Your Practical Guide on Outsourcing: How to Get Started

Have you ever considered whether it is more cost-efficient to take on a task in-house or to outsource it?

What if, say, no one else knows the business but you?  Certainly, while you have the ability to do everything inshore, you can strategically  streamline your business by outsourcing so you can focus your time instead on the essentials of your business.    Under the Pareto Principle, identify which 20% of your work produces 80% results.

 

 

Contemplate:

  • What 20% of things cost me 80% of my time?
  • What 20% of things create 80% stress? 80% anger? 80% unhappiness?
  • What tasks do I enjoy but a freelancer would do better and save me valuable time?

When you outsource, you are sourcing work from outside.  You delegate your work to a third party service provider who comes from an alternative pool of world-class talents from other countries.  To be able to delegate effectively, you will need to have the knowledge of your own processes as you may have to walk your external vendor through your business tools and processes to produce the final output you desire.

Visualise what you need to get done before you outsource.

  1. Choose which area of your business you would like to outsource.   Routinise and list the tasks under that, that need to be accomplished in a day.   A strong grasp of what you want to be delivered and how you want it delivered should allow you to choose the right provider to meet your needs.  Be specific as to the type and expertise level of a freelancer.      Mention long-term or repeat work so you get a better pricing.
  • Ask:  If I eliminate a task, will the project still exist?
  •  If you are not able to eliminate a task, is there a valuable alternative source that can handle such a task?
  • If yes, is this a core task?   The key is to determine whether a non-core task can be performed by a third party at a lower rate, quickly and efficiently.
  • If it is not a core task, do you have the experience to do the task?

2. Effectively plan not just on a daily basis but so too your weekly, monthly and quarterly goals.  Break down goals into milestones. As you determine your quarterly goals it will help you determine whether you are hitting your larger goals.

3. Choose the provider that can add value of the customer service experience you want to deliver.

Offshoring versus Outsourcing

Outsourcing does not necessarily mean offshoring because the latter involves the physical relocation of a part of your business in another country.   Outsourcing is not delimited to being availed of  only by large companies either.   In fact, small to medium-sized businesses get value from outsourcing.  All these different businesses including non-profit organizations outsource essential abilities from abroad as a strategic approach to control costs.  For example, you won’t need to rent too big an office space anymore or invest in expensive equipment if your provider can take care of them.   Most companies outsource to save money on labor.   Labor savings mean freeing up of capital for other investments or hiring more people that can multiply your productivity level.

Cut costs, improve efficiency without sacrificing quality

Will outsourcing help you make key decisions?  Will outsourcing reduce your operating costs?

Know where to outsource

The three best locations where to outsource are:

  • The Philippines – Alongside Filipino, English is an official language in the Philippines. They have great talent pools for SEO experts, HR, customer service agents and virtual assistants.   Their strong English proficiency makes it nearly impossible for some customers to suspect they are talking to someone who is located halfway across the world.   They will require a little bit of development but it is worth the price.
  • India – They have the largest number of English speakers in the world.  Their fast developing infrastructure have emerged them as a great place to find SEO and software development application experts  but they may require a bit more personal development than talent from the Philippines.
  • Eastern Europe – This area is increasingly attractive as it is culturally aligned with Western Europe.  Eastern Europe’s level of education is also high but it is the most expensive option.  They have the best developers at the best price.

Communicate your expectations

Set your expectations correctly.    Hire the right people.  Hire, oversee and manage.   Engage your virtual assistant in a friendly conversation.  Point out what qualities you are looking for.    Do not expect stellar quality work every time you outsource.  No one is infallible.  Do not assume everybody thinks the way that you do.  Set modest and achievable targets.  You need to be as clear as you can with what tasks your helpers are responsible for and how they should handle them.  The specifications will need to be upfront and clear.  They need to be on paper so you can reference them in the future.

Communication is key.  Make sure to present a written version of what you have verbally let them know.   Have a concrete way of measuring success.   Write job and project descriptions. A job description is an account of the assistant’s responsibilities.   A project description goes into the problem that the project will address, sets the preferred mode of communication–by phone, email or Skype, etc, length and deadline of the project, includes an overview and scope of the project, and much more.  Have chat rooms for team members working in different time zones to come back to and read logs.

