In a 2018 record by the Small Business Association, there are more than 30 million small businesses in the United States. They comprise 99.9% of the businesses in the country alone. However, only around 37% of it outsource their services.
Business process outsourcing enables solopreneurs and small teams to run their operation with ease and flexibility. Through delegating their tasks to offshore teams, they can focus on managing and strategising how their business can expand. It also allows them to easily scale their operation depending on the demand for their services.
Outsourcing is inevitable. It is still expected to grow despite the threat of automation in the industry. Small businesses are encouraged to outsource their services as a way to keep up with the changing trends in different industries.
Small business trends
As forecasted, small businesses can expect an increase in customer expectation this year. This is boosted with technological trends most e-commerce sites currently have.
Focus on customer
Small and large businesses will have a more customer-focused approach. They aim to meet or even exceed expectations by going green and caring about social issues that their customers care about as well.
Small businesses are expected to utilise social media more for marketing and sales. Stories and live streams slowly become popular as a way of connecting to the audience and selling products through a website or social media platform.
Shift to e-commerce
From brick-and-mortar stores, businesses are slowly transferring to their websites to reach a wider audience. Most small businesses, meanwhile, continue to utilise their smartphones and laptops in managing their businesses.
Since they manage their business online, entrepreneurs will be more fond of hiring remote employees for their operation. Distributed workforces and working from home will become more popular, as well as freelancing and outsourcing.
Call centre for small business
When outsourcing, small businesses usually start with strengthening their customer service team. They aim first to give 24/7 support while saving on resources. This won’t be possible when they hire an in-house team. This is why call centres are widely popular with them. Aside from inbound and outbound services, they also take advantage of non-voice functions such as data entry and email support.
Other services to outsource
Any complex, time-consuming, repetitive, or creative roles can be outsourced to a BPO company. This is a strategic way to ease the burden of doing these tasks and save on resources in hiring in-house employees. With this, entrepreneurs can also focus on core management duties and expanding their business.
Accounting and bookkeeping
Proper monitoring and handling of finances is important whether small or large business. Outsourced bookkeeping helps them keep track of their expenses and see if they are gaining or losing profit. Outsourced accounting, meanwhile, helps them keep updated on their compliances and avoid penalties due to errors and misspells in their documents.
IT and development
Hiring local IT personnel and software developers may be costly for a small business. Creating an internal system and database for their operation also requires expertise in different aspects of IT, so it may not be as effective if they do this on their own. Outsourcing to an IT company is a better way to create a better, more functional system and database for the business.
Entrepreneurs shoulder their marketing efforts as first. However, as their business expands, these efforts may not be enough. They need to build stronger and more updated strategies to attract more customers, especially the younger ones. Hiring an outsourced digital marketing staff can help them with this.
Businesses also need to put efforts to make their website and campaigns presentable. Handling design on their own may not be enough, especially with core management tasks at hand. Graphic design assistants, together with marketing and web development teams, can come up with functional and attractive designs for these.
Lead generation & sales
Generating sales is crucial to the growth of a business. With this, they need to master the art of selling their services, from getting people to the sales funnel to successfully closing a transaction. Since this is a complex task for an entrepreneur or a small team, they can outsource lead generation and sales services to an offshore team.
B2B sales outsourcing companies
Hiring a call centre or a BPO company for the first time can be challenging for a small business. It involves proper planning and risk management to hire a simple virtual assistant or a small team. However, there are companies that can help them decide on it.
Outsource Accelerator, for instance, offers advisory and co-managed services for entrepreneurs who want to try outsourcing for the first time. They also list over 700 BPO companies and tons of educational resources such as articles, guides, videos, and the Outsource Accelerator podcast. Check out the Top 40 BPO companies guide to learn more about this.