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If you are a control freak, don't get a partner.. If you have any doubts of their ability whatsoever, don't get a partner.. If you are unwilling to let this person have control of your business life, don't get a partner..
Subcontract out to qualified people and sleep better at night..
anyway, to have partners to share your work load is not bad idea however you must take some measures before let someone indulge with you in your business, e.g Proper Agreements, Efficient Communication. In fact now a days, offshore development is on boom however it has its own pits and falls
Splitting a workload is not a benefit.
for example if you get a deal to make 4 ecommerce websites in a month but you have the capability to make only one then its better to outsource the rest to other persons on a fair share. atleast you will get some extra bucks without any hard effort.
so i think if someone is getting more work than his capability then he can get partners regardless of the fact that they do the same thing or not...
thats what i think you can disagree.
But if you want to grow your business, and you're a programmer/webmaster by trade, get yourself a sales partner or a marketer. What he will bring to the table will be improve both of your fortunes.
do you know the difference between the salary of a developer in USA and Pakistan? its a big difference, so why to hire Expensive solution provider why not to go for the cheap solution? and also its not only about hiring employees its to handle them and provide them a setup where they can work.
Lets go into more minor details but they are important so i want to state them.
1- the salary of a developer in USA is atleast five times more than the one in Pakistan or Asia.
2 - you hire an employee, well get him Internet connection, a PC to work on, softwares, Lunch, Utility Bills, headach and risk to choose the right one, handle his work and do the administration job too. so at the end of the day you get much more tension than solution.
now on the other hand, you get extra work, well outsource it to some offshore development company, they are already a full fledge team hungry for work, so you dont need to do anything extra just outsource at much lower expenses and get your comission without any hard work and make your profile and portfolio easily...
BUT still i must agree with you on one issue, i.e to 'find the best results'... thats a little tricky to choose the right and experienced offshore development company as now-a-days there is a lot of crap in market using the name of Offshore Development and you can increase your tension if you hire a bad company for offshore work however IF YOU GET THE RIGHT COMPANY then you would love to outsource your 100 % work to them .. take my words on this
As for outsourcing in Pakistan or India, as you suggest, that's a whole mess of problems which I have gone through extensivelly in the past. The price one saves in labour may be paid in aggravation and other issues with outsourcing far away from home.
I find outsourcing with local subcontractors to be the best solution, as all cultural divides are erased, and you can work closeby if there's a rush.
the only trick is to find a good offshore development company in pakistan or asia, and good companies have proper set up to communicate with you, they are very well skilled, and they have special marketing people and analyst who can communicate with you easily and also they provide 24 / 7 x 365 development services... Like mine company :D ..
It's not worth it to me and to many of my customers. If price is the only competitive advantage, than it is a bad one. The few bucks one saves when outsourcing in Asia, one has to pay elswhere because of bad communication and cultural divide. It's not that people from India, Singapore and Pakistan don't know how to program. They do.
It's just that the benefits they offer do not outbalance the cost and problems dealing with them, causes. I have written about this extensively, sticky me for details.
But all I can say, is that unless one sends a guy on the spot to control how the job is done, there will be problems. I say, instead of sending a guy over there, just outsource locally a and avoid a whole lot of mess. I have outsourced A LOT of projects to India and other countries in the region. I had a hands on approach to management, to make sure everything was clear, with very detailed in procedures. I have been disapointed every time.
Don't try to argue that you're different and so on. I've heard that and tested it many times. Instead, take what I say and try to see how you can improve the issues companies face when outsourcing to Asia. There are several problems that cannot be solved, unless there is a cultural change in the entire business commmunity. I believe that this is asking you too much. Therefore, it becomes impossible for me to outsource to companies like yours, because my standards are different than yours.
1 - You failed to find a good Offshore Company
2 - You are a bad manager and you dont know offshore business rules and methods.
Good Offshore companies have very well skilled Analysts with whom you will never feel the Cultural Difference and nor communication problem. And I strongly state that Asians are never behind in skills from international market even in America and UK etc there are many Asians working in companies. its only that in every field there are good and bad guys. thats it.
I see the issue with different a angle than you, Many companies are outsourcing to Asia and Many Offshore Companies are making Big Bucks from offshore business. it means there are still people in international market who, UNLIKE YOU, are lucky and have a very good Know-how of Offshore Development Business and they are satisfied, my companies itself is making commercial level ecommerce websites and very big software projects outsourced from internation market.
and by the way i dont need to praise my company to you coz of course i dont want work from you :P... i am just pleading offshore development and mug my words and mug them well, sooner or later Offshore Development Centres would occupy most of the international Projects Demand.
if your orange was sour it doesnt mean oranges are always sour ;)
I'll say what I have to say and then end it there.
