Two questions on outsourcing... I need advice please!

22 replies
Hi,

I have two questions on outsourcing...

It's that, my business requires more than 5 different types of tasks that requires different skills.

But I have budget to only hire 1 or 2 full time virtual assistants (VA).

On one side, I think people like full time jobs, so the part-time VAs can just quit immediately if they find a full-time job. In full-time you have more access to the VA, the VA is more focused for their job, and VAs often want higher payings per hour when working part time. So I could stay away from hiring VAs for part time.

But on the other side, I think it's better to have a VA for each task, so that each VA have specialized skills on their tasks, can fully focus and specialize on their tasks and fulfil the tasks properly. (and since I haven't enough budget, these would be part time VAs).

So should I hire 1-2 full time VAs to do all the tasks, or should I hire one VA for each type of task on part time?

And my second question is:

I have purchased an course on outsourcing, and it says "don't let your VAs know your business process, because they can think "oh, why work for this guy? I could just run my business and make more money" and just quit."

Should I let my VAs know about my business process, so that they know better what they're doing and why they're doing their job, or should I not?
#outsourcing #questions
  • Profile picture of the author saralees
    First if you are goin to include anything to do with your businesses daily runnings or goals then have then sign a non-disclosure agreement.

    Second , maybe you may want to have one person on board then another later ??? Perhaps a trial period with the non-disclosure in place.

    All my disclaimers have a 5 yr period in them as by then the techniques will be all different ( internet wise) anyways. Sometimes that how JV's end up being so good , after a while when trust is built.

    There are quite a few good freelance people that work for cheap and you don't pay un;less they perfom.

    I know of a guy that got his full time programmer from a freelance style hire and liked him enough to hire fulltime !

    good luck

    Sara
    Signature
    Got great listings in Google? , this can help!

    http://schemamarkupplugin.com
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4846923].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
      I would say before look into hire part time and full time assistance. Will you need to provide long training for your VA to get familiar with your work, or is their work kind of general where they can search QA database and get up with an answer ?

      If you need to train them. Then, you certainly need to hire them full time. This is because part time may n't be around for you when you need them.

      Hiring one VA for a beginning will be enough to see how will this get reflected on your business as a start.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4846957].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Scott Burton
    Originally Posted by AbdullahKaragoz View Post

    Hi,

    I have two questions on outsourcing...

    It's that, my business requires more than 5 different types of tasks that requires different skills.

    But I have budget to only hire 1 or 2 full time virtual assistants (VA).

    On one side, I think people like full time jobs, so the part-time VAs can just quit immediately if they find a full-time job. In full-time you have more access to the VA, the VA is more focused for their job, and VAs often want higher payings per hour when working part time. So I could stay away from hiring VAs for part time.

    But on the other side, I think it's better to have a VA for each task, so that each VA have specialized skills on their tasks, can fully focus and specialize on their tasks and fulfil the tasks properly. (and since I haven't enough budget, these would be part time VAs).

    So should I hire 1-2 full time VAs to do all the tasks, or should I hire one VA for each type of task on part time?

    And my second question is:

    I have purchased an course on outsourcing, and it says "don't let your VAs know your business process, because they can think "oh, why work for this guy? I could just run my business and make more money" and just quit."

    Should I let my VAs know about my business process, so that they know better what they're doing and why they're doing their job, or should I not?
    You MUST tell them what they need to know to provide you the best service.

    Non-Disclosure Agreement... It's kind of a mess, outsourcing, when you get to international outsourcing. But you can bring someone on board and have an agreement signed, then tell them the MINIMUM for what they need to do. And once they prove they provide what you need there, you can share additional information under the same NDA. But the more details you need to provide them, you may need to spell out explicit penalties for some violations. Really, ideally, you will have legal counsel from YOUR country and from the country of your outsourced providers.

    a 100% binding agreement in, the state of my birth - Oklahoma - USA... May have nearly zero effect in my second home of Bucharest Romania, and may have only limited effect in my "third" home of Zaporozhye, Ukraine. Likewise in the home of some of my best friends, Manila Philippines the effect could be completely contrary to the prior 2 countries.

    You will have no choice but to determine for yourself how much to trust your outsource employees/contractors.

