Specific Tasks A VA Cannot Perform

Specific Tasks A VA Cannot Perform

As more and more business look at outsourcing, it’s important to consider any limitations around tasks outsourcers / VA’s cannot perform in your business. When you realise this at the very beginning it allows you to look at how you can integrate a VA into your business to get the best return for your Investment.

In today’s session we delve in deep, discussing those limitations and the idea of Universal and Specialist tasks.

Time Stamps

The Promise Of The Ultimate VA – Time: 00:31
The Two Categories Of VA’s – Time: 1:17
743 Tasks You Can Outsource To A VA – Time: 2:28
The Outsource Loophole – Time: 2:55
The Importance Of Mindset and Skillset – Time: 3:29
In The Next Session – Time: 4:37

Transcript

Hey David Judge here and today we’re going to discuss tasks a VA cannot perform.

This is about more than ‘they can’t make your coffee’ or ‘take out the trash’ as I’m going to delve in deep and talk about the idea of specialist and universal tasks.

When I wrote this I thought I’d look to see what people think about VA’s and tasks they can perform and interestingly there was a lot of content around the tasks a VA can do, but really nothing around what they can’t.

The Promise Of The Ultimate VA

Even more interesting is during my research this time I’ve found a myth appear around the promise of a ULTIMATE VA, where ONE VA can perform every task known to man, for obviously a much smaller investment than employing locally.

When you really think about this, how realistic do you think it would be for you to find a person in your local area that could perform every task imaginable (let alone finding a reliable employee) and with that in mind, why do you think it would be possible to find a person overseas that would fit that criteria?

The Two Categories Of VA’s

I’m aware that it’s near impossible to find a VA that can do everything and over time have started to break VA’s into 2 categories:

Universal VA’s
Specialist VA’s

A Universal VA (UVA) is a person that can perform a number of general tasks in your business and a Specialist VA (SVA) is a person that would specialize in specific tasks.

An SVA for example would be an Accountant, Server Administrator, Web Developer, Advanced Video Editor, or Advanced Content Writer. For this type of person to perform right away they would generally need to have a demonstratable experience or Formal Education around those disciplines.

So to be clear around this point before I move on…

I’m saying if you are an Web Designer and you’re looking for a Digital Graphic Designer, it is highly unlikely they will be able to Accounting duties as this is simply not their discipline. Again, these are specialized tasks.

Dependant on the level of task you’re outsourcing will be dependant on whether you’d need a Universal VA (that can cover a series of general tasks) or a number of Specialist VA’s that can focus on being really good at that particular task.

743 Tasks You Can Outsource To A VA

That reminds me before I move on. If you check out here, you’ll get access to an eBook I’ve created called 743 tasks you can outsource to a VA, where I mention each tasks and whether a Specialist or Universal VA could perform it.

With everything I’ve mentioned just now about specialist and universal tasks, there is a loophole where a UVA can perform Specialist tasks.

The Outsource Loophole

I like to call these loophole… mindset and skillset.

When I look at hiring a VA I first of all look for a person that would has the right mindset and a similar skillset to the specialist roles.
I know if I can get a person with the right mindset and skillset then I can upskill and train them in certain specialist tasks.

We use a number of specific tasks during the recruitment process to identify these types of people and now these are the only type of person we employ within our business.

The Importance Of Mindset and Skillset

When we look at employing a VA for ourselves or a client I look at preparing a full list of all the tasks they may potentially complete I first of all look for a person with the right mindset, look at their skillset and finally test that VA in each of those tasks to see where they’re at and if this is an area I could train and upskill in the future.

To be clear, whilst this still means there are times that you’ll have to employ a Specialist, there are also other times you can upskill your VA in specialist tasks if you follow the process I have mentioned just now!

While I agree that it’s impossible to find a Ultimate VA, I do believe you can find a universal VA and if you recruit the right way, can definitely upskill that person in other disciplines if you invest the time and follow the right methods.

So the idea of what tasks a VA cannot perform is as I said at beginning about more than just making you a coffee, it’s really about the style of tasks and whether you’ll need a specialist of a universal VA.

In The Next Session

Ok, let’s wrap up

In the next session we’re going to do something a little different. While I talk to a lot of people about outsourcing there is still a GAP for a business understanding ‘How’ a VA can specifically work in their business.

With this in mind over the next few sessions I’m going to cover several case studies I call ‘A Week in the life of a VA’ where I delve in deep and share different VA’s working for different clients and a snapshot of the tasks they perform.

These are going to be a massive treat as they will uncover the veil of uncertainty around how a VA could work for you in your business.

If you have a question you would like me to answer make sure you get in contact and I love to hear from you.

As always this is David Judge talking outsourcing and showing businesses how to work smarter.

How To Integrate A VA Into Your Team

How To Integrate A VA Into Your Team

The key to the success of any relationship is in the foundation. Establishing the right foundation can be the difference between total success at integrating a VA vs getting less than great results and not realising the value with your business.

In today’s session we cover the 7 Steps to integrating a new VA into your business and the step by step method from initial employment, all the way through to your VA performing like a well oiled machine.

Time Stamps

7 Steps To Integrating A New VA Into Your Business – Time: 00:23
Step 1 – How To Talk With Your Existing Team – Time: 00:57
Step 2 – Confirming The Tasks You Would Like Your VA Perform – Time: 1:54
Step 3 – Identify Who Will Upskill Your VA – Time: 2:43
Step 4 – Break Those Tasks Into Weekly And Monthly Buckets – Time: 3:36
Step 5 – Invest The Time At The Beginning – Time: 4:15
Step 6 – Stay In Touch With Your VA – Time: 4:40
Step 7 – Assign And Align With Your Team – Time: 5:35
In the Next Session – Time: 6:39

Transcript

Hey David Judge here and in this conversation we’re going to discuss how to integrate a VA into your team.

Let’s make an assumption… and say you’ve decided you want a VA, you’re either using an service to manage your VA (a service like ours), you may have used a service like oDesk and you’re wondering how you’re going to integrate them into your team.

7 Steps To Integrating A New VA Into Your Business

For a lot of businesses this is a really important stage as it can be the make or break it for the business as a VA is may be integrating into an existing team.

This is also the same deal if you’re employing a VA as a sole business owner as you to ensure they help you in the areas you need within your business.

Let’s break this down into a few key areas starting from the very beginning all the way to the stage where you’re VA is performing like a well oiled machine for you and how you can achieve that.

Sound Good??? Excellent!

Step 1 – How To Talk With Your Existing Team

Ok, so the first area would be to mention it to your existing team. This is obviously optional as if you’re a one man (or woman) band you’d just be sitting talking to yourself.

When you talk to your team I would always position at the beginning how they are going to integrate to ensure you get maximum buy in at the same time helping the relevant team members to understand how they will assist with the upskilling of the new team member. In a lot of ways a VA is there to support your existing team so they can focus on other ROI tasks and it’s important to convey that to your existing team.

