Outsourcing Services-How to Get What You Need

As outsourcing as grown, the number of outsourcing services has expanded with it. These services can offer a lot of advantages to businesses with an outsourcing strategy that know what to look for.

Benefits of outsourcing
There are a lot of benefits of outsourcing. Some of these include:

  • The ability to utilize all the training and capital investments that the outsourcing service has made.
  • Greater efficiency and return on investment.
  • Projects that are not going as planned can be dropped more easily since there is less of a political or emotional attachment to them.
  • Greater flexibility and the ability to concentrate more on the core business.
  • Process improvements that come with increased specialization.

Downsides of outsourcing services
Of course, there are also downsides to using outsourcing services. These include:

  • Loss of control
  • Possible need to share trade secrets
  • Having to deal with different time zones, cultures and possibly legal environments.

All of this underscores the need to thoroughly understand outsourcing before undertaking it. An outsourcing service needs to be chosen just as carefully, if not more, than an employee or another partner would be chosen.

Points to consider when choosing an outsourcing provider
Notability and references: It is usually not a good idea to go with an untested and unknown firm. Important projects should always go to a notable firm that can provide references. In addition, make sure they are financially stable and can provide bank records to that effect.

  • Experience: One of the advantages of outsourcing is the ability to take advantage of the experience of a firm that is specialized in a task, and thus avoid the mistakes that come from doing a process in house. Only choose companies with expertise in the field.
  • Monitoring and reports: Be it onsite or other means, the outsourcing service needs to provide ways for work to be closely monitored and to furnish reports on their progress.
  • Sub-outsourcing: Be sure to go directly to the source and never with a firm that will in turn sub-outsource their projects.
  • Comparison matrix: To best compare the offers from different outsourcers and get the best price, create some type of comparison matrix that breaks down the various services provided and the costs.

Types of outsourcing services
Most major outsourcing falls into one of the following categories:

  • Manufacturing outsourcing: Being something that requires very specialized equipment and skills, manufacturing has long been outsourced by many companies.
  • Knowledge process outsourcing (KTO): This involves the outsourcing of knowledge intensive processes. This can include research and development, data analysis and network management.
  • Business process outsourcing (BPO): This type of outsourcing has really taken off in recent years. It involves the contracting of a third party to perform an entire business process. This can be anything from human resources to accounting.

Some common BPO outsourcing services
While outsourcing services cover everything from health administration to infrastructure and supply chain, some of the most sought after BPO services are below.

Payroll outsourcing
This type of outsourcing includes data entry, updates, tax filing, summary reports and payslip processing. One special advantage of payroll outsourcing is the tax guarantee most providers offer. They will take responsibility for any IRS penalties from mistakes made (an all too common occurrence for small businesses).

This form of outsourcing, like many others, requires that the provider stays on top of legal requirements and has software to transmit data securely.

Human resource outsourcing
These services will handle compliance with government HR audits, handbooks and other requirements. They will also take care of employee relations and can administer employee benefits programs.

With so much to keep up with, outsourcing human relations is one of the best ways to free up a company’s resources for its core mission while giving employee performance better attention.

Software outsourcing
With software as complicated as it is, digital products that can easily be transmitted and so many good coders spread across the planet, software outsourcing is very popular. See the following advice to avoid some of the mistakes people make in software outsourcing: hiring programmers.

Web design and SEO
As with software outsourcing, web design and search engine optimization are also services that are very suited for outsourcing.

Outsourcing services for everyone
Keep in mind that technology now makes it possible for anyone to outsource from anywhere in the world, and it is not just for businesses outsourcing processes. See Elancer, for more information on hiring Freelancers or go directly to Freelancer and find your outsourcer today.

For larger outsourcing projects
It Match Online is one resource to help larger organizations find the outsourcing services they need.

How to Use Doba for Drop Shipping Profits

Drop shipping is a popular method of making money online that has a number of advantages over other types of strategies. When a marketer can sell their own product instead of promoting a product as an affiliate, it allows them to earn more profit from each sale. It can be both expensive and risky to buy products at wholesale prices to resell, but the drop ship strategy allows for low start-up costs and higher profit potential.

