have had clients approach us about doing telemarketing campaigns. A few have stated in a matter-of-fact way, “We don’t pay attention to the DNC regulations.” Needless to say, we walked away from those potential clients with a, “Thank you very much, but no thanks.”
Do not call registration violations are serious issues and not something to take lightly. Make sure that the vendor you consider understands what U.S. laws are.

Keep in mind that if your vendor has a U.S. presence, it is more than likely that they will be held responsible for violations – not you.

Practicing due diligence to guarantee that your campaigns are done properly is critical to running a successful virtual team.

Outsourcing business versus bulletin boards

I hear this phrase often – “I tried that and had a bad experience.” I believe that the bad experience is most likely a direct reflection of the type of structure the client engaged in.

One common concern is that in hiring someone offshore there may not be a management system in place and no accountability measures for your virtual assistant. You might worry that after spending time and money to get them trained and ready, they disappear, never to be seen again. Unfortunately it does happen.

However, this scenario is typically a result of someone using an online bulletin board service such as Upwork (formerly oDesk), Elance, Fiverr, or Freelancer.

Frankly, these are great service providers and there’s nothing wrong with using them. In fact, I use them occasionally for specific, short-term projects. However, these sites are not primarily used for long-term contracts for day-to-day operations.

Some major flaws when it comes to these organizations are that individuals contract from their homes, so their infrastructure consists of DSL, and some type of voice-over IP setup such as Skype. There are few accountability measures in place. There isn’t a management team to supervise the work under contract, and if things aren’t getting done you don’t have a fallback.

I don’t have an issue with hiring through a bulletin board for jobs such as website development, non-critical article writing, and anything that is a one-off type of project that does not revolve around day-to-day operations.

Using someone from a bulletin board is a great, inexpensive alternative to get high-quality work done at an affordable price.

There are also differences between hiring an entire outsourcing company as opposed to hiring an individual who works independently for a living.

Using an outsourcing business provides an existing infrastructure. They know how to on-board new clients, have training procedures and practices for employees, and backup employees who can pick up the slack if another calls in sick.

Most outsourcing companies also have a training procedure in place so that your new virtual assistant can get up and running on your campaign quickly in the event that your current virtual team isn’t working out.

On the other hand, you don’t have that same kind of leverage when you use a bulletin board’s services.

These are subtle, yet critical distinctions between the two types of outsourcing that you should be aware of before you choose how to do business.

Another reason to make sure that the client company has a presence overseas as well is that some agencies literally outsource their outsourcing. They sell you on the idea of hiring a virtual team, but the reality is that they are virtual, too. They have a few salespeople and outsource their outsourcing.

Those types of companies use bulletin boards to find fulfillment partners for their clients’ projects. This type of system can have so many challenges, such as: quality control, reliability, lack of infrastructure, and lack of training.

Make sure that whomever you do business with has multiple offices. I cannot emphasize enough that being in a stable environment is how business should be conducted

Are Developed Countries Losing Jobs?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard the argument that overseas goods are flooding the US market and that is why American jobs are going by the wayside – citizens buy imported products.

I used to believe that. I ask you to shift your mindset.

Firstly, overseas goods are not flooding the US market. Merchandise all over the world can be purchased from those locations at better prices. Circulating American dollars enhances their standards of living and creates the opportunity to purchase other products and services.

Although these perks in the marketplace might be disastrous for an entrepreneur who competes against Chinese products, the overall effect is a higher standard of living for everyone.

The funny thing is, this is not a new standard. It’s basic Economics 101. One main reason the United States remains the food basket of the world is that farmers can effectively and efficiently farm large swaths of land with sophisticated farming equipment which requires few labor resources.

For example: American companies John Deere and Caterpillar export their machines to international markets. Those markets gain impact costs? which in turn allows Caterpillar and John Deere to provide jobs in the United States.

Companies who profit from these systems recognize and quickly integrate these ideas into their business practices.

Sitting back in a comfy office chair and complaining about worldwide business changes isn’t going to stop it from happening. What will happen is that the complainer is wasting valuable, quick-moving time criticizing, not capitalizing. The competition will seize the chance and surpass those who sit idly by.

