Taking advantage of globalisation in your business
There are thousands, in fact, probably hundreds of thousands of companies to which you can outsource your online development. We’ve already covered the benefits of using an industry-specific partner in previous posts.
This post covers the benefits of using a company that doesn’t have an office.
There was a time when all companies had offices. The whole company showed up at the same time every morning. There were layers of bureaucracy, oversight and supervision. (From the bottom of the company to the top). Successful companies all had layers at the top too; Presidents, vice presidents, boards of directors and shareholders, all detached from the front line.
This traditional structure isn’t inherently wrong, and there are benefits gained by these companies such as economies of scale, branding, monopoly positions, and so on.
There’s a problem for you, the customer or the client. All of this needs to get paid for inside the pricing structure of what you are buying.
There are skills needed to create your new website, email auto-responder or sales page. These do not need to be possessed by someone forced to sit in the same office cubicle day-in-day-out. Top copywriters and web designers have been seeing the benefits of working remotely for many years now.
If a red hot copywriter says that he does his best work while sitting in his log cabin in the middle of the forest, that piques my interest.
A web designer might say she gets obsessed with new projects.
If she then says it means 18-hour days in the attic, wearing the same pyjamas. I’d love to see the results.
(Who’s bothered about the dress code? Only software code matters in this example).
You don’t have to be an eccentric oddball to work with us, but it might help
It’s not to say that I prefer non-conformists to work with me at my company. If there’s someone like this, who produces amazing work, that’s OK with me. If it’s at a lower cost than an employee in an office cubicle, why live in the past?
Hiring a company that uses outsourced remote staff has some possible disadvantages. It’s especially the case if the company itself is in another country. If you make a terrible choice, your options are more limited.
It will be hard for you to go to the head office and ask to speak to the CEO or Managing Director. You won’t be able to bang the desk and cause an embarrassing scene to get a response. A legal case, if you are not satisfied, will also be severe if the workers are in a different country to you.
These courses of action tend to be ineffective anyway, even if the company is in the same town as you. If you ever get to the stage that you feel the need to lose your temper or call legal advice, you should realise that you made a terrible choice and wear it.
Pursuing negative, energy-draining courses of action might tie up even more of your valuable time and attention. It might be worth it for a shoddy building, but not a website.
Other than in the situations where things go wrong, I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t want to use a remote-based company. Where the company is based or not based should be either a neutral factor or a benefit to you as a client.
11 reasons why having remote staff makes sense
A remote working company has the advantage that:
They can scour the earth for the right person for the job, not just the ones who happen to be available in the local job market at the time of recruiting.
They benefit from low fixed overheads such as not needing offices, pension requirements, worker healthcare schemes, and so on.
They operate in a results-based environment. Where coming in on time, having brief coffee and cigarette breaks or other irrelevant metrics are out of the picture. An outsourced worker gets judged on the quality of their work, and the amount they charge for it.
When you have a developer in one country, a copywriter in another, and a social media manager in a third, they can focus on their work. There are no office politics or negative troublemakers to bring the whole team down.
They’re nimble and can hire according to the workload. There are no problematic downsizing dilemmas or regulatory issues. For example, a staff member is there for a ‘year and a day’ which means that the extra day could cause an unfair dismissal suit.
There are no sexual harassments, bullying, favouritism and office romances to get in the way of work.
The workers can’t join together to undermine a manager or the company itself. They can’t group and create a new company while stealing customer information: no mutinies or power struggles.
Due to the remote nature of the work, there are no company superiors to ask advice. This isolation might seem like a disadvantage, but remote workers tend to be expert at using their problem-solving initiatives. Does that old guy in the corner office know more than Google? No. Remote workers join industry forums and private memberships where they can ask advice from some of the brightest minds in the world, not just the company.
There’s far less awkwardness in hiring and firing, and in starting new client contracts or finishing them. This acceptance is because there’s an understanding that deals and staff come and go. Also, it’s easier because we’re unlikely to bump into anyone that we do business with, in the supermarket.
There are excellent avenues and structures in place for hiring remote staff. If I needed ten new web developers, I could find them quickly. It’s far more straightforward than if I were trying to post adverts in local newspapers and job centres. The same applies to any website development, SEO, content or social media related staff.
Technology workers tend to lead the charge in innovation and the latest solutions. This trend is how virtual based work is moving. Why commute and sit in traffic, to be micromanaged and controlled, and work in a mundane routine, when you can work on your terms? Some of the most creative and resourceful people are making this choice. These pioneers are the ones that are confident and bold enough to go it alone. There are the types of people you want on your project, not office drones.
Update on the 22nd Feb 2017: while this post got written with the subtle intention of putting your mind at rest about the fact that WE operate as a remote/outsourced based business… A reader email indicated to us that you might see the benefit in transitioning your business in the same way. While we use outsourcing as a competitive business advantage, we are certainly not experts. Here is an epic post on the topic by someone more expert than us!