Author Archives: admin

Is it time to Uber-size your outsourcing business?

Categories: Innovation, Semi-Popular | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Uber is always in the news
Every time I go online, I see news about Mark Cuban, Startups, Apple, Uber, Richard Branson, Innovations, and more. People either love Uber or they hate them. In the Notary industry which I am heavily involved with, there is a company called Snapdocs which used an Uber-type model to run their business. They have Notaries all throughout the United States who get text messages whenever there is a local job available. The Notaries can accept the job or barter for better terms. Snapdocs has somewhat transformed the Notary industry in the United States — and it will never be the same.

Can your BPO use Uber thinking?
But, how can your outsourcing or BPO company apply Uber-type principles to better running your operation? In some ways you can. Most outsourcing companies have between five and fifty people in a particular location. Or, some of them might work from home. Uber operates on a nationwide or worldwide level. If a job is inputted into the system by a customer, any service provider who is close can claim the job. Outsourcing is geo-specific, as you function in a particular area, but — you cater to the whole English speaking world.

Job Offers
Uber operates on the principle of having small jobs taken care of quickly at an affordable price and in a nice way. If you deal in huge programming contracts, the Uber model might not be appropriate for you. But, if you dissected your huge jobs into smaller parts, you might be in business. If you have ten people who answer inquiries all day and all night long on a commission basis, they could answer inquiries as fast as Uber drivers pick up customers. Your reps could answer questions, give quotes, and advice too, all in real time (within minutes.) Smart companies offer samples or smaller jobs at reasonable prices to gain the confidence of new clients. Small jobs could be dispatched, priced, and finished overnight using Uber modes of operation.

Call Centers
Smaller call center contracts could be sold the same way. If a smaller client wants service for one day per week, this small order could be fulfilled well using Uber type principles. Many small businesses have a horrible time finding good call centers who are responsive to small clients. Most do not take an interest in small clients and don’t return calls. If yours is the one that is responsive, you might dominate the small-client market and clean up!

Think Small
Uber type principles are good for small jobs. But, how can you make money doing small jobs? First of all, if you accumulate a lot of small jobs, you can make a lot of money. Secondly, small jobs might pay higher per hour than large jobs giving you a better margin. Third, small jobs can turn into regular clients if you take care of them well — which most companies do not as most companies are only interested in big jobs.

How Do You Do It?
Just have an online system where clients can put in their work requests. Make sure that a team of people is around to answer requests on a first come first provide service basis. Once the request is handled, work goes on just like any other job that you are taking the old fashioned way.

Should You Do It?
If you have a really cool modern system, and it catches on with good marketing, you could become a huge company overnight. Most other companies are very sluggish about offering quotes or getting back to people. If you are the one that is effective, polite, and does good work fast — you could conceivably take over!

You might also like:

Is Amazon too tough on their workers?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2016/06/10/is-amazon-too-tough-on-their-workers/

When you slow down, I slow down
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2016/05/04/when-you-slow-down-i-slow-down/

Good business karma or bad business karma?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2016/03/08/good-business-karma-or-bad-business-karma/

America invented & forgot about customer service
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2016/03/02/america-invented-forgot-about-customer-service/

What if you got your business advice from Yoda?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/11/30/what-if-you-got-your-business-advice-from-yoda/

You don’t get to the next level in business by being in a hurry
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/11/13/you-dont-get-to-the-next-level-in-business-by-being-in-a-hurry/

.

New Chicago Startups

Categories: Startups | Leave a comment

SiNode Systems
http://sinodesystems.com/
A developer of materials for up and coming ion-lithium batteries

Parknav
https://parknav.com/
This app helps drivers find real-time parking solutions including free, metered and permit parking. “Stop driving in circles!”

PowerReviews
http://www.powerreviews.com
This company offers services and software to manage your reviews.

Vibes Media
http://www.vibes.com/
This company is a provider of mobile marketing solutions & mobile wallet marketing.

Pangea Money Transfer
https://gopangea.com/es/send-money/
This company helps you send money internationally using their platform.