Simplify Drop Shipping With Doba

One of the biggest downsides to running a drop shipping business is finding the best product distributors, suppliers, or manufacturers. Fortunately, a company called Doba is available that connects drop shippers with suppliers of a wide variety of goods. They also have quite a few other services that give marketers an easy way to find new products, connect their websites to Doba, and even directly publish sales through Doba to various online retailers.

When someone joins Doba, they get immediate access to a huge database of product listings. This database can be searched to find new products or brands to promote. Once products are selected, they can be directly sold to customers. The payment is collected directly from the customer, then an order is placed with the supplier through Doba to have it automatically delivered. A supplier only gets paid after a customer has already paid the drop shipper.

One of the best benefits to selling products with drop shipping is the freedom to set product selling prices. Doba’s suppliers offer each product at a specific wholesale price, so drop shippers get to choose their profit levels. Some people prefer to sell at low profit margins to increase sales volume, while others may prefer to sell for high profits even if it means fewer sales overall. The good news is that Doba allows the drop shipping marketers to choose how they want to operate their business.

The bad news about Doba is that they do have a monthly fee required to be a drop shipper, but they do offer a free trial program. The monthly fee can be well worth it considering the income that can be made with this site. By taking advantage of this free trial, many marketers are actually able to make money with Doba before the first payment is due. Since sales go directly to the marketers and not the suppliers, their trial lets people put money in their pockets fast without an initial investment.

14 Day Free Trial from Doba

How to Sell Drop Shipping Products
There are a lot of different ways to sell products as a drop shipper. The obvious method is to create a website to sell the products. Doba allows for easy product integration with a wide variety of website shopping carts, so they have made this strategy a cinch to use. There are also other methods that don’t require the drop shipper to have their own website.

Products can be quickly published as new eBay auctions. Doba is actually one of a handful of companies that are members of the eBay Certified Service Provider Program, which boosts confidence for both marketers and customers in their trustworthy business. Marketers can attract a lot of free, targeted traffic by selling their products through eBay.

Other options of auto-publishing include Amazon. The main thing to keep in mind with using Doba and Amazon is that it is possible that a supplier could require a payment for an order before Amazon actually pays the drop shipper. Amazon does make these payments faster and more frequently than their affiliate payments, but there can sometimes be a delay of up to two weeks to actually receive the funds.

Succeeding with Doba Drop Shipping
The main keys to succeeding with Doba’s drop ship program are to diversify sales outlets to increase exposure, build name loyalty and recognition, and to competitively price products while maintaining a profit. Proper attention to each of these areas is extremely important for any drop shipper, but they especially apply to beginners.

One of the recommended ways to diversify sales outlets from the beginning is to start with a home base for the business. A website with a dedicated domain name works best for this purpose. This allows the business to brand itself and bring in sales from other traffic sources. It also gives loyal customers a place to go to place future orders without the marketer having to pay fees to sell through other websites.

Establishing Customer Loyalty and Trust
After building a website to use as the base of operations for a business, this website can then be promoted through sales made on other websites. By simply referencing a company brand name, a website, and a customer support email address to a new customer when they order, that customer will often make additional purchases from the website in the future. This repeat business helps to build customer trust and loyalty, which makes it much easier to complete more sales with less effort.

An online presence can also be established in the business niche to build customer loyalty and trust. This can be done by offering free articles on the business website, running a free newsletter with helpful information related to the niche, or even branching out into other websites to reach new customers. Almost any kind of social media website can be used for this purpose. By simply talking about the niche or the products being sold, traffic can be drawn from these sites to the business site to increase sales.

Competitive Product Pricing
Although there is a huge selection of products available through Doba, it is very important that drop shippers do not blindly select products to promote. Once the wholesale price of an item is determined, the marketer will need to search the internet to find out how much the competitors are selling it for. When sales are being made through a dedicated website for the business, prices may actually be able to be more flexible, but competitor pricing will have a big impact on sales through eBay and Amazon.

When multiple people are selling the same product through the same online retail outlet, there are only two factors that people will use to pick which one to buy. The first is price, which can be direct pricing and also shipping costs. If a drop shipper has the lowest product price but their shipping costs are higher than a competitor, then more sales may go to the competitor based on the total sales price.

The other factor is reputation. A more established seller is generally considered more trustworthy and reviews can often be found for past sales to verify their reliability. For this reason, trusted, established sellers can sometimes sell their products for higher profits. With this knowledge, a new drop shipper can better determine if there is room for them to compete with a particular product.