Ok, the second area…

Step 2 – Confirming The Tasks You Would Like Your VA Perform

I’ve actually created a video previously ‘HERE’ where I share how you can identify the best tasks for a VA to perform within your business.

If you have followed step 1, your team can help you to flag this for you.

This allows you to understand the full series of tasks you will have your VA complete at the beginning rather than creating tasks to keep them busy. Remember, we want to target the tasks that will relieve your business in one way or another.

Step 3 – Identify Who Will Upskill Your VA

This is where you take the tasks you have decided you would like your VA to perform and actioning the training of those tasks.

We’ve found it usually works best to have a single point of contact in the upskilling process to ensure 1 clear concise is delivered.

At this stage of the process if you employ your VA through a service similar to my own, we would identify the tasks we are able to upskill with your team (as we have a substantial support team).
We would then create a training plan of the tasks we will upskill your team member in and the remaining tasks that would require an additional team member to train that task around.

Step 4 – Break Those Tasks Into Weekly And Monthly Buckets

You can use this step to ensure the tasks that need to get done are getting done at the right times and is one of the most important steps.

This is really simple at the same time is a critical part of ensuring your VA is performing within your business.

On the flip side you can also use this step to ensure your VA is completing each of the required weekly and monthly tasks up to the require spec and time, based on your existing teams experience.

Step 5 – Invest The Time At The Beginning

This really an extension of number 3 and 4 where you’ve flagged the tasks and who will upskill your new team member.

For it to all come together it’s important you invest a little time to upskill, troubleshoot and communicate with your new team member.

Ok, Number 6 follows on perfectly which is:

Step 6 – Stay In Touch With Your VA

Yes, once you’ve gone through the steps of establishing the foundation and up-skilling your VA it’s important to ensure your staying in touch.

This is the way that suits you best with my personal favourite One On One Voice also know as talking to each other. I find a quick 10 minute conversation is the equivalent of half a dozen 2 way emails and can overcome any potential miscommunications.

I like to stay in touch with my team a minimum once a week and have mentioned the same thing to every client as this ensures your VA continues to stay aligned to your goals, objectives and is completing the required tasks the way you want them completed.

Step 7 – Assign And Align With Your Team

As your VA is upskilled you will want to ensure they are seamlessly working within your existing team offering access to the same softwares that will allow your VA to work within your team.

If there are ever any security concerns you can use a program like Teamviewer on a terminal (which means a computer in your office) that allows your VA to connect to a computer locally and work as if they were sitting within your office.

This also allows your team member to complete local tasks like mail merges and printing of double sided documents for you to send or drop off to leads locally.

So there we have it, the 7 step process to integrating a VA into your team and I have used this same process over and over again to ensure you are getting the most out of your VA at the same time helping them to integrate into your team.

In the Next Session

Ok, great, let’s wrap up…

In the next session we’re going to discuss the specific tasks a VA cannot perform. This will be an interesting conversation where we discuss the key areas we’ve found a VA’s are not able to perform within a business and other areas that a VA can, but will need guidance around.

If you have a question you would like me to answer make sure you get in contact and I love to hear from you.

As always this is David Judge talking outsourcing and showing businesses how to work smarter.

 

What Are The Exact Costs Of A VA?

What Are The Exact Costs Of A VA?

When it comes to employing your VA there are additional costs that you need to consider that are above and beyond their hourly rate.

If you employ people locally you’re generally aware of what those costs are and exactly what you should and are not responsible to pay for. In today’s conversation we share those additional costs and what you should pay for to ensure you keep a long term employee that is prepared to grow with your business.

Time Stamps

What Are The Raw Essentials A VA Needs To Work – Time: 00:42
3 Areas To Get The Maximum Performance From A VA – Time: 1:16
How To Offer Job Security – Time: 1:56
What Are The Best Working Conditions – Time: 2:45
How To Ensure Personal Development – Time: 3:37
Other Areas Of Personal Development – Time: 4:36
In The Next Session – Time: 5:19

Transcript

Hey David Judge here and today we’re going to discuss What Are The Exact Costs Of A VA.

Now, we’re talking about more than the hourly rate you pay, we’re also going to discuss what other costs there are associated with a VA and whether or not you need to pay those costs.

In this conversation we’re really going to talk about this as a sliding scale, as people think the more you pay the better the person you’ll get. While this can certainly be the case, you need to ensure you are ticking the boxes as to where that money is going and whether a person is going to offer that return on investment for you.

I’ll explain that as we go through.

What Are The Raw Essentials A VA Needs To Work

Ok so, lets talk the costs.

In order for an outsourcer to work for you they will generally require 3 things:

A computer
Internet
Power

As long as your VA has these 3 items they can perform the task for you.

What I have found over my time in outsourcing is if you want to attract good quality people whilst you can look for a person that ticks those 3 boxes then there are other areas you need to cover.

3 Areas To Get The Maximum Performance From A VA

These other 3 areas are:

1 – Job Security
2 – Working Conditions
3 – Personal Development

Now you notice I just said GOOD QUALITY PEOPLE? Whist you can strike it rich and get a good VA out of the blue, if you want to focus on consistently getting quality people these are the 3 areas of fulfillment you really need to cover.

I’m going to break these down, explain why each fit into the overall puzzle and finally how that impacts the exact costs of a VA.

One last shameless plug point I would like to make… When our clients work with us, all of these costs are calculated into their investment of employing a VA.

Lets move on…

How To Offer Job Security

Ok, number 1 – Job Security

Employing a person on oDesk or the like is simply not enough for you to sustain an VA on the medium to long term. This is sort of like employing a person full-time locally where there are other areas you need to pay.

These include:

13 month – This is 1 month of salary that you pay your team member every year at the end of each year
10 days sick leave – that is there if a team member is sick
10 days vacation – again as it sounds, this is basically annual leave
Benefits – this is like private health insurance allowing your team member to have hospital cover (this last one carries a lot of weight)

Those are the key areas around security you should cover with your team member.

Next we have…

What Are The Best Working Conditions

Number 2 – Working Conditions

As we said earlier, the minimum a VA needs to have in order to work was a computer, internet and power.

Whilst this is the bare minimum, if you want to achieve the maximum results for your VA and ensure they are not getting distracted then you need MORE.

The average case scenario (notice I mentioned average case, as opposed to BEST CASE) would be an office space with adequate lighting (so they’re not working in the dark), air conditioning, a desk, a chair, no sound distractions (like sound proofing) and within a team environment.

Each of these areas allows your team member to feel valued and (as you would expect) I have noticed a HUGE difference in the level of performance of a person working within an office space, as opposed to a working from their bedroom.

How To Ensure Personal Development

Ok, last one Number 3 – Personal Development

From my early days in outsourcing I’ve always thought how I could improve my outsourcers skill level as I understand the more they know, the more I can delegate.

It turns out this had a flip side effect. It actually meant they felt happier in their role and they really wanted to be there as they knew they would be learning new tasks all the time.
Once this dawned on I realised I needed to ensure every team member is cross skilled and upskilled in different disciplines and skillsets.

