Tag Archives: outsourcing

Is Your Outsourced Digital Marketing Agency Doing Enough For You?

Nowadays, everyone does some digital marketing and for most companies, this is something they gladly outsource for any number of reasons. And while most people will be careful when choosing their outsourced digital marketing partners, this does not ensure that they will continue to provide fantastic service, even if their pitch was phenomenal.

Because of this, it is crucial that you take stock of what they have done and what they have been doing for you, simply to make sure they are doing enough. Often times, you will find out that your agency may have missed out on a current trend that is providing great results for other companies and you will want to ensure they provide you with this kind of service too.

But, we are getting ahead of ourselves.

Getting the Basics In Order

The first step in making sure your outsourced digital marketing partners are handling your account the right way is to track the results that they have achieved and how this has affected your company.

In order to do this, you will want to establish clear KPIs and then track how the digital marketing efforts are helping you hit those targets. For example, you might want to increase the visits to your website by 25% in six months, or you might want to get 10% more conversions in this time.

This is something you will have already conveyed to your partners as the targets and through keeping track of how much of it is being accomplished, you will be able to see how well they are working for you.

Sometimes they will have difficulties absolutely hitting those targets, but it is important that they are not taking you for a ride and handing you various vanity metrics in lieu of actual results.

Digital marketing (like all marketing) is all about concrete results and your outsourced partners need to deliver those results.

That is why you are paying them.

Another part of taking care of the basics will be talking to them about the practices they have put in place and the strategies they are using to provide you with the results. You will probably be not an expert in digital marketing, but you can do some research and find out if they are doing the right things for you anyway.

The Need for Innovation

Digital marketing is a field that is always changing and there are always new strategies and tactics that may provide results for your company. Unfortunately, many digital marketing agencies get stuck in their ways and it takes them a while before they acknowledge these innovations and start applying them to their clients (i.e. you).

Because of this, you might want to check from time to time and find out whether they are staying in the loop and whether your company is benefitting from these new tactics and strategies that can boost your digital marketing efforts.

One of the more recent examples of this are virtual summits. Virtual summits are online conferences where you invite experts and influencers from a certain industry and let them share their views and insights.

Just as an example, if you run a B2B company that does account-based marketing, you can invite the leading experts in the field and let them give talks that you will then turn into podcasts that people can watch live or download later. You will ask for emails from the visitors and this way, you will be growing your email list in unprecedented ways. Navid Moazzez has a great guide on virtual summits and you will do well to check it out.

Ask your digital marketing agency is they have heard of this or any new tactics and you will find out how well they are staying in touch with what is happening in their industry. You cannot afford to pay someone whose practices are stuck in 2008.

What the Others Are Doing

Of course, you will also want to make sure that other agencies have not surpassed yours when it comes to their practices, prices and everything else. This is the same relationship you will have with any other supplier or outside partner. You need to make sure you are getting value for your money and the best way to go about this is to discover what others are doing for their clients.

You will probably know other business owners who are using other digital marketing agencies. Ask them about the services that their partners are providing them with and perhaps even try to find out how much they are paying.

Also, keep an eye on your competitors and make sure they are not rocketing past you when digital marketing is in question. If they are, the chances are your outsourced digital marketing agency is not doing as great a job as they think they are.

Closing Word

This is your company. This is your money. You cannot afford to be wasting money on an outsourced digital marketing partner that does not deliver results and lives three years in the past.

You deserve the best for the money you are paying.

Never forget this.

The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing

In today’s world, with the internet and globalization, workforce has changed significantly. While 9 to 5 office jobs used to be the norm, in a lot of cases, it doesn’t work like that anymore. When you call customer support, the person answering your call might be on the other end of the planet. When your internet crashes, the person troubleshooting the problem is possibly in a different country. Here are some of the most important things to bear in mind when it comes to outsourcing.

Not All Positions Are the Same

It is important to take a good, hard look at your company’s needs. People tend to be set in their ways, and do things one way just because that is how it has always been done. Don’t let yourself be limited by routine. A surprising number of positions can be outsourced. While some key positions are better filled by full-time employees, there are a lot of others that can be done by freelancers. People usually hire full-time employees for positions that require personal contact and meetings with clients. Everything else can be outsourced, thanks to modern technology. What is more, why would you pay more for night shifts if there is someone somewhere in the world, in a different time zone, for whom the day is just starting? Think about it.

The Cost of Outsourcing

Believe it or not, outsourcing can make a significant difference in terms of cost, without compromising on quality. First of all, traditional hiring requires a lot of red tape which is costly in and of itself. An HR team and legal requirements can set you back a great deal of money. Another thing is that with a full-time employee, you pay them indefinitely, regardless of the current workload. When you are hiring a freelancer, you can plan out exactly what needs to be done, and then negotiate the price per task or project with no strings attached after it’s done. And finally, different parts of the world all have experts, but the price for their work varies wildly as it is dictated by the cost of living in their country. It is entirely possible to find an expert who charges less than a person with the same qualifications and experience in your country. In another scenario, you can often get more qualified and experienced freelancers for the same money you would pay a beginner at home.