Optulink
http://optulink.com
This company helps you get better sound quality from your mobile phone and optimize your connection.

NowSecure
https://www.nowsecure.com/
A mobile security platform that does mobile app testing, device monitoring, forensics and security intelligence!

DialogTech
http://www.dialogtech.com/
Call attribution software for marketers and phone tracking analytics.

Broadview Communications
http://www.broadviewcomm.com/
A mobile advertising and sponsorship platform.

.

Skills you need to have to open a Call Center

Categories: Call Center | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Please also see:
How to get more clients for your call center (compilation)
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/08/20/how-to-get-more-clients-for-your-bpo-or-call-center-compilation/

Everyone in India these days dreams of opening call centers. Yet, the call center industry has almost completely left India except for technical support, aggressive marketing and a few smaller companies that don’t amount to much. Companies have gone to the Philippines where people there are more gentle, understanding, caring, sympathetic — which are traits that people in America want from a call center that less than 1% of Indians have! On the other hand, Filipinos lack aggression and are not as strong on technical skills which is where India has a huge edge (a sharp edge by the way.) So, India can still compete, at least in some ways. But, the Indians who want to open call centers don’t understand the skill sets involved, and they can only succeed if they have these skills.

(1.) Be the Best Agent Yourself
If you were never a call center agent, or weren’t very good, you won’t understand what is involved in being a great call center agent. If you run a new call center, that means you’ll have to hire people by the dozen to help you out. If you are the best call center agent yourself, you’ll know what to look for in applicants, and you’ll know how to pick the best ones and train them the best way possible so they can become just like you! Even if you didn’t have the softer qualities that the girls have, if you were good by guy standards, you might be able to hire and train others.

(2.) Spot Talent
If you hire call center agents, you will notice that most of the people applying for outsourcing jobs talk to quietly, too loudly, are too aggressive, too passive, too dumb, too unhelpful, or to folksy which means they’ll talk all day to the clients and not get work done. You need to know right away who the best people to hire are. Sometimes that is hard because in your stack of applicants there are no best people. So, you need to have a way to rank your applicants so you can hire the best dozen if you need to hire a dozen. And if people are not perfect, you need to be able to spot the ones you can train to be perfect which leads me to my next point.

(3.) Train Talent
After you have figured out who to hire, and have a long list of backups (because people quit and get fired on a whim in this business,) you need to train people. Training, monitoring, and evaluation never ends in a good call center. But, the newer hires will need more of your attention. You need to make sure you have time in your schedule to do all the hiring, firing, training, and monitoring.

(4.) Hire Monitors
You can’t do everything yourself, so you need top notch people with a lot of experience in the industry who can monitor, train and to management tasks for you. If you find someone who is second rate, your call center won’t do well. If you find someone great who quits, that is also not good. You might consider having a profit sharing program so this person is more of a partner than a wage earner — that way they will invest more in their work.

.

You might also like:
Marketing your BPO outsourcing firm from A to Z
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2016/05/22/marketing-your-bpo-outsourcing-firm-from-a-to-z/

BPO projects, how to get them and what they entail
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2011/10/20/bpo-projects-how-to-get-them-and-what-they-entail/

How to start an outsourcing company
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/12/29/how-to-start-an-outsourcing-company-2016/

Should you work for a startup to learn how they operate?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/09/05/should-you-work-for-a-startup-to-learn-how-they-operate/

.

(5.) Be Ready
Most Indians jump to step five before they have even been a rep or manager themselves. You need at least five years experience as a rep before becoming a manager, and you need five years experience as a manager before you should consider starting your own gig. Otherwise, you will for sure go out of business! I you don’t have the patience to be in this industry for ten combined years, then you do not have the patience to run your own call center which I assure you is a lot more involving than working at one. Most workers burn out after a few months, quit jobs, go to another call center or call centers, repeat the process for about two years and then leave the call center BPO industry. The fact that you endured ten years puts you in a very special category.

