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Outsourcing 101 – Cracking The VA Code With Nathan Hirsch From Outsource School

Filip Stankovski March 19, 2020


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Outsourcing is more than a trend in the business world right now, it’s a necessity, especially with the Coronavirus pandemic. More and more companies are opting for scouting talent online in hopes of reducing staffing costs. There are tons of advantages to outsourcing, such as limitless options, better management, and, most importantly, low costs.

On the other side, people are more satisfied with staying at home and working remotely instead of going to a physical office. I don’t think there is a need to list all of the advantages of working from home. (working in your PJ’s from your bed with a cuppa coffee). But how to transition from internal hiring to remote hiring?!?

Nathan Hirsch, the founder of Outsourcing School and a successful remotepreneur, is the sensei of outsourcing, and he is here to guide us on how to crack the VA code. Nathan has proven to be a true remote hustler, starting from selling books on Amazon from his dorm room, then building a freelancing platform – FreeUp, and most recently transitioning to online education platform around outsourcing. He managed to build two multi-million dollar ventures using hundreds of Virtual Assistants.

The future of doing business is remote, and with the coronavirus pandemic, companies need to learn how to outsource. Let’s dive into Nathan’s method of “Cracking The VA Code”…

Plan Your Budget & Tasks: The First Step to Outsourcing

This step might lean more towards the financial side of the business, but it’s an important step because your budget won’t suffer if you plan in advance. You don’t have to waste tons of money on your employees. Remote hiring gives you a lot of options for employees and prices.

Obviously, the prices will vary depending on the location, job title, project, and experience the freelancer might have.

Furthermore, you do need to be clear what tasks you want to outsource before hiring your VA. Nathan suggests to make two lists:

  1. The first is what tasks I’m bad at but still do them myself. The solution is to compare the value of the task per hour vs how much $ you earn per hour. If you can make more money doing something you are good at, just pay somebody else to do it instead.
  2. The second is what tasks I’m good at but are not moving my business forward and need to take them off my list. This is the hardest because most entrepreneurs believe that “if you want to get something done, you must do it yourself”. If you want to grow your business, then you must leave non-critical tasks to somebody else and don’t expect to be completed perfectly!

Before hiring a VA, make sure you can afford them and have enough work they can work on

Nathan Hirsch

How to Interview The Right VAs – Nathan’s C.A.R.E. Method – Experience, Red Flags, Attitude & Communication

The second step is hiring. Nathan says he always uses the C.A.R.E. method whenever he does any hiring. So, let’s break down what C.A.R.E. means.

Communication – It’s crucial to communicate what you want and need from the VA during the hiring process because it will save you time and money upfront, and you won’t have to do all of the work twice or thrice. State your goals and expectations as well, they’re essential for collaboration in the long-term.

Attitude –You need to have specific questions for your freelancer during the interview process to see if the freelancer has the right attitude for your project. If you want to know what kind of questions you need for the hiring process, visit Outsourcing School.

Red Flags – During the interview, you should lay out more questions to help you shed the VA’s surface a little bit. These kinds of questions can help you search for red flags on time and avoid spending time and money on a freelancer that just doesn’t suit your companies’ needs.

Experience – Another vital thing to look for in your future VA is experience. Obviously, the more experience a VA has, the better, but you should also consider other traits.

I’d rather spend 30min interviewing VA and see they’re not a good fit upfront, than wasting 3 months trying to make it work!

Nathan Hirsch

Onboarding The Right VAs – Nathan’s S.I.C.C. method – Scheduling, Issues, Communication & Culture

Now that you’ve gone through the interviewing process and you’ve nailed down the perfect VA for your project, it’s time to onboard. Before you proceed, give your freelancer the option to back-off if they’re not satisfied with your expectations, payment, and goals. Give them an offer and let them decide whether or not they want to stay with you. Now, if you’ve passed that point, here is what Nathan’s S.I.C.C. method stands for.

Scheduling – During the onboarding process, it’s essential to disclose the scheduling timeframe, working hours, and shifts.

Issues – It’s important to disclose any issues you might have with a particular task upfront so that the freelancer avoids them. Never leave the freelancer to assume things you don’t want them to do.

Communication – Major key to the onboarding process. Again, communicating with your freelancer is vital because it will help you build a relationship in the long run.

Culture – Culture is another piece of the VA puzzle because to a lot of freelancers it’s a part of who they are. So you need to adjust your approach based on where your VAs are based. Every culture is different, and you must respect that if you want to have loyal VAs.

Training Your VAs – Nathan Hirsch’s S.S.S. Method – Study, Sample, Show

Doing training 1-on-1 is hard, especially if you need to do it repeatedly. There are different ways of training more people at once. For instance, you can record the training and have your freelancers to follow it. Another option is to get more freelancers training with you. But if you want to master it and see how Nathan trains Philippino VAs visit Outsourcing School.

Study – This simply means that the freelancers you want to hire need to study the material you give them.

Sample – For better understanding your materials, it’s important to give them examples of what they need to do and see the task completion in action.

Show – Do it yourself and let them see how you do it. Answer any questions they might have immediately after that.

Managing Your VAs – Nathan Hirsch’s B.A.R.F. Method – Buying-in, Appreciation, Relationships & Family

This can be tricky, but with Nathan’s approach, it doesn’t have to be. By B.A.R.F. we don’t mean barfing literally, just narrowing down your approach into simple steps.

Buying-in – With this step, your VA is buying into your business and ensure that they don’t leave you after some time.

Appreciation – Give your VA kudos for a job well done. A happy employee means happy customers.

Relationships – Establish a relationship with your employees because they are a crucial part of your company.

Family – Long term employees become family over time, and it’s important to remind them once in a while.

SOP: How To Make Standard Operating Procedures The Right Way

Every successful company has SOPs, but oftentimes, they don’t achieve the wanted results. That’s because they’re missing a key element of effective SOP. When you’re creating SOPs, have a bottom part, middle and bottom part.

The upper part needs to include the task background. To have a better picture of the task goals, the freelancer needs to know why this task is important for the company. A lot of entrepreneurs miss this and wonder why their VAs do a poor job.

The middle part is the steps you want them to follow to complete the task most effectively.

The bottom part is another vital element. It includes things you DON’T want the VA to do and explaining how other VAs made a mistake. Here’s the place where you can include FAQ for the specific task and set expectations or KPIs. Never assume and count on common sense, always be straightforward!

Don’t assume anything, make clear expectations

Nathan Hirsch

We’ve laid the foundations for outsourcing, now it’s up to you to take action. For more information about these steps, attend Nathan’s course at Outsourcing School. Build your team remotely and become the remote entrepreneur you always wanted to be!

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Filip Stankovski

I'm a top rated sales freelancer on Upwork and Level 2 Seller on Fiverr. I believe that the new entrepreneurs are remotepreneurs and the purpose of the podcast is to teach people how to adjust to the new future of doing business - REMOTELY!

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