Getting a VA

Hi there!

Tim Ferris in 'The Four Hour Work Week' said of a VA...

"Get one, whether you need one or not..."

I must confess, his reasons for that remark were pretty good, yet I wasn't at the stage then of being able to pay for one.

Fast forward 2 years and the situation for me is quite different. It's not the money side that drives it... but a focus to free myself from the monotony of brain crippling tasks like loading csv files onto Hootsuite ever 7-9 days!

More importantly however, is freeing me up to do the strategy & planning that will really grow the business.

So now, with my VA taking on more tasks than ever before, I thought would drop you a note on the benefits and otherwise of being the boss.

 

  • Benefits of having a VA
  1. Ok, let's start with what everybody says... delegate the jobs you hate to do.
  2. Pass over the tasks that others are better qualified to do.
  3. They may have strengths that may complement yours (thus fill in the gaps).
  4. Procrastination should become a thing of the past.
  5. You have more free time...yipee!
  6. And, finally, the real reason why you should do it...grow your business and make more profit!
  • Drawbacks of having a VA
  1. An expense for the business, which you may not be able to afford.
  2. Tasks take time to be explained initially.
  3. For me, accuracy has been a problem.
  4. Depending on what you pass over, you may have different styles, like writing an eBook for example.

These are just a few, and everyone will have their own thoughts!

For me, Joefizz Web Marketing had become a beast to feed and all I did was lubricate the machine. I knew that was wrong because I did the same thing... every week!...

... and I wasn't growing my list as I should have have been!

I took the decision therefore to recruit.

If we agree on the positives above and just respond on the negatives for a second:

  1. If you think you can’t afford it, think again! Think of the few tasks that you could outsource for as little $2/hour. In addition, think of freeing up your time to work on the right things. It's the right things that earn you money!
  2. My view has always been work hard in beginning (even longer hours) to get what you want. Why? Well, because gradually, the dependancy upon you will be less and less and soon they will be doing your tasks without interuptions or queries...Voila! There are great tools you can use here to mitigate that problem like Skype and Jing (both free)...
  3. If you are a control freak like me, then this will be vital! It is however about balance...them getting it right most of the time and me releasing my grip on what's acceptable...
  4. Finally, I guess this ties into point 3. Providing the spelling and grammar are correct...heck, just go with it!

 

What to outsource? For me, my VA does...

  • Review Facebook friend requests & Twitter followers.
  • Posting in Facebook groups.
  • Upload social media posts via Hootsuite
  • Article submission.
  • Link exchanges.
  • eBook proof reading and writing!
  • Article submission
  • Admin for these too!
In addition, I have outsourced to others:
  • WordPress banners
  • Videos
  • Logos

 

Where to outsource:

The most popular outsourcing sites include:

  1. Elance.com
  2. Scriptlance.com
  3. Guru.com
  4. oDesk.com
  5. fiverr.com

 

I use elance mostly but also Odesk too (got my app built through there). Fiverr.com just makes me smile...everything for $5!

You essentially post your job and contractors bid for the work. Choose the best one suited for your job but remember to do your due diligence on them possessing the right skills, having the right experience and positive feedback on jobs completed.

A tip for you, ... often in some parts of the world e.g. the Far East (skill levels are outstanding) their hourly fees will be substantially less than yours... By providing work to them, they and their family (and community) will benefit too!

So, it's a win, win situation for everybody!

What can YOU outsource today, to simplify your life and free your time so you can concentrate on making more money?

 

Llwyddiant!

Joe

 

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  1. Ashok
    5 years ago

    Dangers of Outsourcing – Some Tips to Avoid Them

    Outsourcing is a great way to reduce your costs and become competitive while keeping your quality in control. It is also a way for small businesses to acquire knowledge and skills from providers to increase the range and penetration of their business.

    The path to outsourcing is however fraught with danger.

    Here are some tips for the outsourcers to make the best of outsourcing while avoiding pitfalls.

    Identify areas of outsourcing
    Business processes are made up of activities each of which has a cost and value that it adds to the value chain of your business. Outsource high cost, low value contributing activities which are non core, repetitive and high volume. Do not outsource those processes or their parts where there is scope of growth for you in terms of acquiring knowledge, skills and control critical to your business.

    Select your outsourcing partner very carefully
    Internet has made it possible for anyone to pose as an expert and pretend to have resources they don’t have while concealing their real intentions. The cyberspace is full of fly by night con specialists who have multiple identities and false geographic addresses if any.

    The first thing to do is to ask for testimonials and references that you can verify. Check out the skills and values of the prospective provider. Talk to them and guage for yourself their knowledge and claims. Give them small tasks before moving into bigger ones that may affect your business process.

    Don’t look only for the lowest price
    The cheapest is not always the best for you. A successful provider is likely to have sufficient business and will not provide service at the lowest going rate. Besides even if he agrees, all those who have given better prices to the same provider will have preference over you in terms of allocating a skilled person from the team to you and according priority to your job.

    Don’t threaten when you are requesting for quotes
    Providers shun outsourcers who declare that offers will be rejected if this or that is not mentioned or if arrogance and intolerance is shown even when requesting for quotes.

    Give clear instructions and specifications of task
    Remember your provider is likely to come from a different cultural and workplace background. Do not assume anything.Give very detailed step by step instructions accompanied preferably with screencasts or videos showing screenshots. Give also clear time estimates for each activity. Attach output formats. Ask for some samples of the job done to know if they have really understood what you want.
    Most of the quality problems come from not giving clear instructions and the providers hesitating to ask questions as you haven’t encouraged them to do so.

    Pay in time
    It takes time to build trust in the cyberspace. Delaying payments makes the provider nervous. You lose priority to those who pay in time, work begins to slow down and you keep wondering what went wrong.

    Outsourcing is building trust and partnership while being careful whom you trust.

    [Reply]

    Wayne Evans Reply:

    Hi Ashok

    Thanks for coming over to http://www.joefizz.com and leaving a valuable comment.

    The points you make are very valid indeed. I particularly like your final point about building trust. For me that’s the number one objective. Your VA essentially becomes your ‘left hand’, so you rely on them entirely to run part of your business or otherwise your efforts just stop suddenly…

    Selecting one that you can rely on is a very difficult job indeed and often it is about trying a few first to see how you get on.

    Thanks again for leaving such a useful comment.

    Best regards

    Joe

    [Reply]


  2. Nick Rees
    5 years ago

    Thanks for a great post Wayne

    [Reply]

    Wayne Evans Reply:

    Ola!

    Thanks for popping across and leaving a valuable comment Nick… I appreciate you keeping in touch!

    Hope to hook up soon for that overdue coffee?

    best regards

    Wayne

    [Reply]

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