1-You said that the reason I was disapointed everytime was either because I "failed to find a good sub contractor" or because I was a bad manager.
In business dealings, you never blame the client for his lack of satisfaction. You don't assume he handled a past case wrong or even assumes the providers he worked with were bad. You just don't discuss anything negative and instead try to see where you can improve on past experiences and how to meet current expectations.
My negative experiences have nothing to do with Asians in racial terms. It also has nothing to do with Asians that have emigrated to the West. I am not discussing things like that and have no time for racist allusions and undertones. Things that I want them to change as a whole are specific business practices.
I don't think finding a good sub contractor should be a question of luck. If I worry, and have been justified in my worries in the past, than there is an underlying problem with the way business is conducted there.
2-I discussed some of the reasons stating why it I prefer sub contracting locally - This is the most important information you should have paid attention to, as someone whose job is work with guys like me. Trust me, I'm not the worse.
Locally is easier because the guys are closeby and you can work with them if needs to. Live interactions is very important for business.
3-Price is a not a factor. That means that there are other reasons other than price why I pick one sub contractor over another.
4-I don't care that other companies are finding success with sub contracting overseas. All I care about are my needs. Bigger companies have more leverage and people involved in each transaction. They will also travel and meet the sub contractors locally before signing a deal with them. I don't go to India and meet the guys everytime I contract out a project. I am considerably smaller than them.
5-That sub contracting overseas is big means nothing to me, unless there's a good business opportunity. Just because everybody is doing it these days doesn't make it right for my needs.
6-Saying one is good and the others are bad does not reinforce trust or make what one says true. In this case actions speak louder than words.
Really, it always centers around the customer's needs and what he wants. Companies that pay attention to that are those I sub contracts with.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies from India, Singapore and Pakistan that I have worked with never paid attention to that, no matter how much they said they would when we first started discussing.
To get back to the original topic, I don't think one should partner up with someone with the exact same skills in a business venture. Sub contracting and hiring employes are better solutions when there's too much work. If one needs to partner up, let it be with someone who can bring to the company something it was lacking before, besides, an extra pair of hands.
you again brought the pin to the same ball that one must hire someone with different skills.
i wonder if you could answer my following answer,
Q: I have three projects of making flash presentaion but i can make only one in the given time. well, should i hire two additional flash designers or one designer of Maya and one of Studio Max to complete all the projects in given time?
if accedently your answer is 'hire flash designers' then please make a note here that its not necessary that you only find the partner who has different skills than you.
what i think is that get a Mr. Right for your work to share your workload and it doesnt matter whether he knows something extra or new than you or not. all he should and must do is to share your work load.
A partner, for me, is someone who works in my business as an associate.
A partner for you is a sub contractor. I don't consider sub contractors partners. Partners imply a tighter relationship. A partner is a buddy, a friend and someone who invest in a project with you.
A sub contractor is not a partner. He's a business aquaintance. After a project is finished, I have no ties or obligations to him.
It is this type of cultural divide that makes it problematic to work with overseas companies. It took me a while to see that your definition of a partner is totally different than mine. It's a small example of why I stopped doing business with subcontractors from India and Pakistan. I would never be caught explaining all this stuff to a local person, as for us a partner means the same thing.
A partner is someone you invite in family gatherings. There is a personal relationship and friendship that goes with the business. I have nothing but cordial and professional relationships with subcotractors and don,t invite them to family gatherings.
Perhaps in your culture, you would invite a potential subcontractor or client to a family gathering to make them feel welcome. The cultural divide is too wide and life to short for me to start trying to understand people who use different meaning for common words.
