Why should I consider outsourcing?
Outsourcing your business processes can help:
- free up your schedule
- lower your operating cost
- multiply your productivity
Instead of doing everything by yourself, you will have someone who works for you (full-time if need be), doing the stuff that you need to get done for less than your operating cost (if you are doing it yourself) with the same or more than the productivity you produce (because of the availability of highly-skilled workforce for significantly less than what you would pay for, if you hire locally.)
This reality is one of the main reason why any small business operator should look into leveraging this powerful platform of outsourcing that was previously unavailable to everyone.
Why the Philippines?
According to Business Processing Association of the Philippines, here are some of the compelling reasons why you should outsource to the Philippines:
- Global leader in voice BPO
- No. 2 destination for non-voice IT-BPO services
- Low infrastructure and labor costs (up to 80% less than in developed countries)
- Large pool of college graduates each year
- Good English-speaking skills (over 70% of college graduates speak English)
- Young and fresh talent pool (one of the youngest and fastest growing workforces in the world)
- Large developed Central Business Districts and suitable for BPOs
- Customer-centric, warm, and hospitable culture
- Strong government and academe support
Should I go home-based or office-based when I outsource?
Spoiler: This is a very biased opinion and is my own opinion on this matter based on my personal experience.
Recently, there is a growing popularity of hiring virtual assistants that work out of their own homes for employers abroad. While one may think they are saving some by simply hiring virtual assistants that are home-based, business operators do not understand how this can be a major disadvantage to their business operations versus hiring a virtual staff that is located at an office facility.
Home-based virtual staff
If you hire a home-based staff, first you need to find that person. And it’s not that easy. People sometimes can talk about their skills, but unless you are able to prove that skill, you are at the mercy of their “sales pitch.” Imagine you are in a middle of a busy campaign and you find that the home-based staff you hired could not stand to the test? You will have to spend weeks if not months finding a replacement, and what will happen to your business while you wait and find your next virtual staff?
In Filipino culture, families are closely knit that you may find children that are already married and with children of their own, still living in their parent’s house. This means that there is a very little chance that a person working from home will have a quiet, conducive work space in a house that is already overcrowded.
Internet connectivity on residential areas is also another major disadvantage. If your business is based majority on the internet, you may find that the person you hired working from home, while they may have the skills, will have more problems with the internet connection’s reliability more often than not. Not to mention, almost all residential internet connections are capped at a certain upload/download bandwidth that unless your staff is paying for the more expensive plans, he or she will get maybe an 1/8th of the bandwidth that was subscribed to. From a first hand experience, even making a decent Skype call is a challenge.
Office-based virtual staff
Now compare this to a virtual staff located at an office or BPO facility. While you might be paying a bit more premium by hiring a virtual staff this way, the advantages is enough to compensate for this premium.
BPO facilities will have the infrastructure and internet connectivity that can handle large amount of data exchanged at any point in your business very consistently. Backups and redundancies are setup to ensure that there will be a very minimal downtime to disrupt your business.
Hiring virtual staff located at a BPO facility will give you more options as to choosing and screening your staff. These BPOs have a large pool of talents, from the different campaigns they run, that you can choose from (readily available to you for your selection.) And if the staff you hired is not working out for you, they can be immediately replaced by the facility (or as agreed in your contract.) Either way, you have much more flexibility as to retaining or replacing your staff, with minimal business disruption.
A virtual staff located at an office facility will conduct their work more professionally. They would have to prepare to go to work, come to work on time, submit a time and status report and have a work desk with the right infrastructure where they can perform their duties appropriately with little distractions. This is also another very good reason why you should hire a virtual staff located on a business facility.
Where to begin?
You’ve read all the above and now you are thinking of considering outsourcing. But you don’t know where to start. You’ve heard about outsourcing and how business giants are cashing in on this platform and you say to yourself, “I am a small business owner, I don’t know if outsourcing is for me.”
The one answer would be: outsourcing is for you. Whether you own a small business with just you working on it or you have a handful of staff located with you locally, there is always an opportunity to outsource part if not all of your business processes offshore.
Here is a short guide how you can start:
- Identify the business processes you would like to outsource
- Describe in detail how you want this business process to operate
- Enumerate specific tools or software you need in order to execute these processes
- Determine how many virtual staff you think you need to perform this business process
- Estimate how long (duration) you think performing this business process should take
- Select a date when you want to get started on this
- Put down a realistic (monthly) budget that you are willing to invest in order to get this going
- Send this information to a reputable BPO facility and ask for a quote regarding your requirements.
Normally, BPOs offer seat-leasing that does not include the staff. In those cases, they will offer the facility and infrastructure but you will still be responsible for recruiting and hiring your own virtual staff. So look for BPOs that offer all-inclusive rates where you just get billed on a monthly basis for everything related to your campaign or project instead of having to manage HR related concerns for your virtual staff.
Are you ready to outsource? If you would like help regarding outsourcing right now, send your requirements to:
And the folks at Outsource Manila will get back to you as soon as possible.