In this Q&A we spoke to Jim Power of Jim Power Economics to find out how he feels about outsourcing.
1) Sum up your business in ten words:
Economic and financial reports and analysis, speaking and writing services.
2) What makes you guys unique or stand out from the crowd?
Small player in a market dominated by a small number of large players. It gives us the ability to target smaller clients, who are not of sufficient scale to interest bigger players in the market. Niche product provider, and all contact is with the MD rather than more junior staff. Business is based on strong personal relationships and competitive pricing due to lower fixed costs.
3) How has Covid-19 been for your business?
Initially disastrous, as budgets were cut and the conference sector died. I very quickly adapted an online offering which has worked really well. I initially virtually lost my most important client, but grew the business strongly in different areas. Overall, the pandemic has dramatically changed the nature of what I do, but I have re-invented the business and it is working very well. Some scary moments early on, but all good now.
4) Is your business suited to remote working?
Yes, very much so. Technology has been the big enabler for me, and remote working has dramatically increased my productivity and helped me realise how much time I had previously wasted in attending physical meetings. The conference circuit is a problem for me, but hopefully it will come back.
5) Do you think it’s important for a business to outsource in order to grow?
For a small business like mine, outsourcing is essential and presents me with the most straightforward path to growth.
6) What areas of your business would you be inclined to outsource before you hire in that area?
Data analysis and research, and IT support. I occasionally collaborate when tendering for bigger contracts.
7) Does your business provide an outsourced service for another business? If so, what is it?
Yes, provide financial and economic training to a number of larger organisations who do not have an inhouse economics expertise.
8) Do you feel you have enough information when it comes to outsourcing- when and how to use it to its full advantage?
No. I have a lot to learn.
9) Do you feel outsourcing could bring you any advantages such as: getting an expert opinion, getting things done faster, reducing cost etc.?
Outsourcing allows me access expertise, avoid costs and overheads, keeps my fixed costs under control, and does help speed up the delivery of projects.
10) In which instances would you never outsource and only hire in-house?
Personal contact and relationships are a very important part of my business, and I will never sacrifice this part of my offering.
A very honest and informative Q&A from Jim!