I am stunned to listen that you define partner as someone who you can invite to your family and gatherings and for you a partner is a buddy....:D.. funny definition Harry.
for me there is lots of difference between a Business Partner and a Buddy, a business partner can be a buddy too but its not always true. business partnership has a very vast background.
first of all the point from where our confilct started was about Offshore partners. please use google (www.google.com) to search and understand the Offshore Parnterships. i dont know how you can invite offshore partners to family and gatherings :P...
second of all you were caught on the point where you said that a partner must not do something that you are already doing and one should not get a partner who does the same thing as you do, .... so please "read between the lines". i proved it on you that you can get a partner in most cases who belongs to the same trade. the expretise of your partner depends upon your needs.. thats it. so if you have some arguments to convince me on this then you are welcome. and who told you that offshore partners cant invest? i am investing in a Games Company in Japan, i am their offshore partner. so you are wrong on this too dear.
the third point is that I am really sorry to hear that you have a very bad experience of offshore business as you were not mature enough to handle this and you didnt have the talent to handle and understand the business with offshore partners. Bill Gate is looking to get a contract with offshore companies in Pakistan to support his drowning windows ... you see he is from your part of the world but he understands the offshore business. in addition I have been working as offshore partner with most famous companies in your part of the world for last three years. so do you think they are just wasting time? (please dont tell me in next post that you are more intellegent than Bill :D and have big business than other companies)
the last but not the least. if you search google, you will find a lots of articles and books written on offshore partnerships by the people belonging to your part of the world. and a large number of companies from your part of the world are working with offshore companies in Pakistan and India. even you ever get a chance to go to american universities you must make a notice that some of the great books read there are written by Asian writers.
the world has become a GLOBAL VILLAGE. if you have to survive and progress then change your mind and thinking you must understand the cultural difference. and must try to understand how to work with offshore companies .. if you are not capable of working with offshore comapnies it doesnt mean they are not good. and its very easy to work with good offshore companies
again i would end with.
if your orange was sour it doesnt mean all oranges are sour always.
>>I am stunned to listen that you define partner as someone who you can invite to your family and gatherings and for you a partner is a buddy....:D.. funny definition Harry.
There is nothing funny about this. You judge my culture and you claim to be in a good position to answer our needs. But you don't pay attention....
>>second of all you were caught on the point where you said that a partner must not do something that you are already doing and one should not get a partner who does the same thing as you do, .... so please "read between the lines".
>>i proved it on you that you can get a partner in most cases who belongs to the same trade.
Again, you don't pay attention. In my book, a partner is part of my business. If I'm gonna build a business with someone, I want someone who can bring different skills and complete mine. I don't need a clone of myself. If I want arms and legs for grunt work, I get employees or subcontractors. These, are not partner. You did not prove anything. And I don't care about what Bill Gates think of Pakistan, all I care is my bottom line and my needs. Not Bill Gates.'
>>you were not mature enough to handle this and you didnt have the talent to handle and understand the business with offshore partners.
At this point, you're making personal attacks, so I won't even qualify what you just said above.
>>even you ever get a chance to go to american universities you must make a notice that some of the great books read there are written by Asian writers.
You're trumpeting the racist card here and I already told you I would not fall in that trap.
the world has become a GLOBAL VILLAGE.
>>if you have to survive and progress then change your mind and thinking you must understand the cultural difference.
I don't think you do. If you did, you would have acknowledge that you and me define the word "partner" differently. You would have tried to see things my way and agreed, as I did, that we're not even discussing the same thing. But all you really care about is "scoring a point" and adding some personal insults in the mix. I don't play games.
and must try to understand how to work with offshore companies ..
>>if you are not capable of working with offshore comapnies it doesnt mean they are not good.
I am the client. I'm not the one who should bend over and understand the subcontractor. It's the subcontractor's job to do his homework, because he wants to make the sale. If I don't make the sale with one contractor, I just have to go to the next, as I have done several times. I shouldn't have to try and explain myself to someone who doesn't care and really just want to money in my wallet.
>>and its very easy to work with good offshore companies
No it's not. My opinion as someone who has purhcased services overseas in many countries, let me know, that buying local is often the best solution. Not because of money, not because of race. But because it's just more effective. Your opinion as a service provider to companies based in the West has no value, as all you try to do is sell, sell, sell.
When something goes wrong, you blame the client and treat him as an idiot, as you are doing with me in this thread.
again i would end with.
"try to be elastic in discussions and dont jump to conculsions and if you want others to agree with you then dare to agree with others too"..
sorry if i hurt you dear, i never wanted to ..
i dont know how you can invite offshore partners to family and gatherings :P...
I am from Eastern Europe and for the last few years I built strong relationship (both business and friendship) with people from UK and USA. Many times they came to see me and I went there too so I do not see what's wrong with this :)
you better read the post again from A to Z and realize that who did start to 'score points'.
Harry! you want respect, you have to give respect.
