Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Lesson from bees

I love to read.  What I read depends on what kind of mood I’m in and what my current interest is.  I have to admit I haven’t blogged earlier because I have been reading.  I’ve heard of this book in passing but it was my sister-in-law that recommended it and lent it to me, “The Secret Life of Bees,” by Sue Monk Kidd.

I could quote several different parts of this book that surprisingly relates in an entrepreneurial setting, but since this is a blog and not a book review, I want to focus on the bees.  Each bee has it’s own role to play.  From the field bee to the mortician bee to the nurse bee and attendants, each bee has a task and expectation that keeps everything in order.  It’s amazing how industrious bees are and in the end, because of their collective effort, a group of bees can produce an amazing product.

Now what entrepreneur would NOT want that?

I couldn’t help but being reminded of Michael Gerber’s, “E-Myth Revisited” touching on the point that in small businesses across America there are 3 distinct personalities: the entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician.

Let’s combine the ideas from each book and can you see what an awesome company and product a small business could produce.  Like bees know your role.  If you are the manager, don’t get bogged down with all the details but get a technician to do the work.  Today, it is so easy to hire someone for virtually any task.  As an advocate  of virtual assistance, don’t sweat the small stuff.  Entrepreneurs can continue to dream and outsource work.  Managers can manage and technicians can do the job for a fraction of the cost.

Learn from the bees.  Play the role you were intended to play and leave other roles to someone else.

Time Crunch

I read an ironic quote today.  I found it to be funny yet true.  It’s actually Zall’s Second Law,  “How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on.”  A witty point yet it may hit a nerve for those with time issues.

Have you ever noticed when you are waiting for something it always seems to take longer?  Yet if you’re trying to get the task done that same amount of time isn’t long enough.

We live in a world of “NOW.”  We want immediate service.  We want our shipment to be sent immediately.  We want an answer to our problems an hour ago.  It never seems to be fast enough.

Here are two ideas to chew on:

First, from the view of an entrepreneur, solve customer’s problems as soon as possible. Timing is essential.  I heard of an experience of Master Card customer service trying to solve a security issue – basically the customer wanted to use their card while on vacation, but Master Card flagged it as suspicious because the purchases were not near the customer’s address.  The customer called and tried to work it out for almost 2 weeks – still no access to their money on vacation.  Finally, frustrated, the customer called one last time demanding to speak with a manager.  The manager asked her to wait for a few days for a new card.  She said, “No!  I’ve been waiting 2 weeks and if I don’t get it by tomorrow, I’m going to cancel this card!”  The card was in her hand the next day.  Businesses will lose customers if they don’t offer timely solutions.

Second, from the view of a consumer, ask for a time-line. Waiting for something to happen at an unspecified time in the future is the WORST!  Time moves slowly and it’s hard to focus on anything else.  When there is a specific date or time when something is supposed to happen, you can at least move through the hours or days until that point in time without wondering “Will this be the minute I’ll receive the call?”  If a company isn’t able to give you at least an estimated time, that only shows, they don’t take your time as seriously as you do.

In the end, a little give on both sides could go a long way.  A business that understands the value of their customers’ time will work to make things happen as quickly as possible.  Customers who understand that sometimes a quality solution can take time will establish a better relationship and most likely get better service from a company.

What is Virtual Assistance?

Virtual Assistance or VA is a modified form of the job called Executive Assistance, which gives professional administrative, creative, marketing, or technical support to clients, mostly executives. The only difference is it’s done “online”. From the very word “virtual”, VA is known for the remote service it renders.  Clients and virtual assistants can be miles apart, even from different sides of the world.  They communicate through the internet, email, online work spaces, telephone, or fax machine. Through these forms of communication, many jobs can be done virtually.

VA is categorized under the Business Process Outsourcing or BPO sector since clients outsource a part of their tasks to  VA companies or a home based VA worker. The outsourced work is usually composed of, but not limited to:

a. Administrative – includes data entry, contact book and email management

b. Creative – includes writing, web design, graphic design

c. Marketing – includes emailing and calling contacts and offering of services

d. Technical – includes SEO, blog and website maintenance

e. Personal – booking and reservations, calendar scheduling, paying bills online, etc.

Assistants work strictly in accordance to the instructions given by the clients. Moreover, clients and assistants are expected to work in an ongoing, mutual professional relationship, which sometimes develops into a long term work agreement. One of the most notable thing about virtual assistance is that it gives the clients efficiency, profitability and personal freedom. It is  rewarding for a client who needs to balance business priorities and personal life.

This profession is growing considerably worldwide. A significant number of VA is found in the Philippines and India where there is a massive workforce who are qualified, educated and fluent in English, at a lower cost. The top 5 countries with largest registered virtual assistants are USA, England, India, Philippines, and Canada.

A reason why virtual assistance is gaining so much popularity and demand is not only because of the diverse service it renders but also because of the astounding benefits it brings to clients.

The Filipino Worker

Filipino workers, professional or skilled, are renowned internationally to be a massive qualified and efficient workforce. Not only are they expected to bring successful results in their own country, but many countries choose and employ Filipino workers to get a job done.

Looking back, Filipino workers have always been highlighted as hardworking and patient. Historically, they were under three major foreign occupations. Through this Filipinos learned to be submissive, work under extreme pressure, while creating relationships and building trust.

Today, Filipinos continue to set the bar on work ethics. They willfully and joyfully work to satisfy clients, develop businesses, offer services, provide a living for the family, and contribute to society. Since they are known for working so hard to finish their education in order to get a good job, they value their job as much and there’s no turning back to it. Nowadays, Filipino workers are spread around the globe in every kind of job because of the increase of demand of their capabilities. Nonetheless, more and more foreign companies are putting up their businesses in the Philippines not only because of huge investment opportunities but also to make the most out of the Filipino manpower that exists there.

Below are some personal traits and professional characteristics of the Filipino worker which has earned them global competency:

  • Educational Qualifications. With a high literacy rate of 94.9% and English proficiency of 75% based on statistics, Filipinos gained international acclaim in various fields. They undergo exceptional training through educational institutions with top quality standards and they use English as their official business language.
  • Industrious. Wanting to go home each day with a sense of fulfillment, the Filipino worker is used to work beyond the working hours to finish their task. Their vision of hard work always seems obvious by being able to perform their duties as expected by their employers.
  • Dependable. Since time, Filipinos are well known to be helpful and hospitable. In the workplace, Filipinos adhered to these characters by being reliable, loyal and trustworthy in whatever job given to them. They are serious when it comes to confidential information.
  • Innovative. Filipinos always want to improve work flow, put things into systems and carry out ideas to make the work easier. They organize matters to produce better results with their resourcefulness and creativity.

With this competency, who wouldn’t want to experience the quality of service Filipino workers can offer?

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