Change is inevitable.

Being flexible and able to adjust will be the difference between success and failure.

Quite often I hear small businesses owners say, “Oh, I would never integrate overseas labor into my business.”

That attitude is fine.

However, there will be a hefty cost. Understanding the ground-breaking process of building virtual teams and making it work empowers savvy and flexible business owners to grow and compete on an international playing field.

This new way of doing business has opened the door for new companies and marketing trends to emerge into the forefront of today’s global economy. Few people could have imagined such a thing a few years ago.

Jobs are more accessible today as technology moves ahead at an ever-increasing pace and communication platforms become affordable to most. Technology and communication have merged to create a global workforce in a virtual, shared way. These resources can now be used in nearly every aspect of our lives.

This is an exciting time.

At this point in history there is a wave emerging — creative and resourceful entrepreneurs are combining their skills and strengths; this creates effective and efficient work environments which propel businesses forward.

This idea may seem inconceivable to you.
However, the truth is that today you can have a highly-skilled college graduate work in your company for less than minimum wage.

The entrepreneur who truly understands their own needs in the business world and uses today’s outsourcing providers can build a highly-skilled work force ready to compete on any international marketplace stage.

Top Five Outsourcing Advantages

The word “outsource” is a modern term that applies to the modern domestic and international virtual workforce.

To me, the purest form of outsourcing represents bringing in someone who has greater expertise to perform a specific task.

Think about it.

There are few of us who don’t do some form of outsourcing every day. If you have a gardener, or use a cleaning service, or take your clothes to a dry cleaner you outsource that work. You bring in someone who has greater expertise and a set of particular skills that you don’t have. You to pay someone to do something for you.

As a result, your time and resources are put to a greater value.

There are two big reasons why someone should outsource: it brings in a higher skill set, and it frees up time to make more money.

Greater freedom is worth more than outsourcing costs.

For the most part, the tasks I mentioned are things we could perform ourselves; however we elect to have someone else do them.

Business outsourcing isn’t much different. Do you hire a CPA firm to do your taxes? Do you hire an attorney or law firm when you need legal work? These are examples of short-term outsourcing contracts. These are individuals with higher skills. It doesn’t make sense to bring them on full-time.

1. Focus on core activities: Companies outsource because it allows them to stay focused on things they’re good at and on what makes money. A plethora of resources to set up a call center or to engage in other activities that could be handled by someone else doesn’t make sense, and for the most part should be handled by a third-party.

2. Cost savings and competency: Another key factor is that someone who specializes in a particular skill set can work cheaper and better than someone who has to go out, build the infrastructure, and learn a new aspect of a business in which they’re not really involved.

One example is a high-priced attorney. Generally speaking, a high-priced attorney is specialized in one area of the law in which they’ve invested years of learning.

Surveys show that high-priced attorneys actually cost their clients less money, compared to less specialized, lower-cost attorneys. Why? Because someone who specializes in a particular skill set already knows how to those types of problems for their clients.

A high-priced attorney specializes in one particular niche of law. They learn that aspect of the law so exhaustively that they can make arguments and defend issues to a finite degree and win cases most of the time. In comparison, a general attorney can’t. In cases of law, it shouldn’t be on-the-job training or another day at the office. There is a big difference in that mindset.

If you think you can hire someone to stay on board cheaper than to outsource the task, consider other costs associated with hiring an onsite employee such as training, using the facility, and performance.

3. Reduced overhead: Keep in mind, the overhead required to have internal staffing can be significant, especially if your current physical capacity is already at its limit. In other words, bringing in more staff requires a larger office, more furniture, and extra phone sets, computers, and office equipment. These are all real costs that need to be taken into account when considering whether to bring someone in or to hire an outsourcing firm.

4. Operational control: Control of your business means that departments have accountability measures in place. Being able to step back and look at results rather than being involved in day-to-day activities can allow the business owner to focus more on the core, to see what’s really important, and determine what makes money. Keep in mind that very few people go into business to conduct telemarketing surveys and handle customer service issues. Generally, they want to achieve those things in which they have a core competency. However, as a result of running the business, aspects need to be delegated.