    But the simple truth is, the more you CAN share with them, the better they can help you reach your goal. Many are very honest and trustworthy. But there are those who would steal your ideas.

    I would like to be able to give you one "magic bullet answer" but anyone who has dealt either a) with outsourcing on a significant scale... or b) with multiple nations laws... Will tell you, this is a complicated subject.
    Signature

    - = Signature on Vacation = -
    (We all need a break from what we do for a living. I thought it was time my signature got a break too)

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4846961].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author AbdullahKaragoz
    But what about delegating tasks with several part time VAs versus hiring 1-2 for full time?

    I mean tasks that requires different skills, where each is fulfilled by different virtual assistant, or hiring one or two full time VA and get them do everything.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4847146].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author AnneE
    I would hire different people for different tasks through either Elance or ODesk or some similar short-term work job board. Then depending on how that task goes, you can continue to give them work or look for the next person.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4847192].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ebusinesstutor
    I would hire different people for the different tasks instead of having 1-2 people do it all. I have to fire about half of my new freelancers, to having more people across more tasks affects me less than if I am totally reliant on 1 or 2.

    That way you only need to fully train them on 1 task, not your whole system.
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4853912].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Benjamin Ehinger
    Originally Posted by AbdullahKaragoz View Post

    Hi,

    I have two questions on outsourcing...

    It's that, my business requires more than 5 different types of tasks that requires different skills.

    But I have budget to only hire 1 or 2 full time virtual assistants (VA).

    On one side, I think people like full time jobs, so the part-time VAs can just quit immediately if they find a full-time job. In full-time you have more access to the VA, the VA is more focused for their job, and VAs often want higher payings per hour when working part time. So I could stay away from hiring VAs for part time.

    But on the other side, I think it's better to have a VA for each task, so that each VA have specialized skills on their tasks, can fully focus and specialize on their tasks and fulfil the tasks properly. (and since I haven't enough budget, these would be part time VAs).

    So should I hire 1-2 full time VAs to do all the tasks, or should I hire one VA for each type of task on part time?

    And my second question is:

    I have purchased an course on outsourcing, and it says "don't let your VAs know your business process, because they can think "oh, why work for this guy? I could just run my business and make more money" and just quit."

    Should I let my VAs know about my business process, so that they know better what they're doing and why they're doing their job, or should I not?
    I believe in hiring someone for each task. My reasoning for this is some people are great writers and others are great at other things. I want the best for everything and it is hard to find that in one full time person. Plus most of those you will outsource to have other clients.

    I totally disagree with the second statement and believe that if someone wants to do exactly what you are doing they can go do it without you introducing them to the strategy. I always do a better job writing for clients when I know what the end goal is for the writing I am doing.

    Plus most of us that take on work from others have our own websites and are building with our own strategies. I have been known to share strategies that work for me with my clients and vice versa because it benefits both of us.

    Nothing really is a so called "secret" with internet marketing and the knowledge you gained to put together your business strategy is probably available to the people you outsource to anyway.

    Benjamin Ehinger
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4872561].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author AbdullahKaragoz
    I totally disagree with the second statement and believe that if someone wants to do exactly what you are doing they can go do it without you introducing them to the strategy. I always do a better job writing for clients when I know what the end goal is for the writing I am doing.

    Plus most of us that take on work from others have our own websites and are building with our own strategies. I have been known to share strategies that work for me with my clients and vice versa because it benefits both of us.

    Nothing really is a so called "secret" with internet marketing and the knowledge you gained to put together your business strategy is probably available to the people you outsource to anyway.
    I'm unsure what you are meaning here. Are you meaning that I should share my strategy, or I should not?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4872923].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    To the OP: If you haven't read Tim Ferriss' "The Four Hour Workweek" go check it out ASAP. He has lots of info on using VAs in there. You will have to move through different VA candidates in order to find one that does what you want the way you want it. Tell them everything they need to know--they are very unlikely to take what you show them and go do the whole thing on their own. The vast majority of people just aren't cut out to take on and run an independent business. It's much safer to do little chunks of things for others.

