In my type of business — the directory business — there are many challenges and many things to think about. We need a critical mass, but how much mass is really desireable? How many service providers do we need in a particular area.
I used to try to write blog entries to please the masses. I am realizing that most people just don’t think, and don’t want to. They don’t want to improve or learn much either. They generally refuse to be professional, or reliable as well, although they almost always make it a point to claim to be professional and reliable. What I learned is that having these poor quality people is a liability on a directory, and trying to attract them on Twitter, search engines, blogs, etc., just isn’t a rewarding idea in the long run although I might get some clicks.
So, what does matter? Or, what does matter to me in any case? Quality people matter. The people on our directory who are engaging, interesting, communicative, funny, friendly, and serious about what they do are the type of people that companies want to outsource to. Of course these people are not merely people, they are generally heads of companies. Some are heads of small companies, while others have high positions in very large companies. The point is not how large their organization is, but how desireable they are to talk with and work with.
I think that if I had a much smaller directory, but had these very dynamic types that I described in the last paragraph, that my directory would be a lot better.
Skill level is another factor. I do not do data entry, and can not test them at their skill. I feel that my directory for outsourcing would be a lot better if I could find some metric to test how good various companies are at data entry. First we go through the ones who don’t pick up the phone, and then the ones who answer unprofessionally. But, finally, when we get a manager, we can see if we can get them talking about data entry. My strategy is open ended questions. I’ll leave it up to them. I’ll ask them to tell me as much as they can about the snags in data entry. I’ll just shut up and let them do the talking. If they make it sound intelligent, I’ll assume that they have some good skills and are paying attention. I’ll leave the rest of the metrics to other analytics.
Wish me luck! And — if you are the charismatic leader of a reliable outsourcing company — we want you on our directory. Start with a free listing!