When considering whether or not to outsource, ask yourself if you are willing to bring in an outside firm that is good at something outside of your core competence — and take your business to the next level.

5. Staffing flexibility: Outsourcing gives you the ability to grow your staff quickly or to shrink it with ease. It also means that you avoid the cost of purchasing computer terminals, office furniture, and renting new space to expand your to accommodate more staff. In addition, you won’t be stuck with extra office space and equipment when the time comes to downsize your staff. There also won’t be any legacy cost with unemployment. It is not your problem.

The Three Legged Stool

The idea in this concept is to lead a healthy, happy, and well balanced life. This requires that you have three legged approach to your life that is very well balanced. A concept that was first shared with me by, Tom Hopkins over 25 years ago, and then a very dear friend of mine, Dr. Azam Arastu, (A world renowned scientists that would put most people’s resume to shame.) reiterated a few years ago during a conversation.  It is a basic structure, concept he called “the Three Legged Stool, to a Balanced Life.”  Reality is, it’s impossible to have stool that stands on its own if it only has two legs and all three legs need to be the same length. A well-balanced life is like a three legged stool.  It has to have all these aspects of equal weight and equal strength to support the load that’s placed on it.  View the illustration below:

A balanced life has to consist of all three elements. The analogy of the ‘three legged stool’ is so apropos in that, if you made a four-legged stool, then you can position yourself in some corner of the stool and still sit. However, just like a tripod, if you remove one of the legs from a ‘three legged stool,’ it won’t stand. It should be the same way in our lives too.  If you remove one aspect or ‘one-leg’ from life, then you are living an out-of-balanced life.

When you’re writing your goals, review them to ensure they’re balanced. In order to have a balanced life you have to have a well proportioned all three aspects of your life.

Financial, look at where you are right now what your financial goals are for the next 20 years. What are they going to be in 10 years, in the next five years, the next two years, next year, the next 12 months, month by month, or tomorrow. There has to be a step down throughout each one of these fields which are in equal proportion to each other. It’s impossible to have a balanced life without having all three elements of your life incongruent with long-term objectives in mind. Keeping the ends in mind when we start a project is a key element to successfully see through. Where you are in 10 years should be halfway through your 20 year achievement goal, equally in five years you should be a quarter of the way to achieving your goals. This congruent pathway has to follow through all the way. How much money do you want in your savings account, what type of investments are you going to make, are you going to own rental properties. These are all questions that need to be answered and your pathway.

Family, where you want to see your family in 20 years, how many children are you going to have are you going Grandchildren, are you going to be married. What is the status of your family life again keeping these things in track and in mind as you go through them will allow the little riptides in our life’s not turn into tidal waves. Keeping the balance aspects of our lives on a daily basis is critical to achieving long-term objectives. Imagine every day not just where you are but where you will be keeping a balanced insight is critical to making sure that you’re achieving your objectives.

Career, be careful not to confuse career with financial success they’re completely separate issues. Your career will be the way that you earn money, your financial strength will be what you do with the money you earn. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you’re going to start savings for your financial future once income starts to increase. Look at your career path as a means of building a strong income, and look at your finances as a means for which you can invest your income. Again, keeping in mind it’s a 20 year path and where are you right now the work you plan on going. Are you going to own a business, are you going to sell the business you have to, or you going to leave the business to your children. These are all questions you should answer so you have a clear objective in mind when you’re working towards your goals.

Life is about balance, every aspect of life demands that there be balance between the highs and lows, the victories and defeats. It’s impossible to have success without a clear understanding of humility of defeat. Look at your life, and make sure that you’re building a three legged stool. You can put all of your energies into career in financial success and neglect your family, in the short term you might get by with that strategy. However, the long-term repercussions of the balanced life will certainly lean themselves to your suffering.

I wish you well, and hope that this message resonated with you. Strive for balance in all areas of your life.