Where Can You Get in Touch with Quality Employees?

The internet has made hiring freelancers extremely easy. There are numerous websites that work as a job market. With a wide range of professionals, they offer an expert in just about any field and price range. If you feel more secure working with an organization, many international companies, like excellent Crystel, offer a wide range of outsourcing services.

Is There a Downside?

As with everything, there is a downside. Mainly, it is the fact that you are not entirely able to exercise direct control over your workforce. Some freelancers have several clients, and you might not be their priority. Most people solve this problem by first outsourcing tasks and projects that are less important or have a more flexible deadline. Afterward, when they have established a relationship of trust with their freelancers, they expand and give them bigger and more crucial tasks.

With a rise in outsourcing, the job market has diversified. This has led to easier access to quality workers and lower cost. Taking advantage of this situation is an excellent way to give your business the push it needs and let it flourish.

How To Mix In-House and Outsourced

Often times, when we are talking about outsourcing a department or keeping it in-house, we talk as if the only way to go is binary. In other words, we think you have to go EITHER outsourced OR in-house. In reality, however, there are many, many companies that combine the two and that get fantastic results from this.

For example, a company that has a more than decent in-house IT department soon discovers that they do not have the right people for a certain job or an aspect of a job that needs to be done. They understand that this is a temporary need and that after a year or so, they will have no need for the additional people they would have to take on. Instead, they decide to go outsourced and bring in some help from the outside for the time being.

And this does not have to be a temporary solution at all. For instance, a company decides that they could outsource a part of their software development for whatever the reason – lack of local talent, lower costs of an outsourced development or anything else. So, they end up with a development team that is half in-house and half outsourced.

While this is not as an unusual combination as you might think, there are still a few things that need to be done the right way so as to get the most out of it.

Treat Everyone Fairly

When a company starts employing a mix of in-house and outsourced, there is a certain bias towards the in-house folks and this is perfectly understandable. These are “the colleagues”, people who spend time with the rest of the company, people who have friends in the company and people who are considered to be more a part of the company than the outsourced team.

In some situation, this natural bias towards the in-house team can be quite harmful. For example, if the two teams work on a project and the in-house team is not pulling their weight, many managers and company executives may think that it was the outsourced team’s fault, especially if the in-house team is not ready to own up to their mistakes.

If you are combining the two teams, make sure that you treat them the same when work is in question. Just because one of the parts of your team is not physically present when you celebrate employees’ birthdays does not mean they should be blamed it they are not responsible.

Encourage Communication

Proper communication is always paramount when you hire an outsourced partner. If you are doing the whole in-house feat. outsourced thing, communication becomes even more important. A daily email blast will not do and you will have to invest in some sort of collaboration software. You can check out a very interesting example of just the type of software at this link. By employing some sort of collaboration software, everyone will be on the same page and it will be far easier to coordinate everyone’s efforts so that the targets are met and goals are achieved.

Of course, you will also encourage both your outsourced part of the team and your in-house people to communicate any problems that they are encountering. If someone has a suggestion on how this mix could deliver even better results, make sure you hear them out. This way, you will hear some truly great things that might boost the productivity of your combined team manifold.

Track the Results

As is often the case, employing this interesting mix of in-house and outsourced should only be done if the results justify it. In order to decide whether this is the case, you will need to determine your KPIs and track the results to find out whether the KPIs are met. Perhaps you will find out that it might actually make more sense to hire an additional team that will work in-house or maybe an exclusively outsourced team would work the best?

Just make sure this hybrid approach is working for you. If it is not, cut it as soon as you are certain it will not pick up the pace.

Sometimes you just need to make difficult business decisions.

Outsourcing and Other Tricks SMBs Can Use To Get Ahead

The ultimate goal of every small business (or in fact, any business regardless of its size) is to get ahead of the competition, grow and increase its revenue. Often times, it is enough for a company to stick to the tried and true tenets of doing good business, but often times, there is need for those little tricks other SMB owners do not think of. Today, we will be talking about these little tricks and how they can do wonders for a smartly run small business.

Use Outsourcing

Outsourcing is one of the smartest things small business owners can do and this is especially true for certain aspects of running their company. For example, you should definitely outsource your IT department since you will probably have no need for an in-house IT team that will cost an arm and a leg and that you will use every two weeks. You might also consider an outsourced customer support and telemarketing teams where you will be saving money and reaping the benefits of companies with decades of experience.

Debt Recovery When Needed

One of the worst things that can happen to your SMB is that you have people and companies that owe you money for services rendered and that are always coming up with new ways and legal reasons not to pay up. For larger companies, this is not such a big problem because they have more revenue streams and they can afford if someone is late with their payment. For smaller companies, this is just not possible. This is why experts from a debt recovery company from Perth always recommend their SMB clients to pursue their debtors immediately. This way, you will always have the cash flow needed for your company to operate.

Reducing Employee Turnover

Many SMB owners believe that employee turnover is simply a reality of running a small business. They think that they cannot keep their employees no matter what they do and that they will go to bigger employers if given a chance. This is not true. You can keep your employees and stop bleeding money by having to replace them. For one, you need to pay them what they are worth and you need to make sure you provide as many benefits for them as you can. Also, they need to know they are being appreciated and that their opinions matter. Treat your employees right and they will pay you back, manifold while your competitors will be scrambling for new people every few months.

