(Editor’s note: Rankings based on mean scores in ten areas of risk as reported by The Brown-Wilson Group’s “2009: The Year of Outsourcing Dangerously”.)
- Bogota, Colombia
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Johannesburg, South Africa
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Kingston, Jamaica
- Delhi/Noida/Gurgaon, India
- Manila/Cebu/Makita, Philippines
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Mumbai, India
- Jerusalem, Israel
- Curitiba, Brazil
- Dalian, China
- Juarez, Mexico
- Brasilia, Brazil
- Chandigarh, India
- Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Quezon City, Philippines
- Accra, Ghana
- Pune, India
- Chennai, India
- Hanoi, Vietnam
- Bangalore, India
- Hyderabad, India
- Kolkata, India
Alternatively, you could outsource your freelance projects to a working parent in Leamington Spa
Thanks to http://www.cio.com
Posted via web from hiremyparents posterous
Sole proprietors and freelancers don’t like talking about money but need to develop ways to do it. The incidence of late payment has increased as the economy has worsened and the self-employed need to protect their business interests.
1. Make sure clients understand payment terms before the project starts
Clients may not be as focused on the payment terms as the service provider. Making sure that clients are clear about the terms by talking them through up front – including discussion about exactly what is covered and when payment will be expected – sets the project up for success. Assuming the client understands everything without discussion may result in delay or other nasty surprises and being clear about money is easier at the start of a project than half way through.
2. Insist on advance deposits or retainers
Taking an advance deposit or retainer payment against a certain number of hours has two benefits. Firstly, it ensures that the client is serious about committing to the work at this time. Secondly, if the project goes south the freelancer or sole proprietor is at least covered for the initial portion of work completed. Ideally payment terms should be structured to allow for interim payments at agreed milestones during the project. If the interim invoice is not paid, the service provider can stop work on the project and protect herself that way.
3. Call clients a day or so before payment is due
Sometimes people get busy or disorganized. Calling up a client with a friendly reminder that the invoice due date is approaching can be an effective way to prompt them to action.
4. Follow up quickly on late payment
If an invoice goes unpaid,following up quickly is the best approach. The initial follow up should assume that there is some minor delay, forgetfulness or process issue at the client’s end. Further follow ups should take a stronger line.
5. Offer options to co-operative clients
The economy is affecting everyone. Sometimes clients set out in good faith but find themselves in more difficult cash flow circumstances than they expected. A payment plan, where the invoice is broken down into smaller monthly payments, for instance, may be a good option for clients in this situation . This makes the freelancer look professional and problem-solving, helps out clients who appreciate working with providers who show willing to be flexible and ensures that the freelancer sees payment in some form.
As these tips demonstrate, the most important thing for freelancers, the self-employed and small businesses is to make it as easy as possible for clients to do what you need them to do by being clear and direct.
Posted via web from hiremyparents posterous
What you get back isn’t work. It’s hawkers desperately trying to sell you their latest way of making you rich. Cold-calling for commission, flogging perfume door to door, sitting by a phone all day as a ‘virtual assistant’. They’re not jobs, they’re ideal ways of putting you into a coma as your life slowly slides by.
If you have skills find a job or a project suited to those skills. Don’t sell your soul to something you have absolutely no interest in just to satisfy that need to spend more time at home for kids or lifestyle.
Do what you do but do it from home -
hiremyparents.com – flexible working for parents and outsourced professionals for companies
Since the Industrial Revolution, companies have grappled with how they can exploit their competitive advantage to increase their markets and their profits. The model for most of the 20th century was a large integrated company that can â€œown, manage, and directly controlâ€ its assets. In the 1950s and 1960s, the rallying cry was diversification to broaden corporate bases and take advantage of economies of scale. By diversifying, companies expected to protect profits, even though expansion required multiple layers of management. Subsequently, organizations attempting to compete globally in the 1970s and 1980s were handicapped by a lack of agility that resulted from bloated management structures. To increase their flexibility and creativity, many large companies developed a new strategy of focusing on their core business, which required identifying critical processes and deciding which could be outsourced.
Initial stages of evolution
Outsourcing was not formally identified as a business strategy until 1989. However, most organizations were not totally self-sufficient; they outsourced those functions for which they had no competency internally. Publishers, for example, have often purchased composition, printing, and fulfillment services. The use of external suppliers for these essential but ancillary services might be termed the baseline stage in the evolution of outsourcing. Outsourcing support services is the next stage. In the 1990s, as organizations began to focus more on cost-saving measures, they started to outsource those functions necessary to run a company but not related specifically to the core business. Managers contracted with emerging service companies to deliver accounting, human resources, data processing, internal mail distribution, security, plant maintenance, and the like as a matter of â€œgood housekeepingâ€. Outsourcing components to affect cost savings in key functions is yet another stage as managers seek to improve their finances.