Sincerely,

Robert Fox

10 Questions You Should Ask before You Hire an Outsourcing Firm

1. Infrastructure what type of infrastructure do they have in place?

Do they have backup redundancy built into their infrastructure, when dealing with international developing countries their electrical network, will have stability issues. When hiring somebody awfully international bulletin board, often times which are hiring is someone that’s working at home, with  a DSL, and Skype connection as their infrastructure.

A well-established company will have multiple backup redundancies in place, both battery, as well as generators they can operate on multiple fuel sources. Their Internet connectivity should be multiple carrier fiber-optic, and their phone system should be an enterprise call center phone system, with multiple backup servers in place. With infrastructure the keywords are contingency plans, multiple pathways and multiple backups plans.

2. US Presence and International office

There are many companies that do international outsourcing, that only Presence, in one of the countries that they’re doing business. From just a cultural perspective this can add a lot of challenges, not to mention operational, and legal ramifications. I know some companies that have.

US-based only and have no presence overseas, in essence their outsourcing their outsourcing. This creates significant operational barriers you need to make sure that the company the your hiring has the management team in place to fill the promises that they’re making.

Equally important is to have a company that has a US presence, dealing with somebody that strictly overseas can add a lot of cultural and language barriers. Not to mention possible legal ramifications of overseas violations might take place.

3. How will I train my virtual assistant?

Certainly any virtual assistant you hire has to have some basic fundamental skills sets. However, each business has its own nuances of how it operates in tasks that need to be performed. To properly acquire the skill sets your virtual assistants going to need to be trained. Does the company have a training program in place to help you facilitate this key ingredient in your business. Do they have a means of teaching me how to teach my virtual assistant?  This is the question you should be asking.

A well-established virtual assistant company will have a set protocol of how they not only on board new employees, but having also on board new customers. Another words some type of training and mentoring program to help you understand how to get the most out of working with your virtual assistant.

 4. If my VA leaves who is going to train my next one

Does the company have in place the ability to get a replacement virtual assistant for you in the event that your primary virtual assistant is out ill, taking a vacation, or leaving the company altogether. Make sure that the company not only trains your virtual assistant on how to work with you, but also allows for additional bandwidth for other employees to learn operational requirements of your company.

5. Will I have a manager assigned to me?

It’s critical to understand, when you’re hiring an overseas company what is their management that’s in place. How interactive are they with their client base. If something were to go wrong, what is a set of coarse actions that are in place to help me get things fixed and moving forward. Again these should all be contingencies that a well-run outsourcing firm has in place for their clients.

6. What type of phone system do you have?

Make sure when you are hiring a company that they have an enterprise phone system in place. That has the ability to monitor your agents, as well as record telephone calls. So that you can hear how does my virtual assistant interact with my clients. Is a redundancy built into your phone system.

7. Can I call my VA directly from my phone?

Some virtual assistant companies make it challenging to speak to the person it’s actually doing the work. Make sure that you have the ability to pick up and dialed the US-based telephone number and speak immediately to your virtual assistant if that’s something that’s desired. Many virtual assistant companies want to correspond entirely through e-mail. If that’s not your preferred way of communicating you might find this very frustrating. Make sure that whoever you hire is going to communicate with you and you want to communicate.

8. What type of support tools does your company have in place?

Make sure that any company you hire, has a comprehensive system to track the results and they are generating for you. They should provide you with some type of CRM system, and a project management tool.

9. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Just as any company should be familiar with and said they’re good at, they should also be open and honest with you about areas that they’re not very good. Having a company that open about things that are really strong, but yet at the same time honest enough to tell you areas that they need to improve, can be a good sign when you’re dealing with a reputable company.

10. Do you have any referrals or existing customers like to speak with?

Make sure that any company you hire, will openly and freely share referral sources from you of existing customers that are currently using their service. Make sure that they’re also providing you with customers that are doing a service similar to what you’re thinking of hiring them for.

Visit our website www.peoplesourceinternational.com

The Four Quadrants of a CEO

Some of the aspects to trap an entrepreneur, in transition to being a CEO. We’ll have task assignments we do on a regular basis. I would recommend you take a really good look at the tasks and focusing on what you’re working on at any one given time. Stop yourself and ask yourself if this is the best and highest use of my time that I could be maximizing my efforts right now with.

