Chasing a previous call center agent’s success.

Live the life you have ever wanted! See how a previous customer service employee got to build her own business and travel worldwide

      In 2015, Philippines became one of the highly in-demand outsourcing destination. This is when Carla, an accountant by profession and is raising 3 kids with her husband  started her career in the BPO industry. She worked in one of the high-regarded BPO company in the world, Convergys, and got the opportunity to move to Singapore to further thrive in her career.  After living and loving the lifestyle in SG, Carla and her husband decided to go back home to take care of family concerns.

She started climbing the ladder of success in the Corporate world when she got back home and became a Manager for an Australian Company based in Sydney, and gained the Chief Operating Officer position in an Accounting firm based in Australia. She became unstoppable and took over the General Manager  role of an outsourcing company based in Melbourne. Having all these experiences with Australian and Singaporean clients made her feel the need to put up her own Virtual Assistant company that can help small to medium companies based in Australia and Singapore cut their costs and still maintain the level of quality of work.

Just as any other start-up company , after having to make several phone calls to start business development and collaboration, not to many people believed in the plans and further went on getting rejections.  But Carla, being passionate with what she is doing for the outsourcing industry, never made it an option to stop. It then became the best decisions of her life when she had one client agreed. Since they started operations, more and more deals and clients became part of the growing Virtual Assistant Company. With that, she’s very happy to share her wisdom to people who dream to become successful entrepreneurs. This include:

  1. Be willing to take the risk – this is the first step you need to decide to take.
  2. Patience is a Virtue – be patient and never give up. There could be hundreds of rejections but there will always be that first client to start your growth.
  3. Keep moving – being patient is not enough, you need to keep going with your plans.
  4. Focus – there could be a lot of temptations elsewhere like job opportunities, promotion, high salary offers, etc, but you’ll eventually get these rewards when you strive harder.
  5. Be motivated – there won’t be anyone to motivate you but yourself, always think of the ‘deepest why’ you are doing this.
  6. Surround yourself  with business-minded people. This will help you getmore ideas that you may be able  to integrate in your business.

        From a home-based business, Online Officer has now opened an office to accommodate clients who want to have their Offshore team work office-based with complete facilities for as low as AU$300/month seat lease. You can also hire a Full Time Staff for as low as $1,600/month. We have  our pool of competitive staff from different industries like; SEO, Digital Marketer, bookkeeper, Admin Assistant, Personal Assistant, Web Developer, Writer, Date Entry, Telemarketer, Sales Agent, Collecting Agents, Debt Collectors, Customer Service and a lot more.

         Carla being an accountant by profession, with 7yrs experience in Australian full sets of Finance and Accounting also helps small businesses with their bookkeeping works, system migration, BAS reports, audit, PAYG, Super reports, financial reports and the likes. She renders  Bookkeeping services for small business for as low as $150/month for 15 hrs a month, or as low as $10/hr.

5 Things to Look for in a Virtual Assistant

Written by: Carla Sonza

Now that you’ve realised the importance of hiring a Virtual Assistant, how do you go about the best one for your business?

Finding a virtual assistant is no easy task. Yes, there’s a lot of Virtual Assistants out there how do you find the perfect one for you?

Looking for a virtual assistant is crucial for every business owner because it will have a huge impact on your business. Your virtual assistant will be working on tasks related to your business and will contribute to the day to day business operations.

Image: Pexels

So what characteristics should you look for in a VA?

1. Communication skills. One of the most important factor you have to look at is the VA’s communication skills, both written and oral. You don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t know how to communicate his or her ideas. It is also very easy for misunderstandings to occur because of the language and cultural difference. Having excellent English communication skills is very important especially if you’re hiring for a writer or a customer service representative.

2. Attention to detail. You wouldn’t want to work with a virtual assistant who is sloppy or is careless. A good virtual assistant understands that even the smallest details are very important. Re-doing tasks or revising articles is a waste of time and money, which could have been prevented if your virtual assistant takes a couple of minutes to review everything. Plus, if your VA pays extra attention to details, you can be assured that he/she carries this habit in all aspects of their life or work.

3. Professionalism. You don’t want a VA that’s always late for his/her scheduled working hours or someone who doesn’t reply to emails or messages. You want someone who is professional enough to complete all the tasks without having you to remind them and provide updates on current tasks.

4. Reliability. Look for a virtual assistant who is dependable and responsible. A reliable virtual assistant is someone who delivers within the deadline and produces the quality of work that you have agreed upon.

5. Resourcefulness. Another important characteristic of a good VA is being able to resolve minor everyday dilemmas like lost internet connection or power outage. He or she has to look for ways to make sure that the tasks are completed, even if there are some setbacks along the way.

Looking for a good VA is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It takes time to interview a lot of applicants so if you’re in a rush or you need the help ASAP, you can partner with recruitment companies like Online Officer who can do the recruitment work for you.

 

10 Benefits of Working With Filipino Virtual Assistants

Written by: Carla Sonza

Ever since outsourcing became popular, more and more businesses have discovered the advantages of working with a virtual assistant..