Base Your Marketing On Numbers

Often, when you run a small business, marketing sort of gets lost in the shuffle and you figure that anything is better than nothing. You set aside some money to boost your visibility and you sort of forget about it. As long as you are surviving, it works, right? Wrong. Your marketing efforts need to show just as much factual results as anything else. If you cannot see the palpable, real-world benefits of a certain marketing campaign, then it is not worth the investment. It is especially important to keep track of your online marketing success rate because you can easily fool yourself into thinking that a hundred more social media followers means result. It doesn’t.

Remove Guesswork

There is a reason huge corporations spend millions every year on business analytics and entire teams of analysts that predict how the market will move and what the company should do. This way, they base their decisions on data and analytics models instead of on guesswork. This way, they are dramatically increasing their chances of making the right decisions. The good news is that SMBs can nowadays utilize data and analytics thanks to various SaaS providers and pieces of software that can provide some truly fantastic insights to act on. This is the 21st century and the sooner you get your SMB into it, the better you will be off.

The Resurgence of Telemarketing and How to Outsource It

In the last 10 years or so (with the emphasis on the last few), people have gone absolutely crazy for everything digital and everything that happens online. Marketing people, sales people, even the decision-makers; everyone has been totally in love with digital and web-based.

A few years later and they are slowly beginning to realize that not everything digital is the best thing ever and also that not everything offline and traditional is bad for business.

One of the marketing tactics that is really making a big comeback is telemarketing. Good old-fashioned practice of picking up the phone and telling people about your services or products.

Why Telemarketing is Back?

There is no one reason why telemarketing is making a bona fide comeback. Instead, it is a combination of reasons, all of them making telemarketing interesting and attractive once again.

For one, marketers are pretty much disappointed by the majority of online marketing techniques. They are fun and they do show promise, but when it comes to the bottom line and actual conversions, much of them have been shown to be all but completely ineffective. Companies have started realizing that and putting more emphasis on actual results.

It should also be pointed out that with so many people doing social media marketing and SEO, it has become much more difficult to make an impact, especially if you are a newcomer to the party.

Another reason that telemarketing is making a return is that it has become more intelligent and personalized, especially in the B2B arena where it is possible to tailor the calls to specific decision-makers and where it is possible to use advanced tactics like appointment setting. Of course, as we are warned by a lead generation company from Melbourne, you need to know who to hire for these advanced tactics.

More than anything else, however, telemarketing still provides that person-to-person interaction that people are craving in an increasingly disconnected world. If done right, telemarketing can put a human face to your operation.

How to Do It Right?

Telemarketing is something that the vast majority of companies in the world will not even attempt to do themselves. It requires an entire department and plenty of people to do it the right way. Sure, smaller telemarketing campaigns can be done in-house, but for the most part, you will be outsourcing it.

Therefore, doing your telemarketing properly comes down to finding the right people.

Perhaps the easiest way to go about this is to contact someone like Globality Consulting who will have all the right contacts and put you in touch with the right people for your telemarketing needs. If you wish, you can do this yourself and if you choose to do so, there are a few things you need to consider.

For one, you will want to work with a company that has been around for a long time. Telemarketing companies pop out around the world like mushrooms after rain and you need to make sure that the people you work with will have standardized practices in place, skilled people and great management.

In addition to this, you will want to know that their past work involved businesses like yours. They will all tell you that they have worked with great success in your industry, but when you ask them for references, some of them will start evading your questions and actually providing you with references. Avoid such companies. You need someone who can prove their experience and expertise.

Of course, you will also want to be smart about getting into a contract with your new telemarketing partners. You should never sign long-term contracts that will lock you in for extended periods of time, making any adjustments very complicated and costly.

Once you find your new telemarketing partners, it is absolutely crucial that you consider it an ongoing relationship which requires your attention. Set regular dates at which you will review the services your suppliers provide. If you are not sure you are getting the service you were promised, talk to your telemarketing people and tell them that you think they are not delivering. If they are doing a good job, tell them this as well.

Closing Word

Telemarketing is back and it can do wonders for your company. In order to reap all the benefits, however, you will need to have just the right partner, so choose carefully.

How Release Management Helps with Outsourced IT Services

The IT ecosystem within companies is becoming more and more complex as time goes by. This is especially true for large corporations that employ thousands of people and who have a whole number of IT teams working on various projects for the company.

Due to a variety of needs and reasons, many such companies hire outside partners who help them with certain projects and releases. In essence, these companies outsource certain aspects of releasing new software and, unfortunately, things often get messy.

Just an Example

Let’s imagine a company which features a business analytics department. Their analysts will in the vast majority of cases be in-house. They will work using a certain type of software and since the company does not develop its own business analytics software, they have it developed somewhere else (updates included).  The company has its own test managers in-house, but since they do not have the capabilities to run the tests, they outsource this too, to another vendor.

