Do you want to start a BPO business? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a BPO business with NO money and no experience.
Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample BPO business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample BPO company marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for BPO businesses. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting a BPO business. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.
Table of Content
- Why Start a BPO Company in India ?
- 1. Understand the Industry
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
- 7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
- 8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
- 9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
Why Start a BPO Company in India ?
If you live in india, one of the many business opportunities you can leverage on to generate steady income is to go into the outsourcing business. This is quite advantageous for Indian companies because of the economies of scale that they enjoy.
The truth is that there are a good number of corporate organizations in the united states and other developed countries who would not mind to cut overhead cost as low as they can and still get excellent services and maintain professionalism of the highest order. They achieve this by outsourcing some of their services or business operations. One of the outsourcing related businesses that an entrepreneur with the required skills can start is a business process outsourcing (BPO) firm.
It is glaring that with the growth in the demand for cheaper ways of running businesses and cutting cost, players in the business process outsourcing (BPO) line of business are generating good returns on their investment. We are not ruling out the fact that serious researching, planning and creativity is a necessity if you truly want to start your own business process outsourcing (BPO) business; you would also need the best of software to effectively run this type of business.
In a nut shell, business process outsourcing (BPO) which is also known as Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) is the contracting of non – core business activities and functions to a third-party provider. In India, BPO companies offer varied services such as customer support, technical support, telemarketing, insurance processing, data processing, forms processing, bookkeeping and web research.
Starting a business process outsourcing (BPO) company requires moderate startup capital. Asides from the money required to rent an office facility and to acquire office furniture, the required software and equipment, you are not expected to spend on other things. It is important to state that your personal and company profile are what will attract business deals for your organization, so you must ensure that you take out time to acquire all the certifications and experience needed in the business.
So, if you have done the required feasibility studies and market research, then you might want to venture into this business.
Starting a BPO Company in India – A Complete Guide
1. Understand the Industry
The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Services industry and virtual assistant line of business comprises of individuals as well as enterprises who work remotely as an independent professionals, providing a wide range of products and services both to businesses as well as consumers.
Basically, a virtual assistant is self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office. Since virtual assistants are independent contractors rather than employees, clients are not responsible for any employee – related benefits such as medical, taxes, insurance and other benefits. Although some clients factor such benefits into the total contract package.
In India, the Business Process Outsourcing industry has been growing rapidly. Statistics shows that the industry grew at a rate of 38 percent in 2005. In 2006, about US$7.2 billion worth of services was provided by this industry. There are roughly 400,000 people directly employed in this industry.
The global Business Process Outsourcing services industry is estimated to be worth 120–150 billion dollars, and the offshore BPO is estimated to be worth US$11.4 billion. India thus has some 5–6% share of the total industry, but a commanding 63 percent share of the offshore component. In the U.S, $7.2 billion also represents some 20 percent of the IT and BPO Industry which is in total expected to have revenues worth US$36 billion for 2006.
The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Services industry performed pretty well in the last decade due to the improving US economy, coupled with rising revenue in the finance and accounting sectors, credit card services and the insurance and human resource industries et al.
In addition, employers have experienced ever-increasing expenses due to wage increases and rising health insurance costs, which is why it is economical to contact BPO service providers as a means of controlling all these expenditures. Going forward, the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Services industry will continue to flourish, as revenue generated by organizations will be pressured by increasing wage and burgeoning employer healthcare costs and other expenses.
The global market for the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Services industry with India having a reasonable share is estimated to reach $262.2 billion by the year 2022 and this is propelled by the need to concentrate on core services and the cost advantage achieved by outsourcing back – end administrative services.
Going forward, the banking sector will provide more outsourcing jobs for players in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services industry. The United States of America is the largest market for this industry and Asia Pacific ranks as the fastest growing market with 8.5 percent CAGR. Research shows that India and Philippines maintain the top spot as the most preferred destination for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services.
In India, there are loads of players in this industry because of the outcome of global trends such as globalization, geopolitics and economics that favors India and also the entry barrier for the Business Process Outsourcing Services industry is low.