Business owners have discovered how important the role that virtual assistants play in the growth and success of their business. Being a global trend, virtual assistants come from different countries all over the world. However, most businesses prefer to hire Filipino virtual assistants over VAs from other countries like India or China.

Here are some of the reasons why Filipino Virtual Assistants are the best in the industry:

Image: Pexels

1. English skills. Communication is very important in any business, whether it’s writing correspondence, talking with potential clients, providing customer service or relaying instructions. Filipinos have excellent English skills because it is their second language. They have neutral accent and are good in grammar compared to VAs from other countries.

2. Talented and skilled employees. Philippines has a very high literacy rate and every year, thousands of young graduates skilled in different fields are looking for work. Filipinos are also fast learners and flexible due to their extensive training. The country is known as one of the most popular BPO hub in Asia and has trained a lot of professionals in this industry. Most VAs come from the BPO industry so it will be easier for you to find an experienced VA for your business.

3. Inexpensive labor cost. One of the reasons why labor rates in the Philippines is cheaper is the relatively low cost of living in the country. If you hire an in-house employee, you’ll have to pay around $20-$30 per hour on top of overhead and training costs.

4. Friendly culture. The Philippines is one of the most popular tourism destinations and you’ll often see foreigners interacting with the locals wherever you go. Filipinos are exposed to different cultures, making them more skilled in dealing and communicating with foreign clients. Plus, Filipinos are friendly in nature so they are easy to work with.

5. Work ethics. Filipinos are inherently hardworking people who will do everything to complete the tasks assigned to them. They can work independently without you having to look over them all the time. They are also very resourceful and can easily adapt to any situation.

These are just some of the benefits you will discover as you work with a Filipino virtual assistant. Whatever your business goals are, your Filipino VA will make sure to work hard to accomplish all the tasks and contribute to your success.

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5 Useful Tools Every Outsourcing Beginner Should Have

Written By: Carla Sonza

Congratulations for taking the first big step into outsourcing! Now that you have chosen to work with a virtual assistant, it will be much easier for you to manage your time, your resources and your business.

Image: Pexels

Businesses who have been using VAs for a long time now will testify to the benefits this strategy has brought them. However, as a beginner in this industry, you need to be equipped with the right tools to make it work.

There are many tools you can use when outsourcing but we’ll focus on the basic and leave the more complicated ones for you to discover. Here are the basic tools or software you need to have when working with a virtual assistant.

Skype. There are many communication tools out there and the most popular is Skype. It allows you to send messages, make voice calls and video calls, organise meeting through video conferencing and transfer files. Skype has a mobile version, a desktop version and a browser version, making it easier for you to access the tool wherever you are.

Jing. If you have trouble articulating what you want your virtual assistant to do or you want to show your screen, the perfect tool for this is Jing. It is a free screen capture application that allows you to take snapshots of your computer screen. You have to download the software to record audio. video and image files. Once you’re done recording, you can send the link to the file to your VA.

Time Monitoring. If you’re working with YBVA, you don’t have to worry about time tracking because they have a built in program to do this. You can access the time logs and see what your virtual assistant is doing and how much time is spent for each task. You can also use other time monitoring applications such as Time Doctor or Toggl.

Google Drive. When working with a remote staff, it is important to have real-time access to all files your employee is working on so you stay on top of your game. There are several storage apps out there but most business owners prefer to use Google Drive. It is free but you can upgrade for a higher storage capacity. You can access the files anywhere using your computer or mobile. You can also edit files on the go, making collaboration easier and more convenient.

LastPass. Working with a virtual assistant sometimes require you to provide them with access to your personal accounts. LastPass provides you with a secure way to grant them access without divulging your password. It also allows you to organise your passwords so you don’t have to worry about forgetting them again.

What tools can you add to this list?

 

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How Outsourcing Can Save Your Business (And Your Sanity)

Do you know someone who’s a jack-of-all-trades? I do. And believe me, it’s not always a good thing.

How outsourcing and hiring a  virtual assistant can help you and your business?

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One Sunday night I called a friend from Australia and had a little chat with him. He said he was writing some posts for his Social Media page while eating his lunch. I can imagine him typing away on the keyboard with a spoon on his mouth. You’re probably impressed because he’s a hardworking fellow, working while taking lunch! But I can feel that he is so stressed out.

I asked him what he’s working on and he said he does sales, marketing and client relations all at the same time. I know he is so workaholic and he loves his job but he’s getting sick and haven’t had any time to unwind because of the responsibilities he has at work.

So, I told him to try outsourcing. Not only will he be able to assign tasks that he couldn’t handle, outsourcing also allows him to cut his expenses. As business owners, there are times when we think that we are saving money by maximizing our ability and choosing to handle all tasks ourselves. What we don’t realize is that we are actually wasting not just money, but also our time, by not working efficiently. Proper delegation of task is something every business owner should consider.

I was able to convince him and make him understand the need to get a virtual assistant. He hired a Social Media Manager and Content Writer to help him with Marketing. He also hired Telemarketers to do Lead Generation and a General Virtual Assistant to handle client relations and admin tasks.

