Author Archives: Owen Simpson

5-risk-free-tasks-you-can-outsource-to-remote-virtual-assistants

5 Risk Free Tasks You Can Outsource to Remote Virtual Assistants

 

5-risk-free-tasks-you-can-outsource-to-remote-virtual-assistants

The premiere destinations for outsourcing services to virtual assistants are the Philippines and India which are considered remote locations. But despite their consistency, many businesses remain hesitant to hire virtual assistants from remote locations.  They are concerned that logistical, cultural, social and language differences make it a risky proposition.

The best approach is to start off slow by offering non-essential tasks. Here are 5 risk-free tasks you can safely delegate to your Virtual Assistant:

1. Administrative Responsibilities

Every experienced Virtual Assistant has done time managing the administrative responsibilities of his or her client. Organizing your business is a basic skill requirement for virtual assistants. These include:

  • E-mail Filtering
  • Calendar Management
  • Appointment Setting
  • Phone Handling
  • Filing of Documents
  • Preparation of Presentation Materials

These are standard office responsibilities you can delegate to your remote Virtual Assistant without much risk.

2. Customer Support Services

The undisputed leader in outsourced customer support services is the Philippines and for 3 very good reasons:

  • High literacy rate – Philippines’ literacy rate at 98% is one of the highest in the world.
  • Excellent quality of English – English is considered the primary language for business and education in the Philippines. In fact, GlobalEnglish ranked the Philippines as number 1 in the world for business English in 2012.
  • Perfect cultural fit – The Philippines has been a colony of the Dutch, Spain, the United States and Japan. It has become a cultural melting pot of mores and values which is why Filipinos can easily adapt to any nationality.

Filipinos can adjust their accent to accommodate American, British or Australian English.

3. Social Media Management

Social Media is not a risky proposition because once the campaign has been designed, all the Virtual Assistant has to do is follow the schedule. Social Media Management tasks include:

  • Posting content on various social media networks
  • Increasing your network by qualifying connections
  • Limited engagement with respondents
  • Updating images and content
  • Content distribution

Social media management is a time consuming task. The schedule for posting will depend on the network. If you want to reduce the risk of mistakes, have spiels available for ready reference in case of engagement.

4. Graphics Design

Images are basically a universal language were interpretation becomes a matter of perspective. You can find virtual assistants who are also talented graphics designers from the Philippines and India.

You can merely discuss with them what you are looking for in a design and submit samples as references. The Virtual Assistant can deliver you 4 to 5 mock ups for your review.

Many of these remote virtual assistants are very accommodating. They will patiently work with you on the design until it conforms to your preference.

5. Content Marketing

One of the biggest misconceptions about hiring remote Virtual Assistants is the language barrier. Overseas clients feel the risk of misunderstanding is always present because there is a difference in relating to language. While this opinion is clearly debatable, there should be no argument when it comes to writing.

You can easily find virtual assistants from remote locations who are exceptional writers and highly talented in creating relevant, engaging and unique content. Not only do they write with skill but they implement the principles of SEO to make sure your content gets found on the Internet.

Remote virtual assistants are also very meticulous when it comes to work. They will review and edit the content until they are confident of the quality and relevance.

A few months into the working arrangement, you will realize that hiring virtual assistants has made your life easier and more convenient. Once you have gained the confidence, you can slowly delegate key tasks to them so you can focus on developing new business.

5ws-of-outsourcing

The 5 Ws of Outsourcing

5ws-of-outsourcing

Outsourcing services is a proven way to develop your business because it streamlines costs and improves your productivity level. But for those who have not outsourced before, it may seem like a daunting task filled with risk and uncertainty.

Here are the 5 “W”s usually asked about outsourcing:

1. Why Outsource?

The primary reason why companies outsource services is to reduce their cost of business. Outsourcing lowers business cost because it capitalizes on cost advantages available in other regions or options. The most significant cost advantage is labor.