As a matter of fact, the required startup costs for new organizations can be as low as the cost of acquiring a laptop and internet device and you can successfully swing into full – time operation without the need of employees, significant capital expenses or even an office.
Over and above, the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Services industry is very open to aspiring entrepreneurs who have the required skills to start their own virtual assistant businesses and of course make good money from the industry. As a matter of fact, it is projected that over the next five years, new technology will continue to emerge that will make it easier for more players to come into the industry hence increasing the competition in the industry.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
Those who require the services of a business process outsourcing (BPO) company cut across corporate organizations, investors and business owners cum entrepreneurs who want to outsource their tasks at a favorably cost.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
In order to do pretty well in the business process outsourcing line of business, you should be able to specialize in a key area that you have the strongest skill set and qualification. This is important because you can hardly find any business process outsourcing firm that is a jack of all trades.
It is important to state that there are loads of niche ideas in this line of business, but here are a few you can choose from if you want to start your own business process outsourcing firm;
- Customer support services: 24/7 inbound/outbound call center services that address customer queries and concerns through phone, email and live chat.
- Technical support services: Installation, product support, running support, troubleshooting, usage support and problem resolution for computer software, hardware, peripherals and internet infrastructure.
- Telemarketing services: Interacting with potential customers and creating interest for the customer’s services/products. Up-selling, promoting and cross selling to existing customers and completing online sales processes.
- IT help desk services: Level 1 and 2 multi-channel supports, system problem resolutions, technical problem resolution, office productivity tools support, answering product usage queries and performing remote diagnostics.
- Insurance processing: New business acquisition and promotion, claims processing, policy maintenance and policy management.
- Data entry and data processing: Data entry from paper, books, images, e-books, yellow pages, web sites, business cards, printed documents, software applications, receipts, bills, catalogs and mailing lists.
- Data conversion services: Data conversion for databases, word processors, spreadsheets and software applications. Data conversion of raw data into PDF, HTML, Word or Acrobat formats.
- Bookkeeping and accounting services: Maintenance of the customer’s general ledger, accounts receivables, accounts payables, financial statements, bank reconciliations and assets/equipment ledgers.
- Form processing services: Online form processing, payroll processing, medical billing, insurance claim forms processing and medical forms processing.
- Online research: Internet search, product research, market research, surveys, analysis, web research and mailing list research.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
Irrespective of the line of business you decide to pitch your tent, you are still going to compete with others who are into same area of business and business process outsourcing business is not an exemption.
As a newbie in this line of business, you need not be scared because the truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you have the required expertise and qualifications, you will always make headway in the industry.
Just ensure you have access to highly skilled workforce and you have what it takes to properly and accurately carryout business process outsourcing (BPO) services in specific areas and you know how to reach out to your target market.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
In every industry, there are better performers. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.
These are some of the leading business process outsourcing (BPO) companies / brands in India and also in the globe;
- Tata Consultancy Services BPO
- Aegis Limited
- Serco Global Services
- Hinduja Global Solution
- WNS Group
- Wipro Spectramind.
- Daksh e-Services.
- HCL Technologiess.
- First Source
- EXL Services
- GTL Ltd
- 24/7 Customer
- Sutherland Technologies
When it comes to starting a business process outsourcing company, you just have to get your feasibility studies and market research right before venturing into the business. It is good to mention that the business is not for rookies but for professionals who have successfully gathered the required experience and expertise to handle such business. But an aspiring entrepreneur can learn ropes on the job as long as you have the finance to hire experts when you secure a business process outsourcing contract.
Starting this kind of business definitely entails that you get the required certifications and business license and also build good working relationship with players in related industry.