Remember, if it is a core task, do it yourself.  Never outsource what is a crucial component of your business.    By outsourcing only those small tasks that are time-consuming, you free up your time to focus on what you do best.  The specific tasks an external contractor can provide you are based on your mutual agreement of services and payments to exchange.  Focus on what is core to you.  Double your own productivity by effectively delegating what is non-core.

 

Your Next Virtual Assistant

Your virtual assistant is not a robot but a real person.   Immersed into different web systems and armed with an arsenal of skills, Jacques “Zak” Kenichi Salazar, is excited to work with you on your next project.

When did you join East West Enterprises, Zak?

I joined the  company in October 2018 and it has been an interesting career change.  I get to work with various companies requiring new and exciting tasks. I look forward to learning new things and developing new skills as I go along.

As newblood, what talents and skills do you bring in to the company?

I have developed a wide arsenal of skills over the years. I have had experience in almost all departments in the outsourcing industry. I have worked in customer service, tech support, chat support and sales. I even had my try at the marketing department and a slight experience in Quality Assurance and Training. I also had experience as a content creator as I am passionate about writing since I am also working on my own blog.

What was your previous work?

I have been a freelance developer in the past. I have created a lot of web systems that incorporate database management along with front-end development. I have also built and managed customized software applications that fit the client’s needs. And, I have also worked as a Business Developer for a small BPO company and I was tasked with bringing in new clients.

What are the fields you expect to work on in the virtual world?

I am willing to take up any field as I believe that I can learn new things in a timely manner with less supervision.   Due to my long experience as a developer, I believe that I am good at managing various web systems .   I would love  to further expand my skills so I am pretty much open to any task that can be delegated to me.

See our EWE Team.

 

 

Achieve Work Life Balance from Virtual Assistant Services

Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is something everybody wants to achieve. You want to strike the right balance between your commitments at work and your personal life. That is what Tim Ferris’ 4-Hour Workweek book is all about. It is a paradigm shift severing the connection between time and work. Do you want to live more and work less?  Can you imagine having a hair cut in one of your trips overseas and earning at the same time? If you could pay $50 each week to have Friday off to go to the gym or relax, wouldn’t you do it?

Outsourcing, Defined

Tim’s book also produced an unfortunate amount of business owners trying to outsource without having a serious background of the sourcing process which includes remote interviewing and remote team management. What then is outsourcing?

Outsourcing in business is finding a third party to handle some of the workload. A business owner outsources tasks you don’t enjoy in order to get it from somewhere. You do not want to spend the most of your time answering customer service calls and emails. You would rather work on what has a significant impact on your profits.

By outsourcing different components of your regular operations, it allows you to handle a bigger work load.  Thereby, increasing your company’s efficiency and growth.

Benefits to Outsourcing

Outsourcing will enable you to focus on your core activities at the same time,

-Your business grows.

-It takes a huge load off your plate.

-It gives you cost savings.

-It increases  profits.

-It reduces your overhead.

-There is flexibility in your staffing.

-You can now train your trusted employees for greater responsibility.

Virtual Assistant Company

Considering the amount of responsibilities small business owners have, they may feel like they can never be away from their business.   Technology can seduce all of us in a way that leads us to believe that we can do everything but it usurps our free time and the quality of our life.

If businesses are to have a good work life balance, they will need to outsource and be away from those tasks that are interfering them.

Start experiencing your freedom today. Go for a Virtual Assistant Services Company rather than a single VA. It gives you a back up in case one becomes unavailable. Additionally, virtual assistant services help you take care of the things you don’t know how to do like creating a webpage, etc.

How outsourcing is more than just cost cutting

 

EWE FB post

In the words of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding father and former Prime Minister, who transformed Singapore from a third to a first world country, “If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.”

Outsourcing began as a way of cutting costs for big businesses, but it’s evolved in a way that now makes it accessible to small and medium sized businesses to help them reduce costs and improve efficiencies too. It also improves your life by freeing you up from tedious tasks so you have more time to spend doing what truly matters: To live, breathe and enjoy every moment.

EastWest Enterprises was established by 2 Aussie’s in 2010 to recruit and connect qualified professionals in the Philippines with small and medium sized businesses in Australia and New Zealand. We’re your connection to your workforce in the Philippines, at a fraction of the cost.

Your virtual staff in the Philippines are 100% dedicated to you and have their own specialised skills … ready for you to train in your specific office procedures and tasks. They are passionate and determined to give better results.

