Outsourcing and History: How Others Have Done It Before

Nowadays, you can pretty much outsource anything. This includes everything from your content to your website creation and even your business development, Many businesses have leveraged it to success—but more people need to. Part of the reason why people fear outsourcing is because they don’t understand it. This is despite the fact that—as far back as the early 2000s—many businesses have sent out for talent to distant countries to their success.

The reality is that outsourcing isn’t altogether new. There is much in the way of historical precedent to back up the practice. If you’ve ever been worried about how outsourcing can benefit you, read on. We cover the most critical periods in history where outsourcing talent has resulted in some truly great successes for those who trusted in the effectiveness of the concept.

Outsourcing began in the open seas.

Out in the open seas, it began.

One of the first international enterprises in human history was exploration and commerce during the olden days of sale. The Imperial nations of Europe in the period took advantage of advances in shipbuilding and sailing technology to reach farther and spread wider throughout the world. Because of the dangers involved with this type of travel, many cpatains of vessels lost crew and personnel on the journey. The great distances involved meant that they couldn’t replace people easily from the source.

What they did was recruit “talent” from different ports of call and countries they passed. They later discovered that this proved to have a valuable advantage especially in the cases of locals with deep experience in their particular parts of the world. These initial outsourced talent were guides, cooks, and even surgeons, who could provide service that was needed at the moment. It certainly helped that a lot of these were relatively more affordable to hire than those from the home countries.

Even the leadership of the most powerful nations saw the potential of outsourcing especially with regard to combating their enemies. This was what brought about the use of privateers. These ships and crew were contracted via letters of marque to hunt down and plunder ships of opposing navies. They were given primacy when it came to plunder and had the protection of their home states. All this without often being nationals of said states themselves.

The important thing to note here isn’t so much the affordability of the practice, rather it was a means to get talent that would otherwise by unavailable. Additionally, it showed how any one entity could readily and more speadily project their power and expand their scope in a far more expedient fashion. In the end, what outsoucing was all about was necessary and quick growth that brought general success to those who practiced it wisely.

Peter the Great outsourcer was most successful.

When Peter the Great took over the reins of Russia, he set about making his country the best in the world. He was, in fact, renowned for steering his country to unprecedented heights of prosperity and success I nthe 1679s and onward. From an early age, he was outsourced by his country to the Netherlands as a ship-builder. It was in these early yers that he discovered the skills and abilities of craftsmen in the region which were lacking in Russia at the time.

Instead of sending people out to train which would have taken a lot of time, he simply brought home those people to help build Russia. St. Petersburg—named after him—is the perfect showpiece city of what his efforts of his outsourced talent. It used to be the capital of the country and is resplendent in architectural styles and designs that made all other European cities uniquely beautiful. Italian architects, German engineers, and French artisans all had a hand in the beauty of St. Petersburg.

Note that the use of outsourcing here isn’t, again, about cheap labor. Instead, it was about finding those people who can fulfill a needed role much more quickly, efficiently, and beautifully. It’s the same today, really. When you have a need that your want fulfilled—say necessary business development knowledge that you simply lack—outsourcing is the best way to go. You can get your business started and moving more quickly and successfully.

Outsourcing made Japan what it is today.

To say that Japan is a powerhouse today is an understatement. It’s one of the richest, most disciplined, and innovative nations in the world. It didn’t used ot be. Prior to the seating of the Meiji Emperor, Japan was very isolationist. While this let the nation stay pure and true to itself, it kept them pretty much behind the rest of the world in terms of technology and innovation. The Meiji Emperor recognized this and turned to outsourcing to turn things around.

In 1868, his Charter Oath opened Japan to the world for the first time in centuries and he reached out to fill the many gaps that isolationism brought about. From the Western nations like the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Japan got a more significantly advanced manufacturing capability. They also sourced out teachers, trainers, and experts who brought the nation up to speed scientifically and culturally. This outsourcing drive would lead Japan to an astronomic rise to power.

There are several takeaways from Japan’s adventures in outsourcing. One is the decision to open up. It’s the key start that people need to make—be open. Two is that Japan chose the right people to fulfill their needs specifically and went for it wholeheartedly. When you do the same, you will find that you get exactly what you need in order to get you and your business out the gate and running. Third is to be very careful and smart about who to outsource to.

We’re the right people for business needs.

At Forward Progression Development, we bring together the best experts in the field of business development. We essentially fill the knowledge gaps that starting or growing entrepreneurs might have and need to get their businesses going successfully. Whatever you need, we can provide. Reach out to us today and we’ll be more than happy to help you. Be like Japan: open to new possibilities. Hustle like Peter the Great: seizing opportunities as they come.


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