(6.) Find Clients
As a call center CEO, you need to be a master of the art of finding clients. If you did it for another outfit for years before starting your own, that is a good background. A call center cannot survive without clients. On the other hand, your clients won’t stay for long if you have lousy callers or managers. You should be an expert at all of the marketing channels associated with accumulating clients from email, cold calling, networking, websites, and even freelancing. If you start your business marketing yourself as a freelancer, you can accumulate your clients one by one which is a lot easier than trying to fill twenty seats, and then getting fired after two months which is more like a roller coaster than a BPO.

(7.) Manage Growth
Many of the most famous call centers have had huge problems managing growth. Because in real life, your call center demand may go from 100 seats down to 30 seats and then up to 200 seats. Call center business is a roller coaster, and you have to be a master of adapting to fluctuations in demand. My suggestion is to try to develop a clientele of very steady clients over time. If you have empty seats, charge a low fee for a three month contract for a new client. If you temporarily do not have enough free seats charge more for new clients. If you are consistently booked, it is time for a satellite office, or to move to a bigger office. Most call centers do not gracefully handle fluctuations in the market and get blown around in the wind of unsteady clients. They try to compensate by having one year contracts with complete strangers who have no reason to trust them. The result is lost prospects. There are other ways to balance growth where you do not alienate the client.

(8.) Save Money
If your business is doing well, you should save your money so you can invest in buying an office. Many in the call center business do a lot of drinking or partying. The stress of call center work makes people want to drink. You need to have a healthy liver and clear head to survive in this business. Also, if you party your profits away, you can’t grow. Buying your own office is a great investment and here’s why. Most people buy real estate and rent to irresponsible people who don’t pay rent on time or destroy the place. The investment is filled with risks. If you are the occupant of your investment, you’ve eliminated 75% of the risk right there. Even if you go out of business, you can still rent the building out to others and have passive income. So, buying an office is the best investment you could make — and it’s a sign of stability, prosperity, and respectability!

(9.) Do Good Deeds
If you are in the call center business, after you die you will go to a special heaven designed especially for you. It is referred to as call center heaven. But, you can only gain admittance if you do good deeds. So, be a good person and don’t do anything you shouldn’t!

(10.) There is no ten
Shouldn’t this entry have an even number of points? No! There is no ten. Why not, ten is a good round number? There just isn’t. You have learned enough now. So, go out into the real world and make your mark, grasshopper!

.

How to choose which posts to share on Social Media & how often?

Categories: Social Media | Tagged , | Leave a comment

We all seem to use social media, yet so many of us use it so poorly. Do you share posts that have a nice title? Or should you stick to those that have a nice photo in their Twitter roll. What about the actual content of the article? I say, that you should use a process, and let me outline the process.

1. I keep lists of all of my favorite accounts on Twitter. You can do the same for Facebook. Every day I identify a handful or two of the best posts. Then, I compare those posts to each other and pick the best four or so posts to see which one I think appeals most to my audience.

2. I scan the article
Posting articles that you haven’t read is a poor idea. There are many popular blogs out there that publish a lot of fluff, and then once in a while they have useful content. You don’t need to spend ten minutes reading every word of the article. Just skim through it and make sure it looks substantial and interesting.

3. Give weight to the photo
If you are going to share someone else’s tweet, the quality of the photo in the tweet actually matters a lot. Even if your share doesn’t get reshared, a pretty picture makes your Twitter roll look better and you will get more followers — proven fact! So, the article needs to be good, and so does the photo. They should get the same quality score from you of an A or a B+, otherwise don’t bother cluttering up your feed.

4. The title actually matters too.
A great post with a boring title will not get circulated as well. Ann Handley is a marketing expert and claims that you should spend as much time perfecting your titles as you do with the entire blog post. Ann’s team might spend hours on a post, and hours deciding upon the perfect title. They do a bang up job, and so should you when choosing which titles other people wrote to share.

5. Should you tweet the post from your account?
It is easier to click the retweet button. However, Twitter will give you more credit and you will get a lot more shares if you write your own innovative title for the article and send it out again. If you don’t have a stock of excellent photos, you might lack there. But, on Twitter photos are less critical than on Facebook and many other mediums. If the original photo wasn’t that good, consider tweeting from your own account. If you can write a better title, then tweet from your own account. If you are in a hurry, then just click the share or retweet button.

