You may think that the essence of business is in product development, people management, and payroll. But just a quick look at the world of outsourcing, and you soon realize that far from being essential components of your business, these are tasks that can be done by a third party, all for a lower cost than would be possible if you tried to do the same thing in-house.
Entrepreneurs are switched on to the outsourcing market. They recognize that companies want to be able to go to a firm, get them to perform tasks that are not core to their business, and receive a higher standard, more professional service than if they tried to do it themselves.
What constitutes an “outsource-able” service is changing all the time. Whereas once businesses could hire external people to do their marketing, it now seems that pretty much any operation in a firm is something that can be done by another.
In the past, if you sold goods over the internet, you had to do your own fulfillment. Not only was fulfillment costly, but it was also highly complex: amateur firms were rarely able to get it right without spending mountains of money. But now there’s no need to go through the expense of fulfillment. You can get somebody else to do it for you.
Let’s say you set up an online store using a platform like Shopify. You can use the platform to take payments, provide a shop front, and integrate with popular online marketplaces like Amazon and so on. But now you can also link your store to a third-party fulfillment center who will do the hard work of organizing and shipping goods in your inventory — no need to set up your own.
Legacy companies hire entire HR departments to manage their human resources. It costs them a fortune for what are, mostly, rote tasks that could be performed by somebody else. Smart companies are now asking themselves questions like, “are there any top PEO companies near me?” And what they’re finding is that there are professional employer organizations who can take over many of the tasks that would typically be done by their HR. It saves them money and time, allowing them to focus on their core products.
You might think that the job of keeping track of industry trends so that you can adapt your products would be the job of your company’s board. But it turns out that there are professional research companies out there who will gladly tell you about the future direction of your industry, your competitor’s product strategies, and practically anything else you can think of.
Business researchers can help with all kinds of things, from what you should say to clients in a sales pitch to getting data for you for an internal presentation. Remember, researchers have built up skills over many years which allow them to find and organize relevant information quickly. Going through them is often far cheaper (and more productive) than trying to do it all yourself.