Last week the bloggers at oDesk brought some stats to the table that might surprise business owners who’ve long assumed offshoring is the only affordable option for business process outsourcing (BPO). Turns out homeshoring is not only making gains, but some skilled services are in fact commanding increasingly higher rates. Um, isn’t there a recession going on? An economic crisis in fact?

What’s going on here and why should you pay attention as a business owner?

oDesk points out that offshore outsourcing is on average $6 an hour cheaper than US homeshoring. That can have a substantial impact on the bottom line of small business owners who routinely use BPO to float the boat. And in such an historically dire economic crisis as the one we’re seeing in the U.S, one cannot ignore the need for businesses to cost cut wherever it makes sense.

However, it seems that today’s American business owner may be starting to think about BPO as an investment in the long term viability of their businesses rather than a short term expense that could put them in the red.

More importantly though, if we look at the whole of oDesks’s recent BPO statistics in the context of recession, the numbers imply that satisfaction with a job well done is, at the end of the day, the least costly alternative of all.

If homeshored services can be done right and done right the first time, business owners spend less time and energy micromanaging and more growing their business. Not to mention saving them from potential ruin.

I’d like to think those same business owners also put out less cash for the project overall versus struggling with an offshore alternative that may not fully understand their business requirements from the get-go.

Offshore alternatives have their place. The point is to look at a longer time horizon when deciding which BPO strategy makes the most sense for your bottom line.

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