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Business Process Outsourcing – What does it mean to you?
Are you a small business owner? What does Business Process outsourcing mean to you? Did you believe that your turnover and business is not large enough to consider outsourcing? Are you of the opinion that you are not equipped to deal with other people (maybe on the other end of the globe) helping you run your business? Or, you could be a business owner in a country where you have BPO firms round the corner but you believe they are meant only for big corporations in developed nations? Well, think again!
What is Business Process Outsourcing?
As the terms indicate, it is simply handing over some of your business processes over to a partner to handle. Consider a party that you are planning, for instance. You prepare the food, handle the decorations and ask a friend to pick up the cake on his way to the party. Here you have outsourced one of your tasks (picking up the cake) so that you save some time. If you asked a friend to pick it up, you don’t lose anything and your friend feels gratified that he has been able to give you a hand. Or you could always ask the baker to deliver. Here they would charge an extra for delivery that would be an additional cost to you. However, it would save you from doing all the extra-running around and give you enough time to spruce up and enjoy your party! Isn’t it worth the extra dollar?
Now carry forward this example to the business environment. For example, you operate a hotel in a resort town. Your rooms are great, food lip-smacking and service par-excellence. However, your competition is running you out simply because their advertising is far better. This is where business process outsourcing can help you. Marketing may not be the strongest arrow in your quiver. Left to your own devices, you would probably put a few ads in local newspapers; hire someone to set up a website, put up a few billboards around the city etc. All expensive methods, but which may not have the desired effect.
Alternately, you could outsource your marketing to a BPO firm. These days, especially in India, you have several service providers that cater to individual needs and businesses. Scout around and you will easily find one that specializes in the tourism industry. They have the expertise; can readily give you the options with the costs and benefits and you can have a plan customized for you. Voila!
Do you realize you are already doing business process outsourcing – to the security firm that takes care of security in your hotel, to the local grocery store where you source your daily supplies, to the laundry agency that does your hotel laundry, so many examples. The same mindset ought to apply to your business service partners. Analyze your business, identify your strengths, ascertain the chinks in your armour and outsource those areas to partners whose strengths lie in those areas.
Business Process outsourcing has reached new heights in India. They have established themselves as successful and trusted partners for business not only in the United States and Europe, but even in other nations in the Asia Pacific region itself. From being support centres that cater to customers of big corporations, they have now moved up the value chain, handling value -added services like payroll processing, personnel recruitment, marketing, back-end processing etc. Then there are the ubiquitous software and online services like medical transcription, data entry, ad postings, application development and now – web site development and search engine optimization services.
So do not be hesitant. Scout around, talk to prospective partners, and see who is the best fit based on your needs and budget and take the plunge. Almost all of the BPO firms would have a pricing strategy just for you. Before you build up the mutual trust, you could try a short-term contract based on results – this would be cost-effective for you and your partner firm would certainly accept these terms if they are interested in long-term prospects, which in all likelihood, they would! So what are you waiting for? – As the saying goes “Dimidium Facti Qui Coepit Habet”.