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Do business operations belong online? 

Undoubtedly, the pandemic changed the way we do business. Some of us stopped selling products that we’ve sold since the dawn of civilization, like that fax machine, and now sell products and services closely related to our digital era. And yes, we now live in an age where almost everything is digital, and I assure you that if we could digitalise the food and drinks we consume, we would be full of binary codes communicating solely in ones and zeroes.

Fortunately, we’re not there yet – as I, for one, still love the taste of real food, the crispiness of lettuce, the flavourful sauces and dressings, and rice as a staple diet. However, while our foods entered the digital realm differently as we can now have pretty much anything delivered to us with a few clicks, more and more businesses are moving towards online models, and who can blame them?

A few years ago, an online model meant that the business made use of online services like deliveries, online fax, social platforms, and website management. Over the years, though, this changed, and even services that we believed were in-house requirements can now be outsourced digitally.

Yes, even that admin-related work that you once believed required a dedicated person to go through all those pages and file them accordingly can now do the same thing with PDFs and word documents, all without that person leaving their home – or entering yours.

Of course, this does leave one to question the efficacy of moving business operations online, and more importantly, whether those operations belong in such a space.

Here are a few pros and cons regarding this:

Pro: Cost-effective

We all know that outsourcing is usually cheaper than in-sourcing. And the same can be said here for outsourcing some business functions like marketing and administration.

For the price of one in-house individual, you can get a whole team of experts without the overhead costs of benefits, leave, and tax requirements.

If a business wants to save money, this is a no-brainer. The Entrepreneur has an article about this that you can read here.

In addition, you can look at top business operations solutions such as Capsifi’s digital operating model. This allows you to further check your business operating model to see how it is performing and identify where changes can be made, thus fast tracking your business decisions.

Con: Impersonal

The risk of outsourcing work comes with the bias of impersonal detachment. However, while this can be an issue, you can easily overcome this issue by sourcing from the right organisation. PrimePixels has a distinctive way of dealing with this issue, and you can check out their virtual marketing agency here.

Pro: Availability

The biggest advantage of outsourcing a business operation is undoubtedly the availability of external team members. Like I said above, by acquiring a team, you know you’ll always have someone on hand to assist when necessary.

You need not worry about leave, personal circumstances, and the like.

Con: Time zone differences

Of course, availability is a double-edged sword. It doesn’t help when you’re in the UK, and your outsourced company is on the other side of the world with a six-hour difference between you. It’s tricky to navigate, and if you can’t find an outsourced company within one-to-two-hour time differences, your productivity may take a beating – or at least, some getting used to.

Pro: Collaboration

The advantage of collaboration is an appealing one, as more often than not, outsourced organisations work on various accounts at the same time. This grants you an ‘insider’ with a unique perspective of what is going on everywhere else in the world, and within your industry.

The opportunities for collaboration increase significantly if you’re looking to partner with other clients under the outsourced organisation’s roster to meet similar goals.

For instance, a toothpaste company can easily work with a toothbrush company to push preferred dental clinics to the combined clientele of all three businesses.

Con: Language barriers

As with the time zone issue, opting for the right organisation to outsource your business operations can be tricky. If English isn’t the first language, you may find communication difficulties, and this will affect productivity.

So before you outsource, do your homework to ensure that your chosen company can talk-the-talk as well as walk the walk for your business success.

Final thoughts

Pros and cons can be debated at length and can just as easily swap places, dependent on perspective.

It is up to you and what you wish to achieve to ensure that you get your business where it needs to be. Remember that having the right team at your back can make all the difference in this fast-paced world.

However, trying to cut too many costs and employing an outsourced agency that doesn’t put you and your business first can be even more costly than any pounds and pennies you may originally save.

So think about it, do your research, and decide whether this is the best move for you.

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