When I started rolling this out it allowed me to identify particular tasks that particular VA’s excelled, which allowed me to start directing people toward the tasks they enjoyed.

The result as I mentioned earlier is a culture of personal development and when a new team member is added to the team and I ask for feedback, they comment that it feels less like a job and more like I’m constantly growing.

Other Areas Of Personal Development

Now, this also extends beyond upskilling in work disciplines and I have noticed a massive uptake when I entice team members with Gym memberships and I tell you now if you want a highly skilled loyal employee for life, simply look at this 3rd point ALONE.

Ok, these are the 3 areas and what you’ll need to calculate as the EXACT COSTS above and beyond your hourly rate to grow your team.

This is also why I am constantly employing other people’s VA’s (especially from a job security perspective) and why I’m able to provide clients with consistent results.

Awesome, another juicy subject and let’s wrap up.

In The Next Session

In the next session we’re going to discuss How to integrate a VA into your team. We employ VA’s for clients that are looking to add that additional level of support for their team so we’ll cover off how that looks and give you a couple of scenarios so you can get a feel on how it may apply to you.

If you have a question you would like me to answer make sure you get in contact and I love to hear from you.

As always this is David Judge talking outsourcing and showing businesses how to work smarter.

How and when you should upskill a VA

How and when you should upskill a VA

Employing a VA in any business is an investment as you’re ultimately looking to achieve a form of Return On Investment. This can be in the form of administration tasks, through to receiving inbound calls.

When employing your VA one of the best ways you can protect that investment is through the upskilling of that VA. Today we cover how and when you should upskill your team along with tools for your VA to systematise your business.

Time Stamps

The First And Most Important Moment To Upskill Your VA – Time – 00:31
Using Existing Procedures To Simplify Your Onboarding – Time: 1:03
Other Times You Would Need To Upskill A VA – Time: 2:01
The Best Methods OF Training – Time: 2:57
The Benefit Of Group Training – Time: 4:05
Leveraging the Systematization Of Your Business – Time: 4:27
In the Next Session – Time: 5:30

Transcript

Hey David Judge here and today we’re going to talk about how and when you should upskill a VA in your business.

This is a really good question as there are actually a few instances that come to mind when I think of when I should be upskilling a VA.

So, lets cover that off first then look at how you can effectively train a VA and finish off with how your VA can train addition people and / or VA’s in your business.

Sound good? GREAT!!!

The First And Most Important Moment To Upskill Your VA

Ok, this sort of goes without saying but the first instance you’ll need to upskill a VA in your business is when you employ them.

Like with any new team member you will need to complete a form of ‘Onboarding’ which is the term used where you upskill your team member into their role including the sharing of the effective methods and behaviours they will need to adopt in order to be a great fit for your business.

During the onboarding you would outline the tasks and start breaking them down into Monthly buckets and then the repetitive tasks into weekly buckets.

Using Existing Procedures To Simplify Your Onboarding

If there are any existing procedures you have at this time then you would share this with the VA and get them to go through and absorb the methods.

If not that’s ok, but it may take an additional investment of your time to get them up to speed.

As a reference when we arrange VA’s we would understand the overall tasks we need to complete (like I mentioned earlier) and follow the same monthly and weekly exercise to drill down how the VA will work in the business.

We would then flag the tasks we can upskill the VA in (using our own onboarding process) and flag the tasks the client will need to upskill the VA in.

We find this works very well to get a person to perform FAST.

From start to finish this should take about 4 weeks (which is around the same amount of time it would take a person locally to integrate into your business).

So this would be the main time for you to upskill your VA.

Other Times You Would Need To Upskill A VA

Now, dependant on how you have employed a VA will be dependant on if and when you will need to upskill that team member.

If you have employed a team of VA’s to act as a support for admin tasks you may want to branch one of the team members into a higher role of responsibility or if you have a single VA it could be additional tasks to free up your workload.

Most recently we had a VA that was working for a client in a support ticket role and their employer is now upskilling them in web architecture as they showed a solid level of knowledge during their time working together.

The point here is as your VA becomes more competent and confident within your business you will naturally delegate more for them to do.

Ok, the best methods of training…

The Best Methods OF Training

This is pretty simple and we’ve found one on one time is the best, where you can openly communicate ideas and tasks and offer / receive active feedback.

You can do this via Skype (which allows voice and type communication) or several other programs like Google hangouts or facebook messenger.

When it comes to demonstrating tasks I usually like to screen share and this is where I use teamviewer as it allows me to share my screen with others and I can allow others to control my computer, etc.

This allows maximum interactivity and if you are getting a person to perform a task you can get them to complete that task as you watch, correcting any issues that may arise along the way.

If it is existing software you may also want to show them YouTube videos as this will allow you to leverage the upskilling through a person that has already done the hard work for you 🙂

This is the same way we work with our own VA’s if we’re looking at on-boarding or upskilling them into our business or for our clients.

The Benefit Of Group Training

One area where we do have the additional benefit is our physical offices where we can arrange our team to meet in the training room. This would be for a client that would employ 5 VA’s for an example and we would need to hold training with the client on a series of tasks.

Ok, last point and then we’ll wrap up.

Leveraging the Systematization Of Your Business

Every team member we bring on board records and creates their own training manual. This is a record of how they complete each task and the elements of those tasks. They normally include Video, images and text that can be used to up-skill if you were to lose a team member or for your VA to on-train another in one or a number of roles in the business.

We find this works well to have your VA create the procedures for your business, still allowing full access of this training for you to access at any time. I prefer Google Drive if you don’t have an existing system that can manage it for you as this allows you to store this information and control who and when a person can have access.

Last point, if you are getting your VA to set this up for you (and as you should with any VA) ensure you get them to sign a legally binding NDA.

In the Next Session

Ok, let’s wrap up

In the next session we’re going to answer what are the exact costs of a VA. We’re talking outside of their hourly rate, what else should I have to pay for.

We’ve had a massive amount of experience in this area, so it will be great to share.

If you have a question you would like me to answer make sure you get in contact and I love to hear from you.

As always this is David Judge talking outsourcing and showing businesses how to work smarter.

Work Hours, Holidays And The Best Time For A VA To Work

Work Hours, Holidays And The Best Time For A VA To Work

There are a number of areas many business owners don’t consider when employing a VA in their business. One of these areas is work hours, holidays and the best times for a VA to work.

Today we delve deeper and look at how to decide the best hours for a VA to work within your business and what key areas to consider before making the decision.

Time Stamps

The Time Difference Between Australia And The Philippines – Time: 00:26
What Are The Best Work Hours And Start Times? – Time: 00:48
What Public Holidays Should I Be Aware Of? – Time: 2:25
Communicate In Advance If You Want Your VA To Work Public Holidays And Weekends – Time: 2:54
Annual Leave For Your VA – Time: 3:46
My Personal Preference Around Start And Finish Times – Time: 4:49
In The Next Session – Time: 5:55

Transcript

Hey, David Judge here and today we’re going to talk about Work Hours, Holidays and the best time for a VA to work.

