What Can a Small Biz Outsource?

Thu, Dec 11, 2008


Posted by Eric Cohen

Most of my consulting work is with businesses that earn under $100M in revenue, per year. When I speak with them about offshoring, their general reaction is, what can I possibly offshore? That’s for the big companies, they say. One client ‘” who is in real estate ‘” has the best answer: you can offshore any task that can be done remotely. Go through your list ‘” what tasks are you doing now that can get done remotely? And more powerfully, what tasks would you like to get done if you could afford them, and can those tasks get done remotely? The list could include:

– graphic designers
– drafting and estimating
– statistical analysis
– financial modeling
– editing
– payroll
– basic admin
– typing / transcription
– high-level strategy consulting
– research
– etc.

The point is, when you begin to think of all the tasks that get done remotely, the list gets pretty long. And that presents big opportunity for small business. This real estate client is looking at offshoring as a way to expand. He does not intend to offshore so that he can reduce overhead or head count. Instead, his goal is to gain additional leverage. He is going for operational excellence, at a fraction of the cost of his competitors.

The tough part for a small business is not in figuring out what can be offshored. It is in keeping morale up while venturing into offshoring. But that is a subject for a future post’¦.

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