- At what point do you realise you just can’t do everything?
- When do you appreciate that time is finite?
- But are you worried about taking on employees?
It’s the oh-so-familiar entrepreneurial story: person starts a business, has a successful few years flying solo while doing everything from accounts to sales and operations. Suddenly, they realise there’s a bottleneck to progress, and it’s them!
It’s a really good problem to have, but a problem none-the-less! One that needs to be solved.
So, it’s time to get help. Do you look locally, or is overseas an option? Here’s my story.
When I went full-time with my business, Melotti Media Copywriting, I decided one of my goals was to wait a full year to see how everything progressed before I made any major decisions. This seemed like a safe decision and would let me test the waters gradually. After all, it had been a side project for years prior and I wanted to transition gently into it becoming my main source of income.
What I didn’t realise was that it would grow much faster than I ever imagined. I was working like crazy to get it off the ground, which is a normal thing for a small business owner, however, I wasn’t quite ready for how fast it would all happen.
Multitasking like an Octopus
I was performing so many tasks at once; a reality that is common for anyone running a one-man-band.
Daily, I would be:
- networking and contacting potential leads
- quoting, closing deals and securing work
- marketing my services and amplifying my communications
- teaching classes
- researching for upcoming projects
- copywriting for my clients
- Invoicing and running accounts
- Customer service and follow-ups
That’s actually a lot of things! I honestly needed eight hands to keep all the plates spinning. No wonder I was only getting five hours of sleep a night!
That’s when a mentor said to me: “Chris, it’s time to expand. You need help if you want to grow your business.”
Right, so the next step kicked in. Fear!
How can anyone do what I do? It’s every entrepreneur’s thought pattern when facing this stage. No one can care like we do and no one else will understand, right? Or we convince ourselves that we are terrible teachers and, worse, hate the thought of someone peering behind the curtain.
But it’s not just the thought of bringing someone within your self-made circle; it’s everything else that goes along with it! Payroll, HR, superannuation, benefits… to a young business, it’s quite nerve-racking! You’re barely paying yourself and now, you need to make space for another salary.
But- you either face it and adapt, or avoid it and become a slave to your own success, chained to your desk with a never-ending to-do list.
“Chris, you should look overseas for some help,” my mentor continued. “It’ simpler, cost-effective and easy. Plus, you can get them onboard immediately.”
Well… that sounded like a nice compromise. Who wouldn’t be curious about this?
I had done a bit of copywriting work with an Offshoring Talent company calledBeepo and thought I’d investigate this option.
Offshoring Tasks? How Does This Work?
Beepo is based in Australia and run by an Australian company, but utilise talent in the Philippines to help businesses, both like mine and of all different sizes. For example, I saw that a lot of Real Estate organisations had entire support teams there to help their Australian teams.
Now, while this sounded a little foreign to me (no pun intended), it’s actually quite a common practise today.
Industry experts predict that revenue for this Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) will reach $55 billion by 2020! That’s only 2 years away!
At first, it’s easy to think that only multinational corporations like Telstra have large offshore teams, however, that’s just not the case anymore. Companies like Beepo are changing this to make offshoring really flexible- something perfect for small businesses like mine.
Literally one meeting and some paperwork later, and I was meeting my first offshore Marketing Assistant, Penny via Zoom (an online communication platform similar to Skype). She was a passionate university graduate with a hunger for knowledge and a willingness to see how she could support me.
What really struck me was when she said: “I’m ready to start now.”
This left me with no choice to be afraid anymore- this young business professional was ready and willing, so I had to make a move. Immediately, I came up with a list of duties that I could delegate to Penny so that I could focus more on sales and copywriting (the duties I loved). I began to show her how I did all of my invoicing, eBook assembly, social media, design work and research by simply sharing my computer screen in Sydney with her in Clark, The Philippines.
Off she went and now we speak all day as she chips away at all of the activities she knows she has to undertake. The more I work with her, the easier it becomes to pass further work to her.
For example, I’ll have a client ask me to research relevant blog topics, and I’ll just flick her an email with a short brief. We have a quick chat where she asks questions, and then off she goes.
Something that I was very impressed with was, Penny had her own ideas on what I was doing, and when I asked her for feedback, she was happy to put her own input into my projects and offer a different perspective. That was a lovely surprise and very helpful. This meant that, for the creative projects, I didn’t have to hold her hand and she found enjoyment in putting her own flair on certain creative projects.
Keeping in sync
The system I find best keeps us on the same page is a weekly Work In Progress (WIP) update where she tells me all of the projects she is working on and her progress with each. This way, I am always aware and in control, without micromanaging.
The Philippines is actually quite the ideal place for offshore business assistance. They speak English, have a highly qualified workforce in diverse areas, and their time difference is only two hours from Sydney (of which, they will work around to match your needs).
The country itself is also undergoing a lot of change by embracing technological evolution. They are already experimenting with AI and automation in business and digital commerce is the norm there. With cloud technology, Google Docs and the Internet all keeping you in constant contact, you don’t even notice the distance.
Of course, the cost savings and support you get from companies like Beepo is just exceptional. They onboard and manage your staff over there, so you’re always in excellent hands. So, whenever I had an issue or needed help with how to communicate certain tasks, they were always around to provide guidance and support. They even had templates and videos to help me.
For a busy small business, paying a monthly fee keeps things so simple, and I can then focus on building my business without any of the paperwork or regulations.
Ok, so I’ll be honest- there is nothing like having someone physically in your office to work with you. There will always be a need for Australian staff, but that’s not what Offshoring is trying to replace. It’s about giving you an extra pair of hands to support your Australian team.
However, in saying that, for what I needed at that time in my business, offshoring through Beepo was perfect, and something I still need today. It has been an utterly positive experience and I couldn’t be happier.
I would highly HIGHLY recommend offshoring as an option with a company like Beepo to give your business the boost you need to grow, and stop you from becoming an addicted workaholic!
Any questions, type them below and I’ll gladly share more of my experience with you!
Melotti Media Copywriting