Category Archives: Popular on Twitter

How many retweets do you need to get a new follower on Twitter?

Categories: Analytics, Popular on Twitter, Semi-Popular | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

On my notary twitter, we have accumulated more than 8000 followers. They seem to be very passive. We get some clicks on our links, but not that many. We get a handful of retweets per day, but nothing amazing. I figured if the number of followers kept growing, that our retweets might grow too. It sort of works that way, but not exactly.

Passive growth is anyone’s dream in social media. Imagine creating a Twitter or Linked In account that just grows on its own? Our Notary Linked In actually does just grow on its own and the discussions on it are fantastic too! What I learned from my new travel Twitter account, is that retweets only help you if you get a lot of them.

Our Notary Twitter gets one to eight retweets per day. We can’t measure how that helps us since we are doing PPC advertising and a lot of interaction. But, on my travel Twitter account which is new, we are not interacting with existing members. We are just getting new members, and there is no PPC. We follow others, interact, and retweet. There is a lot of activity on the account, but since there is no PPC, it is easier to guestimate the realities of the retweets.

On my travel Twitter we get retweeted generally 20 to 40 times per day. That is a lot of retweets. Our growth rate is 10-20 people per day. The growth comes partly from the retweets, but more from the following, retweeting, and interacting. I would estimate that we might get about four new followers per day from the thirty average retweets per day. But, it is more complicated than that. The size of the accounts that retweet you matters too. If you get retweeted by someone with ten followers, it really doesn’t help. But, if someone with half a million followers retweets you, then you are in business.

I actually did get a comment retweeted by a guy with 400,000 followers. I was curious to see if that would help. We got a generous amount of new followers during the following twenty-four hours, but not higher than we usually get in a way that I would measure.

My official guess, based on experience, is that — if you get retweeted in a way that reaches 15,000 Twitter accounts, you might get a single new follower. If what I call a “weak interaction” gets retweeted, you might need 50,000 people to get it in order to get a single follower. The quality of the tweet, and the relevance of the followers factor into the equation. Basically, to sum it up, if you want your Twitter account to grow from retweets, you had better get a ton of them daily.

I make it a practice to follow only those who either follow me, have top notch content, or those who retweet others regularly. If they retweet others, they are likely to retweet me, and that is exactly what is happening!

Good good, analytics are confusing!

You might also like:

Twitter analytics — click rates per 100,000 impressions
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/11/15/doing-some-twitter-analytics-click-rates-per-100000-impressions/

Learning to profile the accounts you follow on Twitter can triple your growth
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/07/12/learning-to-profile-the-accounts-you-follow-on-twitter-can-triple-your-growth/

9 ways to assess the quality of your Twitter account and/or social media agency
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2014/08/01/9-ways-to-assess-the-value-of-your-twitter-account-or-service-provider/

Who you gonna call – Ghostbusters? Nah. The Philippines!

Categories: Call Center, Popular on Twitter | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes you get companies that offer inexpensive work, but the quality is not that great. Other times you get expensive work, but the quality is not good enough to merit the price even though it is good. The Philippines is a lucky destination and very popular with call center outsourcers. There, you get people who are super on the phone, and the price is calculated in pennies. I’m exaggerating, but you get the point!

The Philippines has a virtual (no pun intended if you’re hiring a virtual assistant) army of half a million English speaking, highly trained call center workers who are ready for battle. They can do telemarketing, lead generation, technical support, customer care, or just chat with customers. Culturally, they have a very smooth manner over the phone. They don’t get mad at customers like I do, on the other hand their sense of humor isn’t always as good as mine!

It is good to compare. Try people in various different countries. But, when all is said and done, call in the artillery, and find a Filipino Call Center. Caribbean destinations are also known for high quality call centers and they are on American time zones which in addition to great Costa Rican coffee, is another great perk!

Tweets:
(1) If you want a great call center at a great price, consider the Philippines & the Caribbean.
(2) The Philippines is a lucky destination that is popular with outsourcers

You might also like:

Call centers in the Philippines are getting more expensive than India
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2014/03/30/call-centers-in-the-philippines-are-getting-more-expensive-than-india/

Half a million Filipino call center workers are on American Time
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2014/03/29/half-a-million-filipino-call-center-workers-are-on-american-time/

7 principles of Steve Jobs: #1. Do what you love!

Categories: Innovation, Popular on Twitter | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Although Steve Jobs never had principles for innovation, he did have 7 principles that drove him. These principles are Steve’s, but the interpretation is mine, based on my own experience fused with some of Steve’s commentary.

