Business structures and models are being disrupted by the emerging developments of advanced social technology. This comes at a time when our economy is being turned upside down and inside out. Economic pressures and even survival are driving business leaders to look for inovative ways to manage and reduce traditional overhead.
Melana Yanos writes: Key business trends open the door to potentially profitable markets
Most people are already familiar with the concept of business process outsourcing (BPO), such as the outsourcing of large company call centers overseas. As the outsourcing trend continues to grow, some companies are beginning to utilize the foreign workforce in higher-skilled trades though knowledge process outsourcing (KPO), according to an article in Time magazine published earlier this month. One subset, for instance, called legal process outsourcing (LPO), entrusts lower-level legal tasks and research to overseas attorneys at a fraction of the cost of legal fees charged in the U.S.
The benefits of outsourcing are not solely reserved for large, wealthy corporations; a market for personal outsourcing has also emerged, catering to small businesses and individuals. Indian companies such as Brickwork and Get Friday, for example, provide overseas “personal assistants” to perform even the most menial tasks and errands at a rate of $15 to 25 per hour, according to an article published in The New York Times last year. Both companies were recommended in Timothy Ferriss’s bestselling book, The 4-hour Workweek, which urges readers to outsource anything that can be done for a cost less than the value of their own time.
Recent trends suggest that personal outsourcing won’t be limited to overseas networks. Personal outsourcing may also begin to utilize untapped domestic resources, such as college students. Additionally, tech companies such as Rearden Commerce are jumping on board by developing “virtual personal assistant” software.
With the entrance of the Internet and World Wide Web into the mainstream sphere more than a decade ago, entrepreneurs have gained access to a market far broader than that of traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Internet users number more than 1.3 billion, or 20 percent of the world’s population, as of December 2007, according to InternetWorldState.com. In order to compete for potential consumers on the Internet, establishing a presence online has become a near necessity for business owners.
The use of virtual offices, assistants, and receptionist is becoming an excepted trend by both small and large companies. By leveraging virtual resources business of all size and reduce traditional expenses while gaining valuable resources and services to help them grow their business during turbulent economic times. To continue business in the traditional sense is a pure waste of money and sub-optimization of resources. Don’t wait for a crisis to comes before you look for ways to innovate at less expense. Going virtual is a smart alternative to carrying excessive cost of traditional business models and structures.