Chances are, if you’re posting to your Facebook account, updating LinkedIn, or doing any of the other mundane tasks that are required to keep your business active and relevant but not really making money, then you’re not optimizing your time appropriately. As an example, if you own a restaurant and you’re the one who goes out, and buy food and other important yet mundane task is another example of not optimizing your time appropriate.

The specific areas of the business the CEO should function, I call these the four quadrants. This is where any effective CEO can be spending 95% of the time. These quadrants are critical to the function of the business growth. After all, CEO’s primary concern should be growth of revenue and control of cost. These are the quadrants truly dictate the growth potential of any company. Because the one thing that you, I, and highly effective CEOs like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett have in common is we all have 24 hours each day. Stop and think about this, when Bill Gates was CEO at Microsoft he had 46,000 employees working for him. That translates to roughly 368,000 hours of productivity in a single day.

The primary functions that we need to concentrate with as the CEO is Conducting Business Presentations, Executing Joint Venture Agreements, Planning and Operations as well as Product Development, and finally Raising Capital and Financing. The numbers in the engagements will change based upon the size of the company. But nonetheless, the area CEO needs to be functioning in is in these quadrants and not get involved in the day-to-day operations of your company that’s why you hire on premise or virtual employees. With the advancements of technology today there are very few administrative functions that cannot be conducted by virtual team employee. Not only is the cost savings very significant, but depending upon how you set up the VA’s. The ideal environment would be to have a team working for you, full-time and part-time specialists in different areas.

The exercise for this week is to make a note of what are the tasks you perform on a regular basis and are you really optimizing your time. If not, look for solutions that will help you optimize your time and grow your business instead of running inside you.

An Owner Who Can’t Get Out of His Old Ways

Many of us fall into the trap of applying a basic approach when it comes in trying to accomplish anything. That trap can be summed up with the description: “plan, optimize, execute.”

Known as prediction reasoning, this way of thinking is based on the assumption that the future is going to be pretty much like the past, and, to be fair, it can work wonderfully in certain limited situations.

The problem is the world in which you are operating today is often extremely unpredictable and that means you need a radical change in your thought process to handle any number of situations as you try to navigate in the unknown.

Serial entrepreneurs, individuals who have successfully started multiple companies, have mastered managing the unknown. (After all, there is nothing more uncertain then starting a business.) To follow their lead and take control of the future, small business owners specifically–who we will use as the example here–and the rest of us in general, must:

1. Begin by taking a small (smart) step forward. It may not be the right direction but as the owner of a small business, you will never know if you don’t try. When starting a new venture, ask potential customers what they think about your idea, long before you pour any significant money into it.

2. Evaluate the feedback and see what you have learned. If potential customers have thoughts about your idea, listen to them. Their response is invaluable and could offer a new outlook. For example, you may have an idea to open a new restaurant, but potential customers don’t seem enthusiastic. There are a lot of restaurants in the area but if you offered complete dinners they could pick up on their way home, ones that could be reheated once they got there, they would be thrilled.

3. Build that learning into what you do next. Take this feedback and, if necessary, reconstruct your path. Take a step in a different direction to see what happens as you experiment with new ideas. For example, show potential customers sample menus for your now take-out dinner idea.

As we researched our book “Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future,”we came to think of this new thought process as Act; Learn; Build. The steps repeat until an outcome is achieved–the business is up and running; your new idea is a success, or you decide you can’t afford or don’t wish to continue.

Admittedly, transitioning to the Act; Learn; Build; thought process may not be easy because we’re accustomed to using prediction reasoning all the time. And like anything that’s repeated over and over, prediction reasoning has become a conditioned habit for many and as we said in certain situations, it is the right approach to use. For instance, on a road trip, travelers are confident that a GPS and map will guide them to the destination. Prediction reasoning, with its detailed forecasts and plans, works well in moving you along a known path but running a small business or getting a new idea off the ground, is not so easily maneuvered.

