What Your Competitors Can Teach You About Outsourcing
By Nadine Flores | Aug 02, 2018
An old adage tells us that experience is the best teacher, but that’s only half true–I think other people’s experiences can be better teachers, especially in outsourcing. Instead of treating “rival” companies as arch enemies, you must take what your competitors can teach you as a learning opportunity. Take for example when it comes to digital marketing, instead of burning through your savings by trying out different marketing styles with trial and error, eliminate options that your competitors have already tested and failed in. Now, don’t take it as me saying “just copy everyone else’s homework!” There is a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism, and that’s what this article is going to be about.
Evaluate differences between you and your competitors
It all starts with you acknowledging your mistakes and what your competitors are performing better at. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, compare it with what others are getting known for and put your own spin on it. Are they hiring offshore staff through third-party companies? If yes, what services does the third party offer that made them choose that company as a partner? Chances are that you already know your shortcomings and what aspects of your business need more focus, you just can’t find a way to fix it or you keep denying and repressing the problem. Is it the tools, the people or the method of execution? Examine the problems within your business processes thoroughly, cross-check your issues with the status of your competitors and lay out a plan on how you can improve your system and solve your problems.
Even if you are confident in how your business is performing, there is always room for improvement. If everyone else is posting promotional materials on Facebook to increase their audience engagement, then go post on Facebook as well and put your brand out there, but do something different to set it apart: incorporate a popular joke your competitors haven’t used yet, insert a pop culture reference (like a pun from a recent movie or TV show), or perhaps create an informative video. What methods are your competitors using that you’re not, and why? Evaluate factors that might be holding you and your business back, or leaps of faith that you think is worth taking, and then formulate a plan with improved goals in mind.
Take note of their mistakes & successes
Not all BPO companies are made equal. Some of your competitors may have had negative experiences with hiring an offshore staff but decided to give it another try and found better partners to work with. You can tell a lot about their systems and processes just by taking account of their offshoring preferences. Which services do they choose to outsource and why? What aspects of their offshore ventures failed and which ones succeeded? What do they look for in a BPO company? These are a few things to consider before you gamble on partnering with an outsourcing company, making your competitors’ failures and successes part of your research.
Reach out & build connections
One good way to grow your business is by making friends out of foes. Instead of fostering hostility towards your competitors, reach out and build a network of connections you can rely on. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you go out spewing company secrets to anyone who would listen but instead form or join an established social group of fellow business owners wherein you can share pointers and experiences. By treating your competitors as friends, you are likely to reap benefits from your mutual business-to-business understanding: you can exchange trade techniques, share potential client databases, and form lasting partnerships.
A great example would be the recent Twitter exchange between rival gaming companies, Nintendo and Microsoft’s XBox, that won fans’ hearts all around the globe: rather than promoting against each other, Nintendo highlighted Minecraft’s cross-platform feature by saying that since the game can be played on both consoles, they can build something together. This friendly exchange then became a great PR stunt for both companies, sort of like Nintendo’s olive branch towards Xbox whose sales continue to dip because of Sony’s PlayStation. When it comes to outsourcing, you can extend the same friendly hand towards your competitors and ask them for recommendations, or how one can get started on outsourcing.
Learning from your competitors isn’t an act of plagiarism, it is simply taking inspiration from their journey so you can get started from yours. Though outsourcing promises many benefits such as savings in labour costs, when done wrong, it can bring more harm to your company. If you’re looking for cost-effective staffing solutions without the hassle of encountering hidden charges, check out our services or get an instant free quote today!