Virtual staffing


“IF YOU WANT TO SUCCEED YOU SHOULD STRIKE OUT ON NEW PATHS, RATHER THAN TRAVEL THE WORN PATHS OF ACCEPTED SUCCESS.” JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER

A few minutes ago, I needed to phone JetStar regarding an upcoming flight and, once I was connected, I was speaking to a Filipina customer service representative, sitting in a call centre in Manila, not too far away from where I am currently. Just like JetStar, Australian businesses of all sizes are realising the immense benefits of offshoring and are outsourcing functions to low cost countries.

Offshoring continues to evolve and we're now seeing increased trending in 'virtual staffing.' Virtual staffing is the practice of engaging staff in low cost counties, like the Philippines, but these staff work directly for your business. They may be IT staff, or accounts payable staff or admin staff or even engineers, but each day they turn up for work, log in and work a full day, expect they're located in different country. They're also not generally employees - they work on behalf of an offshoring company and each month the offshoring company invoices the client company.

The key driver of virtual staffing is the significant reduction in staff cost. A full time staff member, based in Manila, will cost a business around AU$2500 per month. That's the total cost - there are no additional costs for office space, superannuation, annual leave, workers compensation, payroll, internet, etc. Initially, administrative and IT roles were virtually staffed, but as many businesses are finding, there are really few limits to the range of roles can be virtually staffed due to advances in technology and thousands of available (and free) apps. Companies are now doing marketing, security, social media. HR and even compliance offshored, increasing efficiencies and reducing cost.

Case Study: To illustrate the point, here's a virtual staffing example that I was directly involved in. In 2015 Asia Offshoring, assisted a company hire a graphic designer in Melbourne. The salary range was AU$80,000. It was established that first year costs (recruitment costs, setup costs, etc) were AU$40,000. The total first year cost to hire a graphic designer in Melbourne was determined to be around AU$120,000. A graphic designer was recruited in Manila at a total cost of AU$30,000/year. That gave the client an annual saving of AU$90,000. To date, the client, is more than satisfied with the set up and intends to utilise only virtual staffing for future growth.

But "virtual staff are less productive," I hear you say. It's not true and it's one of the biggest fallacies I come across when talking to Australian businesses about offshoring. I'm based in Manila and every Australian manager that I have met who is offshoring doesn't have a bad word to say. Yes, there are challenges, especially initially but these can now be easily overcome. If you'd like to know for yourself, talk to any company that currently utilises virtual staff in the Philippines and they'll tell you that virtual staff are generally significantly more motivated, more productive, and less of a distraction to achieving business objectives.

The increasing number of millennials that are joining our workforce in conjunction with a broad range of growing technologies is having a positive effect on virtual staffing. Millennials are extremely comfortable collaborating online which is perfect for virtual staffing. The way that Millennials work is both increasing the speed of business and reducing the cost of doing business.

Looking to the next 5 years, the way businesses operate will change radically. All businesses, regardless of size, will be embracing virtual staffing, benefiting from significantly reduced operating costs, lower headcount and increased efficiencies. The bureaucratic, rigid, style that we Australians operate our businesses by will have been replaced by creative, adaptive, agile organisations.

Organisations do not need to wait to implement this change. Tremendous competitive advantages exist right now that will radically improve the way you do business. Follow Rockefeller's advise to be successful and reject the status quo and 'strike out on a new path'.

Andrew Styles is the Founder/President of Asia Offshoring Inc., a company providing low cost, revenue generating services to hundreds of Australian SMEs. Services include: $5/day Digital Marketing; $300 Websites; $100/day Virtual Staffing; and $200 Video Editing. Go to www.asiaoffshoring.com or contact Andrew for more details: andrew.styles@asiaoffshoring.com

Skype: Andrew.Harrison.Styles

If your website is more than 1-year-old, you’re missing an extremely powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.  Read on and I’ll explain why.

How effective is your current business website?  Assess it using our website self-audit tool. Details below.

