In real life, growth is partly in your control and partly based on luck, and market conditions. What I learned from looking around is that most companies don’t grow because they have a failed growth strategy. Here are some simple ideas that can help your outsourcing business or offshoring business take off!
(1) Have labor resources
To attract new clients, you need to have some sort of exposure such as a well promoted web site, advertisements, or agents. But, if you don’t have the labor resources to get work done, then you will lose your new client as quickly as you got them. So many American companies are so stupid this way. They go to great efforts to gain new clients, and then don’t fulfill deadlines and lose the client within 30-90 days. Gaining new clients is hard, not to mention expensive. Make sure you retain them. Now, having labor resources is not the same as having quality labor resources. If your workers are all incompetent, that is even worse than not having resources at all. If not all of your staff is smart, make sure that the few who are smart, are regularly watching and inspecting the no-so-smart people’s work like clockwork. Otherwise you can not retain your clients. Having labor resources is key, but they need to be well managed too, otherwise you can not grow your business. Unfortunately, having more labor than you have clients means that you will be paying salaries for people who are not always busy. That is the cost you have to pay for growth.
(2) Give it away?
I just read a blog about a very successful African American. He was asked how he became successful. He responded that he had popular products and just gave them away in the beginning. He was not greedy for money. He gave lots of samples and free stuff to others, and gained the favorable opinion of many future clients. If you give something of quality away, people will get to know you and your company. Most people prefer to do business with someone they know. So, if they can get to know you for free, you will have a very fast way of acquiring clients — at a cost to you. But, how much is the cost to you if you give a little away to qualified prospects? I would screen them to see if they are worth giving a free lunch. If they seem like they have a good chance of being long term clients, then give them something for free, or at least give them some very flexible terms in the beginning. Most companies alienate prospective clients simply by being to rigid in their contracts and terms.
(3) Have a branch office in America
Many Indian software companies and companies from Belarus have an office somewhere in America. This means they are on the same time zone as prospective American clients. It also means that you have an American phone number, and people who speak good English. Americans will trust you more if you have one of your feet on American soil. Having an American office comes at a huge cost, but it can result in fast growth of your operation too. If you can’t afford an office, you can start out with an independent agent who gets a referral fee for introducing business to you.
(4) Have a well optimized website.
Many companies particularly in Gujarat show up all around the world. If you need a programmer in New York, Moscow, or Canada, companies in Gujarat will show up. If you want to get clients, you need to be visible wherever people are looking. If people find you everywhere, they will remember your company name.
(5) Do overflow work for American companies
Most companies in America have a labor shortage. It is hard to find good help in America these days. Many companies might be willing to use your services if you offer very reliable services at good prices. You can get large quantities of work fast this way. But, don’t screw up, otherwise you lose your relationship permanently. Watch your quality control, because you ruin their reputation if your staff makes any mistakes.
(6) Call people with websites
Have someone who is smooth talking call people with websites around the world who speak your language. Those website owners might need database programming or web design. If you get to know them without trying to push your service down their throat, they might not mind talking to you. A pushy salesman will get hung up on. But, if you just call to talk about what their needs are without being aggressive or trying to sell them anything on the first phone call, you might win their affection. Listening is more important than talking on these types of phone calls, and remember to avoid being desperate. You are there to casually chat and see if you can help them — don’t behave as if you are begging for a job. And remember, a little small talk goes a long way with Americans!
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