There has been a big leap in the number of small companies farming out jobs to workers overseas, with a 35 per cent jump in the number of firms using offshore services. According to research by website Freelancer, most jobs went to India, Pakistan and the Philippines, but China also saw a large increase with 20 per cent more small businesses sending work there. The survey found that 43 per cent of firms expect to offer more work to foreign freelances in 2015.
The reasons for farming out business included getting work done that they could not do themselves, and getting it done cheaper. Of those that outsourced, 48 per cent said they did so to boost their capacity so they did not have to turn away business at home.
The survey also found that 42 percent of small business owners were increasingly having to send work to programmers and web developers to keep up with technological innovations and the increase in online trading and e-commerce. According to European director at Freelancer, Bill Little “Small firms in the UK are looking to send work overseas to cut costs but also to increase their own capacity. Rather than turning away contracts for work, they are taking it on and outsourcing it for less abroad to boost profits”.
He also added “A majority of small businesses have realised that rather than ignore work what they can’t do themselves, they can outsource it. They are getting in expertise that may not have otherwise been available to them to hire”. It has been said that small firms are also outsourcing more because the growth in specialist sites gives them confidence and protection. With freelancer’s reviews for the quality of their services and payment systems ensuring security, small businesses are now able to manage a diverse workforce with project management systems.
UK businesses increased spending on short-term contracts by 17 per cent
Freelancer says its own profits from UK firms sending work abroad through the site increased by 43 per cent last year. The website allows businesses to hire from a network of 10 million independent workers in areas such as software, data entry, design and engineering, with the average job costing less than £150.
It also found UK businesses increased their spending on short-term contracts by 17 per cent by hiring sales and lead generators, marketing staff and web designers.
The three main ways smalls businesses said that were accessing new markets abroad were by using Google keyword adverts, Facebook adverts and hiring marketing and sales staff in the countries they wanted to break in to.