The Global Practice

For one of my businesses I'm in the middle of having a series of manuals we produce reformatted. All-in-all the manual takes up about 1,600 pages in Word. My designer Mike said he was happy to come up with what it should look like, but that he'd rather poke his own eyes out than spend two weeks working with Microsoft Word. We had the job quoted here in Australia for $8,000. We thought that was a tad excessive, so we put the job on Elance, trialled a couple of different people, and settled on Flora in India who is doing the whole job for $150 (although I have budgeted for a bonus too). And she's a gun.

I think that reflects the global nature of business today, and even running essentially a one-man practice. My business manager Cristina is in Manila … and despite not yet having met her face-to-face she is quickly becoming an integral part of my practice. My Excel guru-on-call is in the United States somewhere. And I can be anywhere.

I've been criticised for taking jobs away from Australians by outsourcing different things overseas. I've been to India, and my impression was that there are lot of people there who need the work and the money a lot more than we do. The argument reminds me of when you hear a news story about some sort of disaster somewhere reporting "8,000 people feared dead including 3 Australians." It's a bit like the other 7,997 people don't matter quite as much.

I'm loving running a global practice with a team all over the world. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences in putting together a disparate team. Leave your comments here.