But any time you head off into the unknown with a new business plan, product or service, the logic of prediction reasoning is of little use. That’s why many of us are often the biggest impediment to our success. Using prediction reasoning in situations which are simply not predictable is bound to result in disappointment and frustration.

When embarking on a new project, there is little to be planned beforehand. It’s difficult to gather appropriate resources without first knowing what’s needed, and trying to optimize is extremely difficult, if you don’t know what roadblocks you may encounter.

In these situations, Act; Learn; Build will help guide you through the inevitable hurdles that characterize today’s marketplace.

The predictability of the world has changed drastically. Shouldn’t our way of thinking keep up?

Ways of Maximizing Your Lead Generation Program

Lead generation is a marketing term used to describe the generation of consumer interest pertaining to a specific product or service. Lead generation is the essence of any marketing plan, and is the corner stone for generating revenue. The greater and quality the leads are, the revenue increases exponentially.

There are several ways of increasing the outcomes of a lead generation program. The three prevalent and most used ways of generating leads are:

  • Telemarketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Pay per Click Advertising

Telemarketing:

Telemarketing is the oldest way of generating leads since the technological revolution. As the name indicates, in such method, the business hires telemarketers, to promote the product or service of the business. The telemarketers are provided with a set of contact information of potential prospects, then they have the duty of calling as much prospects as possible, to convince them in developing interest in the product or service of the business. A call center outsourcing service provider can help the business a great deal in this regard.

The outsourced call center service providers have experts on their panel, that can generate leads at a faster pace compared to some amateur person generating the leads.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

Every business that has an online website understands the concept of search engine optimization. It is a process where the leads are generated through search engine traffic. The SEO professionals work on improving the ranking of a website, pertaining to a set of keywords. Therefore, whenever a consumer searches for a particular product or service, the website of the company will appear in the search results and the consumer subsequently can make the purchase decision accordingly.

Due to the increasing influence of internet on consumer behavior and consumer’s purchase decision making process, many companies are turning towards search engine optimization. SEO is one of the most efficient and effective ways of increasing the outcomes of a lead generation program, and can help earn greater ROI.

Pay per Click Advertising (PPC):

Like SEO, Pay per Click advertising is another way of generating leads with regards to online marketing. It is one of the swift leads generation processes. PPC advertising is paying search engines for the display of ads, which appear in response to a search query.Thus the potential customer is directed to the website page of the product and service. The visitor can officially be classified as a lead if he subscribes to a newsletter, an email, or any of the offerings that can lead to a sale.

Conclusion:

In short, telemarketing, SEO, and PPC are the best ways of maximizing leads generation outcomes. A good call center outsourcing service provider, a good SEO service provider, and an apt PPC marketer can help in the maximizing the leads generation program.

Selecting the Correct Outsourcing Firm

The first thing to take into consideration when deciding whether or not, to outsource, is outsourcing a good fit for your business? Honestly, I can’t think of any business they could lend some type of BPO (Business Processing Outsource) services into their mix of operations. Let’s go under the premise of outsourcing as a good business practice for you to engage in, how you know which type of firm to hire.

Outsourcing in today’s business environment seems to be a hot buzz topic, however, the subject of outsourcing in one form or another has existed almost as long as business itself is existing. If you stop and think about any time you bring in an outside vendor to conduct business activity for your business operations. Many businesses do this with legal and accounting services as well as a host of other services, for example, if you require a maintenance job and you call in a contractor to complete that task, in essence, you are outsourcing.

What has changed in this conversation is that now, many people are moving towards long-term contractual outsourcing agreement. Enterprise companies have been doing this for years in fact, today Xerox is primarily a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) firm. A great deal of their outsourcing is domestic and domestic outsourcing can have significant advantages. These advantages can include a greater infrastructure, cultural competency, greater legal compliance and a higher comfort level with your clients in dealing with somebody who’s domestic versus located offshore or internationally. Probably the largest downside to domestic outsourcing is the cost. The fees can range from four to five times as much as international outsourcing. There are a multitude of different approaches you can take. Below is a list of various outsourcing options:

Domestic Outsourcing

International Outsourcing

Outsourcing Agency

A company that doesn’t have any employees and outsources their outsourcing.