As we mentioned in a previous article, ‘How can Virtual Assistants help boost my Business?’, “The advantage of hiring office-based virtual assistants like EastWest Enterprises is that you don’t have to worry about management, HR related issues, sick leave, tech support and other office related concerns, because we’ll do it for you. You can focus more on the most important things in your business, or in your life, like spending more family time while someone is doing the tedious tasks for you.

Office-based VAs at EastWest Enterprises are supplied with everything they need to be productive, such as a computer with 2 screens, high speed internet, A-class offices, computer chair, desk and full technical support in case there is a computer issue that needs to be resolved.”

Here are some general task you can outsource:

  1. Calendar Management
  2. Hotel and Flight Booking
  3. Email Management/Filtering
  4. Setting up Autoresponders (Aweber, Mailchimp)
  5. Booking appointments
  6. Database building
  7. Research on certain topics for blog posts, newsletters or others
  8. Following up with clients/customers
  9. Receptionist duties (answering occasional calls)
  10. Taking down minutes of meetings
  11. File Management (organizing files using Dropbox etc)
  12. Personal errands that can be done online
  13. Transcription (transcribing voicemail, video, audio, podcasts etc.)
  14. Creating basic reports (reports on weekly tasks, deliverables, sales)
  15. Preparing Powerpoint presentations
  16. Liaison between you and other team members
  17. Recruitment
  18. Set-up Social Media Accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube)
  19. Publish posts on your Blog (content you provided)
  20. Filter and reply to comments on your blog
  21. Answering support tickets
  22. Blog commenting (to increase links to your site)
  23. Participating in discussion forums or message boards (more promotion!)


For more information, visit www.eastwestenterprises.com.au or call 1300 857 731 today.

The Importance of Hiring a VA

Hiring a VA is becoming popular these days and has helped many businesses to survive the very challenging world of business and commerce. It is important that you as the business owner don’t just sit around in your office all day, every day. You need to go out and meet new people, relax, enjoy and have fun! As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. It is pretty much the same with your business. All work and no time to get inspiration will make your business a dull and losing one. Business owners need to go out and build a strong network, be socially active,  get advice from other people and be inspired to try something new.

Sometimes our minds brings us back to the endless tasks piling on our desk and computers, this is why hiring a VA is important and helpful for business owners like you! As long as you hire the right VA, he/she will be your answered prayer to do the tedious tasks that drains the life out of you.

It is time that you focus on more important things such as your  family, friends, your wellbeing and… expanding your business.

Meet one of our pioneering VAs, Des, who has been with us since we first started. Her positive attitude and willingness to learn new skills are the reasons why her clients of 6 years won’t let her go.  She’s still working with the same clients since day 1 and they are inseparable ever since. Find out what she does….

Des Colina

What are your main tasks?

Virtual Assistant is my job that I never expect that I would love. I have been serving two or more clients for almost 6 years now. I am happy doing my clients tasks such as bookkeeping, bank reconciliation, staff timekeeping, calendar management, holiday rental sites management, email handling, data entry, CSR and appointment settings.

 

How do you manage your time?

Currently I have two clients. For me to deliver my tasks on time from each of them I use ASANA – an online application that helps me track and reminds me of my work deadlines. Also, I make sure that I recognize which task(s) is urgent.

 

Why did you choose to be a VA?

I chose to be a Virtual Assistant because I realized that I love organizing files/documents, I motivate myself to finish what is expected and I love facing whole day in a computer. I also have typing and customer service skills, familiar with MS Office and some online applications that my clients are using like MYOB and XERO accounting software. I maximized the skills I have, and I know those were just some of the skills to be a Virtual Assistant.

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Des 6 years ago

 

What is your previous job before you became a VA?

Before I became a Virtual Assistant, I used to be a Customer Service Representative in a telephone company (BPO) based in US for 2 years and was promoted as Quality Analyst for 1 year. Since the telephone company was closed, I applied in a publishing company and was hired as a Finance Representative for 2 years. While working on a graveyard shift, I lived unhealthy life – lack of sleep. I got sick like almost every month, so the doctor advised me to find a day time job instead. Blessed I am for EWE found and hired me. Until now I still love working with the company.

 

Tell us more about yourself

I am Desiree Joy Colina – Quilo. I am a silent type of person who loves playing keyboard musical instrument and listening to music. I enjoy going out with some of my few friends. I am active in church planting and outreach programs. Yes, I am always busy, and I love it!

 

Check the services that we offer and contact us today.