We’re going to share how we run our team and what works best for our clients and why it works best.

In today’s conversation I’m talking about the Philippines and the best hours etc. based on that location.

The Time Difference Between Australia And The Philippines

So Let’s start with the time difference?

If you’re in Australia, the difference in the Philippines is only 2 hours where for example 9:00am AEST, would translate to 7:00am Philippines time. This would obviously be different if you’re in daylight savings, or outside of East Coast?

What Are The Best Work Hours And Start Times?

Ok, work hours and start times

This would usually be Monday to Friday and the type of tasks would dictate the best time for your team to start.

For example, if you need someone to handle support emails and incoming calls you’d want your team to start between 8:30am to 9:00am your time.

If you’re team weren’t handling those sort of tasks you may actually consider starting them a little later at let’s say 11:00am.

So why 11:00am and not 9:00am?

When we first started arranging VA’s for clients we found the first few hours of every day the client was following up of a number of pending and daily tasks.

This would mean they wouldn’t get the maximum ‘Yield’ from their VA for the first few hours and on the flip side ended up with a number of pending tasks left over at the end of the day.

So we tested what would happen if we were to shift the day to start at 11:00am. For a number of clients this worked very well, allowing the client to finish at little bit earlier (if they chose to) and for the VA to handle whatever tasks were left over at the end of the day.

So in this scenario 11:00am – 7:00pm works very well for this type of client.

The main point here is the start and finish times of VA’s are really quite flexible and as they are a support person within your business they understand their job is to do exactly that… Support You.

Consider which model would work best for you and go from there.

What Public Holidays Should I Be Aware Of?

Ok, Public Holidays…

There are approximately 19 public holidays declared each year in the Philippines and the main days people would normally like to take off are:

Easter Thursday
Good Friday
Christmas Day
Boxing day

We’ve found most of the time the team all work on the other local declared holidays and if you arrange with a person in advance would be prepared to work if really necessary.

Communicate In Advance If You Want Your VA To Work Public Holidays And Weekends

If you think you would need a person to work through the major holidays ensure you position that at the very beginning to remain transparent in your business direction.

This is also the case with weekend work. If you know you are looking for a person to work every Saturday or the occasional one here and there, mention that at the very beginning as well. (additional rates may also apply here)

To summarise on this point, for flexible hour work the key to getting the right person is to communicate it at the beginning and VA’s are really very flexible to work the hours you require.

Annual Leave For Your VA

Annual Leave is another subject again, with many VA’s wanting to take the occasional group of days off, so it’s important to be mindful. This would be like 5 days from Saturday to Wednesday and for them to return to work the following Thursday.

One point to encourage your VA around annual leave is for them to book it in with you as far ahead as they can. I mention that as I’ve had many a time when a VA has told me on a Friday afternoon that they want to take the next week off. I now have a method in place where my team book waaaayyy in advance if they’re taking time off.

What do you do during this time? For our clients, we actually have a supervisor that overseas each team member and they are able to step in to handle any critical tasks or if required we train another person up to perform the task if it’s a critical role that a client cannot be without.

Ok, I think that’s about it.

My Personal Preference Around Start And Finish Times

One last point I wanted to mention before we wrap up is the idea of fixed start and finish times.

I prefer to have fixed times (as opposed to flexi start and finish when you want) as I know when a person will be there to handle the tasks and I find people work best under a set time structure as opposed to a flexible time structure.

Ok, that’s it, lets wrap up and yeah that was a lot of really valuable insights that are really never spoken of in our industry.

In The Next Session

In the next session we’re going to discuss ‘How and when you should upskill a VA’.

This will be really great as there are a few methods of crowd upskilling that we’ll cover.

If you have a question you would like me to answer make sure you get in contact and I love to hear from you.

As always this is David Judge talking outsourcing and showing businesses how to work smarter.

How Long Should It Take To Integrate A VA Into Your Business

How Long Should It Take To Integrate A VA Into Your Business

How long it will take for a VA to be integrated into your business is like asking ‘How long is a piece of string’. This all changes if you understand the 5 basic rules of integrating a VA into your business.

Today we discuss those rules and how long it should take for you to know if they’ll be a good fit and more importantly, how long it will take for your team member to be 80% integrated in their tasks.

Time Stamps

Integrating a VA in Your Business Is Dependant On The Tasks – Time: 00:19
Top 5 Rules To Smoothly Integrate A VA Into Your Business – Time: 00:58
Outline The Tasks And Processes You Would Like To Outsource In Advance – Time: 1:07
Invest Time At The Beginning To Train Your New Team Member – Time: 1:39
Set-Up Progress Checkpoints To Follow Along The Way – Time: 2:15
COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE – Time: 3:03
Correct And Adjust, Correct And Adjust – Time: 3:49
In The Next Video – Time: 5:04

Transcript

How Long Should It Take To Integrate A VA Into Your Business

Hey, David Judge here and today we’re going to talk ask ‘How long should it take to integrate a VA into my business.

We’re going to look at this from a few different angles and really break down the different areas you should focus on, also including a few tips on the best ways to achieve that integration!!!

Anyway, moving on…

Integrating a VA in Your Business Is Dependant On The Tasks

In some ways when you employ a person the length of time it takes them to integrate into your business completely, is similar to asking ‘how long is a piece of string’ as every business is different and while a lot of tasks may overlap, there will always be a few little unique tasks that will take time for your outsourcer to pick up.

With that in mind, you can fairly quickly tell if a person is going to be there for the long haul based on their first few weeks of working with you.

Whilst these first couple of weeks will help gauge if they feel like a good fit for your business in order to integrate a person fully, within the shortest period of time then there are a few rules you need to follow.

Top 5 Rules To Smoothly Integrate A VA Into Your Business

So let’s touch on those rules and discuss each in a little detail and then we’ll wrap up with a few additional tips…

Rule Number 1.

Outline The Tasks And Processes You Would Like To Outsource In Advance

In the early days although I was aware, I never enforced this rule and as a result had many issues with clients not feeling as if they were getting value from their VA. When I changed my process to ensure we were looking at the tasks and processes at the very beginning it was a complete flip around with the Business not only getting value, they also had a plan to follow on the tasks to outsource.

Ok, Rule Number 2

Invest Time At The Beginning To Train Your New Team Member

This is exactly the same as getting a team member locally, where you need to invest a little time to help them to understand your business. You can invest the time personally or have one of your existing team do it for you.

This will also help flag any gaps they may have in their knowledge allowing you to ‘nip them in the bud’ and correct right away.

If you follow the first rule, this makes this stage really easy to set up as you’ll have a plan to follow.

Ok, Rule 3

Set-Up Progress Checkpoints To Follow Along The Way

This rule makes it a lot easier to understand a VA’s progress and ability also helping the VA to feel like they are making process with their integration into your business.

