Wayne discusses why Entrepreneurs outsource tasks
Alright, when we started to think about why entrepreneurs consider offshoring, we’ve started to think about how quickly the mind is working. Entrepreneurs are people who have got these ideas. Their head is running 2,000 miles an hour and they just want to get those ideas projected out into the marketplace, they want to achieve things quickly before they start to get their next set of ideas and what they want to achieve tomorrow.
So looking for ways of getting their systems and processes and making them stick. So entrepreneurs want to get a system, get a process, get that working, but they themselves quite often don’t want to be the people actually doing those processes. So that’s where offshoring can help an entrepreneur take their ideas, their processes and make them come to life.
Alright, so some of the activities we’ve seen working so far are really around – we’re talking about processes – so some of the things that people start with first are just the personal bookkeeping, accounting, keeping track of expenses. Particularly in startups, there’s expenses coming in all sorts of ways and an entrepreneur just needs a way of just capturing those sort of transactions and having them put and present it back to them in a meaningful way. So that’s an easy one to start with – I’m getting receipts, I’m getting invoices, I’m getting emails, I just want someone to help me organize those things. Obviously, calendars are an easy thing to start working. Email management is something you can have an offshore person help you organize your day and keeping track of priorities as your day goes on. These are things that entrepreneurs need help with because they’re coming out with ideas, they’re out there talking to so many people. Their minds are just seeing opportunities, you also need someone helping you keep track of what you did yesterday.
So once you’ve got those personal administration sort of things taken care of, then it’s about the core business processes. So quite often these days, particularly startups, you’re not trying to take in and set up an entire company yourself. You want to try and leverage what you have, use your capital wisely and offshoring is a way you can do that. So rather than having to go out, deal with all the compliance issues, HR issues of employing staff, you can offshore that, have that outsourced to an offshore provider who is looking after all the human resources requirements, the bookkeeping for those stuff, making sure the staff are turning up to do your job.
So those sort of things that we see people doing is customer service. So you’re probably familiar with quite a few fast moving startups where their customer service are delivered out of the Philippines. So they’re able to very quickly scale up a customer service operation without having to pay for buildings, without having to pay for excessive internet infrastructure. Those sort of things, they’re already in place with an offshore provider so they can very quickly bring on a customer service organization.
Tech support, the Philippines is well-known for having a good English speaking workforce and there’s also very high technical competence in the right people. So bringing those people on can quickly get across the products that you might be selling, the way you sell them and the clients that you sell them to.
So one of the things that I did in Australia was create a thing called the ‘Cappuccino Price Index’ or the CPI. It is a great marketing opportunity where we got a lot of media attention. So it started as a little thought-bubble, one year in January when it was very quiet and then it started to get the traction with the mainstream media. When I say it started to get traction, it took a year to get traction but having to be consistent and producing good research in that time. So in my case, it was across Australia. So how did I as an entrepreneur get people to research 1,200 venues across Australia and get someone to visit them and copy down the prices and produce the work? So using my offshore staff, I had that person managing the researchers out in the field so I wasn’t actually doing the research or managing the researchers. I have an offshore person actually managing people onshore, getting them to do the research. And once that researcher came in, then I have another offshore provider, an economist who analyzed the figures. We came up with the media story and we put that out to the media through our offshore people. So that was all being done through an outsource way and that’s how I was able to project myself across a much wider market than I could in just the hours I have available in a day.
So there’s quite a few pitfalls that can befall the entrepreneur and the biggest thing is just the speed of wanting to work. So you’re going to be prepared to put in the system and put in some training to make it work. So when I say put into training and that can be done over video conference. You’re probably making daily contact with your staff now, you’d do the same with the offshore staff. So pitfalls are people just jump in and set up their own companies offshore which defeats the purpose that we’ve talked about at the start, of just wanting to get in with minimum overhead. The pitfalls are you also need to make sure you’re working with your staff. So people aren’t mind readers. So in the same way, an entrepreneur has these ideas in their head. They’ve got to take the time to explain that to people, whether they explain them verbally or through written communication but it takes time for people to engage with the vision of the offshorer and you need to do that in an offshore environment as well. So these people that you’re engaging to really get hold of your vision. You’ve got to get them engaged with your vision. So organizations that can provide an environment where your people can be wearing your shirts, your vision, your future. They feel like they’re part of your organization. It’s going to help take your entrepreneurial story across the globe very quickly.
The term we use these days is BPO, Business Process Outsourcing. So the sort of things you should be looking for in a BPO is really internet infrastructure. So these people are connected to you and connected to your customers and supplies through the internet. So having a robust internet policy, multiple links actually managed 24 by 7, is a critical factor to the success of your BPO. Having a large talent pool is important, so you want to get the best people engaged with your vision. So not everybody engages with your vision but you want to give yourself the best opportunity. So having an outsourced BPO that has a large talent pool available to them is a critical factor. That’s going to give you the best choice. So those sort of things come through having an onshore here in the Philippines. People need to have a good social media strategy to attract good candidates. Your provider wants to have good facilities. So facilities which are located close to transport hubs because a lot of the staff will be coming to the outsource premises by public transports, so premises want to be close to public transport hubs and have a variety of options for staff to attend. Having a staff management that will actually work with the people is important. So people who respect people is important. So we’re talking about a respectful workplace. You want to have people working for you that know they’re respected by you and by the people they are working for here in the Philippines.
So we love the internet and what sort of tech is an entrepreneur going to need these days? So obviously mobile is critical to entrepreneurs and so it’s the same with your offshore staff. So a mobile-first organization, so people have already engaged with mobile apps. So the sort of things you’re going to need to be doing is having good communication to your staff which can be enabled through dedicated chat apps, dedicated video conferencing apps. One of the things that happens with some of the more mainstream chat apps, you get other people just get tired of spam. So having an option where you can have an internal chat app just for your organization is important. The cloud storage is a given these days. So the provider needs to have access to good cloud storage. One of the questions we often hear, “Is my data safe?” And your data is safe as we don’t, at our outsourcing provider Cloudstaff, we actually don’t store any of your data. So your data is safe inside Google. It’s safe inside Dropbox. It’s safe inside Microsoft Drive.
So one of the things that’s going to drive the value of the entrepreneur or organization is the IP, Intellectual Property. So all of the staff at Cloudstaff sign an employment agreement that says that they don’t touch the intellectual property of clients. Cloudstaff signs a mass service agreement talking about not touching each other’s intellectual property. So the IP of your organization, your processes, your vision is your property and it’s safe and secure.
So thinking about all those things we’ve talked about today – What’s important to an entrepreneur? How they can actually get started in offshoring? How they can make sure their intellectual property is protected? All those things are important and in choosing someone like Cloudstaff, if you’re a member of an entrepreneurs’ organization, that’s going to make a great story and a great match to take your vision to the world.