To be on the safe side, it will pay you to hire the services of experts that will help you with comprehensive economic and cost analysis and the profitability of the business within the location that you intend launching the business. If you get your economic and cost analysis right before launching the business, you may not have to stay the long before you break even.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
When it comes to starting a business of this nature, you will have to start from the scratch because from available research carried out there are no known business process outsourcing companies in the United States that are into franchising. Besides, the nature of the business does not permit franchising.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own business process outsourcing (BPO) company today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established business process outsourcing (BPO) companies and also other related businesses in the outsourcing and consulting industry who are also offering same services that you intend offering. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Some other threats that you are likely going to face as a business process outsourcing (BPO) company operating in India especially if you run an outsource call center is the ability to get quality workforce (call center agents) without accent; those that can truly represent the companies they are working for especially if they are working for American clients. unfavorable government policies and global economic downturn are also a drawback. There is hardly anything you can do as regards these threats other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for your good.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
- Best legal entity to use for this type of business
When considering starting a business process outsourcing (BPO) company, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow; a few business process outsourcing companies design their business and services for the national market, while a host of BPO companies source for international clients.
In India, if you want to start a business process outsourcing (BPO) you have two options. You can either choose a general partnership, or Limited Liability Company.
The General partnership is the ideal business structure for a small – scale business process outsourcing company especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital and covering businesses in a small community. But people prefer limited liability Company for obvious reasons.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
In the real sense of it, when it comes to choosing a name for a business, it is expected that you should be inventive because whatever name you choose for your business will create a perception of what the business represents. Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own business process outsourcing (BPO) company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- A Raj® Business Process Outsourcing Company, LLC
- Ravi Swami® Business Process Outsourcing Company, Inc.
- Indra Aintab and Co® Business Process Outsourcing Company, LLC
- Nazareth Connection® Business Process Outsourcing Company, Inc.
- Casmir Emmanuel & Co® Business Process Outsourcing Company, LLC
- John Libra® Business Process Outsourcing Group
- Hilltop® Business Process Outsourcing Company, LLC
- Daniel Justin & Co® Business Process Outsourcing Company, Inc.
- Willing Hands® Business Process Outsourcing Company, Inc.
- India Brothers® Business Process Outsourcing Company, Inc.
- Anita Gab & Co® Business Process Outsourcing Company, LLP
- Kaiser H® Business Process Outsourcing Company, Inc.
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In India and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance policy covers and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business process outsourcing company.
Here are some of the basic insurance policy covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own business process outsourcing company in India.
- General insurance
- Health insurance (for you and your staff members)
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own business process outsourcing (BPO) company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successful run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the Trade Mark Registry in India (https://www.indiafilings.com › Guides › Copyright or copyright.gov.in/).
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Asides from properly carrying out business process outsourcing jobs for your clients, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some business process outsourcing companies stand out. If you want to make an impact in the business process outsourcing industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization.
You are strongly encouraged to pursue professional certifications; it will go a long way to show your commitment towards the business. Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career, and up-to-date in the market.
These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own business process outsourcing (BPO) company;
- Certifications in your area of service offerings
- Degree in Related Courses
Please note that you cannot successfully run a business process outsourcing company in India and in most countries of the world without acquiring professional certifications and business license even if you have adequate experience cum background in the business process outsourcing services industry.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in India cannot be overemphasized especially a business process outsourcing. Even if you can run some businesses in India without proper documentation, you can hardly run any business that has to do with international clients without documentation.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own business process outsourcing (BPO) company in India;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- VAT Registration
- Service Tax Registration
- Shop Establishment Licenses
- Direction Identification Number
- File Form INC 7, DIR 12, INC 22
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Consulting contract documents
- Company Bylaws
- Insurance Policy
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a business process outsourcing company requires that you pull cash together if you don’t have enough cash saved up in your bank. The truth is that there are certain things you cannot run away from such as securing a standard office or call center in a good business district, equipping the office and paying your employees. These are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital.
So, if you want to finance your business process outsourcing company, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business or to partner with you.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your business process outsourcing company;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Business process outsourcing companies and most outsourcing and consulting services based type of businesses require that you see physically with your clients hence it must be located in good location; a location that is prone to both human and vehicular traffic and a location that is at the epicenter of a business district if indeed you want to attend to loads of clients and maximize profits from the business.
If you are looking towards setting up a business process outsourcing company in India, then you need to be guided by what is obtainable in India as it relates to the different tiers of business locations. For instance, tier II cities offer lower business process overhead compared to Tier I cities, but they have less reliable infrastructural systems which may hamper dedicated operations.
