“What services should we offer to our future customers?”
It’s not an uncommon question. Here at Doakio, we had to ask ourselves this critical question. When starting any business, generalization is a huge problem that prevents small companies from differentiating themselves from the noise. You need to pick a niche and run with it.
We started by hiring marketing strategy experts and reading through many articles on what business roles are ideal for outsourcing. Both of those approaches did help us refine our objectives and we decided to focus exclusively on reaching small business customers (under 50 employees) during our first year in operation. But we wanted more data on global needs.
The Pain Points
Being the hyper-customer focused company we are, we then listed every single small business owner pain point we could find. But gathering meaningful data on these pain points proved to be very difficult.
One good path would be to survey hundreds (if not thousands) of small business owners all across the world to find out how severe each pain point was today, how much revenue would be improved by the resolution of each pain point, and how hard they had worked at solving the pain point in the past. This research project could not be completed in time for us to make a decision on how to best grow our company.
So we looked for other existing data points in the remote work industry as a whole. In particular, outsourcing category structures exist, and they paint a very clear picture of what job categories and groups of job categories are most common.
For each common outsourced job category, we researched the number of jobs active within the last 30 days and compared it against the number of workers active in that same category. This gave us an imperfect but highly functional metric which we could use to see which job categories were both in demand (in terms of total job volume) and underserved (in terms of active-workers to active-jobs ratio).
This was a sound, data-based approach which helped us quickly understand what job roles were in demand by all types of business owners. This same data can be viewed from another perspective to help freelancers and outsourcing agencies see what roles are in demand. We saw the value in all this research, so we decided to publish it here for the benefit of other small businesses who are looking to outsource.
As a small business owner, you could look for job roles that have a very low Job/Active Worker ratio. This means that there is a huge untapped talent pool to hire from, which could be a golden opportunity to scale affordably.
As a freelancer or outsourcing agency (like Doakio), you’ll want to look for job roles that have a very high Job/Active Worker ratio. This means there is a very large number of businesses who are looking for workers in that job category, but very few workers to fill those roles. This could be a great opportunity to adjust your offerings to meet those market demands.
The Many Factors Involved
Every business is unique, so this specific data set should not be your only source of data when deciding your small business’s future trajectory. For example, we also realized that our clients are not the only ones involved in the transactions which grow our business. Our team members interact with our clients often on a daily basis. We build our teams with people of strong character who are competent and versatile. They can do anything. But what they should do depends heavily on many different factors. Our team members, too, should have a say in what their eventual roles will be, so we expanded our considerations to include employee satisfaction with the various potential roles that we would be building our brand towards.
Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to get monthly updates on this critical strategy data for remote teams. We’ll be sending out the latest numbers regularly, along with a summary of outsourcing job category trends. The data in the table below was last updated in April of 2019.
With all that in mind, we sincerely hope this information will help you gain the confidence you need to execute your business vision with conviction and clarity in the years ahead.