I know there are many people who believe if you resell SEO packages you are not really in the SEO business. I wanted to spend a minute tackling that issue today and to see if it has any validity. For those who are deep into a reseller arrangement, this may seem trivial. But I know many businesses are not accustomed to outsourcing. For them, this may be instructional. And a bit of history on outsourcing will help us analyze this question fully.
Businesses started to outsource on a large scale in the 1980's
First off, the movement toward outsourcing is not new. It started in the 1980's and got into full-swing in the 1990's. The idea behind why you select another firm for work you could do yourself is fairly simple. Here are the three major reasons people outsource SEO, or any work for that matter. (And if you are confused about the different between an SEO reseller and someone who outsources - they are essentially the same.)
Price is a major factor that drove the entire outsourcing movement. People who focus on a very narrow set of tasks can become very price competitive because of their economy of scale. This is a term eonomists use to describe why someone who produces larger volumes of a widget can do so at a lower price that someone who produces smaller numbers. As you buy raw materials and labor in larger numbers, you tend to become more efficient. Because you are specializing specifically on a limited number of products and skill sets, the business becomes very good at selecting the right labor and buying from the right suppliers. All of these skills take time to develop and result in lower costs to the business. This, in turn, can be passed on to the customer in the form of lower prices.
Expertise is the second major reason people outsource. And in the SEO reseller space, this is a big one. In fact, the more technical the product, the more important this factor becomes. Again, think through the differences between a firm that is broadly-focused on many different products and one that is micro-focused on only SEO services. The firm that is micro-focused is going to learn at a faster pace. They are going to develop expertise in an area more rapidly. It is not that this team is any smarter, it is just that they have less distractions and more focus on the core process. This means their expertise will be stronger. Again, this will be passed on to the customers who rely on them.
Quality is a final reason SEO resellers seek to outsource their services. Similar to the reasons listed above, the more you focus on a repetitive process and measure the outcomes scientifically, the more you are able to produce a high quality product. This is just as true in building an automobile as it is in the SEO reseller marketplace. Continual focus and specialization usually result in higher quality.
People often wonder if they sign up for an SEO reseller program if they will have a real business. My answer is a resounding YES. We have some very large reseller relationships where the sales organization has achieved excellence in sales, just as HubShout has achieved excellence in the SEO reseller industry. Neither firm is any less of a "real business" because they have found their recipe for success rests on partnerships with another organization. In fact, I believe their openness to partnership and reselling signals that they are self-aware and understand that to win in a competitive marketplace they need to focus on what they are extremely good at, and outsource the rest.