6. Remove dead leaves
If posts you posted or shared don’t do well, I would remove them as they clutter your feed. Social media is about trial and error. Get rid of the errors!

That’s all for now.
But, keep in mind that you should not tweet or reshare a total of more than 30-40 times per day on Twitter if you want your account to grow. So choose what to share with care and flare!

Find outsourcing companies around the world on 123outsource!

Categories: About Us, Semi-Popular | Tagged , | Leave a comment

On 123outsource.net you can find companies that do every type of outsourcing including:

Accounting
General Business Process Outsourcing
CAD & Engineering
Call Center
Creative Writing
Data Entry
Medical Billing
Medical Transcriptions
Social Media
Software Applications — Mobile Apps & Programming
Web Design

Americans are visiting our site more.
The good news is that we have become more popular in America in the last year. Our stats have doubled for American browsers without advertising. This means that the quality of our directory has gone up due to my diligent screening of listings. We remove listings if they do not answer their phone, or if they do not communicate professionally over the phone. We also interview the workers at some of the companies to assess the quality of their staff which can really vary.

If there is one thing that overseas companies want more of, it is American, British and Australian clients. And in 2016, we are delivering a lot more of those! The clicks from America is steadily rising.

Reaching the break-even point with new BPO customers is possible if you personalize

Categories: BPO | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Getting new clients is hard and costly. Losing clients is easy. Most BPO companies I deal with specialize in losing clients (and getting threatened with lawsuits) just as quickly as you gain a new one. You cannot build your business if you lose clients quickly, nor can you turn a profit. Research from established call centers show that the break even point with a customer is after they have been with you for 12-18 months. This point depends heavily on what you charge them, etc., can can vary from company to company and customer to customer. But, 12-18 months was a standard for one company.

The point to remember is that customers who have a good experience stick around while others do not. One way to make sure clients stay is to customize your offerings to their personal needs. If you cater to every whim and desire you will not only keep most of your clients, but get referrals too.

What are some ways you can cater to client needs? If you give your agents more training, and train them more how to deal with the needs of that client, you’re on the right track. If you let the client pick their own agents from a pool of applicants and fire people they don’t like, that is good too. If you have monthly meetings to discuss the performance of each rep on that company’s account, that is also something most call centers just wouldn’t even think of doing as that is call center business and none of the client’s business — or is it? After all, the client is paying for this and is the entity who will lose if there is bad service.

Why is it so hard to buy a good business?

Categories: Management | Leave a comment

Personally, I prefer to create my own businesses. But, I operate on a micro scale. That way I understand the business from top to bottom, have experimented and grown with the business. Investors on the other hand don’t want to build anything. They analyze and buy, but most of all, they say, “No!”

Very few businesses make good profits. Discretionary cash flow is another serious issue which involves earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Some fudge their numbers here which is why you need to be very seasoned to survive as an investor — seasoned in catching frauds!

Intangible assets are something that sellers don’t always understand fully. Trademarks, patents, secrets and just plain having people who trust you & vice versa can be a company’s most vital assets. On the other hand, it might be hard to define a value that an investor would respect for such un-assessable assets.

The commitment and passion of the owner is another factor that investor’s can’t ignore. My business is successful because I micromanage everything just to the right point. I know all of the processes and I’m an expert at all of them except for programming which I outsource to people who normally do not meet deadlines… ever… How would an investor survive in a small business that’s survival rests in the hands of its loving owners?

Personally, I feel that you should not invest in any business you don’t completely understand. Warren Buffet agrees with me on this. He goes to the extreme of not being willing to buy much stock in a company he doesn’t completely understand. This world we live in of buying selling, not being committed to anything is just crazy. In my opinion, buy a car and keep it until it dies. Create your own business and keep it until you retire or die.