The way I handle this Rule is to set up weekly goals and objectives outlining the tasks to complete, along with the overall purpose of that task. I use Google drive to do this and at the beginning of the new week we look at the previous week and reflect on the tasks that weren’t completed and why. We can flag an issues at this stage and also discuss any tasks that weren’t up to scratch and what we’ll do about them.

Finally, we congratulate the tasks that were completed well and use those as a guide for the next steps.

Rule Number 4

COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE

Lack of communication ends marriages, starts wars and can prevent your VA from reaching their full potential.

It’s really important, especially at the beginning that you actually over-communicate to ensure you’re outsourcer is integrating well within your business. This can be via email, instant messaging services like Skype or my personal favourite… talking to each other.

You can ‘talk’ to your VA again by using Skype and if you’re really tricky you can add credit to a Skype account and a phone number (which can be set to your local area) and ring them up from your mobile when you’re on the go.

We’re not in the 50’s so it’s ok to openly communicate.

Finally Rule 5.

Correct And Adjust, Correct And Adjust

If you’re not getting the results you’re after you can throw your hands up in the air and run off crying, or… you can look at the result you’re getting and adjust what you’re doing to suit the integration of your VA.

There will be times when you may need to change small parts of how your business works to fully integrate that person into your business. I have many instances of clients that have gone through this process with the actual correct and adjust process helping their business to go to the next level in many other indirect ways. This is all as a result of correcting and adjusting how they do business.

Ok, that’s it… 5 Rules to follow and based on the use of those 5 rules I’ve found it takes about 2 weeks for you to truly understand if a person will be able to integrate into your business (call it a ‘gut feeling’) and about 4 weeks in total for them to 80% integrate into your business.

In The Next Video

Lets’ wrap up. In the next session we’re going to talk about Work hours and holidays with your VA. What holidays are there, what time should you allow to take off and what are the best hours for your VA to work in your business?

If you have a question you would like me to answer make sure you get in contact and I love to hear from you.

As always this is David Judge talking outsourcing and showing businesses how to work smarter.

Today’s Resources

Skype (for voice calls and type chat) – http://www.skype.com
Google Drive (For document sharing on the cloud – this is an alternative to using office) – https://drive.google.com

Qualifications VA's should have and how do you know they're telling you the truth

Qualifications VA’s should have and how do you know they’re telling you the truth

Find a person that has the right qualifications to do the job can be an exhilarating feeling, especially if that person will help with the growth of your business.

On the flip side once they’re employed in your business, finding out they exaggerated their skills can end up a massive waste of time.

With over 300 employees under my belt, I’ve developed a method to measure the top 7 attributes every VA must posses to be a part of my team. I share this in detail along with how you can make sure they’re telling you the truth.

Time Stamps

Universal VA’s and Specialist VA’s – Time: 00:42
Why A VA Isn’t Honest About Their Qualifications – Time: 1:25
Am I Running A Charity Or A Business? – Time: 2:40
The Right Recruitment Process – Time: 3:28
Top 7 Attributes A VA Should Possess – Time: 3:50
The 4 Year Sweat And Tears Process To Getting The Right VA – Time: 4:48
In The Next Video – Time: 7:05

Transcript

9. Qualifications VA’s should have and how do you know they’re telling you the truth

Hey, David Judge here and today I’m going to discuss Qualifications your VA should have and how to know if they’re telling you the truth.

Like a number of other subjects I’ve covered previously, this is a really interesting subject especially around the question of trust and I’m going to share a few really good reasons I’ve included this as a part of today’s conversation.

Before we get into that, let’s talk about the Qualifications a VA should possess and a good way to identify the best qualifications is to first of all understand the style of tasks you would like your VA to perform.

I’ve actually covered that previously and you can check that out here, where I talk about a simple process to identifying the tasks you could outsource in your business.

Universal VA’s and Specialist VA’s

An important point to mention here is there are 2 types of VA’s that I call Universal VA’s and Specialist VA’s.

A UVA would suit a business where they wanted to cover a variety of general tasks, from email and calendar management, through to updating of your social profiles.

If you’re looking at more specialized tasks like Programming, Advanced Video Editing, Graphic Design and Advanced Content Writing then you’ll need a person specialized in that actual task.

Aside from the difference of the experience between the both of types there is also a price difference in how much you would expect to pay for a UVA compared to a SVA with the SVA obviously a higher investment due to their specialist experience.

Why A VA Isn’t Honest About Their Qualifications

So lets talk about UVA and the basic skills they should possess.

The first few times I used to use oDesk (this is a outsource job posting site) I placed my job and within a few hours had around 20 applicants.

Of the 20 around 15 were people that clearly had not read the description and pasted pre written responses. Of the remaining 5, 2 of the people looked like they could do exactly what I wanted and their applications really well written where they detailed that they could do the tasks.

I decided on the person that had the highest number of hours experience and let them loose on the task. 4 days later they delivered the project and it was TOTALLY DIFFERENT than what I had asked for. I contacted them and they said they would fix it right away and the second version was worse than the first.

I confronted them to ask what was going on and eventually they told me they didn’t have experience in the task, but they really just wanted me to give them an opportunity to learn the task.

Am I Running A Charity Or A Business?

While this would be ok if I was running a charity, in business I needed what I had asked for and for it to be delivered within a timely manner.

What was really interesting is in the next job posting I decided to interview people and when I asked them directly if they could perform the task a large percentage couldn’t. It was the same deal… they either wanted someone to help them out by giving them the experience, had another family member help them by completing the application or simply lied as they wanted a job.

This also followed through to their resumes. A lot of times the actual truths around these were greatly exaggerated masterpieces they had paid a professional to help them prepare.

The Right Recruitment Process

After a lot of painful hours I realised if I wanted to get a different result I needed to change how I was employing people for the jobs. I realised I really needed to break past the initial CRAP if I was going to understand how good a person really could be.

This is the foundation of the top 7 skills I now look for when I’m employing a VA.

When I mention these skills to people they’re normally really surprised and wonder how I’m able to measure their ability in these areas.

Top 7 Attributes A VA Should Possess

The top 7 skills I look for are:

– An Excellent Grasp of English
– Technologically Competent
– The ability to Interact
– Have Proven Problem Solving skills
– Possess Common Sense
– Attention to Detail
– Give a Damn About Their Job and Career

The big question is how you can effectively measure these 7 skills, especially when a lot of times the people you employ are in a totally different country.

Before we wrap up I’m going to share the process I use which is still an evolving piece of art. It has taken me 4 years to get to the place I am right now and is the reason I’m able to consistently get good quality people.

The 4 Year Sweat And Tears Process To Getting The Right VA

Ok the first stage is for them to supply their resume, but I also have each applicant complete a really detailed questionnaire. Within this questionnaire I include problem solving questions, questions that test their English, questions that test the applicants common sense and a few other important questions that test if they will get past stage 1.

Based on the questionnaire I know really quickly if they possess the required skills and means I can go through a lot of potential applicants to decide the ones that will make it to the next level.

