What’s Stopping SME Business Owners From Outsourcing?
Originally published by Andrew Mault, LinkedIn, May 22, 2019
With a huge industry focus on small & mid-size businesses, there has never been a better time for SME business owners to explore offshore. There are many service providers in the Philippines, with a whole range of different service model options to suit budget, business model or personal preference.
The misconception that outsourcing is only for large corporations couldn’t have been more wrong.
“Outsourcing isn’t only available to large firms, though. Our data shows that more than one-third of small businesses (37%) currently outsource a business process, and more than half (52%) plan to outsource.”
Clutch’s 2019 Small Business BPO Survey stated that many small businesses choose to outsource some of their functions to boost efficiency. 24% of the respondents confirmed that through outsourcing, they are able to increase the number of projects they are handling while keeping a clear state of mind.
Apart from efficiency, the respondents reported other benefits including the ability to outsource specialised roles, increased flexibility, improved focus, amplified resources and reduced operation costs.
It was widely agreed that awareness and knowledge of service options, what it takes, and the real cost of outsourcing were blockers. There are probably hundreds of thousands of SMEs that have talked about offshore but just don’t know where to start, and who to trust. Like any industry, there are great providers, good providers, ok providers and cowboys. With so many providers in the industry (over 700 in the Philippines) it is no wonder that SME business owners are skeptical.
Service providers need to be more consultative, rather than having “a one size fits all” approach. Regardless of customer preference, outsourcing providers need to have an understanding of what the customer is trying to achieve. Why are they outsourcing? What does their end goal look like? It’s also important to flag possible risks and/or suggest a better way, even if this means delaying the move (and closing the deal).
Outsourcing and offshoring should fit as part of a longer-term strategy, not a band aid solution just to remove costs. Small businesses and startups are leveraging outsourcing and offshore capability to grow and add more value to their customers, whilst remaining competitive in a very competitive space.
Although the list of benefits of outsourcing for small businesses go on and on, SMEs should pay close attention to their outsourcing providers. They should have a clear plan and a good relationship with the BPO.
• How they vet potential outsourcing providers
• Confidentiality, data security and trust between their business and the BPO
• How they communicate with contractors
• How they set expectations for quality with service providers
To sum it up, what stops SME business owners from outsourcing stems mainly from the lack of information and the misconception that only larger organisations could afford to partner with BPO providers. In reality, there are now hundreds of BPO providers especially in the Philippines who can cater to businesses of all sizes – including startups and other smaller ventures.
SMEs who leveraged outsourcing have reaped key benefits such as enhanced efficiencies, the ability to outsource specialised roles, increased flexibility, improved focus, amplified resources, and reduced operation costs. Should your business consider outsourcing, you can also experience these benefits and build up your competitive advantage with the right provider.
Finding the right BPO partner means collaborating with someone who can be more attentive to their clients’ specific needs rather than having a “one size fits all” approach. For example, the BPO provider should be willing to customise their services according to your goals and be fully transparent throughout the whole engagement.
Don’t be afraid to engage with various providers who are ready to share how they can customise their services to meet your specific goals and needs. If you’re interested to talk about how outsourcing can help SMEs like yours, book a consultation with us.
Emapta is the No.1 Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in the Philippines. We have been helping small businesses accelerate their growth fully managed outsourcing that includes high-calibre talent, world-class offices, cutting-edge technology, and a rewarding work environment. In the last 10 years, we have acquired the experience and expertise to attract, onboard, and retain high-quality offshore talent in the Philippines.
We provide stable, agile, and scalable offshore setup to your company by incorporating the latest technology complete with HR, Admin, and 24/7 IT support.
Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help your small business outsource with our customisable and flexible solutions.