New Zealand (or, insert your country) needs your support. By supporting our local businesses we can create jobs and opportunities now and in the future.
Over the last few years most of the entrepreneurial books and training I've studied recommend "offload it to your virtual assistant" (VA is the acronym). The defence for using a VA is something along the lines of "giving people opportunities in developing countries", even though it's really about cost cutting. What about giving people opportunities in your own community?
When Telecom (now Spark) outsourced its email service in 2007 to the third world, what was the cost to New Zealand?
Jobs flowing offshore, cash flowing out of the country, consultants cutting costs at any cost. Meanwhile, the people in New Zealand trying to run their business spend hours on hold with someone who doesn't speak good English. Telecom's new email service blocked all New Zealand domains because they didn't recognise .co.nz as a legitimate extension. The productivity loss to the economy in small businesses - the backbone and future of our economy - was immeasurable. In the long term the loss of customers for Telecom was far from profitable - it doesn't matter how much money you save if you lose your customers. And since 2007 email hacking - on a massive scale - has been a regular occurrence because of the drop in quality.
I live in Wellington, a city that relies on the service industry, trickling down from government departments. Most people here work for the government, or work for the people that work for the government, or work for all of the above (cafes, restaurants, retailers). Due to the reduction of employees at the top of the food chain the opportunities for locals are diminishing.
So, what can we do?
For years we worked with companies in the northern hemisphere because it gave them a competitive advantage. Here at the bottom of the world, we were able to deliver completed jobs while they slept. We didn't compete on price, we delivered excellent quality with extremely fast turnaround time and excellent service. In effect we became the offshore outsource.
For support and service we want to be the best - that means availability and being able to talk to a real person. Hiring locally - even if we collaborate virtually - means we guarantee top-quality, personalised service and accountability.
Webalite's business model has been designed to export.
As a result, some of our servers are currently offshore because we can get features and quality that aren't available in New Zealand. Delivering content on a global scale also means the limitations of our broadband make it impractical to serve websites from here. As local cloud technology, internet speeds and connectivity to the rest of the world catches up we will be moving our offshore infrastructure back to New Zealand.
What's your opinion? I'd love to know, please email me - I will reply personally.