So you want to start a BPO company today?
Congratulations! You just joined another 20000 people who want to start a BPO, every single day.
I’m writing this post not to discourage you from starting a BPO but I hope to be of service to you with proper facts and reasoning.
This blog shows you how to market your BPO and get the first clients.
This article is targeted to entrepreneurs and business owners who have knowledge of the outsourcing, BPO, KPO industry.
Don’t read this if you want to
- Learn what is outsourcing
- Know what a BPO is
- Know what a KPO is
- Invest your idle money into a venture
- Expect insane returns after starting a BPO
- Expect returns within a year or two
(Well, to be helpful BPO and KPO stands for business process outsourcing and knowledge process outsourcing)
Who is qualified to start a BPO today
- If you have spent at least 6 years in middle management of a BPO, call centre or a KPO
- If you are an investor in IT services, tech based startups
- If you are from the senior management or C level category IT or IT enabled services ( ITES )
- You don’t have credible experience of either working or running a BPO, then you should at least be able to gather a great team of BPO professionals who can run it for you
- If you are a serious investor and have a blueprint ready including lots of patience
- If you have a horizon of 3 to 5 years to grow a BPO and not only start a BPO
If you fall in any of the categories above then read further.
So what does it take to start a BPO today?
Knowledge of the IT BPO industry
Do you come from this industry i.e. BPO KPO call centres, contact centers, with experience in either operations or sales?
You should have spent a considerable amount of time in the front end or back end of running a BPO company.
People who can successfully run a new BPO business are mainly from-
- Sales and marketing
- Strong P&L knowledge
- Strategy and consulting
Knowledge of geographies
You should know how an Indian outsourcing market differs from that of Philippines, Poland , Ireland and Costa Rica.
What is labour and price arbitrage?
Taxation and special incentives to start a BPO in a geography.
Have the awareness of what’s happening around you in this industry.
Do you have Gartner, Horses for sources, Nelson Hall on your favourite bookmarks?
Should you start a healthcare KPO or stick to USA based outbound telecalling?
Is the automation from Automation Anywhere, UIpath and Blueprism going to affect your business in the short term?
Whose pricing is better — India or Sri lanka?
You should have a roadmap laid out for starting and running for 3 years.
I repeat its 3 years. Anything less than this time period is a waste of your time and money.
All the nitty gritty of running a business taking care of working capital and exigencies are sorted.
The biggest investment will be on people.
The right C level, senior management and mid level management with appropriate domain expertise and skills will form your Core team.
The guys on the production floor will be the muscle of your organisation.
Hiring them is a separate subject altogether.
Example, if you are looking to get into the publishing back office services, you need to ensure a stellar CEO or COO.
A strong VP of Sales, Project head and reliable team leaders.
Once you are able to hire this core team, you will now move to the base of operations or the muscle.
Sales and business development
Sales is the DJ to your party; without which there isn’t much life to your party.
Have the right network to hire or poach great sales and BD professionals from the market.
Or get experience sales consultants to get business for your BPO.
Sales people who know the pulse of the industry, geography, pricing and have strong connections with more than 10 years experience should lead your sales function.
You should expect your sales lead to guide you on strategies, innovation and expansion.
Their job will be to ensure a strong pipeline of leads, customers and connections to take your BPO business ahead.
People with 3 to 8 years should be the sales force on the ground, making presentations, closing leads and responding to RFPs.
Well, I don’t intend to glorify and dishearten BPO business owners on the rampant fraud and non genuine so-called-consultants.
When should you go for credible sales consultants?
- If you can’t solve the problem in-house
- You have a specific problem that you want limited engagement with a consultant
- If the consultant is bringing a game changing opportunity
- The consultant can open doors to new ideas, connections and geographies.
Often, sales consultants play the role of your VP of sales however from outside, giving directions and strategies to your sales team.
You can find such people of LinkedIn, personal network and freelancing sites.
So here is your check list of starting a new BPO business.
- You should have strong experience from within the industry
- Spot trends happening in the BPO KPO industry
- Invest and hold on for minimum 3 years
- Invest on great people at all levels
- Hire the best salespeople or
- Hire sales consultants
Karmesh, is a Side Hustling Dad, Intrapreneur, author and a blogger on unorthodox sales strategies for tech companies. Lives in Mumbai, loves food, fast bikes and cars.
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