The revenue of the global outsourced services industry rose steadily year over year from 45.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2000 to 99.1 billion in 2012. – Statista.com
When two college friends founded Macphun in 2008 and subsequently released their first wildly popular application Cartoonatic – they never would’ve anticipated the success (and increase in workflow) that they would face. Paul Muzok the founder of free ceo and cfo email leads Macphun, is responsible for creating a software development company that specializes in providing user-friendly SaaS software to photographers of all skill levels, world-wide. After rave reviews on their debut app, they continued to produce photo-editing apps that consistently top the App Store charts.
While their applications were receiving awesome recognition and they grew to over 22 million customers worldwide, they still sought to streamline some of their essential business processes anyway they could. Kevin, VP of Macphun tells us that he considered outsourcing so they could be able to support their customers in a professional manner and free up the internal employees that were previous working with customer support in order to help Macphun grow and be more productive.
“We definitely did respond to customer inquiries by email and phone, but again it took man-power within the company that we could otherwise deploy in other ways.” – Kevin La Rue, Macphun.
Now this is just one small niche of outsourcing, but each sub-category all share the same purpose, which brings us to the core of this guide
HOW CAN OUTSOURCING HELP YOU GROW? (and what you need to know)
So incase you’ve gotten this far and still don’t know what outsourcing is exactly… here’s a short and straight to the point definition by Merrill Matthews of Forbes.
Outsourcing is when a company contracts with an outside person or company to provide some product or service, such as bookkeeping, payroll processing or janitorial services, or more complicated functions like marketing or IT services. And families do the same thing when they turn to professionals for major plumbing, air conditioner or car repairs.
While outsourcing is typically seen as a maintenance strategy for some immense corporations like GE, Microsoft, Intel, Oracle – it has also recently been popularized as a growth strategy for many lower-level startups that need to prioritize more important areas. Startups like Skype, Slack, Uber, AirBNB, etc., are known for their use of outsourcing processes from coding and development to marketing and customer support. Nancy Mann Jackson from Entrepreneur backs this up by saying, “Entrepreneurs have long seen outsourcing as a strategy reserved for big business, but technology has made it a more accessible tool for small businesses and for some small firms, outsourcing has made a powerful impact on their growth, productivity and bottom lines.”
As stated above, high-quality outsourcing is becoming more and more popular with small businesses, because of the increasing accessibility to technologies that make outsourcing smoother and more efficient. BUT, in addition to this, outsourcing is blowing up because, there are a extraordinary amount of qualified professionals that have chosen to leave the corporate world in favor of working in a less stressful environment like their homes or small startup offices. These professionals include: virtual assistants, marketing directors, copywriters, graphic designers, website/software developers, etc., that all have the ability to work from anywhere in the world.
Now you probably have a few questions that you need answered before even considering outsourcing like…
What to outsource?
When to outsource?
Where to outsource?
Concerns with outsourcing?
Cost vs. benefits of outsourcing?
Now that you’ve asked all of these questions, it’s time to make this guide as comprehensive as possible by simply going down the list.
Which Business Processes Should I Outsource? It’s likely that you’re already outsourcing some of your business tasks like payroll administration or background and criminal checks for employment. And with the points mentioned above, it’s easier than ever to outsource nearly any task that you see necessary. BUT this doesn’t always mean that you should outsource just because it is easy for you. Many processes are better off being taken care of in-house, depending on what your priority is… For example, if your priority is to generate huge amounts of revenue with your special sales technique that only your in-house team has perfected then it’s probably not the best idea to give that task to an offshore contractor. On the other end of the spectrum if your priority is customer support, then it’s probably OK to outsource something like graphic design.