On another note, if you want to create a BPO with the intention of selling it five years later and getting rich, it might be hard to find a buyer. Few people know how to handle a BPO. Your only real options might be large companies in the same industry that you are in. But, why would they want to buy your operation when you are not operating on the same standards that they are? Think about it from the buyers perspective and then you’ll see the brilliance of my create and hold for life strategy.

A businessman with an exit strategy lacks commitment

Categories: Management | Leave a comment

Do you talk with other business people? Do you interview people? Most people these days lack commitment. Either they don’t want to be at the same job for long, or they don’t completely care about what they are doing. Mark Cuban warns about people who have exit strategies. If you are fully committed to your work or business, you shouldn’t have an exit strategy. Perhaps if you become deathly ill, you might have to sell the business. But, under normal circumstances (because normal people never die) you should focus on keeping your business.

If you truly love your business, why would you want to sell it? If you get married to a woman, do you have an exit strategy? Starting a business is like getting married. To be successful, you should ideally do the same business most or all of your life. People who get ahead do so by being the best at what you do. If you switch jobs every six months, you’ll be good at interviewing and that’s about it.

Looking for a business partner or outsourcing relationship? If they talk about exit strategy, you might not get the best service. That means they are thinking about money, not commitment. You can even trick them by asking them what their exit strategy. If the answer doesn’t involve a graveyard, you might have the wrong prospective partner! Warren Buffet only buys stocks that he is willing to keep for the rest of his life. I encourage you to choose businesses that you would like to be in for the rest of your life!

If you don’t change direction, you might end up where you’re heading — Lao Tzu

Categories: Of Interest | Leave a comment

As a child, I enjoyed reading the Tao Te Ching by the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. How many of us think about where we are going? Do we even have a clue? I do twenty different tasks to run my business. But, I have to constantly reassess where these tasks are getting me and where I am going. I have no idea where I’m going.

Are you working your way up the totem pole at a job? Many young people today think they should jump from job to job seeking more comfortable environments and better opportunities. Unfortunately, this is not a long-term way to attain success. People who get ahead stick to the same tasks and companies for decades until they rise very high in the totem pole. Think from the perspective of a boss. Will he promote someone who has been at the company for three months and will probably leave in another three? Or will he promote someone smart and loyal who he trusts whose been there for six years? Of course, the quality of your work has to be there, but loyalty breeds trust — even if your boss doesn’t like you!

I look at Indian cities, filled with people all scurrying around in a maze of polluted streets. Where is this going? These cities have limited capacities, and your lungs cannot take this much longer, not to mention the stress. Humans are not designed to live like this, yet society seems to be going on a crash course. Does India know where it is going? Prosperity is coming, but at what price?

America meanwhile is heading for the brink of financial disaster with endless debt, and few are even that concerned. It spells the end of America and Donald Trump is the only politician who gets it.

China seems to have slowed down, and hopefully they will master the art of reducing pollution. But, where are they going? Will they ever value the quality of life?

What about me, you ask? I’m so busy, I will have to sit down and meditate for an hour on where I’m going. I want to work on new business ideas and go to China. I’m studying Chinese again by the way! Wish me luck. I’m going to Shanghai!

Going to China — Studying Chinese Again For Business

Categories: About Us | Leave a comment

Since I was eighteen, I longed to be involved in international trade. My country of interest was China although any country interested me. I am forty-six now and still interested. I studied Chinese in college. I became semi-fluent while living in Taiwan. But, I never mastered the language. I got busy with work. I started an online directory which became very successful and zapped up a lot of my time. Years past. I was living in a Chinese part of California teaching English for a few years. But, I got tired of lazy students and rude school administrators. So, that is when I undertook the Notary career and a few years later started an online Notary directory which gets a million clicks every 43 days or so — amazing. From rags to riches in only a few years of backbreaking work, luck and solid business strategy.

So, now my business is mature. It still needs a lot of my time. But, I have some time leftover now. My psychic keeps telling me I’m going to Dubai to meet a wealthy businessman who will hire me to do his bidding in China. But, my Chinese language skills need to be top notch, and I need to impress him with my skills in social media, business and other things as well.