    I outsource deliberate chunks of things and strive to be very clear about what I want and how I want it done. If you're unclear, you may discover that your VA has sprinted forward down a well-meant but incorrect path and that will be frustrating for you both. In my communication with VAs, I'm constantly setting out a premise or description in as obvious a manner as possible, and then asking them to confirm "Does this make sense?" Then I have a record to refer to if something goes wrong. Typically I'm very pleased with their results, though.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4880342].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author AymanGham
    Wow nice advice guys i am looking to outsource my work too and i really need to know how i can do it to be able to build a huge empire in my business.
    I am lazy and evrytime i try to seo my work (even If I see result) i am being distracted on something else.
    All i want is phone number to call people and close them to my primary business. I know a lot about SEO but i hate doing it. Without it i am done. So anyways i am planing on building some training and everything that my VA will need to start building my business now.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4883064].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Levira
    Try out a few people, about 4-5. Give them articles, then select among them. Getting only 2 may be tricky because turnover for writers tends to be high. Not many them want to stick around for too long. And besides, for many of them, it is just a good way to practice before as they learn to build their own sites.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4884522].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WakondaMarketing
    Okay, so here's my simple reply on your questions.

    Question #1:

    I can say that my answer is neutral. It could be a YES or a NO. Why? It is obvious that you are on a pretty tight budget, therefore, hiring 2 VAs would be an ethical thing for you to do financially. However, not all people are jack of all trades. Some have their very own fortes. Some are excellent writers, some are not. Some are good web designers, some are not. Some are excellent SEOs, some are not and so and so forth. And that brings you to the decision that you should hire one for each. If you could find means for you to pay them full-time, then good. If your budget is only for them to work part-time, that's also fine.

    Question #2:

    Yes. You should share your business process with your people. It's part of their job. It will benefit them. Knowing one's business is essential for success. Let them know your business so they can also assess how they could do things. Actually, for some outsourcing firms, it's an SOP.

    Hope that helps.
    Signature

    Wakonda Marketing Inc
    Want to crush it with Media Buying ?
    Needs hordes of traffic ?
    Call us now 514-688-2576
    or visit http://www.wakondamarketing.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4884636].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kerryrus
    Hi. I think having a full time VA doing a few differnet tasks will be Ok as long as you set a schedule for them and make sure they are meeting deadlines. And yes i think if you go for Part time they will be more likely to leave. At the end of the day they need to earn enough money like everyone else.

    Also, I don't think it will be a problem to let them know your business model. It's one thing knowing it but to duplicate it is on a totally differnet level and for them to do a good job they need to know your module/process.

    Kerry
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4884639].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sanjon
    Different people different tasks..

    Make a non-disclosure agreement with them and hire specialized people..
    decide on how much training U have to provide to them before hiring them.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4884759].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author AbdullahKaragoz
    There is broad agreement that when you outsource, dividing up of tasks between different workers can help to streamline the business, right?

    But if I divide up my tasks and hire a virtual assistant for each of the tasks, I end up with 13-20 virtual assistants where everyone is working just a few hours a week (since I do not have large enough budget to hire so many full-time or real part-time workers).

    But I think to have 15 virtual assistants can be like having too many balls up in the air.

    Should I hire 15 micro-part-time workers, which all perform different tasks?

    or should I hire just a couple of virtual assistants, and share all the tasks between them to avoid having so many virtual assistants to work with?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4905940].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Tom Reed
    Try to find 1 good person up front and then add on as the opportunity presents itself.

    I find the biggest mistake people make is trying to "swallow the elephant" all at once instead of getting started "1 bite at a time".

    Remember, you need to be in the game to play the game... so get in the game as quickly as possible and learn and adapt.
    Signature

    Sell More ...Faster! CloudNet360.com

    The ultimate CRM / Autoresponder & Sales Automation System - The Online Coaches Dream Team

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4906357].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author CoachMikeH
    Give a few projects to a few freelancers on a trial basis. If they do well, then give them another project. Wait for the consistency. Then offer to hire them part time for each related task.
    Signature
    Coach Mike Horn
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4906633].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    #1 - Most Virtual Assistants want a job, not a business. They are terrified by the aspect of trying to do this on their own.

    #2 - Multiple tasks - Some VA's are horrible at it, others are very good. It depends on your list of tasks. If you find someone who is a decent writer they can normally be trained to do all the other tasks.