The best thing about this, ALL the virtual assistants he hired are experts in their fields and my friend only had to pay as low as $8/hr. Because of his smart business decision, he got those time-consuming tasks out of his hands and is now able to focus with planning and management for business growth.

 

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How Do You Find the Perfect Virtual Assistant

Choosing the best virtual assistant is a huge step for your business. Why? It’s because your virtual assistant will play a huge role in your business operations and will contribute to the success or failure of your business. Your VA will be handling tasks related to your business and these processes will determine the future of your business.

Image: Pexels

However, some business owners are hesitant to work with VAs because they are afraid of choosing the wrong person. So we’ve come up with some helpful tips you have to keep in mind when choosing your virtual assistant.

1. Have a plan. Whether you want to work with a freelance virtual assistant or a VA company, you
need to have a plan set up before choosing candidates. Here are the things you need to listdown before finding your VA.

  • List of specific tasks you want to outsource to your VA
  • Duration of the project – is it an ongoing or one-time project?
  • Amount of working hours and your preferred schedule
  • Required communication skills
  • Budget

By clearly determining these factors, you’ll save a lot of time weeding out those candidates who do not meet your requirements.

2. Do your homework. Don’t trust resumes. It will save you a lot of time in the future if you get to know more about your candidates before hiring them. Check their skills and if you need to, do a paid trial. Ask for samples of their work to know the level of their skills. For example, you can also do a writing test or graphic design test so you can see their writing or design style. These tests will help you choose the best candidate for you.

3. Partner with a recruitment company who will help you find the best virtual assistants. There area lot of staffing companies that provide virtual staff for small and medium-sized businesses. All you have to do is provide your requirements and they will pair you up with the perfect Virtual Assistant from their pool of talents. Of course, you still have to interview and check whether that candidate suits your needs. The advantage of working with a recruitment company is that you won’t have to do all the menial work like background checking, verifying info, training, etc. You are also assured that the employees recommended to you are professional and qualified.

4. Don’t forget to sign an agreement before any work starts. This agreement is for the protection of both the client and the employee, so you both know exactly what to expect of each other. The agreement should list down the scope of the project, how long the employment will last,
project requirements, working hours, fees, terms and conditions, confidentiality clauses, etc.
You and your VA should both keep a copy of the agreement.

Remember that your virtual assistant will be working closely with you for your business so you have to make sure that you are completely happy with him or her. Take some time to familiarise yourself with each other so you can work together smoothly and efficiently.

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Why You Should Hire a Virtual Assistant

You’ve probably heard of virtual assistants from your friends or fellow business owners and you probably have an idea of what they do. But there’s more to them than what you know.

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Virtual Assistants, commonly called as VAs, are people who work remotely, providing a wide range of administrative and technical services to their business clients. They usually work from their own home or an office space, providing services to clients across the globe.

Not all VAs are the same. Every virtual assistant has his or her own set of specific skills, and a business can have 2 to 3 VAs working together to complete the tasks. Here are some tasks that Virtual Assistants often do:

  1. Graphic Design
  2. Social Media Management
  3. Content Writing
  4. Administrative Tasks
  5. Accounting and payroll
  6. Data Entry
  7. Web Development
  8. Customer Service
  9. Lead Generation
  10. Search Engine Optimisation
  11. Digital Marketing
  12. Collections
  13. App Development

You might think “Hey, I can do these” or I’ll just hire a new staff to do this for me”. Well, you could. But do you know why a lot of business owners hire a VA instead? Here are some of their reasons.

1. Reduced operational cost. When you hire a VA, that means you’re hiring someone who can do the job without further training from you. You also don’t need to pay for employee benefits employers are required to pay for in-house staff.

2. Access to the best talent. There are so many talented virtual assistants out there who can provide you with the services that you need. If you partner with a recruitment company that provides VA, you can take advantage of their pool of talents to choose the perfect VA for you.

3. Virtual assistants can drive business growth. Juggling multiple tasks every day? Working with a VA means you don’t have to worry about the time-consuming tasks required for your daily operations. Your VA can take care of that for you, allowing you more time to strategise and focus on your core competencies.

4. Reduced workload.  Less work means less stress. You can finally achieve your desired work-life balance with a virtual assistant helping with most of your tasks. You will have more time for R&R, knowing that you have a reliable virtual assistant working on your to-list.

5. Pay only for what you need. Your employees don’t actually work 8 hours a day. But when you work with a VA, you’re actually getting what you pay for. You only pay for the amount of hours that your VA worked.

6. Scalability in operations. Having a virtual assistant allows you to have the flexibility to scale down or scale up your operations without any worries.

7. Quality service. Hiring a virtual assistant means working with a person who is experienced and professional.

So if you feel like drowning with all your tasks or you need help but can’t afford to hire a full-time employee, working with a virtual assistant can be valuable for you and your business. You just have to remember to screen your VAs carefully and list down the tasks you need help with. Or, you can partner with a recruitment company who can provide you with the virtual assistant perfect for your needs.

 

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