Entrepreneur often have ideas or a field of expertise combined with dreams of building a large empire. However, many of these dreams are never realised and investments are lost in the process.
It is important to put business ideas through filters to ensure that the business can survive – and then to ensure service excellence and in-house management to thrive.
- Financial: Can the business sustain itself? Can the service or product be provided at a market related fee?
- Operational: Can the service be implemented? Is it operationally possible?
- Market: Is there a market for the service in the area that the business is being established? Do potential customers actually want the service?
Cost accounting must be done to ensure that the service can be provided at a fee that will be economical for customers versus having an in-house QA department. If your fees are more expensive, the advantages of outsourcing must be clearly defined. QA is a scarce skill and a definite science, so in-depth knowledge and experience are automatic selling points.
Steps in starting a QA outsourcing business
- Put the business concept through the various filters.
- Do market research to see how big the market is. Is there growth potential? What profit potential is there and who are the potential customers?
- Do all of this before any investment is made.
Target market definition
The potential market is global; therefore the target market will have to be clearly defined. Trying to service the whole market from the start will lead to marketing messages being diluted and the business will grow out of capital.
The target market can be identified through considering the experience of the entrepreneur (stick to what you know), the geographical area, and the industry and size of potential customers’ companies.
Draw up a database of potential customers in line with the target market, conduct research about the contacts and then approach them. Have all the facts on hand before making contact; understand what value your company will give. Listen carefully for customer requirements during your pitch and explain how problems will be solved.
Interest before investment
First determine whether there is interest in the product/service, then invest in infrastructure, company registration and recruitment. Providing a QA service is not ideal for unqualified or inexperienced candidates. It is a job for professionals; providing an inferior service will have dire consequences.
Recruitment and image
Once the company grows past your capacity, recruiting can be difficult; the new staff member’s level of service will affect your company’s image. Bad service can render the company vulnerable to legal action so ensure that the appropriate insurances are in place.
Operational excellence: service excellence
Your business will only be sustainable if customers are satisfied with your service. You need to understand what the objective of the engagement is and what responsibilities your company will take over.
Operational policies and procedures are vital. Each employee should have a job description and understand exactly how to service the customer.
Standards must be documented and adjusted to mirror the standards of the customer, contributing towards and aligned to the customer’s company strategy.
Related: 6 Tips for Part-Time Business Owners
Practice what you preach
Don’t forget that your company must have an implemented and enforced QA system too! QA should be a continuous process; it must become part of the company culture. When a QA project permeates the business and becomes Total Quality Management you will know that true value has been provided.