How a Consultant Can Help Companies & Entrepreneurs Launch in the Philippines Faster & Cheaper
What is an outsourcing consultant?
Good question. It’s a wide-open concept — as I imagine, “manufacturing consultant” is an equally broad term.
Many outsourcing consultants feed an anchored service like real estate, legal services, or facility buildout. Others position themselves as consultants to place business with BPOs. They are brokers who refer business to outsourcing firms, typically for a percentage of the gross revenue.
Entities with local expertise generally focus on the legal structure and regulatory compliance. Others (like Lambent) have employees who can perform outsourced projects.
Occasionally, consultants parlay deep knowledge to help with strategic or operational matters. Other BPO consultants might focus on the logistical specifics of a locator’s corporate affairs like selecting the proper corporate structure, applying for government incentives, local government setup, and the like.
How can a BPO consultant help you?
Depending on what you plan to do, we can help in several ways. This post looks at the different types of clients we work with and how we consult with them.
Bear in mind that our particular flavor of consulting is operationally focused. We can make recommendations about locations, also called site selection, but we do not advocate a specific real estate management company. We can make recommendations about buildout configuration and technologies that have proven successful for us, but we do not represent any IT integration firms or software/hardware companies.
If appropriate, we might recommend ourselves as a viable option if we think we can do an excellent job for you and the process or project fits our profile.
Dropshipping famously captured the imagination of a generation of micro-entrepreneurs with a good idea. Like mushrooms after the rain, nomads with a Shopify store, a supplier (or suppliers), and furious SEO chops appeared in co-working spaces from Lisbon to Canggu.
A little success can go a long way — toward making you very busy. If your idea takes off, there are customers to support, orders to track, refunds to process, and phones to answer. We haven’t even touched on your online marketing plan.
Amid this sudden success, you might find yourself overwhelmed and needing assistance (of the virtual kind).
How do you begin? Do you hire a freelancer from a marketplace like Fiverr or UpWork? Do you try to go direct? Do you outsource? Each approach has its pros and cons.
- A consultant can help you make decisions about which approach to take. Based on questions like:
- Do you want to handle the day-to-day management of your staff?
- How do you want to pay your team?
- Will you keep your virtual team long-term or short-term?
- Do you need full-time employees or shared resources with deep skills for things like online marketing or customer service?
You’ve built the app that scratches the itch no one knew they had. Until your application hits the market, that is.
Your app is in Apple’s App Store, on Google Play, or accessed through a website platform. It’s a modest success. Now you have bugs to fix, a development roadmap to follow, and customers to support.
With new operational requirements that extend well beyond application development, there are new processes to consider. There is credit card billing to track — refunds to process. You have support requests via chat, social, email, and calls to handle. Administrative details materialize from thin air.
Your growing business has new processes that scale demands. Outsourcing is the move to protect your margins and give you the momentum you need to sustain your momentum. But you probably have questions:
- Can you find a freelancer or an outsourcing firm that will work side-by-side with your team to develop, refine, and document the processes that will keep you moving in the right direction?
- How will you decide when it’s time to add another agent or administrative resource?
- What aspects of your operation can you outsource effectively?
- How much should you pay for a freelance agent? For a managed agent?
- Who will train your agents so they can delivery quality support?
You might work alone as a solopreneur. You might manage an enterprise. What unites anyone who operates smart and lean is rigorous attention to the bottom line.
If you concentrate on building revenue and creating value for your business, you will be more successful.
If you are a photographer, you make money when you take photographs and sell them. You don’t get paid for website updates or social media posts. You don’t get paid to coordinate meetings for photoshoots. You don’t get paid to keep your digital image library organized. Those activities subtract from your billable hours.
Like all the ways an outsourcing consultant helps start-ups and drop shippers answer the questions above, all of those apply to an entrepreneur. The differences revolve around how to build a highly customized suite of support services unique to the individual.
- How do you screen for the best individual or team to help you achieve your goals? What are those goals?
- Do you have time to document your processes and train your team?
- What is the best approach to onboarding a virtual assistant or remote team?
Business Process Outsourcer or Captive Service Center Going Offshore
Many international outsourcing service providers have a presence in the Philippines. Conversely, many do not. Offshoring to the Philippines isn’t only for large outsourcing companies. Many companies arrive in the Philippines to send a specific process offshore.
Recently, climate and pandemic disruptions signal the need for geographically diverse back-office options for redundancy. Other factors prompt the move offshore as well. The standard incentive, cost arbitrage, sends BPOs and captive operators seeking emerging countries for their bottom-line advantages.
For a BPO planning the move to the Philippines, a consultant offers regional insight. Local acuity supports budgeting, site selection, buildout plans, and talent strategies.
A local consultant helps locators observe reasonable guidelines and avoid costly mistakes. Selecting the wrong vendor, ignoring labor compliance, or locating in the wrong place all conspire to rob locators of the savings they seek in the first place.
The kinds of questions we answer for locators runs the gamut:
- What is the budgetary tipping point for using an existing operator vs. setting up my own operation?
- Where is the best place to set up to maximize my cost reduction and get the right staff for my business process?
- How do I establish a compliant Human Resources process?
- What is a suitable compensation structure for my back-office team?
It’s Not if You Need a Consultant; it’s What Kind of Consultant
For the price of a few hours of consultation, you might save yourself a lot of headaches. The question is, what is the most appropriate kind of BPO consultant for your project? Indeed, you might look for a consultant to guide your incorporation and legal setup and another to oversee your buildout.
Lambent focuses on the basic operational requirements you need to start your call center or back-office delivery center.