The main key is to ensure that pricing factors in payment and sometimes commission fees. Receiving a direct payment through PayPal will have a fee removed from the amount received. Sites like eBay and Amazon will also take a fee for each item sold, which is often based on a percentage of the selling price.

Find the Right Online Payment Services

In an interconnected world of sourcing and outsourcing, online payment services become increasingly critical. Be it payment for manufacturing services, China wholesale products or freelancing services, everyone needs to send money online and know the best payment services.

Payments for manufacturing services
For large transactions to include businesses placing significant orders with overseas factories, payment is generally made with a commercial letter of credit. While letters of credit will require more fees that other methods of payment, they offer guarantees to both buyers and sellers of goods that make international commerce easier and have long been in use.

Larger payments that do not require the guarantees of a commercial letter of credit are generally made by international money transfers.  These ACH transfers are efficient for sending payment from one bank account to another, be it for domestic or international payments. One’s regular bank is usually the best place to go when in need of either of the above transactions.

Online payment services
For quick, easy and secure online payments, there are a number of online payment services and methods. These services are usually the best way to go for commercial payments that are not too large or when sending money to individuals. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Money left in accounts at these services is generally not covered by deposit insurance as it is when deposited at banks.
  • Most are not regulated by the same financial rules that banks must follow.
  • There will be limits as to the size of the transactions that can be carried out.
  • Online payment services have been known to suddenly freeze or cancel the accounts of those they suspect of fraud. Recovering the funds in these cases can take time.
  • There will be limits as to what countries it is possible to send or receive money from.
  • It is important to carefully protect one’s login information or the account could be drained by thieves.

On the positive side, online payment services:

  • Are cheaper alternatives to sending money by bank transfer.
  • Make it very easy to send money to another person or business online and often do not require more than a few clicks of a mouse.
  • Often offer escrow and other services that can be used to protect both the buyer and seller.
  • Scheduled payments and other services that may not be offered at a local bank are also available.
  • They sometimes offer merchant accounts and ways to accept payment that can be used by those doing business online.

The largest online payment services include:
PayPal: Being the biggest online payment service, it offers a lot but has its detractors. Everything from sending money to a friend to receiving online payments through for an ecommerce site can be done with PayPal. It offers easy ways to accept credit card and e-check payments, and money can be added from a bank account for free. There are various fees depending on the type of account and payment.  Generally, services that require fees start at about a .30 cent fixed fee plus a percentage on the total amount of around 2.9%, depending on the transaction. Bad customer service has always been a major complaint with PayPal.

MoneyBookers: MoneyBookers offers an email payment service similar to PayPal with comparable fees. Based and regulated in the UK, it requires registration and verification when creating an account (although the recipient does not require an account). It has a lot of users and can be used to send payments to many countries.

AlertPay: Another service that allows money to be sent via email, it is new in the field but growing fast. It has three levels of membership: personal accounts, premium accounts and secured accounts. While some transactions are free, the fees rise with the account level. It allows money to be sent to non-members if they register (this is free).

Obopay: This service is geared for mobile phones and works on most mobile platforms. Customers with accounts can add money with credit or debit cards as well as bank transfers. Based in California, it also has operations in India.

iKobo: Since it allows people to send and receive money in 170 countries around the world, this service is very international. A first-time receiver is sent a prepaid Visa card by FedEx that can be used at their network of over one million ATMS around the world. After that, the sender can transmit money from debt or credit card to the receiver’s Visa card at anytime. There are various fees for using the service and daily limits on what can be spent or withdrawn on the Visa cards.

Western Uniion and MoneyGram: These services work in similar ways and are not the same as ETF transfers done between financial institutions (see international money transfers). If the sender wants to use them as an online payment service, they must first set up an account and transfer money to it. The sender will then choose a payment option. The receiver will be notified of the transfer and must go to the nearest agent (both services have agents internationally), show some identification and pick up the funds.

Xoom Money Transfer: Another relatively new service, it has gained in popularity because of its flexibility and reasonable rates. Xoom accounts can be funded by bank transfer, PayPal or credit card. Money can be sent to an email address, and the receivers can have the funds deposited directly into their bank accounts or opt for cash pickup and even home delivery in some places. The service is international but limited as to the countries one can send to.