Had a really interesting chat with a former Hewlett Packard colleague of mine last week. He needs a website built for his new business and we were stepping through some examples of websites that he likes.  What was interesting was that he gets it...that websites are a powerful tool for attracting customers, then engaging them, then getting them to purchase the product/service.


My former colleague shared 2 examples with me of websites that are at either end of the effective websites spectrum.

 

 

What you’ll notice when you open both is the differences across a number of parameters.  
Here’s some of the key components that make a 2016 marketing effective website so powerful.
Websites are powerful marketing and selling tools
Websites, like fashion, change frequently. That website of yours from 2014 is now out of date. Contemporary 2016 websites have been designed around selling psychology and engagement.  The format these websites are based on is a tried, tested and proven formula. Utilising this formula is a way to increase engagement and sales. If you’re not updating your website, you’re losing ground to your competitors.
Bold colour and minimalism.
Modern websites feel spacious.  Each page uses lots of open space, which, when paired with bright, flat, bold coloured shapes and images, create visually engaging moments.  The engagement happens from when the website opens and banner is a high definition stock pic. The minimalism that applies to the pages also applies to the number of pages, hence the move by some businesses to have minimal pages and, in some cases, a single page.
Tagline
It should be clear from the moment of opening the website what the business is offering.  The website should have a tagline that succinctly tells what the business is.
Content
Content continues to be king.  Adding value to people’s lives and helping them solve issues will develop loyalty, confidence and trust.  You have included a blog on your website that is regularly updated.
Giving before receiving
Offering viewers value from the moment they open the website is important and effective.  Another former HP colleague of mine is very effective at this - he offers a 30 min no obligation personal branding consultation and gets high conversion based on this. A website offering free stuff with no expectations adds to brand loyalty, confidence and trust.
Free – budget – moderate - high end
2016 websites will typically offer a range of options for the product or service. The base level is typically free – product can be tried but it may have only basic functions or limited time only offer, but gives users confidence and trust in the product/service. Fee paying options are then offered with a budget option then some additional levels which offer more functionality.
Mobile devices
Websites are no longer viewed mainly on PCs.  In fact, in some countries, more than 50% of online purchasing is now done on smart phones and tablets.  If your websites is not ‘responsive’ and unable to effectively reformat for these devices, or if your online purchase buttons don’t work, it’s possible that 50% of your viewers (and potential sales) are lost.
Constant updating
Because of the way websites are radically evolving, websites are no longer the ‘make and forget’ part of the business.   They are now dynamic core components of a business’s marketing program that need to be regularly refreshed and completely updated at least annually.  If your website is more than 1-year-old, it should be rebuilt in the 2016 format. By not doing so, your cluttered 2014 website with the side bar might be one of the factors contributing to that stagnating sales growth.
Pricing
The kicker for getting a new website build has always been cost, but that’s no longer the case. The highest quality websites with all the bells and whistles (including ecommerce), can now be created at super low cost. For example, my company are currently offering $150 stunning WordPress marketing-effective 1 page websites (http://www.asiaoffshoring.com/#!web-development/zoxdi), Our competitors charge similar prices.  Stop paying $10,000 for a website – there is absolutely no need.  Utilise low cost website services and put the remaining funds into your online marketing budget, or hire another social media specialist (offshored) to support your digital marketing program. (http://www.asiaoffshoring.com/#!virtual-staff/ya439).
Finally...
Getting a new website is no longer about providing viewers with a shopping list of products and services.   Utilising the latest web designs to create engaging websites means that you’re also utilizing marketing-effective websites based on recognised selling psychology.  If you’re not creating the websites of the ‘now, you’re negatively impacting your marketing strategy. 
How effective is your current website?  
Take a moment to see how your website aligns to 2106 marketing-effective websites. Try our website self-audit tool at http://www.asiaoffshoring.com/#!web-development/zoxdi
Andrew Styles is a highly regarded regional expert in utilising Asia for offshoring management He is also founder of Asia Offshoring Inc, an Australian owned business increasing profitability through the provision of digital and virtual services to Australian businesses. For more details, see www.asiaoffshoring.com 

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