Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Who Will Do Your Next Task?

It seems I have been involved in a number of discussions lately about outsourcing services overseas. My stand is that our business will never outsource services overseas that can be done here in Australia, by Australians. However in an open minded kind of way I have been trying to understand why businesses would.

I was told by a company who was promoting at a recent expo I attended that the reason I should use an overseas outsourcing business is because ‘economies in these countries are poor and that the Government doesn’t support unemployed people like here in Australia.’ Great that is warm and fuzzy, nothing about quality of service, knowledge or experience. So I take work I could be giving to an Aussie small business and send it overseas, I save both on my bottom line and I prop up an emerging economy – awesome. But do I really get a quality service or will I have to redo it or be unhappy with the outcome, but think ‘it is good enough I will put up with it, I saved an economy’. And what about that Australian Small Business I took work away from?

I have asked business owners who have, or do outsource why? They always say it is cheaper. I ask if they are happy? Mostly the answer is no. Those who are happy have given very specific instructions on what they want done, those who don’t understand the technical part of the service they are seeking, flounder. Then they turn to an Australian based company to fix it – the project has cost them double what they could have paid in the first place.

So when you do have a task you need completed, what are your options?
1.      Outsource overseas
2.      Use a third party company who outsources overseas
3.      Use an Australian based small business
4.      Employ someone
By the way that order is not random, that is the order from cheapest to most expensive.

I think I have discussed point 1 enough. I don’t understand why you would do this, if you have a differing opinion then please share.

Point 2. This is a company who disguises where there work is being done, many do not disclose that they have the work (your work) completed offshore, this is sneaky. Again I refer to above comments – if you can use an Aussie business to do the work then why send it overseas?

Point 3. OK declaring that this is the direction everyone who needs a task completed and can’t because they lack time or skills should take. The Australian micro and small business market is worth more to our economy than the stock market – that is a lot in my book. That is worth nurturing and financing to keep our economy strong.

These businesses could be solo operators, or employ up to 5 people, you are probably one of them. Are you thinking who you will give your next task to, bet you know a consultant (or 5), bet you know a VA (or 
5). These small businesses rely on other business giving them a task to do. They rely on that to pay their bills, feed a family, dine in a cafe, go to the pub, pay for swimming lessons, dance class, karate, pay wages or outsource their task to someone else. See how it flows on, continues to support our local and national economy? Think about where your income comes from and where it goes?

Moving on to point 4. This is also a good option, and I am not saying don’t employ people, but depending on the task, there could be a better option. Remember to consider the on-costs – sick leave, annual leave, public holidays, lunch breaks, equipment, training, down-time (how many staff members actually ‘work’ the hours you pay them?) Just my thoughts on employing staff.

So next time you have a task to do, consider all the options available to you.