The current stage in the evolution of outsourcing is the development of strategic partnerships. Until recently it had been axiomatic that no organization would outsource core competencies, those functions that give the company a strategic advantage or make it unique. Often a core competency is also defined as any function that gets close to customers. In the 1990s, outsourcing some core functions may be good strategy, not anathema. For example, some organizations outsource customer service, precisely because it is so important.
Eastman Kodakâ€™s decision to outsource the information technology systems that undergird its business was considered revolutionary in 1989, but it was actually the result of rethinking what their business was about. They were quickly followed by dozens of major corporations whose managers had determined it was not necessary to own the technology to get access to information they needed. The focus today is less on ownership and more on developing strategic partnerships to bring about enhanced results. Consequently, organizations are likely to select outsourcing more on the basis of who can deliver more effective results for a specific function than on whether the function is core or commodity.
What is outsourcing
Outsourcing can be defined as â€œthe strategic use of outside resources to perform activities traditionally handled by internal staff and resourcesâ€. Sometimes known also as â€œfacilities managementâ€, outsourcing is a strategy by which an organization contracts out major functions to specialized and efficient service providers, who become valued business partners. Companies have always hired contractors for particular types of work, or to level-off peaks and troughs in their workload, and have formed long-term relationships with firms whose capabilities complement or supplement their own. However, the difference between simply supplementing resources by â€œsubcontractingâ€ and actual outsourcing, is that the latter involves substantial restructuring of particular business activities including, often, the transfer of staff from a host company to a specialist, usually smaller, company with the required core competencies.
Why do companies outsource
Here are some common reasons:
*Reduce and control operating costs
*Improve host company focus
*Gain access to world-class capabilities
*Free internal resources for other purposes
*A function is time-consuming to manage or is out of control
*Insufficient resources are available internally
*Share risks with a partner company
In earlier periods, cost or headcount reduction were the most common reasons to outsource. In today’s world the drivers are often more strategic, and focus on carrying out core value-adding activities in-house where an organization can best utilize its own core competencies.
Main factors influencing successful outsourcing
The critical areas for a successful outsourcing program as identified are:
*Understanding company goals and objectives
*A strategic vision and plan
*Selecting the right vendor
*Ongoing management of the relationships
*A properly structured contract
*Open communication with affected individual/groups
*Senior executive support and involvement
*Careful attention to personnel issues
*Short-term financial justification
There are four main aspects to a typical outsourcing program:
At the start of any outsourcing program, there are a variety of ideas and opinions about the purpose and scope of the program, what the final result of the program will be, and how the program will be carried out. The Program Initiation Stage is concerned with taking these ideas and intentions and documenting them to form the basis of a draft contract
Service Implementation covers the activities required to take these ideas and intentions and develop them into a formal, planned outsourcing program and to make the transition to the outsourced service. Specifically these activities are:
*Defining the transition project
*Defining the Service Level Agreement (SLA)
*Defining service reporting
*Implementing and handing over the service
*Implementing service management procedures
During the handâ€“over phase it is imperative that continuity of service is maintained at all times, that there is no reduction in the quality of the delivery and that timescales and deadlines are not compromised.
The draft contract produced at the Initiation stage is generally amended during negotiations and the final Contract is produced on completion of the negotiation cycle.
In order to gain maximum benefit, the program should go through a formal close down. There is no point in continuing to argue lost causes once irrevocable decisions have been taken. Staff and companies alike need to accept the new situation and move forward. However, there will be a lot of information generated during the life of the program, and this will have been stored with varying degrees of formality by the team members. This information needs to be formally filed away for future reference.
How to decide whether to outsource
There are no simple criteria to conduct an outsourcing versus in-house analysis. The benefits associated with outsourcing are numerous, and one should consider each project on its individual merits. Ongoing operational costs that may be avoided by outsourcing are also a consideration. In a nut shell, outsourcing allows organizations to be more efficient, flexible, and effective, while often reducing costs.
Some of the top advantages brought by outsourcing include the following:
*Acceleration of projects and quicker time to market
*High caliber professionals that hit the ground running
*Ability to tap into best practices
*Knowledge transfer to permanent staff
*Cost-effective and predictable expenditures
*Access to the flexibility and creativity of experienced problem solvers
*Resource and core competency focus
great piece by Alice Seba http://www.smallbusinessbranding.com/1130/outsourcing-is-a-small-business-owners-best-friend/