By delegating services to third party service providers, businesses can realize an improvement of at least 40% on their monthly operating budgets. Outsourcing is also a great way to improve productivity. It allows the business to focus on its core competencies and the cost savings can be used to fund other projects or departments.

2. What to Outsource?

If you are outsourcing for the first time, start out with the non- essential tasks. These are administrative or support services that will not place your business at much risk should problems in performance arise. Once the outsourcing services provider has become more proficient with these tasks and you have gained more confidence, you can consider outsourcing more technical responsibilities.

3. When to Outsource?

Many companies outsource services before official launch of their business so they can gain traction without compromising their limited budgets. Others will outsource when they are in expansion stage.

You can reduce the risks associated with expansion because the costs of outsourcing are low and the agreement can be terminated without much complication. You can outsource different departments of your business  so your company can re-align its focus on potential new ventures.

4. Where to Outsource?

Outsourcing has become a huge global industry. The estimated value of the global outsourcing industry is US$250 Billion. Its market size alone grew by 132% over the last 15 years.

The predominant countries now for global outsourcing are the Philippines and India. The Philippines leads the outsourcing industry in telemarketing, back office support and customer service. India has always been the leader for IT outsourcing.

By outsourcing to these remote countries, you can further improve your margins because wage rates are lower. In the Philippines, you can secure the services of a reputable outsourcer for US$9 to US$12 per hour. The rate includes power, rent and Internet.

By comparison, the average wage rate in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia is US$16.50 to US$20 per hour.

5. Who to Outsource?

Before you initiate discussions with any third party outsourcing services provider you must make sure the companies are reputable and in good standing.

  • Contact local regulating agencies; ask for a list of members in good standing.
  • Conduct due diligence; a simple Google search may sometimes suffice.
  • Get referrals from friends and associates that have outsourced.
  • Use social media and other networking sites such as LinkedIn.

It pays to spend time and resources on these activities. There are many spurious companies that work to scam clients of their hard earned money.

Finally you have the “H” as in “How” to outsource. That will be the subject of another article but once you have identified “Who” you should already plan to reach out and establish contact, interview representatives and draw up the necessary contracts.

3-tips-on-how-to-find-the-right-fit-virtual-assistant

3 Tips on How to Find the Right-Fit Virtual Assistant

3-tips-on-how-to-find-the-right-fit-virtual-assistant

The Virtual Assistant has become an indispensible asset to every business organization regardless of size or scale. Whether you are a company that generates $10 Million a year or a startup looking to net $100,000 in the first full year of operation, a Virtual Assistant will help you surpass profitability targets.

But with so many people entering the virtual assistance profession, it becomes more challenging to look for the best candidates. The key is to shift your focus to a Virtual Assistant who is right-fit for your business.

“Right-Fit” means someone who understands and acknowledges the purpose of your business and willingly subscribes to your vision. Right – fit candidates may not be the best in terms of credentials and references but they are the most dedicated people you can find for your business.

Here are 3 tips on how to find the right-fit Virtual Assistant for your business:

1. Identify the Tasks You Want Outsourced

Before you even commence recruitment activities, you should be clear on what tasks you want to outsource to a Virtual Assistant.

Virtual assistants are no longer just secretaries or personal assistants. Since the new millennium, the virtual assistance industry has opened its doors to candidates with various skills.

It doesn’t matter what area you want filled out or which tasks you want outsourced. You will find a Virtual Assistant for the job.

Create a summary of the tasks you want outsourced and use this as reference for the “Scope of Work” the formal document you have to provide the Virtual Assistant.

The Scope of Work is usually attached to the Service Level Agreement (SLA) which is the standard contract between the Client and the Virtual Assistant.

2. Start With the Job Posting

Qualifying a right-fit Virtual Assistant can start with the job posting. One of the strong points of a Virtual Assistant is attention to detail. The best ones are meticulous when it comes to instructions because they do not want to make costly mistakes.

Some clients use the job post as a creative way to qualify which ones are meticulous enough to read through the entire text. You will often come across job posts that are very long; some are longer than 1,000 words and written in small sized font.