If they make it through on the second stage I test these skills a second time, but LIVE. I provide a series of tasks they need to perform and use Google Drive to watch them complete the task live. From here I can confirm they weren’t honest on their questionnaire and can see how long it takes a person to complete each area. The other cool point about this part is I can run about 10 people at one time as you can basically flip between each person and watch as they complete.

Finally, if they make it through to this stage we do a one on one interview where we ask as many questions as possible to identify any potential issues and we also give them 2 impossible to solve scenarios designed to see how they handle pressure.

Starting to get an idea of how intense this process is?

I ultimately look for a person that ticks all of these boxes and whilst I ask for a resume and a few basic questions around their specific skills, I find these attributes are far more important than anything they can say on a resume.

What I’ve found is a person that makes it to this stage can not only pick up the required skills if there are any gaps, they are able to pick them up fast and always ask questions to improve how they’re adapting and learning.

So that’s the top 7 qualifications I find critical in successfully finding a VA and in all honesty I pay very little attention to what they say they can do and instead put them through my process that always identifies the person that has the right goods.

In The Next Video

Ok, let’s wrap up… In the next sessions I’m going to share How long it should take a VA to integrate into your business.

If you have a question you would like me to answer make sure you get in contact and I love to hear from you.

As always this is David Judge talking outsourcing and showing businesses how to work smarter.

Specific Tasks You Can Get A VA to Perform in your business

Specific Tasks You Can Get A VA to Perform in your business

Outsourcing for small to medium businesses is still in the early adopter stage and as a result a number of business owners don’t quite understand the type and variety of tasks a VA can perform for their business.

In today’s session I cover a number of tasks our VA’s perform for clients and explain how you can get access to ‘748 Tasks You Can Outsource’ to give you an idea of the full scope of the tasks.

As we speak this list is growing with the only limit to the tasks you can outsource being your imagination.

 

Time Stamps

Tasks You Can Outsource Are Endless – Time: 00:55
Specialist Virtual Assistants V’s Universal Virtual Assistants – Time: 1:28
Online Marketing Tasks – Time: 2:52
Administration Tasks – Time: 3:37
743 Tasks You Can Outsource – Time: 5:20
In The Next Video – Time: 6:30

Transcript

Hello and Welcome, David Judge here and today we’re going to talk about Specific Tasks you can get a VA to perform in your business.

Make sure you listen till the end as I have a special report I have created called 743 tasks you can outsource that i’m going to give you FREE OF CHARGE!!!!

So check that out at the end.

Anyway, moving on… I have made a video about identifying the tasks you can outsource that you can check out ‘here’ where I give you a step by step process around identifying the tasks you perform in your business that you could outsource.

Today, we’re going to delve in deep and show examples of tasks VA’s have performed for my business and for clients. So as we go through we’re talking actual hands on experience of how and what we’ve outsourced and I’ll also throw in a few little hints and tips along the way.

Ok, lets get into it.

Tasks You Can Outsource Are Endless

There’s no doubt about it, the tasks you can outsource are huge and for a lot of businesses outsourcing is still in ‘Early Adopter’ stage, meaning local businesses that are using VA’s in their everyday business are really at the forefront of this space.

What’s really interesting is these people are reaping the benefits, while their competitors are still feeling the pinch.

As a result of being an early adopter I’ve found the idea of VA’s and what tasks they can perform is still a little cloudy.

Specialist Virtual Assistants V’s Universal Virtual Assistants

For 60% – 70% of businesses they would normally require a VA to act as a support in their business, performing a broad range of tasks that would free up their time to allow the business owner to focus on the profit generating stuff.

This type of VA that performs the general tasks we call a ‘Universal VA’ as they can spread themselves across a broad range of tasks, becoming universally competent across a variety of disciplines (as it’s called).

For the other 30% – 40% they require a specialized VA, that performs specific tasks that require a special skillset.

This for example would be a Advanced Web Designer, Server Administrator, Drafts Person, Qualified Accountant, Video Editor, Graphic Designer and this is where you talk about a really specialised person that would hold a formal university degree in that discipline.

There’s no doubt you could find a person that you can outsource these tasks to, yet it is important to be aware you would need a specialized person for each task.

With that in mind we’re going to cover off the sort of tasks a Universal VA could perform and how that would look for a business owner.

I’m going to break this into a few key areas and then give you a few samples of the style of tasks a VA can perform within each area.

Online Marketing Tasks

The style of tasks a VA could perform here include:

– Setting up and managing your social profiles
– Updating and Managing your website content uploads
– Basic SEO tasks which include your on-page SEO and certain types of relationship development SEO
– Email marketing, so setting up your newsletters, email sequences and those sort of tasks
– Social message follow-ups meaning your VA can send out a series of pre-set emails to new connections (like LinkedIn)
– Content research and re-writing content
– Basic Editing and uploading of your Video and Audio Files (like YouTube or SoundCloud)

So That’s online marketing covered

Administration Tasks

A Universal VA can also perform admin tasks for you. These would include:

– CRM management
– Data Entry and Invoicing
– Online Research
– Creating and managing spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations
– Creating document templates and document formatting
– Creating systems around you business tasks
– Uploading and sharing content

Organisational Tasks

Ok, the last area of tasks are organisational tasks. These would include:

– Handling incoming calls as well as taking messages for you if you’re unavailable
– Confirming appointments
– Project Management
– Managing and prioritizing your emails and calendar
– Arranging travel and accommodation on your behalf
– Email support
– Contacting your existing clients

So, this is just a taste of what a Universal VA can do for you and in all honesty is a tip of the iceberg.

What you should see is the tasks a UVA can perform for you are as diverse as your imagination and like i said this is really just a sample of the sort of tasks they do actually perform for clients.

Each client has their individual wants and needs and as I said earlier 60% – 70% of VA’s can perform these general tasks as well as learn each clients SPECIAL TASKS.

743 Tasks You Can Outsource

Ok, cool, now before we wrap up, I want to give you MORE.

As I said this is just a small sample of the tasks they could perform and I want to give you what I like to call the ‘Motherload’ of tasks.

I have a list of 743 tasks my VA’s have created based on the tasks they perform every single week. So you’re going to get access to REAL LIVE tasks they can run successfully to give you an idea of what works.

To make it even clearer, I’ve also labelled each tasks as UVA for Universal VA and SVA for Specialized VA.

I honestly have never seen this type of list anywhere especially from a person that has real hands on experience so you’re in for a treat.

To get access to this list, goto DavidJudge.com and on the right hand you’ll see a link for you to get access.

If you have any questions around the list of tasks I’d love to hear from you.

In The Next Video

Ok, let’s wrap up and talk about what we’ll cover next time.

In our next session I’m going to discuss the qualifications your VA should have and how you can make sure they’re telling the truth.

The second part ‘telling the truth’ is slightly touchy, but based on my experience we do need to address it.
If you have a question you would like me to answer make sure you get in contact and I love to hear from you.

