The entrepreneurial activity involves not only the conduct of a process that directly generates profit but also many auxiliary ones that ensure the smooth execution of the main task or are necessary for the legitimacy of the business. A large item of expenditure for almost every organization are those activities that bring nothing but expenses to it, but cannot be excluded, which forces the entrepreneur to try to find alternative ways to perform these tasks. Almost any business turns to third-party companies that provide service or support, but such cooperation is temporary and almost always ends. The situation is different if it is necessary to completely shift part of the auxiliary functions of the enterprise to another firm that purposefully does this.
The simplest example is bookkeeping, which is difficult for an untrained person in this specialty, but must be maintained even by the smallest firms. Therefore, outsourcing companies have existed on the market for a long time, taking over part of the responsibilities of the customer firm for a fee in order to perform its non-core work for it. This is a company that fully operates according to the B2B scheme and is sometimes a very important component of the entire business process of the company that applied for help.
There are several types of outsourcing. The first is production, which is the industrial production of parts, components or even finished products that are intended to be transferred by the outsourcer to the customer so that the latter can continue his production process without manufacturing any part or types of products. The outsourcer here is rarely a company that purposefully engages only in outsourcing activities, often these are large enterprises that have their own well-established production and are able to perform someone else’s work, having universal equipment.
The second type of outsourcing is IT, which involves the maintenance and support of the customer’s information systems, providing him with servers or hosting, as well as human resources that perform related work. The outsourcer independently monitors the performance of the entire information system, developing it in time and eliminating the problems that have arisen.
The third is knowledge management outsourcing, which appeared relatively recently and which develops the scientific base of the customer, giving him the opportunity to receive innovative products or simply improve his activities. It is unlikely that one will have to engage in such activities in the near future, since in Russia the demand for such services has not yet been formed, but gradually such companies will appear, so this type can already be considered as a development prospect for the current successful outsourcing company.
The fourth type is the most common phenomenon, when some business processes are transferred for execution to a third-party company, while not implying the creation of any product. Business process outsourcing is all the same service services, only performed constantly, and not at some time interval or at a time. It is this type that is the activity of most outsourcing companies.
There is also a type of service related to outsourcing, which provides the customer not with the result of the activities of its employees, but with the employees themselves directly – outstaffing (out-staffing – “external staff”). That is, the customer hires other people’s employees for a certain period of time, paying a certain fee to the outstaffing company and not keeping records of the personnel received in this way. Such an alliance was beneficial for the customer not only by getting the number of people he needed to work, but also by the fact that the burden of taxation was reduced and the restrictions imposed by the labor code were removed. However, it is no longer advisable to open your own outstaffing company; a law has been passed in Russia that will prohibit agency work from the beginning of 2016.
Before opening your outsourcing company, you need to clearly define the list of functions that it will perform. This will affect absolutely all subsequent requirements for organizing a business; for example, only outsourcing bookkeeping involves the presence of a small office for accountants, in which work is constantly in full swing to perform other people’s duties, and from the equipment – only computers, printers, scanners and other office equipment. If the company performs many different outsourcing processes, then significant capacities and entire equipped territories may be required – IT outsourcing will require server and specialized equipment that occupies a certain place, and logistics outsourcing should be provided with its own warehouses and / or transport .
- Operation of data processing and storage centers
- Software Development
- Maintenance and external placement of information systems
- Business Process Sphere
- Accounting and audit support
- Legal support
- Publishing and printing services
- Call centers (call centers)
- Resolving personnel issues (HR)
- Sales and trade
- Maintenance services, including cleaning
Opening a company that can perform all these functions will cost tens of millions of rubles, so it’s better for a novice outsourcer to stop at just 2-3 types of services in order to start doing their job really competently without huge costs, leaving the rest of the list as a development perspective. You need to stop at related areas in order to narrow down the specialization, and therefore, increase the level of employees. Many companies dedicate themselves to just one type of activity, which gives them the opportunity to develop faster and concentrate on only one job; in general, when an outsourcer performs more than one type of work, he already becomes an outsourcing center, which is problematic for a beginner to maintain.
To enter the market, you need to thoroughly study it for the presence of competitors and, if possible, find out their expected development. A firm that provides a certain range of work may not be a direct competitor, but it has a well-known name, and if it expands its capabilities, it can grab customers from a newly opened company that, until recently, offered outsourcing of incongruent activities. It is best to try to occupy still empty or at least not overdeveloped niches.
IT outsourcers stand out in a separate category by the type of services provided and have a large list of work that they are ready to take over from the customer. As a rule, such firms have not only an office, but also server rooms that ensure the work of customer companies. Employees of an outsourcing company are divided into companies, that is, each employee serves the companies assigned to him and monitors the state of their information systems. In case of questions from the customer, identification of problems or the need for any work, the outsourcing company sends its specialist to promptly solve the problem. Sometimes there is a provision of a local network for an enterprise, which is completely controlled and provided by an outsourcer, eliminating the need for the customer to keep at least one programmer or system administrator;
At the initial stage of work, a room of 50 m 2 and the purchase of computer equipment will be required. Since any outsourcing company has few clients at the stage of opening, five employees can be enough. Investments in equipment can range from 100 thousand rubles – this is a server, computers, switches, routers and other equipment. It is not necessary to rent an office in the city center, although this will be a good help and will allow employees to quickly get to the partner company in case of any problems.