1. Do what you love
In any career there will be serious problems, setbacks and frustrations. If you don’t love what you do, no matter how good you are at it, you will be likely to quit or lose interest if you experience any big problem down the road.

2. Put a dent in the universe
It is hard to succeed in a big way if you have small goals. It is natural to think small, but train yourself to think big. If you have big goals and huge aspirations, you stand a chance to make a big difference in the world. Maybe not as much as Mr. Jobs, but, more than most other people!

3. Kick start your brain
Steve believed that having a wide variety of experiences helps you think more broadly. If you throw yourself in a variety of difficult situations, you will learn to think effectively in a wide variety of contexts. If you are always in the same place dealing with the same issues, you will not have the opportunity to grow much!

4. Sell dreams, not products.
One steakhouse sells steak, but the other sells sizzle. Which one gets the business? Nobody cares much about having a new toy, unless that toy will transform their lives. Even if you are in a small business catering to small clients, if you provide amazing service that makes their lives so much more pleasant, you will leave them with a dream-like nice feeling that they will remember! Salesmen tend to be good at selling dreams, but those dreams often turn into nightmares if they fail to deliver on promises. Have your product deliver dreams — not your salesman.

5. Say no to 1000 things.
I once read that the difference between a successful person and a very successful person is that a very successful person says no a lot more of the time. In real life, to get optimal products and optimal people, you have to narrow down your selection. Most people are mediocre. But, even among the very best people, their characteristics might not perfectly fit a team. The normal company selects one new employee after 100 points of contact such as an email, phone call or interview with a prospective employee. To have perfect employees, it might be better to go through 10,000 prospects to find that perfect one and a few backups.

But, in the innovation process, saying no has its place as well. You might need to try thousands of experiments and refinements until you get it just right! It is a long and tedious process, but if you do it right, you get a product that will be awe inspiring! if you settle for the third mediocre idea that you test out, and say, “Good enough,” you will never be world famous! Remember — good enough is the enemy of better!

6. Create insanely great experiences
I keep telling this to BPO companies. Why just drag yourself through your processes and beg people for more when you do a mediocre job on what you are doing already. Even the way people answer the phone tells me a lot about how good or bad they are. If you are passionate about your work, the way you answer the phone communicates that to the world. The way most BPO companies answer the phone, I know right away that I am going to have a miserable experience that I will regret for the rest of my life. Instead of offering acceptable or mediocre customer experiences, why not be the best in the universe? You’ll make more money, and will definitely be remembered.

7. Master the message
Many sales experts and motivational speakers are saying the same thing Steve is. Don’t sell by selling. Sell by telling stories that are magical about how someone’s life was transformed, or could be transformed by a particular product or service. If they do the math and realize the product will be good, they might go for it. But, most people think emotionally, so you have to make them feel an amazing feeling about your idea, otherwise, they will not be that active in supporting it, especially in bad times. I remember in a movie about rap artist BIG, someone compared living for paper, with living the dream. You have to sell your dream to others to get their support. So, master the art of crafting emotionally riveting stories to implant your feeling in the hearts of your listeners!

You might also like:

Steve Jobs Principle: The more people you network with outside your field
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2014/08/28/outsource-steve-jobs-principle-the-more-people-you-network-w-outside-your-field/

Do you use the Steve Jobs principle: Think Differently?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2014/05/25/do-you-use-the-steve-jobs-principle-think-differently/

Half Company; Half School?

Categories: Management, Popular on Twitter | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

To my dismay, most employees out there just aren’t that great. It doesn’t matter what profession we are talking about (although doctors and attorneys are generally good,) but people just don’t measure up. If you only hire the best and forget the rest, then the other guy will get stuck with the 99% of people who are rejects. In the real world, to make the world a better place, education needs to continue.

Many call center operations have continuous monitoring and training. These are the call centers that do well. They get it. But, how about the rest of the world?

You can hire people based on how good a worker they would be. But, if your company devoted 5-10% of the employees hours to being trained, you might start hiring people based on how well they respond to training. If they are not receptive, you can’t use them. If you gained a reputation for being good at training, people might accept lower salaries since they know they will benefit in other ways.

But, imagine the quality of your employees if you give raises every six months, and keep training them. After several years, you might have the best people in the industry! You will get a reputation for having the best people. People at your company might be more enthusiastic too since you helped them so much!

