At MMCY, we work with dozens of seasonally based businesses, especially those in the meetings and events industry. In fact, half of the CMI list are our clients. A common pain point these types of businesses bring up time and time again is the issue of scaling.
Scaling in business means increasing the size and scope of operations. Therefore, seasonal businesses need to quickly scale up and augment their team during peak seasons and scale down without repercussion during down-seasons.
But for seasonal businesses, attempts to scale up or scale down can backfire and hamper your growth. Hiring and building an effective in-house team can turn into weeks of ongoing interviews and evaluations. And letting people go can become a Human Resources hassle and a potential legal nightmare, especially for our clients in the United States.
What almost all seasonal businesses want is flexibility. Flexibility to scale their business at will without bothering about costs associated with hiring, including charges you pay to recruitment firms and job portals.
From working with numerous seasonal businesses, we’ve learned a secret and are willing to share it so that you can successfully scale your business.
The solution…Utilizing Remote Dedicated Resources.
How Can Building a Remote Team Help with Scalability?
Did you know that about one-third of small businesses are motivated to outsource to access flexible resources?
Since business needs shift depending on the business climate and calendar, outsourcing is effective for seasonal or need-based work companies. Under seasonal fluctuations, the benefits of having operational outsourcing can’t be overstated.
During peak business seasons, orders and inquiries must be fully supported. It may be impractical to invest in the technology to handle incoming calls, hire a team of customer service agents to handle the calls, and then train those agents to perform their tasks.
However, outsourcing these functions to a BPO eliminates these obstacles. Companies like ours provide you with a team that is already fully trained to receive incoming calls and gather the needed customer information.
Going through the hiring process can pretty much stall operations in other parts of the business. Hiring takes time and often drags on with less-than-favorable results. Hiring in the US can take months, and you may still be stuck with a candidate that isn’t quite right, or they may suddenly quit on you, causing the process to start all over again.
Building a remote team grants you the flexibility to hire affordable talent that works under your brand and company culture when you are busy and need extra help. Then, when business slows down, you can keep your existing team in order and end your contract with the remote resources.
For example, when we work with university event planners, they hire one of our resources on a month-to-month contract during their semesters and pause or end the contracts during summer vacation. Flexibility like this allows you the support you need. It also means you aren’t wasting a recruiter’s time to hire someone only for a few months.
Outsourcing provides access to a broad network of clients, so scaling up often doesn’t require subsequent scaling down. In addition, outsourcing companies can move employees to other accounts rather than dealing with massive layoffs and their repercussions.
And building a remote team isn’t only limited to seasonal-based businesses. An accounting firm, for example, might use a BPO to help during tax season.
But if you want to build a remote team, where do you look?
The BPO is a massive 26 Billion USD industry, so knowing where to begin and finding the right fit might feel overwhelming. But in your search, we would implore you to focus on one area: Africa.
Why is Africa the best place to build a remote team?
BPO is expanding quickly in Africa. There is now an entire platform called CRDLE focused on connecting international companies to outsourcing businesses in Africa.
While India and The Philippines are typically considered the go-to outsourcing hubs, they quickly become too expensive. As a result, African countries are now becoming the fastest-growing tech outsourcing destinations.
South Africa was voted the second most attractive Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) location in the world for three years in a row, according to the 2020 Front Office BPO survey by Ryan Strategic Advisory. India was ranked in first place and the Philippines in third.
In September 2020, McKinsey valued the overall South African BPO market at $461m. But SA is not the only force to be reckoned with: other countries like Morocco, Madagascar, Kenya, and Ethiopia are also blossoming into attractive outsourcing destinations.
Seasonal-based businesses can leverage remote talent for various tasks, including Software Developers, Level 1 IT Helpdesk Support, Sales and Business Development Representatives, Bookkeeping, Virtual Assistants, Social Media, support, and more.
Besides getting extra support when they need it, they can save money and work with really talented individuals. A great example is our branch office in Addis Ababa. A company in the US can utilize great remote resources from our office at a fraction of what the same person of similar education would cost back home.
Additionally, a remote resource is pre-vetted, which means you don’t have to put the burden on your HR team to find and then lay off team members constantly. You also don’t have to worry about the overhead, risks, or additional costs of having local employees.
At MMCY Tech, we are focused on building remote teams, and one of our specialties is providing event technology support for platforms like Cvent.
Event companies like CWT will buy blocks of hours from us that they use up very quickly during busy times of the year and then hang onto the rest of their hours during very slow holidays and off-seasons. Our clients leverage our team when they are busy and can easily pause or stop working with us for a couple of months when they don’t have events planned.
Other Benefits You Will Reap by Building a Remote Team
Tap into Existing Expertise
When you are looking to build a successful business, it is critical to gain a competitive advantage over your peers. You are unlikely to achieve the same with a second-rate team.
Choosing to work with an outsourcing partner allows you to immediately secure the services of an expert team in their domain.
Most reputed BPO firms specializing in any vertical would have a significant talent pool at their disposal. Add to it they would also have the training and managerial staff to ensure optimum service delivery.
Enter New Markets with Ease
With a remote team at your disposal, you can quickly enter new markets without going through a tiring setup process.
Outsourcing certain functions of your operation will free up time and resources that you can use for your core offerings. You will then find new markets, analyze them, and create a plan to penetrate them over time.
For example, suppose you help business owners sell their companies and earn your revenue by charging a percentage of the sale. You can use our team of sales reps to contact business owners in a select region. Our reps will then book appointments that are warm leads for your locally-based agents to follow through with the due diligence and sale.
If you secure the services of a reputed Business Process Outsourcing firm, you can instantly benefit from the technology prowess built up by the firm over time.
They would also use the latest in communication and data management technologies. They are also likely to have several tools related to their specialization readily available to them.
For example, a customer support Business Process Outsourcing would have call routing, recording, compliance, and feedback tools readily available with them, which can be deployed for your business.
Significant Cost Savings
Perhaps the most significant advantage of the power of business process outsourcing is the considerable cost savings you can make.
There are several costs associated with setting up a new office that many entrepreneurs take time to figure out. For example, if you want to set up a ten-member in-house team, you need to shell out hardware and software costs.
Some software such as commercial graphic packages and accounting software can set you back by significant amounts. Maintenance and power costs too can prove quite a handful for small businesses employing several people and occupying large office spaces.
In contrast, choosing to outsource can save you from expending precious finances on such costs.
A host of business functions are immensely suitable for outsourcing. While customer service and tech support are often the default functions that most firms outsource at the first opportunity, increasingly more crucial business functions are getting outsourced.
As most customer interactions have moved to digital touchpoints, it’s probably the best time to explore new opportunities in outsourcing and develop a competitive advantage.
There is no question that outsourcing offers businesses agility and scalability that reduces overhead and provides a fully-trained customer service staff that is available as needed.
If you are considering outsourcing for your business, contact us. We would love to discuss with you how MMCY Tech can benefit your business.