Everyone has the right to have an opinion about this, Harry says NO, and this is ok with me as long as there are so many companies that say YES to outsourcing :)
Now, you're playing the "turn the tables on the other guy" game, using my own arguments against me.
At first, I never specifically mentioned any country. I said that outsourcing locally was a better benefit than going overseas. For all that matters, I could have been talking about people from Eastern Europe and South America, - both of which I have also worked successfully with in the past.
You took issues with me for saying that working locally was often better. You also misinterpreted my words by failling to see and or admit that my definition of partner is different than yours. A partner in North America, is someone you would consider your equal. There would be no contractor, subcontractor relationship. In the specific context of this thread, I also interpreted the word partner to mean, someone who works with you in your business. But you prefer touting the benefits of working with Pakistan, rather than deal with the real topic at hand.
It's as if you're trying to counter every thing I say for "fear" that people will agree with me. Oh, my god, if that happens, no one would ever do business with subcontractors from Pakistan. That would surely bankrupt your economy...
Contracting out overseas for the sake of contracting out overseas is ridiculous. It's a business decision first, and what I'm saying is that the benefits are not always enough to counter the drawbacks and the costs. It's not just a question on bad experiences, as you seem to suggest. It has nothing do with deals gone bad if one evaluates a situation and sees that working locally is more beneficial. That's one thing you constinuously fail to admit. Perhaps there are better deals to be had locally and that subcontracting overseas is really not a great thing after all.
I'll also add that you're doing a great dicservice to other Pakistani subcontractors by posturing like that. Do you really think people would want to work with someone who keeps on trumpeting his chest, makes personal attacks, doesn't respect the TOS here, and worst of all shows that he won't understand what the other party is saying and doesn't have enough humility to admit it?
your problem is that you think whatever you are saying is right. Let me quote a saying that suits to you
"the delima of this world is that the less a man knows the more sure he is that he knows everything"..
please mind it again that i damn care about your comments here about Asia, Pakistan or thread topic, you just wasted my time... and no one sees the issue eye-2-eye with you..
Your Orange was sour... ( i am really sorry for this ) ;)
I posted a partnership request in another forum and I was probably lucky because a very hard-working guy answered my plead =) I am a very good programmer and can write proper articles - whilst he is a great designer and can write as well.
We compliment each other, make the "Contact Us" part of our website be true (for once!) and we discuss ideas over AIM - which is by far the best advantage I have seen for a partnership.
We are both the same age (18) and found to be good in what we do. We are currently running a website about products we deem interesting and write about them - now, three weeks later, I can happily say that I received my first $100 dollars from Adsense just from this website.
Of course, we have both committed to work at least two hours a day and write a couple of articles and submit links to the search engines. I take care of the SEO while he is more inclined towards the writing and link-gathering.
I believe that for us, it has worked very well. Nevertheless, here is another experience I had just yesterday:
From the very same thread that I found this guy, yet another person wanting to become a partner messaged me. My partner and I agreed on letting him work with us because we could share the workload. However, at first, he didn't want to place links to our website and was being a difficult person overall. We both discussed and told him that he couldn't work with us.
What I learnt from this is that a hard-working partner is hard to come by - and if you, on the other hand, find someone who is at first a difficult person; cut him as fast as you can.
Now, as I mentioned above, the best advantage I see for a partnership is to discuss ideas and get committed to work. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't probably have anything by now - because I know myself - I work "freely" and get distracted, but with someone messaging me and getting involved, I am much more effective.
This is probably the best move I've ever made work-wise and I hope someone learns something from this =)
1 - check his portfolio and make sure he has done all himself.
2 - think about the time zone difference (for offshore)
3 - keeping a bird eye view on his expertise try to analyze that how much he can share your work load and how can you use his capabilities to progress in your business
4 - set a goal to be achieved with your partner's effort for a exact time period e.g for next three months what do you want to get from your partner .. then at the end of this pariod analyze whether its going on in the right direction or not.
5 - I agree with the last post - if you are facing problems than make quick decision to get rid of bad partners but dont jump to conclusions so early try to understand the base of problems you are having with your partner.
6 - Legal and proper agreements especially in case of offshore developers to bound him properly.
7 - the last but the most important. whether with local or offshore partner, Communication gap shouldnt be there, talk as much to partner as you can on business issues, try to clear every issue whether big or small, dont keep any suspense. bring everything on table and discuss it. i have seen many good partners aparting just due to communication gap. so its very necessary to keep proper and efficient communication.