BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) companies continue to stand is as extended help of businesses all over the world. They provide a pool of experienced professionals that performs non-core day-to-day business functions. Hiring BPO companies is not a new business strategy, and giant corporations know the advantages to taking the outsourcing route.
- Software giant Microsoft outsourced its U.S. patent filing to India.
- General Electric outsourced 30% of their business overseas in 2000.
- Wells Fargo & Co. currently hires business process outsourcing companies in Asia.
- Pfizer chose PPD (Pharmaceutical Product Development) as its third strategic clinical partner.
- Surprisingly, Apple Inc. outsources its manufacturing jobs not to save money (iPhone 6 costs $399, folks) but to save time (48,046 units were sold last Q4 2015).
And in case you did not notice, these five are in the Fortune 500 list of 2015.
It is not just big companies that benefit from BPO companies but also startups. Maybe startups could learn a thing or two from these Fortune 500 companies—one of which is learning how to ask for help.
According to the infographic entitled “Top 15 Mistakes Startups Should Avoid” by Expert Market, not asking for help is on the 7th spot. Here are the other fourteen startup mistakes to avoid:
According to Forbes, 90% of startups fail. Furthermore, of all companies, about 60% of startups survive to age three and roughly 35% survive to age 10, according to separate studies by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, based on the article published in The Wall Street Journal. It is a scary fact but must be taken seriously to avoid becoming another statistic.
Imagine all your efforts and money that go to waste on investing and eventually closing down a startup. Such is the demise of years of research and development, the seed capital you’ve obtained from FF&F (founders, friends and family), and the angel money that has gone up to the heavens, never to be found again.
Is the reason behind this is because they relied on BPO companies? On the contrary, it did not happen on the following startups:
- Slack (2013), a team communication tool, outsourced to develop its solution, specifically the design and UX to MetaLab. Included in the Forbe’s “America’s Most Promising Companies in 2015” and has revenue amounting to $3 million.
- Skype (2003), with 300 million users worldwide, outsourced to develop its first version somewhere in Estonia.
- Klout (2008), the app that measures your online influence from 1 to 100, hired many outsourced developers to refine its technology before launching.
- GitHub (2008), a developer’s paradise where everyone can share and store their code, employed the help of BPO companies to complete its development work.
- Basecamp (1999), a project management and collaboration tool for developers, relies heavily on their remote workers located in different cities worldwide.
Although every business is a case-to-case basis, success however is determined definitely not with a measly stroke of luck. It took years of hard work, brainstorming, burnout, good and bad decisions, and perseverance for these used-to-be startups to be able to stand on their own.
If you’re one of the companies who are new to the world of outsourcing, Tholons enlist the “2015 Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations” and the countries with most mentions are the Philippines, India, China, and Poland. In the 2016 A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index, the countries that house the best BPO companies are located in (from 1st to 10th place) India, China, Malaysia, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Mexico, Chile, and Poland.
Besides hiring BPO companies, here are the other tips to avoid being in the 90% of startups that never see the light of day:
Don’t be overconfident. As explained by startups.co.uk in their article “How Not to Become Another Start-up Statistic, “…arrogance is perilous. Staying humble means prioritizing the things that matter; things like the quality of your products and your customer service.”
Be flexible. If the original idea does not work out, switch to plan B, C, and so on. Know what your customers want and design your marketing strategy based on it. You should be stay attuned to consumer needs, according to a whitepaper entitled “Don’t be Another Statistic: How to Keep Your Start-up from Failing” by Dun & Bradstreet.
Find balance. During the first months of your business you’ll go through a lot of pressure. According to Inc.com, this is due to loss of focus, loss of passion, and burning out. Don’t neglect work/life balance.
Putting up a business is a risk in itself. You’re going to make mistakes; it is inevitable. But it should not stop you from reaching for your goals. Recognize your mistakes and learn from them.