There are many types of outsourcing all which have different benefits depending on what your business needs are. Like many things, outsourcing itself has evolved and grown over the years. But there are four predominant models that still rule the outsourcing world and included in this blog is a bonus model (Teamsourcing) that we invented! Here is some information about them.
Virtual Assistants (VA): Virtual assistants offer a chance for busy business owners to get things off their plate. The one-to-one relationship results in an ease of communication as you only have one person you are delegating to. Virtual assistants often come with a wide variety of skill sets and the knowledge of how to use several types of software. This is a great first step into the outsourcing world for those who may not have explored it before or for those who just need administrative help. However, like most things, there are limitations associated with this model. For example, because the virtual assistant is your assistant you are required to train and manage them which can be an extra work burden. Additionally, because there is no redundancy in this role, if your virtual assistant leaves you are left to start from scratch. This means you have to recruit, hire and train a new VA. It can also be challenging to scale this model as your business grows.
Freelance/Fractional Labor: Freelance outsourcing is kind of like a VA but more specialized. So you still have that one-to-one relationship but rather than offering a wide variety of skills they may have one very specific skill or specialize in a specific type of software. Depending on the niche you are looking for you can typically find talent easily on websites dedicated to connecting freelancers to jobs. Fractional labor is similar, it is like paying for a fraction of a specialist’s time. For example, if you need a bookkeeper you might pay them for 5 hours of their time versus having them on staff and paying them full-time/part-time wages. This is great for businesses that need the specialized help but only for a limited amount of time each week or month. Freelance and fractional labor is a little more suited for scaling because you can grow a team while also having the specialized talent needed to get certain job functions done. One challenge with this type of outsourcing is that it can be hard to get the individual hired to do work outside of their scope which is often very specialized. Another issue with freelance and fractional labor is that it is becoming less of an ideal option for the individual being hired. People now more than ever are craving to be a part of a team working towards a unified purpose rather than jumping from one freelance or fractional gig to another.
Business Process Outsourcing/Call Center: This type of outsourcing is generally geared towards the larger corporations. Business process outsourcing or call centers are not often set up to capture the vision of the corporation as much as meet an immediate need. The goal is to help cut down a large volume of work and get it done. There isn’t a lot of thinking or strategy involved.
Offshore: Is business process outsourcing that happens outside of the country the business operates in. Offshore outsourcing can be enticing to large corporations because the minimum wage in other countries is often drastically lower than the U.S. so you can still pay well but spend less on wages. Now there are more countries than ever that are participating in offshore work which is great. That said, offshore outsourcing doesn’t come without challenges. One thing that can be difficult in this model of outsourcing is turnover. Though you are usually working with large teams of people you still have to deal with the inexperience that can happen when there are constantly new people in the mix. There also can be struggles with culture and language barriers. The differences in time-zones can be both a pro and con based on what your businesses needs are.
Teamsourcing: This is a concept/term created by The Centr to define what our organization does because what we do is so unique. We have found a way to blend all of the best parts of the previously mentioned outsourcing models to create something new. With Teamsourcing we combat the pains of turnover by offering our clients access to fully trained, professional teams in areas of Service and Support, Marketing, Finance, Human Resources and Technology. These teams are recruited and trained by us. That means when turnover occurs we absorb it and it is not felt by our clients. This model blends the ease of working with a one-to-one facilitator, while giving the client access to talented specialists depending on their needs. So business owners no longer have to be the project manager; they can be as immersed or uninvolved as they choose. What is great about this model is that it is not one-size-fits-all–it is heavily customizable which ensures fair price points that are approachable to businesses of all types regardless of the size or phase of growth your business is in. If you are interested in learning more about our Teamsourcing model then check out: https://thecentr.com/.