Business Process Outsourcing: A Life Raft for Small Businesses

Small businesses can get support from BPO companies

Key takeaways:

  • Small businesses should adapt if they want to recover from COVID-19.
  • Outsourcing can help businesses with their growth.
  • Outsourcing saves money for small businesses while expanding their capabilities.
  • Offshoring offers similar benefits to outsourcing while maintaining cohesiveness and control.
  • BPO companies can help small businesses with offshoring.

The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to flatten the curve affected small businesses throughout the United States. A survey taken a year after the beginning of the virus’ spread indicated that 41.3% of small businesses were temporarily closed, almost 2%were permanently closed, and overall, respondents had reduced their full-time workers by nearly a third. 

Small businesses typically take longer to recover after an economic downturn than larger businesses – after the 2008 recession, large businesses recovered in an average of four years, while small businesses took six years. Analysts speculate that businesses of all sizes need at least five years to fully recover from a crisis and that in addition to protecting the health of staff and customers, the key to recovery is adjusting staffing models, investing in talent, and adapting business models. 

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is the life raft small businesses need to survive and thrive in these rough waters. This guide explains BPO and looks at how it can help small companies as they try to stay afloat.

Signs you need to consider outsourcing

A stereotype of outsourcing is that it’s just for large organizations but small businesses and even solopreneurs can benefit from outsourcing. Here are some signs you should consider it:

  • You need help but don’t have the resources to hire someone internally.
  • Your to-do list is overwhelming.
  • A lack of customer service is leading to upset customers.
  • Demand is increasing but you don’t have the resources to produce extra products or provide more services.
  • You want help with specific tasks.
  • You don’t have the time or resources for recruiting, hiring, and onboarding.

The pandemic ushered in changes few business owners had seen in their lifetimes. Many sent workers home, closed their doors, let go of employees, and/or modified their business practices. Recovery is going to take just as many changes and outsourcing may be a necessary part of your survival.

Tasks you can outsource

You can outsource nearly anything. All kinds of businesses outsource tasks like accounting, cleaning, and security to other companies and in fact, business owners often hire those types of professionals without actually realizing that they’re engaging in outsourcing. 

The above tasks are just the tip of the iceberg. Many businesses rely on BPO to handle the following types of tasks:

  • Administrative functions
  • Customer service
  • Sales
  • Bookkeeping and accounting
  • Accounts receivables and debt collection
  • Social media management, email marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and content management
  • Graphic design
  • Web development
  • Project management

Outsourcing can be a way to delegate repeatable, time-consuming tasks but it can also offer so much more. You can use BPO to expand the expertise and capabilities of your business.  Here are some ways. 

Outsourcing to protect business profitability

The amount you can afford to spend on labour varies based on your industry and multiple other factors. Analysts often say that you should aim to keep your payroll costs at 15 to 30% of revenue but some businesses can have labor costs up to 50% without destroying profitability. 

Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to increase revenue but if that revenue is static or increasing slowly, you need to focus on the flip side – keeping payroll costs as low as possible. BPO lets you keep costs low while expanding your capabilities. 

How outsourcing saves money

BPO saves money because you don’t have to host employees. You don’t have to spend money on office space, computers, or other overhead costs. The BPO company provides the office space and resources your workers need. You also save time and money on recruiting, training, and onboarding because the BPO company handles all of that. 

Difference between outsourcing and offshoring

The words outsourcing and offshoring are often used interchangeably and although these processes are similar, they have nuanced differences. Outsourcing is where you have a third party handle business processes and you pay them as a contractor. Offshoring, in contrast, refers to hiring someone in another country (offshore) to handle core business tasks and you pay them as an employee.

The benefit of offshoring, compared to outsourcing, is that you retain control over your employees and what they do. Your company stays cohesive but you get to enjoy the lower hourly rate skilled workers command in other countries. 

Why consider offshoring

You know the process of hiring an internal employee – you put up an ad, look through hundreds of applications, hold interviews, and pick the best prospect.

Offshoring takes much less time and comes with a lot less risk. You simply choose a BPO company, tell them what you need, and they handle the rest. They find, hire, and onboard the right fit for your company. They oversee the talent, put tools in place to measure their success, and work on their development to optimize their presence in your company.

Making the right choice

You understand the basics but you may be wondering how to choose the best BPO company for your needs. Look for one that is committed to helping you save money and providing you with high-quality talent. Choose a company that can help you outsource or offshore a wide range of tasks and ask for the chance to interview potential candidates before you sign a contract.

Contact DOXA today to help with your small business recovery

We believe that the benefits of outsourcing and offshoring should not be restricted to large companies. Thus, we have created our company to support small businesses. 

We start with an assessment where we figure out what you need. Then, we recruit, hire, and onboard the professionals your business needs to soar. Finally, we hold everything together with process optimization and continuing development. 

Contact DOXA today to talk about how outsourcing or offshoring can help your small business recover.

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