In short, in order for the business analytics department to operate with the latest software and at the fullest capacity, the company employs two outsourced partners. When you consider how many such operations and processes a large company has to handle on a daily basis, the potential issues become very apparent.

For one, there are always potential problems when working with outsourced IT services which can, fortunately, remedied by hiring the services of someone like Globality Consulting who will find you only the best vendors.

However, even when everything goes right, there are simply too many processes and releases to be handled that some kind of release management is simply a necessity.

Release Management 101

Release management was invented for cases like this, where big companies have to deal with a copious amount of various software releases across their operation and where some kind of a unified “headquarters” is a must.

Release management is envisioned as something of an action center where all of the development teams, test managers, their superiors and everyone else involved in development, testing and final release of software can come to find out what is “on the program” and how they should move from there.

Furthermore, with a release management department in place, other important pieces of the company can find out what is happening and voice their opinion. Moreover, they can get better insight into what the different parts of the IT machinery are doing and what is happening with their software.

Of course, the ultimate goal of having a release management team is to streamline all IT processes and ensure software is released in the best possible condition, within the shortest possible timeframe and by using up as little of the company’s resources as possible.

Enabling the Best Release Management

There are a few things that a company needs to have in order to get the best possible release management. For one, they need to find the right people who are, at the moment, still quite rare. These will usually be people with long IT management experience and who have been involved in overseeing a large number of projects at the same time.

In addition to this, the company will also do well to start using some kind of release management software that will help their new team do its job flawlessly. This will involve such subspecialized pieces of software like test management tools, continuous development management and so on.

Finally, the company and all of its most important decision makers will need to understand that release management is there to help them and not simply to add another CC to their internal email correspondence.

Closing Word

Release management is not just a new buzzword. It is a concept that can help large companies save millions in man-hours, test environments, and other company resources.

How IT Outsourcing can Affect Your Company

The issue of outsourcing a company’s IT department has been the subject of many an article on the Globality Consulting blog. Today, we will be looking at some of the main ways in which this practice can affect a company, but also at those that most people do not think about that often. There are those, believe us.

Great Expertise

The first and the foremost thing that you get from IT outsourcing is that you get the services of professionals with years, if not decades, of experience in IT. Instead of hiring local talent which can often be lacking, you get the services of someone that would otherwise cost you huge amounts of money, only at a much, much lower price. As a result of this, your IT needs are handled more efficiently and more quickly, which can be a determining factor in the success of your company.

You Scale Easily

Another effect of outsourcing IT is that you can scale up and down your IT department as needed. When you have an in-house department, it is built for the needs of your company at the moment of starting the department. When your company grows, it takes time to grow your IT department as well and you are left with a period of time when you do not have IT people to cover all the bases. Also, if your company hits a rough patch and needs to be smaller, you are often left with a huge IT team that serves no purpose. With an outsourced IT service, you pay for what you need, when you need it.

Top-of-the-Line Tech

Ask any IT professional what they need to do their job the right way and they will all mention two things – a bit of peace and proper equipment. By equipment, they mean all kinds of tech that advances at an incredible pace these days. Most companies cannot afford to upgrade their IT tech every few months and the IT people are left wanting. With an outsourced IT service, you know that you are getting the latest tech and the freshest knowledge. This can often make a difference between being late to the party and being an innovator.

The Matter of Security

When we are talking security, we are talking a double-edged sword here. Intuitively, it feels like an in-house IT department will be safer. They are literally “in house” and they are the direct employees of a company. They also only handle your needs and they do not have additional accounts that might find their way to the same servers and the same data centers. Also, it is much easier to handle the human factor when dealing with people you know.

On the other hand, cyber security is mostly about other employees in the company and not the IT department. Human error is at the core of the vast majority of data breaches and IT department is rarely involved, actually. Furthermore, companies that provide outsourced IT services are often secured up to their necks in order to be able to put their clients at ease.

Bringing Someone Over

There is something that people do not talk about and that is the case when the company is so pleased with the work an outsourced IT company or team does for them that they decide to invite them over. This mostly happens with the largest companies, though.

Perhaps it is best to explain this with an example. Let’s say that there is this large Australian company which outsources their IT to somewhere else, like somewhere in Asia. They are assigned a team and this team stays with them for years, handling their needs and everything. After a while, this Australian company decides to start an in-house IT team. Who do they call? They probably approach the folks from that outsourced company. With a bit of help from a company doing professional immigration services, this large company suddenly has an in-house team made up of their former outsourced partners.

It happens.

Closing Word

There is so much more to the outsourced IT relationship that one would imagine. It is a complicated practice that most often produces incredible results for everyone involved. Sometimes it gets even more unique and exciting.

4 Reasons Why Outsourcing Your IT Makes Total Sense

In the business world of today, an IT department or an outsourcing service can make a huge difference. With innovation and quick responses being more important than ever before and with online marketing becoming such a huge factor, a company’s IT efforts have become a crucial part of its functioning.

Today, we will be examining why it makes sense for the vast majority of businesses, especially the small-to-medium ones to outsource their IT needs, instead of employing an in-house IT department.

