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Information Technology 6.3. Outsourcing Information Technology: Marketplaces and Job Boards

Information Technology 6.3. Outsourcing Information Technology: Marketplaces and Job Boards

While an outsource directory gives you access to IT outsource firms, your firm may only require a one-off project, such as a computer program or database. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, you may require a company or just a freelancer working out of his mother’s house. There are two alternatives open [...]

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Back Office 5.14. Online Shipping and Mailing Services

Back Office 5.14. Online Shipping and Mailing Services

No. You cannot really ship and mail virtually. But you can come pretty close. All the major shipping and mailing services offer a host of tools for saving you time and money preparing mail and packages. We provide the most useful of these services and their online tools. 5.14.1. USPS (United States Postal Service) http://www.usps.com [...]

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Back Office 5.13. Call Centers

Back Office 5.13. Call Centers

So, what exactly is a “call center”? Well, it depends on who’s doing the talking. In its most general usage, a call center is any centralized office―outsourced or not―for inbound and outbound calls. Some firms use “call center” to specifically refer to inbound calls; many use it to describe outbound call facilities, such as telemarketing [...]

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Back Office 5.12. Customer Support

Back Office 5.12. Customer Support

Customer support is a very specialized communications fulfillment function that involves fielding customer questions, complaints, and inquiries. Customer support services require a much more intimate working knowledge of your services or products than telephone reception. Why would you require customer support? You are selling a product to many customers―you need a customer support service to [...]

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Back Office 5.11. Telephone Reception

Back Office 5.11. Telephone Reception

At this point, we need to distinguish the various communications services that are part of your back office. Your needs for each of these services will vary considerably and no single provider may be able to provide you with cost-effective and quality solutions across the board. Telephone reception―this is, simply put, handling incoming calls and [...]

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Back Office 5.10. Internet Research

Back Office 5.10. Internet Research

You’re probably wondering what, of all things, is Internet research doing here in a chapter about outsourcing your back office. It may seem like the last thing you expect to do in your business. However, because of its size and richness, the Internet offers unprecedented resources for ensuring the success of your business. Here are [...]

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Back Office 5.9. Human Resources

Back Office 5.9. Human Resources

Right now, you’re contemplating a shoestring venture that may just be a one-person virtual business. At some point, if your venture is successful, you will bring employees on board. It may be as simple as a general office gofer to help you with all the administrative tasks you cannot outsource. It may be as complex [...]

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Back Office 5.8. Accounting, Bookkeeping, Payroll, and Taxes

Back Office 5.8. Accounting, Bookkeeping, Payroll, and Taxes

5.8.1. I Do Your Books http://www.idoyourbooks.com (site not responding since last check, comment if you know of others) I Do Your Books specializes in small business accounting and tax preparation and offers the following services: Accounting system controls and setup Daily transactions bookkeeping Reconciliation Financial statements Accounts payable Payroll Services Federal & State Payroll Taxes [...]

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Back Office 5.7. Data Entry and Processing

Back Office 5.7. Data Entry and Processing

As a start-up venture, you may not require much data entry or processing. However, if your business deals with large customer groups, mailing lists, contact lists, or large numbers of documents, then data entry and processing will be mission critical. Some types of mission-critical data, like mailing lists, often require specialized expertise beyond mere data [...]

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Back Office 5.6. Project Management

Back Office 5.6. Project Management

Depending on your final product, your business can run one of four types of operations: a job shop (an auto repair shop is a job shop), a project company (like an architecture or construction firm), line operations (like a manufacturer), or continuous operations (like a gasoline processing plant). Almost all home-based businesses are on the [...]

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Back Office 5.5  Word Processing

Back Office 5.5 Word Processing

Among the myriad of back office tasks you can outsource, word processing is perhaps the easiest. It requires very little from the outsource vendor: a computer, Microsoft Word, and an Internet connection. You can easily find outsource word processing vendors or freelancers by using marketplaces and job boards (see 5.2) or finding an online virtual [...]

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Back Office 5.4. Virtual Staffing Services

Back Office 5.4. Virtual Staffing Services

Finally, you can turn to a single company to provide turnkey solutions to your back office needs. A turnkey provider offers most or all of the services you need in a single place. Some are virtual providers only (they work offsite), but some agencies can provide on-site assistance, as well. From your perspective, there is [...]

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Back Office 5.3. Virtual Assistants

Back Office 5.3. Virtual Assistants

You’re approaching back office outsourcing from two perspectives. On the one hand, you may be a highly experienced businessperson or entrepreneur with in-the-trenches experience outsourcing business processes. You know from all your hard-won experience that you have to approach each outsourcing function with a clean slate. Some of the knocks you’ve gotten in your entrepreneurs’ [...]

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Back Office 5.2. Outsourcing Your Back Office: Marketplaces and Job Boards

Back Office 5.2. Outsourcing Your Back Office: Marketplaces and Job Boards

One way to fill your back office needs is to hire people one at a time through an RFP marketplace or job board. You can advertise for an ongoing outsource relationship or just have piece-work bid on one-at-a-time by freelancers or vendors. While technically not “turnkey” solutions, these marketplaces and job boards as giving you [...]

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Back Office 5.1. What is a Virtual Back Office?

Back Office 5.1. What is a Virtual Back Office?

So, why outsource your back office? Isn’t it easier just to do it yourself? Hire other people? The answer is both yes and no. In many ways, it is simpler to do it yourself, but it requires a huge amount of work even at the very beginning of your venture. If you can’t do all [...]

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Back Office 5.0

Back Office 5.0

In an earlier chapter, we distinguished a business, as separate from a hobby, as a venture that was about making money. You probably suspected at the time, correctly so, that we were oversimplifying just a tad. You probably would have said that businesses require all sorts of functions carried out by employees―even if all the [...]

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