According to America’s SBA (Small Business Association), about half of all small business startups fail in the first five years, and only about 50% make it to ten years. According to publications like Forbes, one of the top five reasons that entrepreneurs fail is simply – no website and no social media presence:
“…Polishing products and services until they shine brightly in the sunshine is a waste of money. Smart entrepreneurs get the word out early and often via all available media, especially digital media: if they cannot find you, they cannot buy you. [sic]”
Why is this so important?
In the U.S. alone, 88.5% of the population use the internet on a daily basis, and e-commerce accounted for $394 billion in 2016. When you consider this in relation to the global marketplace, it’s clear that online marketing isn’t just the key to success – it’s the key to survival.
What does this mean if you’re an entrepreneur, or heading up a new small business?
It means that a first-class online presence is critical, and a first-class presence consists of both a website as well as social media – both, not just one. So, a great website requires great design – and great social media requires quick turn-around time, consistency, and responsive management. The thing is – to get both you need top-notch online development talent. However, as a solo entrepreneur or small business owner located in the U.S., your ability to hire top website designers/developers can be limited by a couple of very significant factors.
First – the availability of IT designers and technicians is dwindling, thanks to rising demand and a lower number of students entering these fields. According to CyberSearch, IT and STEM occupations in the states are due to increase by 12% in the next few years, but it’s not clear that the current supply is going to meet that demand. In fact, there have been estimates that there could be as many as 1 million STEM and IT related positions that the U.S. won’t be able to fill in the next 10 years. This means that the available talent in America is more likely to be channeled into established Fortune 500 companies or large-scale clients, leaving smaller companies unable to compete.
Second, as a result of this limited availability, the cost of web development and/or social media management in the U.S. will continue to climb, which is more bad news. These services are already priced out of reach for many small businesses and many solo entrepreneurs.
This is why it’s important to pay attention to the seismic shift that’s happening in the world of online IT and website development offshore. China, India, and Pakistan are all producing IT professionals with a level of education, skill, and talent that’s comparable to anything found in Silicon Valley. More importantly, these top-notch IT professionals offer excellent quality at far more reasonable prices, and that means a business can either conserve capital – or focus it on other areas of concern.
The challenge is that business owners and entrepreneurs may be hesitant to go in this direction because it’s still a relatively new trend, and they’re either unfamiliar with the possibilities, or they’ve heard that sourcing their web development services offshore can be complicated. The idea of managing a design or development team at a distance may be intimidating for a company or CEO with little experience. But it’s important to consider that offshore developers are well aware that this can be an issue for clients, and are going to extreme lengths to offset their concerns by offering the kind of service, dependability, innovation, and price point that makes this option an excellent choice.
First, because economic growth and education are entwined and developing countries are hungry for economic opportunities, they are investing millions of dollars into IT and STEM education. This means that the major developing countries are now producing some of the top computer design and programming talent available today.
Second, the best offshore companies are making sure their personnel have excellent English skills; they understand the need to be able to offer IT professionals that can articulate complex, abstract ideas. In addition, these companies understand that the U.S. and Great Britain have rigorous business standards and a different approach to business etiquette and conduct, so they also focus training on differing cultural nuances and the level of expectations demanded of personnel.
Third, outsourcing online design, development, and trouble-shooting services to an overseas development company is an enormous advantage financially. Hiring a truly talented web developer or designer in the U.S. is simply out-of-reach for many companies, but hiring and working with an offshore team can provide the same quality and top results, for as much as a half to a third of the cost of similar services in the U.S.
Fourth, having an offshore development team to handle the launch and daily grind of social media and online management saves time, which – like money – is always at a premium. A new business takes a lot of energy to get off the ground, and while website design and online presence is vital, it can consume time needed to invest in the core elements of a business – its products or services. Statistics show that many young companies get bogged down in the logistics of time management, and underestimate just what it takes to get a website up and and keep it running.
Fifth, many young companies need flexibility, either in terms of time, money, and/or contractual commitments. When a company is in the critical testing stages, it may need or want either a short term relationship, or a development team that’s willing to shift gears quickly. Working with an offshore development company offers a company the freedom to pivot whenever necessary, and that’s an advantage for companies that may be experiencing rapid growth and/or expanding into new markets.
Finally, the time differential between countries means a team that works for you when you can’t. Offshore web resource development means faster delivery, quicker response, and a shorter turn-around time; they may even have rotating shifts of technicians. This is something that’s either difficult to find in the U.S., or completely out of the question financially. Working with a developer or a team that works for you whenever you need it saves valuable time, and can allow you to broaden your businesses scope and/or market more rapidly.
In short, long gone are the days when “cheaper” was a byword for substandard work. When you look at the benefits that offshoring offers, it’s clear that it can actually be the “leaner and meaner way to go.” As a solo entrepreneur or small company in the early stages of a new business, you can ensure your success by finding and partnering with an offshore development company that’s hungry for your business, and eager to give you the attention and services you won’t find elsewhere.
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