Good enough, the Government of India in partnership with private infrastructure corporations is working on bringing all around development and providing robust infrastructure all over the nation. Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, NCR, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Pune are Tier I cities that are leading IT and call centers cities in India.
So, if you are looking for a location for your business process outsourcing (BPO) company, ensure that it is a place that is located in a business district in your city, a place that is visible and easily accessible. You would not want to locate this type of business in the outskirt of town.
Your clients should be able to drive down and locate your office with little or no difficulty. Vendors also should be able to easily locate your office when they have to come submit their proposals, documents or for background checks et al.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your business process outsourcing (BPO) company, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
On the average, there are no special technologies or equipment needed to run this type of business except for customized business process outsourcing software and other related software apps such as call center app and CRM software app. You will also need computers, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves).
When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing an office space, the size of the business process outsourcing company you want to build, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. If you have enough capital to run a standard business process outsourcing (BPO) company then you should consider the option of leasing a facility for your office.
As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision. Averagely, you would need a Chief Executive Officer or President (you can occupy this role), an Admin and Human Resource Manager, Consultants and Experts in Key Disciplines, Accountant, Business Development Executives, and Customer Service Officer or Call Center Agents.
Over and above, you would need a minimum of 5 to 20 key staff to effectively run a medium scale but standard business process outsourcing (BPO) company. In most cases, you might have to hire some core professionals to help you handle some job functions since you may not have the required finance to employ them on a full-time role.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
A business process outsourcing (BPO) company is expected to first and foremost build a robust company profile before sourcing for business contracts from clients. When clients engage the services of a business process outsourcing (BPO) company, they sign a contract and the business process outsourcing company go all out to carry out research on the project in question.
Generally, business process outsourcing services include all kinds of research and information gathering like banking and finance, intellectual property research for patent applications; equity research, business and market research, legal and medical services; training, consultancy, and research and development in fields such as medicine, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; and animation and designs, call center and in any other related field.
Once the research is done, the report is forwarded to the organization as required in the contract document and it is important to state that a business process outsourcing (BPO) company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them, good return on investment, efficiency and flexibility.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- Marketing ideas and strategies
As a business process outsourcing (BPO) company owner, you would have to prove your worth over and over again before attracting clients. So, if you have plans to start your own business process outsourcing company, it will pay you to first build a successful career in the outsourcing and consulting services industry.
So, when you are drafting your marketing plans and strategies for your business process outsourcing (BPO) company, make sure that you create a compelling personal and company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state in practical terms what you have been able to achieve in time past as it relates to the business process outsourcing industry and the organizations you have worked for in time past. This will help boost your chances in the market place when sourcing for clients.
Please note that in most cases, when sourcing for big business process outsourcing (BPO) contracts especially from corporate clients, you will be called upon to defend your proposal, and so you must be pretty good with presentations.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your business process outsourcing company;
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to all the corporate organizations in the international business community especially in the United States and united kingdom
- Advertise your business in relevant business magazines, radio and TV stations (make yourself available for outsourcing and consulting related talk shows and interactive sessions on TV and Radio)
- List your business on local directories/yellow pages
- Attend relevant expos, seminars, and business fairs
- Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with them
- Leverage on the internet to promote your business
17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portray your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand awareness and to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them.
If your intention of starting a business process outsourcing (BPO) company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
In promoting your brand and corporate identity, you should leverage on both print and electronic media and also social media. As a matter of fact, it is cost effective to use the internet and social media platforms to promote your brands, besides it is pretty much effective and wide reaching.
Below are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and to promote and advertise your business process outsourcing company;
- Place adverts on business related magazines and newspapers, radio and TV stations
- Encourage the use of word of mouth publicity from your loyal customers
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other platforms to promote your business.
- Ensure that you position your banners and billboards in strategic positions all around your city
- Advertise your business in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Brand all your official cars and ensure that all your staff members and management staff wear your branded shirt or cap at regular intervals.
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