The purpose is to test the patience and determination of each candidate. Usually near the end of the job post is a crucial instruction which must be carried out or the application will be disqualified.

If you want to hire a right-fit Virtual Assistant, he or she must be willing to extend all efforts to get the job done right.  

3. Focus on the Behavioral

Clients make the mistake of emphasizing the technical and fundamental competencies of the candidate.

You can hire the candidate with the most glowing references and longest list of accomplishments. But if he or she is not right-fit, the relationship will not work and may end up disruptive.

Focus on the behavioral aspects: personality and attitude. Find out what values they believe in and how they approach work. Ask them about the most difficult experiences they had at work and life and how they managed to resolve them.

The principle of “Right-Fit” has become an important factor in hiring people. Tony Hsieh of Zappos does not use the resume as basis for hiring personnel. Instead he gauges if the candidate will be a fit to their culture.

Always keep in mind that people can be trained to become more proficient at work. However, there is no specific type of training that can change a person from who he or she already is.

4 ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR FINDING THE RIGHT EMPLOYEES FOR YOUR BUSINESS

4 essential tips for finding the right employees for your business

4 ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR FINDING THE RIGHT EMPLOYEES FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Hiring employees for your real estate business can be difficult. You need to hire employees at the right time. By hiring too early, you will have difficulty paying the employee. On the other hand, if you hire too late, you will end up losing many projects due to lack of human resources. You need to hire the right employees to can handle the work and help your real estate business to grow. Here are the steps you should take in hiring an employee for your business.

Decide what tasks you want to delegate

You need to know what tasks you want to delegate. You should assign yourself tasks that you are best at and delegate the rest of the work to your employees. For example, you may be good at negotiating the sale of property, but have difficulty in bookkeeping, you need to hire an employee who can do bookkeeping task for you. You need to have strong leadership skills.

DECIDE WHAT TASKS YOU WANT TO DELEGATE

Outsource those tasks

If you have too many tasks that you cannot handle yourself, then you need to hire an outsourcing firm. You an outsource tasks related to maintenance and support. You can hire outsourcing companies that give you painters, handymen, HVAC experts, etc. You can also hire freelancers for the job.

outsource those tasks

Hire the best employee in the industry

Smart investors invest in people more. People are the assets of a company. When hiring, you should be clear about the job description so that you know what kind of employee you want for your job. You should outline the employee’s job role so that they know what is expected of them.

hire the best employee in the industry

Check out references

You should check out the references of the employees to be sure about their background. By doing so, you increase your chances of hiring the right employee for your real estate company.

check references

All these steps can help you hire excellent employees for your business. They will be able to contribute positively to your real estate agency.

5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD OUTSOURCE PART OF YOUR WORK

5 reasons why you should outsource part of your work

5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD OUTSOURCE PART OF YOUR WORK

Many real estate agents see the benefits of outsourcing daily tasks. By outsourcing, these companies can concentrate more on generating revenue, instead of wasting time on non-income earning tasks. Here are five reasons why real estate agents outsource part of their work.

More value for time

Real estate agents earn by selling as many properties as possible. So, time is precious. Much time is spent on doing the back-end tasks. By outsourcing, the agents can spend more time on selling and earn more money.

Saving money and resources

Outsourcing is a cost-effective solution for businesses. Outsourcing companies have trained and skilled employees to do the non-revenue generating work. This will save you human resources and time. Tasks like maintaining customer databases, preparing brochures and advertisements, etc. can be outsourced.

Having access to the specialists

A real estate outsourcing company has trained workers. They have years of experience with these tasks. Over the years they have adopted special skills in this field.

Growth

By outsourcing tasks, the real estate agents can get the valuable time to focus on their core activities. This will lead to company growth.

Delegating tasks

You can delegate some of the general functions to an outsourcing company. By delegating tasks, you will be able to work around your schedule easily.

Outsourcing certain tasks can be advantageous for the real estate agents. It will save time and utilize this free time in taking strategic decisions regarding their business.

planning to outsource