So, part of the process is to continue learning Chinese. I am studying at home, watching television with an online dictionary by my side. And I’m going to China probably sometime this year. Shanghai is my city of choice, although I’d like to visit Beijing. But, roughly 50% of the international business that goes on in China happens within 100 miles of Shanghai. There are dozens of large cities driving distance from Shanghai, and my psychic advisor told me to get to know the area well. He says my strength in business will be my ability to read people and analyze business situations and scrutinize. After living in India briefly, I understand that you have to watch everyone. The minute you stop watching they pull a fast one!

So, that is my plan. I’m excited. And I’m enjoying studying Chinese again. I’m visiting my old neighborhood near San Gabriel to enjoy amazing Chinese food. I have to drive from my current residence in Los Angeles which is about 18 miles away. But, the neighborhood has changed. It used to be more Cantonese, Shanghainese and Taiwanese people in the San Gabriel area. Now there are people from Beijing, Tianjin, Shan-Dong, Xi-An, Xin-Jiang, Sze-Chuan, Yun-Nan, and many other parts of mainland China that never used to be there in such large numbers. The minority became the majority and I’m trying to become and expert at their food. Spicy cumin lamb sandwiches are a favorite. But, I’ll pass on the beef tripe and frog stew.

So, wish me luck studying Chinese and see you in Shanghai!

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

Categories: Innovation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Steve Jobs made this very true statement. I have observed many outsourcing houses and I will tell you one thing. The boss is always a charismatic and innovative genius. But, the workers seem to be a bunch of thoughtless drones. Many bosses don’t want their workers to think. But, for them to do good work and communicate, they need to care about their work and think. They might even need to innovate from time to time.

It’s hard to innovate when you don’t care about your work. The seed of innovation is frustration with the way things are. If you don’t care, or are very tolerant of poor conditions, you won’t be a good innovator. You need to be passionate, stubborn, genius, and driven like Steve Jobs to be good at it.

But, can you teach your workers to be innovators. They have brains that only need to be woken up. And besides, do you really want to be the only person at your company who thinks? Wouldn’t it be nice if there were others at your company who could deal with clients, strategize and make sure things get done? In the real world it doesn’t work this way, but maybe the real world needs to change… I’ll leave you with that thought.

“You have to think anyway, so why not think big?” — Donald Trump

Categories: Success | Leave a comment

I will agree with Mr. Trump on this and many other issues. Yes, you are spending time and neurons thinking. You spend the same time thinking small that you think big, so why not think big? But, this phrase reminded me of my earlier years. I thought that lower paying jobs demanded less hard work. After I graduated from college, I realized that I had to work really hard just to pay my most basic bills let alone having any savings. I saw people smarter than me (and a few dumber than me) in higher paying jobs where they didn’t have to work hard at all. The secret in the job market is to have skills that others do not have. Then you are not so easily replaceable. That buys you time. The other secret is that there are some jobs where they want you not to apply yourself. You can relax more with those jobs — but, I don’t like relaxing on the job! I want progress!

In business, most people think of get rich quick schemes. Others are more realistic, but have exit strategies. Those who think big in business live business. They want to be in business for the rest of their lives — not exit. Exiting is dying! The way most people do business is very boring. They have typical offices, dull employees, and there is nothing that stands out about most companies. To think big and get ahead big, you need to be different and better. You need to think of a way to out do everybody else. Are you thinking this way? I am.

I want to be the best. I want my directory to be the best. I put in much more work into my directory than the other guys do. And we have the traffic to prove that my endless work is paying off. My assistant always asks why I work so hard. She thinks I should take it easy. One reason why I’m not is because she is taking it easy and I have to do work that she could be doing for me. I thought big when I started my site and had a big success. Now, I want to keep that under my belt and do another business with an even bigger success.

What about you? Are you thinking big… enough??? If not, then think harder. Meditate on thinking big and being successful. Success is normally planned. Few have it by accident. And accidental success can easily be taken away from you. I have to go. I have some thinking to do. I hope my room is big enough for how big these thoughts are going to be!