You may be able to start a small business to fulfill a need for a larger business that is looking to outsource in a particular niche. In a recession, large companies are looking to cut costs in every area of their business. They look for the cheapest way to keep their business lean and mean and afloat. Sometimes, that means outsourcing rather than paying high salaries and benefits hiring employees for their firm.
When Americans think of outsourcing, we tend to think of large companies outsourcing to other countries. Large companies also outsource to small businesses around the corner. Your business could be that small business. All you have to do is provide a needed product or service to larger companies that you can provide more cheaply, with high quality, than they can get from their own staff.
A Case Study
Does this sound like a tall order? Maybe not. Consider the recent story of a stay-at-home mother whose husband was laid off. Julie Trade decided to start her own business from her back bedroom in order to bring in some extra cash. Judy, 40 years old, had a background in marketing so she used it to prepare marketing and press materials. Judy got herself up to speed about new technologies, developed a client base including large companies who were outsourcing things like press releases. She now makes more money than she ever did working outside the home and is supporting her family while fulfilling her role as a stay-at-home mom.
An Example of a Possible Business
Suppose you live in a small town or even a larger city and you’re an accountant or a bookkeeper. Some of the smaller businesses in your area may not want to pay for the services of a CPA to keep their books or do their taxes. They may seek a more cost effective method of managing their bookkeeping and accounting and wish to outsource their work to a bookkeeper. There is a perfect opportunity for you to market your services. If you’ve been laid off and want to start your own business, you can market your services to those small businesses and save them money that they would otherwise have to spend on a CPA.
Take Advantage of Outsourcing Opportunities
Here are some tips on starting a business by taking advantage of outsourcing opportunities:
- Consider Your Skills
- Take a Look at the Businesses in Your Local Area
- Don’t Ignore Online Business Opportunities
- Develop your own Professional Marketing Materials
What type of small business you would like to start depends on your skills. If you are a financial type, you want to go that route. If you have training in web design, there’s your idea for a small business. You get the idea. Play to your skills and come up with an idea for a small business that fills a niche where you think businesses may outsource.
If you already operate a small business, consider trying to expand your customer base by taking advantage of outsourcing opportunities.
Are there small or large businesses in your local geographic area that have tasks they are outsourcing or would like to outsource? How do you find out? Whatever your area of expertise or small business, call the director of that area of the businesses in your local area. Prepare a pitch before you call them. Find out what they need. If you can supply it, let them know. Have price quotes ready.
There may be lots of online businesses that would like to utilize your services if they knew you existed. Use social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook[/link">, and your own blog or website, properly tagged and optimized to draw in potential customers.
The online bidding sites where you can offer your work for sale have gotten so competitive that it is almost impossible to earn a decent wage so I am not going to recommend them at this time.
In order to sell yourself as a viable outsourcing source, you must have professional-level marketing materials available for potential clients. If you are an expert in desktop publishing, you can do this yourself. If not, then hire someone to develop these materials for you. It will pay for itself in the long run. You will need business cards, a brochure, and samples of your work.
If you can find a niche in your area of business where companies typically like to outsource their work, you can either start a new business during the recession and do quite well or you can add to your existing business.