THE BLOG
08/18/2016 12:08 pm ET Updated Aug 19, 2017

3 Reasons Why Nearshore Sourcing Might Be A Better Fit Than Outsourcing

In my quest to make more people learn to automate, eliminate, and delegate, I run into new (to me, at least) ways to make this happen for small businesses. So when I found out there was another way to outsource things like advertising, marketing, and administrative, I spent way more hours than I'd like to admit learning about it.

The concept is called "nearshore" sourcing, which is like a kinder, gentler version of outsourcing abroad. Essentially the concept is: outsourcing closer to home than India or the Philippines in order to have more business being handled on (or around) the same timezone as where the main business is located. I think it's a good way to take a leap into delegating work that you shouldn't be doing anyhow, especially if you're not ready to put your faith in workers that are on the opposite side of the world.

But if you're still not sure what the best method for you might be, consider these 3 things:

How much do you need done during business hours?
The biggest drawback to sourcing overseas is the ability to connect with your workers during your normal business hours (if you're based in the US). If you want to be more hands-on with your employees and their work, but don't want to tie employees down to one location, nearshore sourcing might be up your alley, as the workers work during US time zones, thereby making it easier for you to keep in touch during regular hours.

How important is it to have fluent English speakers?
To me, this depends on the work that needs done. If I have a VA that's responsible for the mundane tasks that I don't have time for, then basic English skills are fine and as long as the work gets done, I'm not really bothered. If, however, I was working on a project that required expert usage of English (like writing or software development), then I'd probably consider nearshore sourcing.

Do you ever plan to travel to your employees?
How connected do you want to be with your team? Do you want to meet with them face to face regularly, or are you more interested in letting them do their own things and focusing on the results? If you're planning to look outside of the US for employees, but want them accessible, having nearshore workers might be more beneficial for you than teams that are overseas.

If you need to find workers for short-term projects, check Upwork or Fiverr for professionals that will be able to handle your gigs. If however, you're looking for longer projects or ongoing work, try a company like iTexico (which specializes in nearshore software development) to help you create a team closer to home. Whatever you decide, remember that the worst decision is to keep doing all of the work yourself and not letting go of control. Start with small tasks and move up to a full team later on that handles the dirty work, while you focus on running the business.