1. Money

Some people may find it vulgar that we start with money, but for the vast majority of smaller companies, money is the biggest factor when deciding on something, including their IT needs. Running an in-house IT department can be very expensive and even more than that, not exactly cost-effective. When you only need IT people a few times every month, there is little point in paying them all-year round.

Things get even more complicated when you learn how much professionals with the most lucrative tech specializations make. You will also need to make sure these people have somewhere to work, which means you will be spending more on office space. Then there is the equipment. The expenses pile up.

With an outsourced IT service, you pay for what you need and you pay a fee that does not change. This allows you to better plan out your budget for the upcoming period and make sure that all of your money is well-spent.

2. Talent

Depending on where your company is headquartered and how much money you have to afford, you will be able to get more or less talented IT experts. The reality is that unless you have a hefty budget to operate on and are headquartered in a big city, the chances are you will be limited when it comes to top tech IT experts.

When you go with an outsourced IT service, you are getting people who have been “in the trenches” for a long time and whose expertise is never questionable.

3. Equipment

For the most part, your accounting department will be able to get their job done on their ancient computers that you last updated in 1997. The same goes for salespeople whose job tends to be more about communicating with people than deploying the latest advances. Your IT people, however, cannot work with antiquated equipment if you wish them to have any positive influence on the bottom line. In short, they will need new equipment often and it will cost you money.

Outsourced IT services pride themselves on the equipment they bring to the table, equipment that allows their people to cater to their customers (i.e. you) as well as is humanly possible. In the IT world, latest tech advancements can make a huge difference.

4. Scalability

Different companies need different things from their IT people. For some, the needs are quite limited, while others have certain jobs that will require an entire team of highly skilled professionals to do. With an internal IT department, it is always a hassle when you need to make it bigger or smaller. In one case, you are hiring a new tech specialist and it takes time and money. Conversely, you are getting rid of someone and opening a whole other can of worms.

With outsourced IT people, this stops being an issue. When you need more from them, you simpy let them know and they allocate more people and resources to your account. If you do not need them as much in the next period, you let them know. The cost of their services might go up or down, but once again, you know what you are paying for.

The most important thing is that with outsourced IT team, you get exactly what you paid for and what you need at that point in time.

Why and How to Hire the Right Independent Financial Advisor for your SMB

Like we mentioned on a few occasions, running a small-to-medium business is a 24/7 kind of a job. It more or less becomes your life and there are innumerable things to keep in mind and juggle around. Of course, a huge part of it all will be your company’s finances. This will entail wages, income vs. expenses, retirement plans, contract negotiations, negotiations with suppliers, tax and insurance paperwork and so much more.

For someone who is struggling to keep their SMB afloat and who is dealing with numerous strictly business-oriented problems, keeping track of finances and making sure every financial decision is the right one can be quite difficult.

This brings us to the star of our article today – the independent financial advisor who will not be an employee of yours in the strictest sense of the word but who will still do work for you, making sure your SMB is being expertly handled from the financial standpoint.

How an IFA Helps You

There are innumerable things that an independent financial advisor can do for you and your company and, in the end, it will all depend on what you need from them.

For example, many SMBs need a financial helping hand in the earliest of days. Namely, a number of SMBs do not get structured and registered the right way and they suffer down the line. This is especially true if there are a few partners who are getting into the venture together and who are not quite sure how to get things rolling. An IFA will be the objective actor here, giving advice on what the best course of action is.

They will also ensure that you do not rush into things when handling other, more specific financial matters. For example, they will help you find the right insurance company and the right plan. They will also probably know some people who will handle your taxes in the best way possible. They are, basically, your protection against getting into bad deals and putting your SMB in danger.

Your independent financial advisor will also be able to take care of some more advanced financial dealings. For example, they might advise you on perhaps purchasing another business or partnering up with someone. They will put everything on paper and try to figure out whether this is something that would benefit your business from a purely financial standpoint.

They can also think of ways in which certain improvements that are a sizeable investment can actually be a great financial move. A great example of this are green home improvements that are made more alluring for SMBs through financing plans like PACE and other government-sponsored incentives.

How to Recognize the Right IFA for Your Company

Of course, in order to reap all the benefits of having an IFA work for you and your company, you should find someone who knows what they are doing and who fits well with your company.

The best place to start are your fellow SMB owners who might have used the services of an IFA themselves and who have someone to recommend. You can also check the local directories and websites where IFAs advertise their services.

When narrowing your search, you should look at the areas in which they are true experts. For instance, one IFA can be better at day-to-day financial dealings of an SMB while others might be more versed in investments and purchases.

You will also want to check their past track record and talk to people who hired their services in the past. It is also a good idea to try and discover whether they will be a good fit for you and your business philosophy. This is something that often gets overlooked

Closing Word

The business world has become so harsh for the SMB owners that they need all the help they can get. If you can afford it, finding a great independent financial advisor can turn out to be the best decision you have made for your SMB.

The Issue of Security in Outsourcing

There is no doubt that outsourcing is becoming an important part of the modern world of business. Companies from all over the world are finding out-of-house partners who allow them to do a better job, to provide their services cheaper and to, all in all, improve their operation in every way possible.