Hybrid Outsourcing

A combination of both international and domestic outsourcing.

Outsourcing Bulletin Boards

Freelancer and Odesk are two of the largest outsourcing of this kind.

I believe that the best combination when looking for an outsourcing firm is a Hybrid combination for a company that maintains a minimum of two offices. One office should be located in the country you’re doing business in and another overseas office. This type of combination can allow you the flexibility in your staffing when domestic helpers are required to very easily input and interject the type of requirements that you have. While at the same time these companies can take greater advantage in cost savings with emerging technologies and lower labor rates in developing countries. I believe this approach is the best to outsource. Let’s take a look at some of the other options that are available in a little greater detail.

Domestic Outsourcing

Domestic outsourcing might have some competencies, however, the cost limitations with this type of service can be rather significant. To bring in this type of firm, you’re going to figure the hourly labor rates which could be at a minimum of $25 per hour. While you can expect that the technology that they’ll deploy will be good, a professional working environment along with professional management and most likely a top-notch phone system which could easily exceed $100,000, however, there are alternatives that might make a better financial sense for you.

A 100% offshore international outsourcing firm without a presence in the country you’re doing business in can present some limitations in both cultural competencies, compliances and performance issues. With this type of organization, it is very critical that you understand they have absolutely no need to comply with laws at all, however, if they’re conducting business activity on your behalf, you do have to comply with US laws. Any violation could lead the customer responsible for the vendor’s activities. An example of this could be the Do Not Call registry violations as well as anti-spam violations. Both of these hold up to $16,000 fine per incident. These penalties can be a part of simple ignorance and hiring an overseas vendor that may or may not be even aware of the complaint issues that could leave you open to significant vulnerability.

Outsourcing Agents

I know some companies that don’t have an overseas presence. They simply sell outsourcing services and book them through Odesk or some other type of outsourcing services and rebill them.

Outsourcing Bulletin Boards

While this might be an inexpensive way to get tasks done, often times it can prove to be unreliable. Generally speaking these are individuals that don’t have the resources to set up the appropriate infrastructure required to run such an organization. An appropriate phone system can run tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the ability of organizations scale and appropriate growth. Emerging countries tend to have instability within this electric grid and infrastructure, a requirement for alternative electric sources. This is why having backup generators as well as UPS (backup battery) to run your infrastructure is a necessity. I know that in our offices sometimes, it will go as much as 12 hours without any electricity.  Without having generators in place to run, it would be impossible to offer quality services to our clients.

The thing that I instruct our clients is to take a look at the level of revenue a particular task generates. Low generating activity should be done by somebody other than key employees within an organization, either entry-level staff or of outsourcing firm.  Key employees in organization need to stay focused on high revenue generating activities. A simple way to look at it is to take into account when delegating work, is to consider how much is this employee making on an hourly basis. If you can get the same task done at a significantly lower rate than obviously, it’s better to delegate work out. Below is a basic formula to calculate how much an employee is making on an hourly basis:

The basic formula for this is:

Annual Salary/(40×50) = Hourly Rate

$100,000 / 2000 = $50 per hr

Now you’re earning $100,000 a year. In essence, you’re making $50. As a business owner you need to focus on what are the activities that can maximize your return on investment and take the task that does not produce high revenue and get those task performed by somebody. In essence, if you can double your output by bringing in another employee, at $10 per hour.  Now you have two hours of output which is $100 and it only costs you $10 which means, now you’re making $90 an hour instead of the previous $50 per hour.

Look at the lowest revenue generating activity, that could be telemarketing, could be delegating social media task, such as LinkedIn and Facebook postings. Get these task out of your office certainly integrate them into your business model that hire a firm with a much lower cost structure that you can offer to do the work for you.

 

In closing, what I would like to do is, offer anyone that’s interested in a half hour free coaching consultation with me or one of our coaches to see how outsourcing might be able to integrate into your organization. Please contact my office.