An independent contractor is a person that could bring value, flexibility, mobility, and dynamism to the table, especially when the pains of operation offshore are growing. The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is hammering the world hard again, and on top of that, there’s BREXIT.
Offshore operation is a generic term that hides the many complexities that a firm has to deal with when opening or managing a branch or local office abroad. From market research to finding suppliers, and raw materials, to adapting a specific product to a set of home rules and regulations, and the action of selling it to the local customers, the “night is dark and full of terrors”.
Many global and social trends, events, disruptions, and now the COVID-19 crisis have made things complicated, even haltered some otherwise straightforward operational activities.
For example, the outsourcing firms were not prepared for the pandemic. Ironically enough, the outsourcing sector was lacking the infrastructure necessary to work remotely and the lockdown brought about a breakdown. A few more laptops and a reliable VPN could have saved them millions, but only Noah would build a boat when there’s no sign of rain in the sky.
Since our world is so inter-connected, the big clients relying heavily on the outsourcing sector had to face huge business continuity issues. Take the Indian outsourcing market as an example. On March 24th, the Indian prime minister put the whole country on total lockdown. That is a $52 billion-worthbreakdown from the Indian outsourcing market.
Offshore locations belonging to well-established businesses also suffered. In many offshore locations, setting up the perfect environment for a work-from-home scenario was not on the manager's to-do list’ first page.
Independent Contractors Filling the Gaps of Oversea Operations
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has led many business leaders to question the maintenance of their footprint abroad, pursuing overseas expansion at the moment might not be such a bad idea.
First, the pandemic has accelerated the already-existing reality that we’re part of a global workforce that enables companies to hire from a wider landscape.
Secondly, expanding into foreign markets to attract new customers is a viable growth strategy that could put you ahead of your competitors. Although managing global expansions seems to be getting more and more difficult these days, companies should not lose sight of how valuable these investments can be in the recovery phase, and that there are solutions to mitigate the crisis.
The main challenges in the offshore activities at the moment, as we see them are:
Time to market and tight schedule constraints
The inability to travel much and the urgent necessity of setting up dynamic teams in a short time
Regulation limitations, like working permits, Brexit, or other legal issues
The localization of the product or service (culture, tastes, customs, do’s and don’t’s)
Gaining access to local resources (subcontractors, service providers, authorities)
Managing and recruiting workforce
An independent contractor will fill in all these gaps.
Who is the Independent Contractor
He’s a resident and member of the community where you’re setting your local branch. He speaks the language, knows the customs, doesn’t deal with travel constraints, and can understand the cultural nuances of the market. The setup time of a team of such independent contractors is dramatically reduced.
The independent contractor is a trained professional working in a certain domain, carefully chosen for the specific job. He has both the professionalism and business development know-how to increase efficiency. He is the manager that could avoid many pitfalls and barriers in an offshore operation setup and help reduce the costs substantially.
An independent contractor is a person that can fill all the 3 Cs from the list: culture barriers and connections, competencies, cost/value ratio.
So, Where Do You Find the Independent Contractor?
An independent contractor can ensure business continuity and help bring business growth and development. He is part of a worldwide network of independent contractors of various skills and trade,that we’re building.
Business starts with people, and people, not “employees”, are crucial in the actual context. Managing and leading them remotely almost requires a blood sacrifice, an initiation we, at BDD, have gone through already.
We offer flexible and dynamic business development solutions starting from people, and together with people working remotely all over the world. We can deploy a fully-operational team of local independent contractors to sell a specific product, in a specific place, in no time; and we can manage them from a global command centre.
The flexibility and adaptability of this approach are vital in many actual situations. In the end, we believe that a company shouldn’t stop expanding, not even in a global pandemic, not even when managing the workforce seems the hardest thing to do.