“Outsourcing” is a word that triggers different reactions and opinions. Many of us may probably think of customer service agents in distant countries answering our phone calls we place to get information from credit card companies or airlines. Perhaps you may think of big corporations who lay off their workers due to jobs being taken overseas.
Outsourcing can be a lifesaver for small businesses who don’t have neither a need nor resources for full time staff. It is amazing how many highly skilled professionals have left corporate America to make a living by freelancing or starting their own businesses. They can lend their skills and expertise to help small business owners or other busy entrepreneurs. Majority of projects can be completed off site when it comes to business plan writing, editing, web application development, marketing support services, project management, graphic design or web design.
Geoffrey Moore’s best-known idea is the chasm. He defines it as the gap between “visionaries,” customers who seize on new gadgets, and mainstream “pragmatists” who need convincing before they buy. In his previous book, Inside the Tornado, he explains how companies can cross the chasm and take advantage of a cyclone-like demand for their products.
His book, Living on the Fault Line: Managing for Shareholder Value in the Age of the Internet, was placed on the Business Week bestseller list. His prescription for success: Quickly adopt new strategies that take advantage of the Web and be prepared to shift quickly. Focus on moves that will boost the stock price. Hire outsiders to handle such things as accounting and delivery.
Moore says when a company is delivering a new set of products, it must focus on product development first, sales later, and customer support after that, shifting resources and outsourcing functions as they become less important.
Then it’s time to start all over on the Next New Thing. At that time, conflict may arise between engineers who want complicated gadgets and marketing people who want the engineers to make something people can use. He asks them to focus on their common goal: sales. Other Moore’s laws:
* Focus on what you do best. “Outsource the context, insource the core.”
* Forget quarterly earnings.
Spend to adapt the business to the Information Age. Profits will come.
* Decide who you are, whatever your culture emphasizes. Play to that strength.