2020 and 2021 have been tough if not strange years in business. Between the coronavirus, lockdown, depressed incomes and remote working initiatives businesses have had to make a lot of changes. Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing, businesses are more willing than ever to consider remote working and as a 4esult outsourcing to fill some gaps in the organisation. So why not consider offering outsourced services as a business. There are plenty of upsides to the approach.
Outsourcing is not a new business practice, far from it. It has been with us for a very long time. It is the process through which a business uses a provider outside of the organisation to provide all or part of a function of the business. The easiest example to think of is shipping. Where an online retailer uses a courier company to fulfil the delivery of its products to customers. The retailer focuses its resources on what it is good at while the courier takes care of logistics. Of course, outsourcing can get much more complex than that but we can hold on to that simple example to understand its essence. Outsourcing is normally done with support or non-integral services like shipping but can extend to services that are deemed core to the business. So let’s look at some business ideas that can be completely outsourced to businesses.
Invoicing & bookkeeping
This is a very popular practice as things stand but it can get even more popular. More than popular of course it’s becoming necessary. As more and more people start businesses for whatever reason they are desperately in need of good bookkeeping and invoicing services. Experience and qualification are necessary to pull this off but you will find that it will come down to individual agreements with clients.
Social media marketing
Another practice that is currently popular but stepping into the necessary territory is social media marketing and management. While celebrities and brands with built-up equity get followers and engagement really easily on social media emerging brands do not enjoy the same walk in the park. So many people start social media accounts for their businesses and think the followers will rush in. And they don’t. Social media is a beast of its own and there are skills and technique required to launch and consolidate growing brands. Offering this service is good now but may well be the jackpot in the future.
Of course, social media has grown into a multimedia institution. Words or copy, audio, images, video and who knows what’s next to have all become part of the norm on social media. Add to that existing work like artwork, stationery and graphic design. There are great opportunities to set up outsourcing arrangements for these services. We tend to, unfortunately, think of graphic design as something we do as and when we need it but consider that a business that is consistently marketing itself requires consistent work in this area. For example, if you sell by catalogue, and if your products are suitable you really should, you may want to update your catalogues regularly.
This one is not so obvious but ask most people with small businesses what they want and they will tell you more customers. So why not provide them with what they need? This is different from offering marketing; when you offer sales as an outsource service you are bringing customers over the line. An example we can relate to are the mobile. money agents. Mobile providers have branch networks which could offer the services agents offered but would not have done as good a job as agents. There are many great products out there looking for a champion. One of the best ways to make sure is to buy sample stock and sell it yourself, just a few units. What you are offering is the ability to move volumes of the product for compensation.
I was tempted to leave this out as I had mentioned it earlier but there’s no getting around it really. The technology available and circumstances have connived to encourage more and more businesses to sell remotely or online in one form or another. Logistics is a really complicated exercise that is not quite as simple as offering a pick and drop service. In the customer’s eye, the logistics provider is part of the business and the more pleasant or less eventful the experience with the logistics provider the better. Think of your local supermarket establishing a delivery service run via WhatsApp. A delivery partner is required for this. There are many cases in which a logistics partner can boost business and outsourcing this would be ideal if the partner can handle the requirements.
Good outsourcing happens when the customers and even the staff of the client organisation do not feel like the work has been outsourced. The ideas above are solid ideas to get you thinking but there are many more applications that outsourcing can apply to as a business idea.