The scope of services that are being outsourced has grown over the years and various companies now outsource their sales department, their IT and accounting departments, as well as their marketing and even their security.

And while there is absolutely no dilemma whether outsourcing is a sound business tactic, there are also a few things that companies need to be careful about, above everything else about the security.

Sharing of Information

The main reason why companies that outsource need to be careful about their security is that they are sharing an increased amount of information with other companies and outside partners. For example, a company that has approached an outside marketing agency might find themselves in a situation where they have to share sales figures and other, perhaps even more sensitive, data about their finances. Whenever a company is working on a project with someone, they have to share certain data and it is easy for this data to get intercepted or “lost”.

Moreover, since the outsourced partners might have remote workers themselves, this will “spread” your data even further, involving all kinds of cloud solutions and remote access platforms. This is why you will want your partners to use high quality encrypted cloud storage as well as channels of communications that are secured by layers and layers of software which will ensure nothing leaks.

Human Error

Another potential problem with outsourced partners is that you are increasing a number of people that have access to critical aspects of your business, which due to simple numbers, leads to increased vulnerability of your business. This is particularly true online where an increased number of people is at risk of becoming victims of social engineering and other ways to breach someone’s data.

Outsourced partners often work with a large number of clients which can only “complicate” things and make it more likely for them to mix something up, share access details with persons who should not have access to any part of the operation and more.

Human Malice

This is something business people do not like to think and talk about, but it is the harsh reality. Sometimes, people wish to harm a company, whether for personal reasons (like after getting fired) or for financial gain. This is something companies always have to worry about from inside, but with outsourced partners, the number of people to keep an eye on increases.

It is easy to imagine a situation where a disgruntled employee of your outsourced partner decides to steal sensitive information and then post it online or even sell it for profit. Sure, there are always legal actions that you can take, but this will do very little to help you in a situation where your company data has been exposed.

How to Avoid It

In order to avoid any security issues with your outsourced partners, it is absolutely vital never to rush into such a relationship with any company that you are not sure about. Only after you have checked their reputation and looked at their characteristics should you start working with them.

Another way to minimize chances of anything happening to the security of your outsourced relationship and your company in general is to hire an agency like Globality Consulting who have years of experience in the field and who will put you in touch with only the most professional and secure partners.

How Outsourcing Helps Businesses Enter New Markets

The ultimate goal of every business is (or at least in theory it is) to grow as much as possible, to expand its operation and to make as much money as possible. We are almost ashamed to put things this bluntly, but that is the reality. In order to truly expand, companies often have to enter new markets; sometimes close to them and sometimes half way across the world. This is not an easy task and outsourcing can actually be a great ally in penetrating these new markets.

What this Process Entails

Entering new markets is one of the most difficult things for a company to do. For one, in most markets, there will already be companies that do the same thing you are and you will be the “new face”, someone who will have to do some great things in order to carve its place on the market. It may sometimes involve taking over companies that exist in that new market and then gradually introducing your own brand into it. It will involve plenty of planning, negotiating and handling of very sensitive matters.

A Few Tips To Keep In Mind

There are a number of things that you need to keep in mind if you are considering penetrating a new market. For one, you have to know as much as possible about the culture of this new market, its needs and wants. This is why getting into new markets should always involve a lot of preparation and analysis.

You should also realize that legal and regulatory challenges can be quite sizeable, especially in markets that are traditionally not considered investor-friendly. It will always be a good idea to hire someone who knows the market to help you with these matters and move things along.

Getting into a new market is always a potential minefield and this is why you will never want to make this move an all or nothing, Hail Mary type of a move. If you do, you are putting the future of your company on the line, a company that might already be doing perfectly fine.

How Internet Made it Easier

When we are talking new market penetration, there is one thing that we must not forget to mention and acknowledge as a great difference-maker. We are talking about the internet here. Thanks to the internet, companies can have a much more precise insight into the new market they are considering to conquer and what is more important, they can easily make their presence known there without actually doing anything drastic.

A great example of this is a classifieds website that mostly handles real estate properties in Panama and Costa Rica called Encuentra24 whose owners realized they need to make an English version of their website in order to attract buyers from English-speaking markets. It was as simple as making a website accessible in another language.

And this is just a single example.

Where does Outsourcing come in?

For one, outsourcing certain aspects of your operation is going to free up time and assets that you will then be able to assign to finding new markets, analyzing them and creating a plan to penetrate them over time.

In case you have already been outsourcing a department of your company to a certain country, then you already have an in there. You will already have a contact there and you will know at least something about the business culture in that country. This can be of great help once you decide to move into such a market.

We must also not forget something called market expansion service providers, which are actually outsourced companies that you can hire to handle your expansion into new markets. Hiring a company like that can make the entire process so much easier and more comfortable. Some such companies will handle only parts of your new endeavor while others will handle everything, handling your new expansion from top to bottom.

Why It is a Good Idea to Outsource your SEO Efforts

Whether you like it or not, the internet revolves around search engines today, or more precisely, around Google. Vast majority of users only visit websites that they find on Google and this is even more true for businesses and other commercial websites. They are rarely found in any other way and if you want your business website to become popular and lucrative, it needs to rank high for certain searches on Google (and other search engines, to a lesser degree).

