Being an avid 4 Hour Workweek fan I was always interested in outsourcing work overseas to lower cost, higher skilled people. Several years ago I then finally started hiring teams for various data entry projects in the Philippines, and fast forward a few years and I now have 3 full time employees in the Philippines and work with 2 computer development companies in India. To me this sort of thing is a no-brainer. I grew up outside the US myself so I never understood the argument that you should only hire US employees. Are people that live in other countries somehow less deserving of jobs to support their families with? Despite my enthusiasm for outsourcing I sometimes have a hard time getting tasks handed off to my team abroad even at my own company. So here are my reasons why you should make the effort to try this out even if you’re reluctant.
Cost: Let’s just get this one out of the way because this is what people usually think of when you talk about outsourcing. By US standards outsourcing work to India or the Philippines is incredibly cheap. You could typically hire 3-4 people in one of these countries for the cost of one full time domestic employee. This is just the salary too so it doesn’t take into account the money you save on rent, insurance, unemployment, supplies, and whatever else comes up. You’re definitely able to save on expenses doing this.
Reliability: This is just my own anecdotal experience, but generally I’ve found the people I’ve worked with overseas to be incredibly reliable. Just this passed weekend I had to wake up a developer on a Sunday morning at 1:30am and he was up and troubleshooting within 15 minutes. Additionally call outs seem to be virtually non existent with my staff in the Philippines. These would be hero employees in the states!
The other thing that makes them so reliable is that the work is always high quality. Once much time is spent defining the details of a project I rarely get sub-standard work. It seems to me that much more care and caution is given to projects than you’d usually expect. Before working with people oversees I always assumed it was cheap because the work was crap. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Overnight Work: Assigning work in the afternoon and then waking up to it being done is amazing. This is especially useful when I require support for my software product SupplierPartner.com. I can simply post the issues in the evening and wake up to them being resolved. There are also advantages you can take such as preparing orders overnight in your ERP so that you can ship everything the minute when you walk in in the morning. It’s like having 24 hour office hours.
Skills: Another incorrect assumption I made years ago is that somehow these people were less educated or skilled, I think the annoying corporate call centers in India do terrible things for reputations of all overseas workers. The opposite is true in reality. Generally the people that work with US companies are highly educated with masters degrees and are incredibly capable. Training on new tasks or defining new projects are no more difficult than with someone in the states and since you’re typically forced to communicate by writing I’d even argue the discussion is more efficient and productive.
Management Time: Another practical component is your own time saved on not needing to be a “regular” manager. There are few topics that ever come up that are not task oriented so the idea of any drama occurring is far fetched. If you’re allergic to drama like me you can’t beat it. Typically all communication is brief and to the point. If you use a company like I do, then the typical day to day management responsibilities are included in the fee.
So if you’re interested in trying this out check out 2ndOffice.co. I’ve been working with them for years and they’ve never let me down. You can buy project hours or go as far as building your own full time team like I have. Small to medium sized operations need every advantage they can get and this is a huge advantage that far too few people take advantage of.