The salary of each of them will consist of a salary (about 15 thousand per person) and a percentage of the cost of servicing companies in which the person is directly involved. Together with rent (on average – 50 thousand rubles) and utility bills (15 thousand for a large amount of electricity and server maintenance), monthly expenses will amount to 140 thousand rubles. At the same time, basic IT business support costs the customer 20 thousand rubles a month, 3 of which will go to a specialist. The presence of ten serviced companies will bring 170 thousand income, and operating profit will be 30 thousand rubles. An increase in the number of customers will lead to the need to expand the staff, and if there are too many contracts, additional equipment will have to be purchased.
When it comes to business process outsourcing, things are much simpler in most areas. The exception is such a complex complex as the provision of logistics services. In the modern Russian market, an erroneous understanding of logistics has developed, often it is understood as transportation and sometimes warehousing. In fact, logistics covers absolutely the entire production process from the purchase of raw materials to the receipt of finished products by the consumer. Logistics, properly implemented in the production process, can significantly reduce costs and increase the efficiency of the entire enterprise – real specialists can control the creation of a product, planning the entire work cycle and managing it for maximum productivity.
But its own logistics company, as well as a logistics outsourcer, requires large investments for its opening – after all, you need a staff of highly qualified specialists and significant capacities. Being a progressive field of human activity, logistics organizes such a system when any stage of the business process can be revised in favor of optimization. A good example is a warehouse, if you take over the storage of products of a serviced enterprise, you can only significantly reduce your own costs with the help of WMS (warehouse management system), while customers will agree to the cost that exists on the market; but the market is just moving away from traditional systems of organization. However, the budget of many start-up entrepreneurs is significantly cut, so it is best to start with simpler outsourcing businesses.
It is relatively easy to set up the work of external accounting. This will require an office in the business district of the city, the chief accountant and 3 people subordinate to him. Ideally, if you can find a professional auditor. Accounting is that integral part of any organization, the functioning of which is a big problem for many, especially small, firms. It is quite expensive to maintain your accountant, he must be a specialist in his field, but his activities in no way affect profits (meaning “white” accounting, “black” is not considered as financial fraud).
By renting an office for 30 thousand rubles and giving your employees the management of all customer reports, you can count on a constant influx of customers – the demand is very high. But in such a business it is dangerous to make at least one mistake – there are a lot of competitors, and customer dissatisfaction can cost reputation. Income directly depends on what forms of business entities you have to cooperate with, what kind of taxation they have and how much documentation you have to keep. The minimum order is 1 thousand rubles, this is the cost of one paper per month, but cooperation with one company can bring up to 30 thousand rubles if there are a lot of documents. However, this is only possible when working with very large firms that conduct a lot of diverse activities.
Accountants will also receive a fixed salary and a percentage of completed orders. The salary of the chief accountant will cost about 50 thousand rubles a month, his assistants – 25 each. Rent, salary and utility bills (5 thousand rubles) will cost 130 thousand rubles a month, while the profitability of the company depends only on the number of customers. As is clear from the calculations, there should be a lot of them.
The work of an outsourcing tax consulting company begins in approximately the same way; these two activities can be combined. In the case of legal protection, the prices for services are higher, but there are also slightly fewer customers; however, additional income can be assistance in opening and registering a business in general. HR and publishing services (the most frequent requests are related to the constant need for printing special complex documents and official translations) also have a similar model of work and organization. Outsourcing of transport services is organized like a transport company in general; It is simply pointless to specifically engage in outsourcing in transport transportation, since opening your own transport company is cost-effective under any type of contracts, no matter if they are long-term or one-time.
Outsourcing activity in trade, as a rule, retail, shows itself well. This can be seen most effectively in merchandising work. Keeping your own merchandisers is only advisable for companies with a wide range of products and a large number of outlets that need to be processed (in the case of stationary merchandising, the presence of an employee in a point should be justified, for example, by a high level of sales throughout the day). In the case of a small number of positions, the merchandiser performs his work quickly, receiving a relatively large salary for this. For a small enterprise, this will be an extra 15 thousand rubles a month. Merchandising outsourcing allows full use of human resources, the main thing is that employees do not work for competing firms.
The outsourcing of feedback through working with clients on the phone is now gaining popularity. The situation is similar to that in trade, it is expensive to maintain your operator, and at the same time, an employee can do nothing for half a day. Organizing your own call-center will help to keep all the operators who work on behalf of many firms busy with work.
Registration of such activities is possible for any form of business entities, but a limited liability company is still preferable. It is unlikely that large firms will take IP seriously in such important matters. In this case, the activity code in each case is assigned its own and depends on the main one that brings the main income. Outsourcing is possible not only in the above areas, in fact, you can adopt absolutely any process, the implementation of which can be carried out for a large number of enterprises at the same time. Outsourcing is a powerful business tool, as it reduces the costs of all market participants and allows enterprises to operate more efficiently, moreover, even hired labor in an outsourcing company, as a rule, pays more than in a regular company in the corresponding position.