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Small Businesses Don’t Have to be at a Disadvantage When Offshoring

My Virtual Partner - Friday, May 21, 2010

Small Businesses Don’t Have to be at a Disadvantage When  Offshoring

By Allan Schweyer

In these tight times it is more important than ever for small businesses to be able to reap the same cost benefits their billion-dollar counterparts have been enjoying for decades through offshoring. But entrepreneurs and small business leaders usually run into problems when attempting to establish offshore services or development centers. 

First, they are unlikely to have offshoring expertise. Ask yourself whether you know the difference between the outsourcing, captive or hybrid options. If you do, and you’ve decided to outsource, do you know the providers and what questions to ask? How will you choose a partner? Can you drop your business and spend weeks overseas interviewing potential providers or will you hire an expensive consultant? If so, how long will it take them to really understand your business so that they can give you useful advice?

If you’ve decided to build your own “captive” offshore branch office, development or service center, great, but how will you choose the country, or the city within the country? The difference in costs and talent between India’s first, second and third tier cities can be like night and day. The difference between establishing your center in the Ukraine versus Poland might make or break your entire project. Even if you know your ideal location, how will you find a suitable office, the right rent or building costs? How will you source, hire, train and manage the teams?

The solution? Small companies should consider working with organizations that specialize in offshore services for small business. Big players, like Infosys, Wipro and the rest may not even look at a small company’s needs because they are too insignificant. If they will take the work, the costs are likely to be much higher than necessary and the service, impersonal. Outsource providers that specialize in small business are normally small businesses themselves and can provide full ready-made teams, or individuals and even fractional use of one individual depending on their client’s needs. Providers with operations both in North America and overseas can work closely with a small business to learn its operations, goals and culture, and can train overseas teams precisely to their clients’ needs. All of this can be highly cost-effective so that a small business sees significant savings very quickly.

If you are interested in learning more, drop me a line at aschweyer@myvirtualpartner.net or call me at 866-MVP(687)-2903.


Signs of Economic Recovery

My Virtual Partner - Saturday, January 23, 2010

From the Associated Press on January 20, 2010:


“India's top three outsourcing companies are ramping up hiring and increasing pay as global corporations, mainly from the United States, send more work offshore to cut costs as they emerge from the downturn.

Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, and Wipro expanded their global work forces by an average of 5.1 per cent last quarter, together adding 16,701 employees, company documents show – an early sign that the Great Recession may ultimately benefit India as cost-conscious companies outsource more work, just as they did after the dot-com bust.”


As a leader indicator of economic recovery, growth in the contingent workforce is a solid sign. Contract hiring has represented the bulk of all employment growth in the US over the past two quarters and will likely lead job creation for some time to come.


The growth in contracting for offshore talent today is similar to the expansion that occurred in this sector after the recession of 2000-2001. The difference this time is that it may not level off but continue to grow as businesses continually seek the advantages of lower costs, access to specific talent and much greater flexibility in expanding, contracting and reorganizing their workforce in quick response to demand and new opportunities.


For workers in the US and the rest of the developed world, this news isn’t necessarily bad news. Offshore talent pools help keep many companies in business and they force those of us in the “West” to become more productive and innovative − creating jobs that pay better, are more creative and more interesting.


This is a controversial topic, of course, but is there any other viable path for global economic harmony and growth? Protectionism, most trade barriers and any artificial inhibitors to labor arbitration have generally failed and been discredited. Indeed, the US has been among the world’s largest benefactors of offshore investments in talent, with at least as much work flowing into the US (on a revenue basis) as out, and this is likely to accelerate as access to highly skilled and relatively inexpensive talent in the US becomes more attractive as a result of the latest recession.


The best way forward is through fair and open global trade, including more and better use of the world’s talent pools and the technologies to connect them.


The Shape of Things to Come

My Virtual Partner - Thursday, January 21, 2010
Everyone knows we’re in a terrible recession – the worst for many decades. At the same time, we know that the recovery must come, in fact on July 21, Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, said the recession is ending and growth could be greater than expected, even in 2009. Two days later, the Bank of Canada announced, in so many words, that the recession in that country is already over. Early signs of the recovery are emerging in real estate, the automotive industry, and financial services (those hit first and hardest by the recession).

All over the world, business goes on. More than one million new businesses have been launched in the United States alone since the start of this recession. Many of these new businesses were started on the basis of creative ideas and innovations that could become the next big thing. MVP is one of those new businesses and although we may not change the world, we fully expect to help business leaders and entrepreneurs who continue to invest, struggle and even thrive during these difficult times.


MVP is focused on lowering the operating costs of businesses while giving them access to professionals and skilled workers who can help them grow their business. By combining the managerial, client service and communications skills of our teams in the United States with the technical know-how, work ethic and low cost of our teams in India, we offer the best of both worlds – managed outsourcing performed by people who understand your business and your needs, and who can release you from time consuming but necessary tasks − inexpensively.

In short,
our new service exists to help you drive sales and awareness of your organization, and to give you access to top talent while lowering your costs. I believe that one of the enduring outcomes of this recession will be an acceleration of outsourcing so that organizations can limit fixed costs and remain as flexible as possible. But I also believe businesses will remain vigilant in controlling costs, even after the recovery has taken hold. Smart business leaders understand the competitive advantage of knowing what work to maintain in house and what to outsource as well as the importance of obtaining outsourced services at the best prices possible. High quality and low costs are possible when local teams work together with offshore teams seamlessly. That is the unique value proposition of MVP.