    #3 - The management/training issue. That is a constant complaint I have heard from my writing clients. That is why my wife and I just set up a small office to start doing managed VA's where we supervise, train, and provide accountability information back to the clients. This includes wading through local applicants face to face to provide you with good quality candidates.

    If you send me a list of the tasks you are considering I'll give you an idea of how many people it might take, but I'd suspect by taking a little extra time finding the right person it could be kept to 1, 2 at the most.

    Take care,

    Barry
    Signature
    Brain Drained...Signature Coming Soon!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4915678].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Manny Derek
    I would hire one VA first and give him/her time to do the task and see how long he/she can handle tasks. If in case he/she can't afford to do all the tasks, then that is the time to hire another one.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4915690].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author HYVAssistant
    Regarding question 1:

    The decision to hire a full time Virtual Assistant or a part-time one is up to you and should be based on your exactly needs.

    First of all, if it is work that is not necessary for your business and has no ROI, you need to let go of such tasks (<<<--- No need to waste money outsourcing it to anyone)

    Now you will be left with the two types of business activities below:
    1) Work that is necessary for your business but not your income producing activities and
    2) Work that is necessary for your business and is one of your income producing activities

    I am assuming that since you are already doing both 1) & 2) above, you have a system in place for how the work is done. Even if your system is not well outlined you can create the systems during the process of delegating the work to the virtual assistant (<<<--- do it once and for all) by simply recording your computer screen if you are doing work with certain software or recording an audio conversation that you might have with clients for customer services type tasks. Whatever it is, think of a way to record and then create a system that shows your entire process for handling that specific task.

    My point here is only hire a Virtual Assistant for work that falls into 1) & 2) above and hire them only for the amount of hours needed to do the work.

    Regarding your second question:

    If your Virtual Assistant does not know your business process and systems how exactly will they be able to do the work to you liking and meet or exceed your expectations? Also having to hide stuff because you feel they will steal it has to do with lack of trust. Since trust is something that takes time to build start by outsourcing work in category 1) & 2) above that do not require too much trust on your part and work your way up in your level of trust for them.

    Finally:

    In regards to finding the best sites/resources for outsourcing admin tasks and so on, you can either go the Do It Yourself (DIY) or the Done For You (DFY) route.

    Going the DIY route:

    1) Check out Virtual Assistant Forums such as VirtualAssistantForums.com and VaNetworking.com. Virtual Assistants from around the world hang out on sites like this to network and exchange ideas. You can go on there post your job request.

    2) Check out Freelancing sites such as Odesk.com, Elance.com and the great thing about sites likes this is that you can get to review the feedback left for the providers and ratings on similar work that they have completed.

    3) Make use of Job Boards like and if you are specifically looking to place ads for Philippine based Virtual Assistants, check out Jobstreet.com.ph and BestJobs.ph. Just be ready for a flood of responses.

    Going the DFY route:

    1) Virtual Assistant Placement companies such as Zirtual.com and VirtualStaffFinder.com for a one time fee will help you find a VA who matches your requirements and can get the job done.

    2) Virtual Assistant Services Providers are firms like ContemporaryVA.com. AskSunday.com and HireYourVirtualAssistant.com (full disclosure - this is my firm) who provide Entrepreneurs with a team of Virtual Assistants and also project managers to handle all you time consuming business tasks so that you can focus on what really matters in your business.

    My final point is that even though you find a Virtual Assistant to help implement the work, you have to realize that you have to monitor and manage the process so that you get the outcome you want. It's never going to be totally hands off don't believe the hype! That said when you hire the right VA, or team of VAs they will make your experience pleasant!
    Signature

    I am offering you a FREE 15mins Virtual Assistant Audit/Consultation Session to discuss your specific needs and you will be able to ask me your Virtual Assistant and/or Outsourcing related questions. Send an email to oenaohwo@hireyourvirtualassistant.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4958656].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author jasono
      I think the answer for both questions is yes. 2 VAs would be great. More is even better. There are cheap VAs that you can hire even at $200 per month. For the 2nd questions, yes because it is important so they will know and understand the process of what they are doing.
      Signature

      Learn how to make more money using outsourcing and virtual assistants while freeing up your valuable time. Visit http://outsourcingautopilot.com

      Facebook - Twitter

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5099023].message }}

Trending Topics