One way to do this, or more precisely the main way to do this, is to do SEO or search engine optimization. This entails a number of practices that are employed in order to make the website rank higher in Google searches when certain keywords are typed in. The vast majority of it can be done by pretty much everyone, but there are still innumerable advantages of outsourcing your SEO needs.

But, what are they?

The Skills

Unless you have worked in SEO yourself, it is highly unlikely that you will have all the skills needed to do it efficiently and in a way that will make sense when we are talking time : money ratio. Quite simply put, if you don’t know what you are doing, you are going to do very little indeed. Even if you did work in SEO a few years ago, the industry has changed so much over the years that your knowledge is pretty much 100% obsolete.

When you hire someone to do your SEO, you are hiring people who do this for a living and who have all the skills necessary to rank your website as high as possible on Google. Their experts will be in the loop and they will know exactly what your website needs in order to beat the competition.

The Tools

SEO may seem like a straightforward operation that requires nothing but hard work and knowledge, but this is not exactly the case. Namely, like any other industry, SEO also has its tools and without the latest tools, it is much more difficult to accomplish anything measurable. If you wanted to do your SEO yourself, you would have to purchase all these tools, renew the licenses and constantly be on the lookout for new ones.

With an outsourced SEO company, you can rest assured that you are getting a service which will include the latest tools and that will take advantage of all the options made possible by these tools. SEO professionals know how tools make their work better and they will know how to use them.

The Results

In the end, it is all about the results and this is another area where it becomes obvious that it is better to hire SEO professionals than to do it yourself. Innumerable people and businesses have attempted to do their SEO themselves, pouring ridiculous amounts of time only to discover that they haven’t accomplished a single thing. They wasted time, resources and money without any results.

On the other hand, you have SEO services which not only produce results, but whose success and continued operation is directly influenced by the results they provide for their users. These case studies from Online Marketing Gurus are a great example of what a professional SEO company can do for a business, no matter what industry it is in and how competitive such an industry is.

Another great thing about outsourcing your SEO is that people who provide such services will also know how to quantify their results, allowing you to directly see what they have done for you. This way, you will know whether it makes sense to continue doing it or not.

In the end, it all really comes down to how much your business is going to benefit and it is quite clear that an outsourced SEO service is the best thing you can do for the online visibility of your company. It is as simple as that, really.

Business Analytics – Outsourcing or Purchasing Software?

Analytics have been part of the world of business since the concept of business first emerged as our species developed. It might have not been called analytics, but people who did business have always analyzed different ins and outs, their position, the people they are dealing with and so on. If not for analytics, business would not exist. It would be gambling.

For quite some time in the modern times, analytics were mostly reserved for big players, corporations which operated with enormous budgets and who could afford to have analysts work for them 24/7. As technology advanced, business analytics became much more “democratic” and today, even smaller companies can benefit from it. The only choice they have to make is whether to outsource it or to purchase business analytics software for their needs.

Option #1 – Outsourcing

When you outsource your business analytics operations, you are effectively going to an outside partner, a company which employees analysts who work on a number of clients, including you and who have been doing this for years.

The advantages of outsourcing your business analytics are quite obvious. For one, they are much cheaper than in-house solutions, but that is not what we are talking about today. We are talking about the kind of service you are getting from such partners. In short, you will be getting amazing service that you will have to pay for. You will be working with experts who have worked in this field for a long time and who know everything about analysis.

You will also be able to precisely define what you are looking for and what you expect their results to do for you. They will also be bringing their experience with them, providing valuable insights into aspects of your business that you hadn’t even thought about.

Outsourcing your business analytics has some bad sides too, unfortunately. For instance, it can be a daunting experience for inexperienced managers and owners to deal with these, usually, very large corporations and agencies which work on a global level. Their services might not be tailored to smaller organizations like yours.

Furthermore, there is always the issue of data security. Namely, in order for them to be able to do their job, you will need to send them the vast majority of the most pertinent data your company works with and unless you are totally, 100% sure they know what they are doing, you will never be sure that your data is still only your own. Finally, there is the issue of mergers and takeovers that are quite common in this field due to the offshore nature of outsourcing business analytics companies. You might end up with an analysis company that has been working for your main competitor for years which may result in all kinds of negative consequences.

Option #2 – Business Analysis Software

Of course, you can always do it on your own by purchasing business analytics software and doing your analysis on your own.

The biggest advantage of this approach is that you are doing your analysis on your own and that you are absolutely certain that you are going to give your 100% when doing so. This is your company, these are your people and you are all in the same boat. In addition to this, you can rest assured that your data is secure since it never leaves your company. By employing this kind of software yourself, you will also learn a lot about your company, your field and your competitors. This will become more and more important as time goes by.

The main disadvantage of this is that someone is going to have to spend their time to master the software and achieve the results that you would be guaranteed with an outsourced partner. That being said, modern business analysis software solutions are much more intuitive than those from the past, allowing people who have never had contact with this type of software to use it. Of course, in order to reap all the benefits, you will need to get familiar with the software and to really learn everything there is about it.

