Your idea is working… Customers have embraced it… Investors are taking interest & you’re sustaining your differentiation.
But before you set your sights on your IPO, you’ll want to consider something that impacts both your valuation & the margins you can collect while you work toward it: Your BPO.
What’s BPO mean?
Business Process Outsourcing.
I know what you’re thinking. Common responses to BPO are “We will lose control of our brand” or “Our people is what makes us different.” These are both valid concerns, but with any business that wants to scale & succeed, the important question to ask is: What does my business do? If something you are building is not part of your core competency, then you’re likely investing in overhead that is impacting your margins. Or worse, you are building organizational structures that will not scale when you try to apply your first injection of investment dollars.
Most start-ups recognize the value of best practices related to administrative or operational functions. They know what they should be doing to help them scale, but they don’t have the resources to invest in enterprise systems, or the people the manage them successfully if they were to implement them.
BPO companies help you by applying their scaled resources to your growing business. You capitalize on their investment in enterprise systems & specialization, so your money can go to R&D & brand development.
There are a lot of services that provide this, and one of the main factors you should consider is: how can I try these services out without incurring a lot of switching costs? Many BPO providers (Accenture, IBM, offshore call centers, etc) require significant upfront costs. Some new entrants, such as http://www.AllUptime.com provide these services in scalable monthly costs similar to what you would pay for a home-built website. With monthly subscription services & scaled customized plans as you grow, you can experiment with a BPO that operate alongside your existing capabilities.
So, before you IPO, consider investing in your BPO.