Outsourcing the Easy Way

Introduction to Outsourcing Part 1 – With Carlo from 2nd Office

Have you considered Outsourcing before or ever wondered how remote members of staff can help you and your business?

In this podcast we are joined by Carlo who is the CEO & Co-Founder at 2nd Office.  2nd Office is a specialised eCommerce outsourcing company based in the Philippines and together we take a look into the world of outsourcing for your business.

We start off by hearing a little about Carlo and how he has ended up running his outsourcing business from the Philippines.

Carlo is a true entrepreneur himself and totally understands the challenges that ecommerce businesses face which led him to starting 2nd Office.

Press Play below and listen in right now:

 
Play

What an Remote Member of Staff can do for You

The only real limitation when it comes to a remote member of staff is that they’re physically not there in the office with you. So that rules out coffee making duties.

However what they can do for you is almost limitless, for example:

  • Answer eBay & Amazon questions
  • Answer live support queries
  • Write product descriptions
  • List new products to eBay, Amazon & your website
  • Carry out online research, for example for new suppliers
  • Create import files for Magento, think Magmi!
  • Find images for products
  • Edit images
  • Call customers to foster reviews & feedback
  • Book appointments
  • Answer “frontline” day to day emails & filter spam
  • Maintain a wordpress website
  • Create blog posts
  • And so on…

The Topics Covered

  • Introduction to Carlo Silva
  • Introduction to 2nd Office
  • The benefits of outsourcing
  • What an outsourced member of staff can do for you
  • What an outsourced member of staff cannot do for you
  • Why use the Philippines

We Know the Power of Outsourcing First-Hand

Here at UnderstandingE we know what the power of outsourced staff can do first hand.

In 2014 outsourced staff enabled us to create content much quicker and remove a number of hurdles which would have stopped us from getting things done.

The same can be true for your business too.

Outsourced members of staff if utilised correctly can make a huge difference to your business.  It frees up your time to work on your business and grow it rather than getting stuck in the day to day running of your business.

Coming up in Part 2

In part 2 of this outsourcing series we are joined by Tom who is a user of 2nd Office for his ecommerce business.

We will get to hear first hand from a business owner just like you and how he utilises outsourced staff members to make his business better and streamline a number of processes.

We will also hear more from Carlo and he shares with us a special offer available no where else and exclusive to UnderstandingE members.

After listening to this Podcast, if you find yourself with any questions or feedback, then use the comments box below  to get in touch and you can read Carlo directly here.

We’d love to hear from you.

Matt, Dave (& special guest Carlo)

5 replies
  1. Dustin
    Dustin says:

    Love this topic mainly because I’ve been outsourcing for years. I would say the most important lesson I’ve learned is that

    A) the upfront time that’s needed is with a virtual is most critical, just like an in-house staff member.

    Even if the person has direct experience , they need to be managed well with written deliverables and KPI’s with lots of initially follow up.

    B) The second item is simply finding the time to do this. With an in-house employee, their right there clocking in everyday. It’s easy to give direct feedback and “easier” for them to ask questions with a quick in-house meeting or over a coffee in the morning.

    C) Also the benefit of cost and abundance of virtuals is a big advantage. Posting an ad up on craigslist you’ll get literally hundreds of applications within a few days. They can be hired immediately (and let go) just as easy. No unemployment, federal / state taxes etc.

    D) Also one thing I’ve learned after having hired hundreds of virtual workers is to “hire from within”. Get to know your virtual employees on personal basis and understand what other skills they have.

    So many times I’ve looked for niche position with specialized skill. I’ll be able to find the skill but finding the dedicated trustworthy one with the skill isn’t always the easiest. If a skill can be built upon, I’ll take this dedicated employee any day of the week and work to groom their skills.

    I’ve ended up with several long term full time VA this way after searches end up with unfilled positions.

    Philippines is great for many of these types of admin tasks and in general, the people of the Philippines are very respectful human beings that appreciate their jobs. A college degree is a common amongst their people as a high school GED in the USA.

    After a trip to PH a few years ago it took a bit of getting use to bring called ” Sir Dustin” as a 27 year old. :)

    E) Lastly is that notion that outsourcing is bad for your local economy and might have a negative outlook by some.

    I’ve even had some business owners say the same thing when there is an obvious fit for outsourcing of specific tasks.

    While I love my country and wish the best for its economy and working citizens, its not my responsibility to fix the unemployment rate and hire domestic workers.

    My opinion is I have one responsibility as a business owner; the profitability to it’s shareholders and no one else so dont feel one bit of remorse of outsourcing benefits your business!

    In fact, many of my ventures never would have taken off if I wasn’t able to minimize my entry risk with cheaper labor cost which in turn does help support and give jobs to the domestic workers that I do have.

    I think more articles on this topic would be great!

    Reply
    • Matthew Ogborne
      Matthew Ogborne says:

      Howdy Dustin,

      Picking on the Philippines specifically, when interviewing for a assistant last year we didn’t meet anyone we didn’t like. It was more of finding the right person that would fit well and felt right for us.

      There are a number of really important (and obvious) questions covered in the Virtual Freedom book by Chris Ducker which makes the interview process a lot easier.

      And a huge tip is to actually hold proper interviews. That means a Skype call with preset questions and scoring while you go. Admittedly just like a face to face interview you have to leverage some gut-instinct on it as well. However like you I’ve never come across a bad person yet from Philippines.

      We’ll definitely create some more articles on this topic. I’ve made a lot of screw ups in the past, if you can skip these, happy days!

      Matt

      Reply
      • Dustin Jones
        Dustin Jones says:

        For sure. I usually have a few task highly documented from start to finish which gives me two direct answers.

        A) Can they follow instructions

        B) Can they complete the task at hand

        I’m usually in a bit of a rush so I hire 2-3 and end up keeping one. You tend to get a feeling for “who’s hungry” and I roll with them.

        Also, if looking on oDesk …Don’t look for number of feedbacks and hours. Look for long term contracts and the actual comments made.

        Most people hire someone to do a task and leave the task inactive so they go back and clean things up after a period of months and just leave generic feedback or no feedback at all. The rockstars have people who leave personalized messages about the work. These usually tell 1/2 the story!

        Reply

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