E-Business Alberta | The Alberta E-Future Centre blog
E-Business Alberta | The Alberta E-Future Centre blog


To Outsource, or Not to Outsource

The popularity of drop shipping among small retailers proves that small businesses are starting to understand the benefits of outsourcing. Drop shipping can, on the other hand, sometimes cut into potential profits by reducing margins and add costs such as coordinating customer service with the drop shipper. Other forms of outsourcing may include web development, payment processing, tech support, and customer services. (Non-exhaustive list)

Is outsourcing the right choice for you? That is a multipart question that depends on what you are outsourcing, and what your capabilities are.

Have a Plan
Each and every small business is different, but one common thread that should be found in any enterprise is a sound business plan. In your plan the SWOT analysis, and definition of your competitive advantage, will give you a strong indication of which elements of your e-business strategy should be outsourced, if any.

Research Your Options
Outsourcing can be a very delicate task. Many outsourced call centers in India found that they came under harsh criticism from the American public because they spoke English with an accent difficult to understand. This is just one of the many things that can go wrong if you have not adequately researched the consequences of outsourcing. One of the key factors to examine is the loss of control that you will experience in operations that are outsourced.

Who do you Trust?
Choosing your e-business partners is an essential step in effective outsourcing. Trust will be a key element as you will be giving a third party control over an important part of your business. It is a good idea to talk to clients of the prospective company in order to find out if it is trustworthy.

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