Does Business Environment Affect Outsourcing?

Sure it does! As the outsourcing industry grows in leaps and bounds, several hard truths about what makes a location sell come to the forefront. Experts watching the pace of this growth agree that the key to maintaining and enhancing long term competitiveness lies in skills development, infrastructure investment, and regulatory environment – not in attempts to control wages. As services move up the value chain, a dramatic shift in cost advantages is seen. Both leading offshore service locations, India and China which up till now have attributed their success to people and skills availability at competitive costs, are gradually waking up to the sleeping tabby in their corridors – business environment. Several ongoing surveys to gauge consistent improvements regarding this important parameter indicate similar results. Ease of doing business indicates how favorable the business environment is for operating businesses. For offshore firms which rely on syndicated data to provide them with pointers for choosing lucrative outsourcing locations, a poor review can spell disaster.

The Doing Business 2008 report that used a variety of indicators each carrying the same weight age attempts to understand how favorable the business environment is for the operation of business at a certain location. First place goes to Singapore, which ranked the highest in this study when it came to employing workers, trading across borders, protecting investors, paying taxes, and even closing a business. Both New Zealand and the U.S., ranking second and third respectively, scored low where facilitating business easily was concerned. Reflecting similar findings, the Global Service Location Index 2007, compiled by A.T. Kearney, states that developed countries like the U.S., Ireland, Canada, Germany, France and Singapore offer the best business environments to work in. Countries like India, China and Brazil appear much lower down on both these surveys. This indicates that despite a large talent pool and wage-cost advantages, unless these countries are successful in evolving their business environments, their overall popularity will continue to flounder. However, this is easier said than done. In developing nations that still grapple with basic infrastructure, and social and cultural challenges, it is a prerequisite of the government to nourish their economies with the fruits of increasing productivity experienced over the last decade or so.

It is seen that, despite inflated wage costs, those top ranked in the business environment index continue to be the preferred choice for the extreme high end services, although they do not offer cost advantages. Among these are, of course, the U.S. and Canada, both of which have large populations to fall back on which makes them high up on the people and skills index. However, for most entrepreneurs and individuals who operate with relatively lower budgets, there is a tendency to prefer outsourcing to locations where the wage-cost advantage is more prominent. This trend has worked in the favor of Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa in the past. But the emerging reality in outsourcing trends clearly reveals a shift towards those locations that can offer a combination of all three: financial attractiveness, talent pool, and favorable business environment. India and China lead in the first two parameters, and stand to gain if they are able to offer the last.

This is because strengthening businesses environments spells stability for an outsourcing firm and is one of the most desirable characteristics that a probable business location can offer.

With services moving up the value chain, there is greater demand for strategic services that inevitably push up costs. If locations leading in cost advantages and talent pool are able to upgrade working conditions with greater investments in high technology, infrastructure and policy reforms, their services could be leveraged to push up profit margins.

Increasingly, services like HR functions and management of suppliers is being outsourced by major firms in the developed world. This wave is an outcome of the fact that many businesses today spill over beyond geographical boundaries, making relationship management in the value chain an important parameter for the success of the business. VA firms that are capable of handling this strategic service stand to gain much if they are able to offer greater ease in doing business.

Branding Your Business Environment

You have taken the time to build a solid brand known to your colleagues and your target audience. Your brand message is clear, your brand communications are consistent and you have even created an image that supports your brand. Through hard work, you have built a great reputation and have become the “go to” person in your field. Except, there is one problem, you overlooked how important it is to brand your work environment. When clients come to your office, they walk in a no-frills, ordinary room with 4 walls, a desk, chair and a phone. Even though you are the best in your industry – you still have old second-hand furniture in your lobby.

Your work environment should affirm your brand.

If you have branded yourself to be the “sports doctor” then it should be clear by sports memorabilia and little league plaques hanging on the wall and EPSN playing on the T.V. in the waiting room.

A restaurant that promotes itself as having the freshest seafood in town, should be sparkling clean and have a fish tank in the front waiting area.

Imagine walking in a nail salon that brands itself to be a clean – sanctuary like environment. Except when you walk in, you hear an annoying crunch with every step you take because of all the nail clippings on the floor. What would something like that do for your brand?

A perfect example of how a business environment supports its brand is a spa/ salon that I visited the other day. They brand themselves as a destination where men and women can relax and receive the royal treatment. The spa was clean and nicely decorated with earth tones and modern furniture. They have water fountains and soft music playing in the background which gives the place a serene feeling. It was also interesting because the hair salon area did not have that processed hair smell; it actually smelled nice which helped to make you relax.

Overall, when you build a brand and create an image, people will naturally have expectations about how your business will operate and how it will look. Take the time to make sure that your business environment exceeds expectations and promotes the brand that you created.

Business Consulting – Using a Consultant For Goal Setting in the Business Environment

In the area of business consulting, goal-setting theory is the most useful in predicting behavior in the business environment. Most business professionals believe that people who intentionally set goals for themselves and focus their behavior to accomplish their goals tend to be more successful. A basis for motivation and directing behavior are the two functions of goals.

You may possibly know that within your past work experiences, a goal you set for yourself was usually accomplished after making a specific goal, a detailed plan to achieve that goal, and following the plan. For example, when you have needed to have employees or contractors prepare for a specific business project, you possibly made a plan for how long to prepare and determine the skills needed to complete the project successfully, when to practice the skills, which skills to practice, and a practice assessment to measure their knowledge and keep track of their progress.

Research into business consulting has found that when a goal is more specific, the individual’s effort is more deliberate and the behavior is better directed and they are business environment. Receiving feedback about performance is very important. This shows the person whether or not they should work harder or stay at the same pace. As mentioned earlier, when giving practice assessments to the employees or contract workers, the results would be your feedback to let you know if a needed to work harder in preparing for a successful project completion.

Goal setting is effective in groups as well. It can be difficult to achieve at times because the overall success of the group depends on more than just an individual member. For example, you may possibly work in a business environment that requires a lot of group work and culminates in a group project that requires team building. If some of the team members do not carry their weight, the group will not be as successful. Each member in the group needs to have clearly, defined roles.

People do not make a conscious decision of dedicating themselves to be a failure. But, people can fall into this mindset if they do not set certain goals for themselves. When people do not meet their stated goals, then the goals should be revised. Business research shows that the goal-setting theory is one of the most legitimate and practiced theories of motivation in the business setting.

If you are out to increase the effectiveness of your online exposure and attract prospective online customers, you owe it to yourself and the financial future of your business to learn everything you can about effectively using a business consultant to facilitate company growth.

Do you want to increase the effectiveness of your online marketing techniques to dramatically grow your bottom line?