The Boost Hospitality Podcast is back for another season! And we are now in Season 6. And this time, we are now on the third episode of season six!
In this episode, David and Amanda will share their experience with outsourcing and with the virtual assistants and how it helps with your business. But first, let us know things about our guest today.
David and Amanda
These two guests that I’ve known and followed for a while on the world of social media, they do so much when it comes to service accommodation and not only getting people get started but as well how to outsource and what I believe is such a powerful thing. David and Amanda of SA Angels.
Ever since they heard about this thing called service accommodation, that’s when the fun started and now, they currently have 4 companies. Having that much of company to run, they have decided to hire someone to help in running their business.
That’s when they started to outsource and look for a virtual assistant to help them run their businesses.
What is VA and Outsourcing?
VA stands for virtual assistant, virtual meaning that they’re not in the office with you. So with the advance of the Internet, and the ability for you to come, or anybody anywhere in the world at any time.
There’s a lot of countries like Philippines, India, Malaysia who got are aware or community or ICF industry, who are able to work quite cheaply for for us and anytime. So turn the day or night sometimes to do work for us, because to them, that is a great job. That’s a very high quality job.
So the first time we outsourced was, I think it was when we were doing the purchase, when we used UpWork, to go and find people to do jobs. And that’s how we met Anna from Montenegro. And she still works for us now.
She started scraping data for purchase lease options, did a really good job with that she started to put to research some data for me. And we’ve ended up taking her on full time now.
What is the beauty behind hiring a VA?
With the internet being just so easily, readily available, now you’re able to hire a member or staff, you don’t have to hire somebody from the local area. Again, you couldn’t do which is all well and good, but you may not get the right person for what you need.
And with the countries like the Philippines and India, where I mean, like the state of living in the state of pay is so less so if you for takes loads of boxes for yourself, you can find a quality member of staff that can do the tasks that you need. And then for them, they can get a wage and additional job satisfaction.
But for the most part, the reason why I love outsourcing, because I’ve done it for years with Boostly, and obviously the family business is that I can set a task at 6 pm. And I know that when I wake up the next morning, it’s done.
Having somebody in charge of payments and dealing with guests is scary. So what would you recommend to somebody?
Like most people, I did everything. I did the payments, the ID checks, the court the telephone calls, replying to inquiries, by phone call, by email, by text and get you in every way don’t know. I used to deal with all of that.
And you don’t realize how much you’re doing it because it just builds up and up and up and up and up and it’s when you start realizing that you’ve never eaten a meal from start to end without being interrupted, because that’s when they’re booking.
That’s when they’ve got their inquiries, they finished work, they’re making inquiries, and you’re trying to eat your evening meal. To trust that somebody else can do that for you, you have to be realistic, nobody is going to be as perfect as you, nobody.
But if you want to build your business, scale up, market your business, improve your business, grow your business, you have to let go of those little jobs. It was a baby steps, it was just baby steps, I’d get him to check things.
So I taught a hard job initially, I got him to do things that weren’t really that important.
How did you react when they got mistakes?
Human error does still happen. Sometimes the system area goes down and you just have to be realistic with it.
But the point is that when you can give up that work. And if you can go and do something else that you’ve always wanted to do, or you’ve always needed to do, like develop your website to go out and get direct bookings.
Just let let the ID checks go to somebody else. So I spent quite a long time teaching hard, you’re just going through all the different processes, we don’t want understanding the guest profiles.
You’ve got to move forward. And like you say, no one can do it, as well as you. But if you’ve got your systems in your structure in place, then you can show them how to do it like you would which is which is fantastic little tip.
That’s amazing now that he’s actually grown a team, based around you grow in a team, where I love that how that somebody that you hired as a VA is now hired other people as well, to help him which is which is phenomenal in it.
This is our teams get grown and this is this is the main thing, I think people just assume that of your guest house owner, whether you’re a small hotel owner, or whether you just got a single or a couple of rental properties, that you have to do everything yourself.
And I honestly don’t think it’s just hospitality. I think just every business owner, small business owners like that, fail that they have to do everything themselves, but you’re actually doing your business more harm than good.
And you can do everything. And if you stretch yourself too thin, then you’ll never will progress.
What is the the big mistakes that you see people make when they first start getting into outsourcing and finding people to work with?
I think there’s two I think there’s two mistakes that people make. They either don’t let go and don’t let those people help them enough because they’re so reluctant to let go of the person.
I think if you have the systems and the structure in it, and I think it’s more of a mindset than it is anything else, if you’re if you’re ready to let go and you’re ready to get help, then the processes is a whole lot smoother.
If you don’t do it right, and like you say, you just dump it and you just don’t take any responsibility than that as well as the issues rely. So follow up question then is, how’d you work around this?
If the owner is not there, then we just have to take problems with it. Sometimes the angels will contact me and say, we really don’t know what to do in this situation.
So I’ve actually got to make the decision in that business. But that’s not my business for them because the owners absent. So we’ve got might muddle through. In other circumstances, it’s a case of just dealing with people’s expectations to realize what a VA is, what a VA isn’t, what they can do to help you.
And certainly with our case, this team’s been going for about 18 months now. We do have a huge amount of knowledge on systems that can help people. And we can make suggestions to people. And we need people to work with us.
What bad advice that you see being given in the industry specifically around outsourcing?
I see a lot of people being go and get a VA from the Philippines for $3 an hour and they’re really cheap, it’s great, except you’ve got to train up person, you got to spend all that time training a person.
That person might not actually be suitable for the role and it’s only one person. And then they give up, they don’t want to do anymore.
So you’ve got to go and find the next person. And you’ve got to train them up. And at the same time, you still gotta run your business.
So we we have an awful lot of people who have gone through the third or the fourth VA. And you say to them, Look, you know, you kind of get what you pay for.
And this is a tough business, hospitality business, a VA on $3 an hour is great if you want to just get them to research something in your area. No deadlines, no pressure or anything.
But if you want them to answer your queries on Booking.com, or go into your email and answer your queries with good English as well, why would they do that they can go and get an easier job for $3 an hour.
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