Bottom Line

In the end, it all comes down to how much money you are willing to spend, what exactly it is what you need and whether you have the time and the human resources to do your analysis on your own. The important thing is to think everything over and not rush into anything.

Should You Outsource your Content Marketing Efforts?

It is not enough only to manufacture first-class products to succeed in the modern world. Today it takes much more to get to the fast lane that leads to the top, with marketing being the supreme ruler of success. If you do not know how to pack your products into shiny wrappings, you will fail to achieve your business goals. So, the first thing that company managers need to ask themselves is whether or not they have the capacity required to devise effective content marketing strategies.

Start from your future

Outsourcing your content marketing efforts is pointless unless you know what your goals are in the first place. Where do you see your business in one year’s time? How large should it be? How many products you think you will be producing in the next few months? All these questions are crucial when it comes to your marketing strategy.

If you are not dreaming big at the moment, it is wiser to try and use your own resources in terms of marketing. So if you run a small startup, you could promote the business and your projects in social media with the help of your employees. On the other hand, if you want to plunge into the realm of business for real, it goes without saying that your own marketing capacities will not suffice.

Make a financial plan

When you have determined what your company should look like a year from now, it is much easier to set the budget for your marketing promotion. Basically, every business owner should decide how much of their revenues should be allocated for marketing. It depends on the type and size of business, as well as its position in the market. If you see that your investment in content marketing does not give any returns, it is either time to increase the budget or find a new marketer.

The point is that you should stick to your marketing financial plan as much as possible. According to an analysis published by the US Government Small Business Administration, businesses whose revenues stay below $5 million should invest about 7-8 percent in their marketing. Read the whole text here to learn more about startups and their marketing budgets.

Freelancers or established agencies?

The most important question when it comes to the choice of the outsourcer is whether you should go for an independent freelancer or a professional agency. Just like every other aspect of content marketing, this one also depends on your needs and business visions. If you are an independent trader who runs a small business, hiring an agency will be too expensive. In that case, finding a freelancer with fine references will do.

On the other hand, when your business has left the initial stage of development, working with an agency might be a better option, as the marketing experts from Louder Online would suggest. Agencies can usually count on a larger number of employees and they can efficiently create content marketing strategies for different companies at the same time.   

 The matter of measure

Now that you have made a financial plan for your marketing goals and found the outsourcer, you have to give them precise instructions and express your expectations. The key element here is telling your marketers what you consider a success. Is it getting more followers on Facebook or a larger number of sold items on your website? Some business owners will be happy if their web traffic is increased, since they will make more money from the ads on their website.

On the other hand, some others will prefer generating sales leads.  It all depends on your business goals andevery business owner seeking better content marketing promotion has to specify every single requirement and expectation to their marketers.

Only businesses that do not run for profit or do not depend on digital marketing can play on their own when it comes to content marketing. Contrary to that, every company committed to success and long-lasting presence in the business world should turn to third-party marketing services to attain their business goals.

Managed Services VS Outsourcing – The Eternal Dilemma

What are exactly managed services? Though mostly referring to information technology (IT) services, there are examples of the term being used to describe services which don’t include technology at all. One of the best definitions of managed services states that they represent proactive third party management of an asset. This third party is usually known as managed services provider (MSP).

What differentiates managed services from any other is the fact that it focuses on proactive provision of services rather than reactive. With this in mind, it is easy to predict expenses in advance, as they are fixed. Usually, you are bound to pay a certain amount upfront, and then pay the monthly installments specified by the managed service provider. This is considered to be a great feature, as you are able to predict the costs in advance.

Going into the specifics, managed services range from transportation, power and water, to information and communication services. However, they are mostly cloud based and related services. When you pass a certain job to another company, most often offshore, people refer to it as outsourcing. Nevertheless, the term outsource has been used so much that it’s meaning is being almost diluted.

Many who are uninformed might not be able to distinct outsourcing from managed services, but the difference is more than subtle and noticeable. For example you have managed print services which are a group of services provided by printer manufacturers. From maintenance of hardware, supplementation of paper, toner cartridges, printer ink and other consumables, to help & support, mailing, distribution and printing volume tracking. Currently around 51 percent of organisations are using or are planning to use managed print services in the near future. That fact only goes to show the effectiveness of managed services.

On the other hand, outsourcing implies, mainly, short term contracting of services or certain jobs to another company. At first glance the difference seems subtle. But, when you take a closer look, you will see that with outsourcing you are not letting a third party (MSP) manage any kind of in-house services. Actually, they are assigned just a portion of a certain job or a project to finish off site.

Ever since the dot com boom, the information technologies have become widely available and popular. Nowadays, countries like India, China, Eastern European and several other countries which have highly educated IT experts, but low income averages, are considered to be outsourcing havens. Workers from those countries are able to do any job as good as it can be done for only the portion of the price you would have to pay “back at home”.

One other way of interpreting the difference between outsourcing and managed services is that managed services are a management option rather than a deployment option. What this means is that by employing managed services provider you gain an entire set of features that come along. A managed services provider has the skills, the manpower and the tools to deliver what you need when you need it, regardless of the way of delivery.