A trend we are hearing more about as time goes by is the concept of
outsourcing your work. Initially the domain of many medium sized
businesses it is now finding its way into small business and
individuals, particularly in relation to IT Services.
was involved in an online discussion on this matter and fell it was
worthwhile sharing here as more and more people are using or thinking of
using outsourced resources for many business activities.
can it be of use? Many aspects of small business are open to
outsourcing and many of you have been doing this while maybe not seeing
it as such. We all have accountants to prepare our tax returns. This
is outsourcing but with the internet we are seeing new opportunities.
Typical outsourced services these days include
- Accounts processing
- Software development
- Graphic Design
list of what you can outsource is only limited by your need, your
ability to manage it and finally locating a resource suitably priced to
provide the service.
This last factor has driven the new trend to
outsource to overseas resources who are very often far cheaper than
local resources. The internet has been the enabler providing the
vehicle for locating the resources and efficiently moving the
information back and forth.
Before you rush out sacking staff and
cancelling contracts with your local service providers however, tread
with caution. Outsourcing does carry certain responsibilities and
overheads that you may not have either the time or skills to deliver.
you can outsource your business activities you will need to have
clearly defined processes and systems in place. You must also be able
to clearly articulate what needs to be done in simple yet complete form.
the people you are outsourcing to will be from a country that operates
business in a different way to you, they probably don’t have English as
their first language and many of the people doing the working will be
young and less experienced than what you may be used to. Also remember
they will have a different culture.
This is not always the case
but you must consider these factors even before you examine their
ability to do the job. It will also depend on whether you are
outsourcing to a company or are individual.
works but for small business you need to approach this carefully. Just
like many other web developers, we outsource our work. We don’t hide
the fact from our clients and are quite proud of the quality of work we
We do however spend considerable time clearly defining
the requirement specification for all work. This can be a lengthy
document and by nature is very detailed. We leave nothing to chance but
as life has it there will always be changes and additions required.
brings up another factor of our success. We have respect for the
people we work with and have developed a strong personal relationship.
In fact I have visited my outsourcers in the Philippines and know quite a
few of the 93 staff personally. We work together as a team. In fact
on one particularly large custom web development project, the guys have
called themselves my team.
Critical to the success we enjoy also
lies in the fact that the developers have their own systems and
processes for managing projects, the quality of systems developed and
managing the communications back and forth. We use a number of
different tools to effect all this. Managing a web development projects
across different teams and individuals as well as keeping the client
abreast of activities would not be possible without robust systems and
What it means for our clients is a far more robust and
cost effective total solution. We have time to spend on important
aspects that otherwise would be cost prohibitive. It works for us but
not for everyone.