As always this is David Judge talking outsourcing and showing businesses how to get more done, keep your costs down and Enjoy your life.

How Do You Performance Manage an Underperforming VA

How Do You Performance Manage an Underperforming VA

Fact: If you cut corners you often get a lower than expected result. This statement EXACTLY applies when looking at an underperforming Virtual Assistant.

In reality it’s not the ‘Fault’ of the employer, they simply weren’t shown the steps you should follow to ensure your VA stays on track.

Today we discuss how you can take an underperforming VA and bring them back inline with the objective of your business.

 

Time Stamps

Reasons For A Underperforming Why A VA – Time: 1:00
Why You’re At Fault And What To Do About It – Time: 1:43
Figure Out What They’re Doing – Track their results – Time: 2:28
Make Sure They Understand The End Result – Time: 3:44
Define The Rules – Time: 4:25
Offer Feedback – Time: 5:28
Set Goals And Objectives – Time: 5:52
Communicate Using Their Best Method Of Communication – Time: 6:55
Get Someone Else To Follow Up And Manage Them – Time: 7:50
Rolling Out Change Gradually – Time: 8:40
How To Handle An Outsourcer With Personal Issues – Time: 9:20
In the Next Video – Time: 10:15

Transcript

Hey, David Judge here and today I’m going to answer what you can do when you are dealing with an under performing Outsourcer (or VA) in your business and the best methods to performance manage that person.

What I’m talking about is from my own hands on experience combined with the experience of others that have approached me to help them to get their VA to perform.

There’s a really fine balance when you find a person that isn’t performing in your business in making the decision to either let that person go or to identify the steps to turn them around.

I do have to say while are times a VA should simply be ‘let go’ where a lot of times it’s a matter of seeing what you should change what you’re doing to get them to perform.

This is especially the case if you have a person that has been a part of your business for an extended period of time and you don’t want to have to retrain a new person to do the same tasks.

Reasons For A Underperforming Why A VA

Ok so, There are a lot of reasons you may end up with an underperforming VA including:

– Family and/or personal issues
– They’re taking advantage of you
– You didn’t filter the person you employed
– They lack direction
– They don’t don’t understand the job
– You’re not communicating the tasks effectively
– You’re not keeping an eye on them
– They don’t understand the rules

I’m not sure if you’ve notice of the 8 areas I just mentioned 7 of them are as a result of the employer (and yes I mean 7 as if they’re taking advantage of you then you’re the one that is letting that happen).

Why You’re At Fault And What To Do About It

I can tell you now most employers of under performing VA’s think they have a crap VA (and this can certainly be the case) many times it’s because their employer simply doesn’t understand and follow the rules of outsourcing.

Anyway, I’m here to help so lets move on and talk about how you can handle an underperforming VA and how you can direct them to becoming a valuable part of your team. These are practical tips you can use to apply to your Outsourcer to get them to perform.

If you haven’t applied some of these it’s ok as now’s the it’s time to draw a line in the sand and to use today as a new day where you can turn it all around.

Lets go.

1. Figure Out What They’re Doing – Track their results

You may have heard before that I personally use Hubstaff as it lets me get snapshots of their screen, records their time and places it against a benchmark so you can see how well they are performing.

I do like this way of team monitoring and when you approach an existing team member that has been taking advantage of you normally do get resistance.

When this is the case I usually tell them this is a more accurate way of tracking the hours they’re working on projects, to understand how we can improve what they’re already doing and most importantly to pay them properly.

2. Make Sure They Understand The End Result

If a person is going to OWN their job, then they need to have a WHY. This is why you have employed them to do the job and the difference they are going to make in your business…

But what if they use that against me and try to get me to pay them more??? Well, I never share financials with my team (unless they are in that role) and if they are doing a good job then you should review and pay them more every year for a job well done. This will also help them to OWN their job and to give a damn about you.

3. Define The Rules

I like to do this at the beginning, but it’s never too late to lay down or advise your rules of business. I find the smaller simple things add up to a better performing VA and as a result I have a number of smaller conditions in place.

These include a set start time where each person says good morning, mentioning when they are going on a break, communicating regularly when I am interacting, answering me when I ask a question and many other small areas.

Any areas that may come into play here that stop the job from getting done should be established and agreed on.

This not only offers me piece of mind, it also gives a anchor point of reference to use if I need to performance management later.

4. Offer Feedback

Let your VA know when they did well and when they can improve on what they are doing.

It is really easy to get tied up on the day to day (yes, I’m guilty of that too) and keep putting it aside, but you should lock-in time each week (10 mins is enough) where you to communicate valuable feedback and insights.

5. Set Goals And Objectives

This is a REALLY important step and can be similar tasks each week, but they should be defined. The way I handle this is different depending if I’m managing the person within my business or managing VA’s for clients. Let’s go with if I’m managing them myself.

On Monday, we have a call that talks about what we’re going to get done that week and my team member records their tasks on a Google drive doc that I can see. This call would normally last 15-20 mins and we talk about the last weeks progress and cover off the tasks for this week. We also ask and answer each others questions at this time and then part ways.

We do still chat throughout the week but I can tell you that process of talking on the phone has made it soooo easy to gauge and understand each other and the tasks we need to get done. This leads really well onto number 6…

6. Communicate Using Their Best Method Of Communication

Personally I work best when I can TALK directly to my VA using voice communication (like skype) and I have found this form of 2-way communication allows us to cover off so much in a very short time frame. When I also chat to each person and I assign a task, I ask them to repeat the task back to again to ensure they understand it best.

You cannot get this level of communication using email or type chat within such a short period of time and the reduces the risk of miscommunication which can take a task totally off track.

7. Get Someone Else To Follow Up And Manage Them

This is an optional extra and a service we offer each client, where we have a person that manages each VA and makes sure they are getting the tasks done in a timely fashion and within spec.

You do still need to talk to your VA to assign tasks, but the supervisor handles the ‘elbow grease’ so you can focus on your business.

Sure you don’t need a supervisor yet we have found it means you can maintain a friendly level of communication and reduce the stress when there are performance issues that need to be addressed.

Before we finish up I wanted to mention one last point… In many instances an underperforming VA can be turned around, especially if you look at implementing these 7 areas.

Rolling Out Change Gradually

It’s not always best to just dump the whole CHANGE on the team member at one time and more important to roll out the changes over time.

I would always start off with ‘Time Tracking’ and roll the rest out gradually over a few weeks.

Also, once you do roll them out you may need to make the decision to let them go, so you do need to be aware that you may need to replace them.

And actually, I have one more final point (that’s like 2 final points and how does that work???)

How To Handle An Outsourcer With Personal Issues

Anyway, you may also have a VA that is underperforming due to personal circumstances.

I constantly have and remind my team about my open door policy and encourage them to let me know if they have any challenges.

When I come up against these I like to talk it through and where possible cut them a little slack, but I do understand I am running a business and if I know they’re not going to be able to perform at the level required that I will have an issue… At times this will mean you will have to replace them, but I always ensure you work toward a solution first and then only use that as a last resort.

