Wealth With Purpose

Should your business outsource?

In the last 20 years we have seen some fascinating technological advancements that have transformed the way we do business. Thanks to the internet the world has truly become flat. Never before has business, especially small business been able to so easily source quality labour from anywhere in the world. It truly is a global marketplace. In fact Wealth with Purpose has had the involvement of people in Ireland, Australia, Philippines, India, Argentina, Romania, United States, Hong Kong and they are just the ones I can remember!

I want to define the terms “Outsourcing” and “Global Sourcing” as they are two different but similar concepts.

Outsourcing is simply an arrangement where one business uses the external services of another. The practice involves sending tasks and job functions outside of the company to an external provider. Outsourcing occurs for a huge range of activities from accounting, customer service, telesales, graphic design and these days almost anything that involves sitting in front of a computer. Outsourcing could be local or it could be global.

Global Sourcing is more about sourcing the best talent from around the world to help you perform your business tasks. The internet has now enabled businesses both large and small source the necessary skills to fulfil their business objectives from all ends of the globe. Once again any task that can be done in front of a computer can be globally sourced.

When Christians think about these two concepts they often become a little uncomfortable. They are rightly concerned to know whether these business practices involve the unethical exploitation of labour in third world countries. Whilst that has certainly been a problem in the past, due to the transparency, global regulations, this is decreasingly the case. No doubt some businesses implement unethical practices, but as a Kingdom entrepreneur you can outsource and global source with a clear conscience and at the same time provide your business with significant benefits.

Global sourcing is not about sourcing the cheapest labour in the world. It is about sourcing great quality people at good value, often better than you could get in your home market. One of the problems small business face is that they don’t often need full-time workers for specific roles. For example at Wealth with Purpose we regularly need design work done, but we don’t need a full-time designer as there would not be enough work for them. Outsourcing has meant that we can source talented people from around the world who can bring their unique skill sets to our business.

What are the Solutions?

There are many different business models for outsourcing. It will depend on your business, your budget and the type of tasks that you need done.

Different Models include:

• Online: www.upwork.com, www.freelancer.com, www.99designs.com and my favorite www.fiverr.com – there are many more
• Direct Option One: using Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) suppliers.
• Some providers do only specific roles such as call-centers or IT infrastructure
• Some are more Marketing orientated such as design, web-development and communication
• Some provide Virtual Assistants so you can have a jack-of-all trades doing many of the tasks you just want to get off your desk
• Many allow you to hire a worker who they manage for you in terms of pay, local regulations, office and computers and all you have to do is provide them with their tasks.
• Direct Two: using your networks in foreign countries

Many small businesses will use a combination of all three. There is no right or wrong just what suits your business.

Why Outsource or Global Source?

I am a passionate believer in global sourcing. When you encounter Wealth with Purpose you are encountering a truly global business. Our first website was done in India, the second one in Ireland. The videos you are watching were filmed and post-produced in the Philippines. Many of the interviews took place in Australia. Much of the administration work has been done in Argentina. Truly global.

Here is why I think you should seriously consider:

Grow Faster – do things you couldn’t do sooner. Many of us have great ideas but not the time to implement it. Using global sourcing you might be able to ‘do more’ than you previously would have due to the cost differentials.

Get quick & easy access to skills you don’t have in your home market or that are normally very expensive in your home market.

Reduce Costs – we are in a global marketplace. Retail use to be a local game, now you can buy goods from almost anywhere and have them shipped to your home. Retailers now are competing globally even if they only sell locally.

Access Opportunities – I think the biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make is think of outsourcing and global sourcing as cost saving exercises. Your mindset should be expansionary. How can you grow and build a great kingdom business rather than just the mentality of cutting costs.

How do you do it?

It’s simple, just not easy. Make two lists. List one is a thorough listing of all activities and tasks undertaken by your business. You need to then determine which of the tasks on these lists can be outsourced. It is an opportunity to evaluate the costs of these tasks and see if there is a smarter way of doing it. It can also be an opportunity to engage with your employees to find out which of their tasks do they not like doing. Outsourcing may be an opportunity to relieve them of tasks they don’t enjoy.

List two is a listing of all the activities that you ‘might get around to one day’. These are all those growth projects that you have considered but perhaps due to time or money you have put them off. Now is an opportunity to consider whether these activities can be outsourced or globally sourced. Perhaps you were thinking about driving more traffic to your website, but have never got around to doing the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Now is the time to outsource it.

Once you’ve completed your lists and have determined the tasks that you need done. Determine the price of outsourcing these. To some extent this will depend on which outsourcing model you choose, but you need to work out the approximate cost and factor it into your budgeting process.

Once the cost is in place consider which model is suitable for you, online or direct. My view is you should ‘dip your toe in the water’ using the online method and then build up to taking a more direct approach.

Is it perfect? No. It takes time to find and build a high quality global team. There are cultural differences and communication can be challenging. If you are willing to invest time, money and the effort then you will inevitably build a great outsourced business.

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