In the Next Video

Ok, big juicy subject today, so lets wrap up and talk about the next video.

In the next video we’re going to discuss – Specific Tasks You Can Get A VA to Perform in your business. This is really good timing as I have a little surprise that coming out with that video that will offer real value for you.

If you have a question you would like me to answer make sure you get in contact and I love to hear from you.

As always this is David Judge talking outsourcing and showing businesses how to work Smarter.

The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing

The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing

I’m often surprised by issues that arise when looking at outsourcing and the solutions you need to implement (if possible) to overcome them.

On the other hand there are a lot of successes with some of them pleasant surprises (these are the says I give myself a High Five).

Over the years of outsourcing I’ve come to learn the good, the bad and the ugly and today I’m sharing the Pro’s and Con’s of outsourcing and the ways I deal with the challenges.

 

Time Stamps

Con Number 1 – What if they steal my information and IP – Time: 00:42
Con Number 2 – Power and Internet – Time: 1:55
Con Number 3 – Is My Outsourcer Doing The Right Job – Time: 2:30
Con Number 4 – I Have To Actually Train My Outsourcer – Time: 3:00
Con Number 5 – Perfect execution doesn’t exist – Time: 4:11
Pro Number 1 – VA’s Save You Time In Your Business – Time: 4:49
Pro Number 2 – VA’s Save You Money In Your Business – Time: 5:33
Pro Number 3 – VA’s Give You A Lifestyle – Time: 6:17
Pro Number 4 – VA’s Are A Tax Deduction – Time: 6:56
Pro Number 5 – A VA Can Be Constantly Monitored – Time: 7:14
Approaching Va’s From a Solution Mindset – Time: 8:10
On The Next Video – Time: 8:26

Transcript

Hello and Welcome, David Judge here and today I’m going to share the Pros and Cons of outsourcing.

Now this is coming from a person that has over 86,000 hours of outsourcing, employing over 300 people in the last 4 years.

Even more importantly, if you look closely at my slowly receding hairline you’ll see I’ve made so many mistakes that have cost me dearly and while I’ve overcome every challenge I would like to save you the same hairloss.

So, lets delve down deep and share some areas you may have thought of and some that’ll make your toes curl.

To make it interesting lets cover the Cons First:

Con Number 1 – What if they steal my information and IP

Concerns with Security and loss of IP are very serious and can be a real problem if not addressed properly.

In reality, this is an issue when you employ people locally or outsource overseas and in many way when you employ a VA you are more covered than employing a person in your own country.

So if you’re outsourcing you need your team to sign a legally binding NDA (Non disclosure agreement) meaning they can be prosecuted legally if we were to discover the theft of any knowledge or property.

You should also use a fairly strict recruitment process designed to highlight and identify any issues at the beginning.

Finally any sensitive information should remain cloud based and not on a VA’s individual computer, further reducing any risk.

Whilst we’ve never has any issues we understand the importance of establishing a secure foundation and our approach is with a focus of prevention.

Con Number 2 – Power and Internet

While this is a serious issue, over-coming it is just as easy.

If there are constant issues with power then buy a backup generator that kicks in right away. A good generator is about $150 and supplies enough power to run a computer, light, fan and internet connection.

For internet, you just need to make sure your team have a backup internet connection or they work within an office space that guarantees a solid internet connection and power.

Con Number 3 – Is My Outsourcer Doing The Right Job

It’s very common for people that outsource to have difficulty in understanding if their VA is doing the right job.

I overcome this with a whole lot of measures I have in place along with a supervisor. You can check that video out here.

Con Number 4 – I Have To Actually Train My Outsourcer

You do have to invest the time to train a VA in the smaller details on how your business operates and any special tasks.

Like anything in business Change Requires Commitment, and if you are looking at a VA for the first time (just as you would a local employee) you need to invest the time to ensure they fit inline with your business.

This may also include the creation of systems and processes that show another person ‘How To’ complete a task. The good news here is once you train your first person, you can actually get them to learn and create new processes for additional team members.

We find it’s very, very common for a VA to become a critical part of our clients businesses and as a result this comes very naturally for every client to continue to mould their VA.

Con Number 5 – Perfect execution doesn’t exist

This means you may come across teething issues and you may need to adjust components of your business model.

If you are considering a VA in your business then like any new change it’s important to acknowledge it may take time for a person to integrate into your business and rather than waiting for it to be perfect you may just need to take the plunge.

From a ROI perspective, it’s totally worth it.

Ok, that’s our Cons, let’s get onto the good stuff, the pro’s around Outsourcing

Pro Number 1 – VA’s Save You Time In Your Business

This is very true, especially with the average business owner working 52 hours per week.. There are several ways a VA can help save you time, from completing slow, painful and repetitive tasks through to touching base with existing clients and diary management.

Consider how much time you could save if you were to have a personal assistant at your fingertips, especially when you needed them the most. This is the potential of what a VA can do in your business

Pro Number 2 – VA’s Save You Money In Your Business

Unlike local employees, you are able to have a VA working within your business at a much lower investment. The general skill level of a VA and if you have the right systems in place means they are a lot more effective sooner.

This translates to a person that is integrated into your business faster and a direct saving on your bottom line.

Pro Number 3 – VA’s Give You A Lifestyle

A lot of clients rely on their VA’s heavily and delegate tasks that would normally keep them away from their family or actually living a life.

It is not uncommon once you have a VA and you delegate ongoing tasks to find yourself with more time to spend with your friends, sales appointments and even spending time on simple pleasures like being there for family dinner time.

The main point here is you can actually CHOOSE how you invest your time.

Pro Number 4 – VA’s Are A Tax Deduction

That’s right, unlike local employees, VA’s are considered a business expense and as a result are deductible.

This may seem odd and is a massive relief if you’re familiar with managing staff, including tax & super (which I know can be a headache)

Pro Number 5 – A VA Can Be Constantly Monitored

There are several ways we keep an eye on VA’s, all of which are designed to ensure you are getting the maximum result with the least amount of risk.

These include:

– Random screen snapshots
– Software that manages interactions
– Access to our own methods that allow you to watch your VA work live
– Daily records of how long and tasks take to complete
– A full time allocated supervisor that monitors their performance and addresses any issues

Ok, that’s it.

Sure there are pro’s and con’s in any new introduction in your business.

Approaching Va’s From a Solution Mindset

If you consider your decision with a “Solution Mindset’ and can clearly identify ways of overcoming the negatives along with with clear cut strategy, then you’re on your way to working smarter as opposed to harder.

On The Next Video

Ok, the next video we’re going to answer how you should deal with an underperforming VA.

There are a lot of options here, especially if you have an existing VA and you want to bring them inline, rather than losing them.

So as they say, this is going to be a Doozey!

If you have a question you would like me to answer make sure you get in contact and I love to hear from you.

As always this is David Judge talking outsourcing and showing businesses how to work smarter.