I find that at many companies, the workers have bad communication skills. English language skills and general communication skills are often overlooked. When I go for spa treatments, only 10% of spas have staff that speak good English over the phone. How much business do you think they are losing due to their bad communication skills? Wouldn’t it be worth it to have two ninety minute sessions where people could be coached in their English skills? That way you will understand me when I say,

Me: “A little to the left… harder…”
Spa worker: “Harder? What that word mean?”
Me: “More strong!”
Spa worker: “Oh, more strong. I know that word, but I don’t know the H word because I dropped out of my English class because I had to work to support myself.”

How can someone survive in the Shiatsu profession when they don’t know what left, right and harder mean? Training is expensive, and time consuming. Perhaps it will even be frustrating for you and your employees. But, most other companies have incompetent workers. If you have smart, well trained people working for you, you will be able to gravitate more clients and charge more!

Don’t be a company
Be half company, half school

You might also like:

Why your sitar & tabla lessons are the most important training for business
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/12/27/why-your-sitar-tabla-lessons-are-the-most-important-training-for-business-2/

Should your company have a pre-hiring training program?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2014/07/22/should-your-company-have-a-pre-hiring-training-program/

Should India’s government be involved in employee training?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2016/02/18/should-indias-government-be-involved-in-employee-training/

The right sized company to outsource to

Categories: Management, Popular on Twitter, Semi-Popular | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

In my quest to find the right programming companies, I have learned a lot. There are different cultures, different skill levels, and different sizes of companies. Some companies have workers who work remotely, while others have everyone in an office. I learned that I didn’t generally do too well with one-man shows unless they were above average in skills and always answered their phones. I found a writer who fit that description. But, programmers have the “Don’t answer your phone” gene that prevents them from matching my criteria.

I was thinking that bigger = better. But, the bigger companies were often too snobby to work for me, or too uncoordinated to even know what their schedule was like. They also lacked the intimacy of smaller companies.

After a lot of looking around, I found that companies that had 6-12 people total were ideal. Unfortunately, in America there are very few that match this criteria. I hired a company in India with 20 people who was good. But, they grew to 45 members and now it is too crazy to deal with them. They lost their star employees and replaced them with chaos and more chaos. In my case, the closer a company gets to having 9 employees, the better they are. But, if they have less than 6, it never works out. I’m not sure why this math determines a result, but the numbers don’t like.

A company of the right size is important. You can get to know the boss well. If that company grows out of control, the boss will be too busy to talk to you or manage things well. So, I need a lot of backup companies. What if I find someone perfect, and then they grow too much? They might stop being perfect — what a scary thought. Additionally, I might add that in India the companies with 6-20 people generally make it easier to talk to someone really smart. At larger companies in India, you start off talking to someone who is so dumb, they can’t even answer the question, “What city are you located in?” They always need to transfer me the minute I ask them a trick question like that. I can’t figure it out!

Tweets:
(1) In my quest to find the right companies to hire, I have learned a lot.
(2) Companies with 6-20 people generally make it easier to talk to someone really smart.
(3) Large companies are often too snobby to accept smaller clients.

You might also like:

Is bigger always better in business?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2014/02/11/is-bigger-always-better-in-business/

Good sign bad sign: what to look for in newly hired companies or workers
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2014/01/13/outsource-blog-good-sign-bad-sign-what-to-look-for-in-newly-hired-workers/

Which are the happiest and healthiest countries in the world?

Categories: Of Interest, Popular on Twitter | Tagged | Leave a comment

You might read ten different magazine articles and get twelve different opinions. America seems to be losing ground as a happy country. People are losing faith in the government and see opportunity as something that is less and less. Pessimism has set in.

Denmark and Sweden are some of the happiest countries in the planet. Ironically, Sweden also has one of the highest suicide rates. I guess after you discount the suicides, that cleans out the bell-curve making the remaining overall population seem happy!

I’m reading in an article by Forbes that Luxembourg is the healthiest nation on Earth. Iceland is the safest, and Switzerland is the best governed. Some of the African countries are the most unhappy with low incomes and low life expectancy.

I remember reading long ago that Bhutan was the happiest country on earth with a high level of Gross National Happiness. This ended as Bhutan introduced night-life, fashion clothes and television into their lifestyle. Buddhism seemed to keep them happier than modern culture.

My take on the matter is that countries with these attributes have longer living and healthier citizens: (1) Consumption of Red Wine (2) Fish (3) More whole foods (4) Good healthcare (5) A more casual lifestyle with closer ties to loved ones! My opinions are based on what I was reading twenty years ago. The Greeks and Italians have a much more carefree life, with lots more time spent with family, lots of healthy seafood, vegetables, and red wine. Meanwhile the Americans and Taiwanese are fighting to make a fast buck and miserable every step of the way, developing horrible diseases later in life. The irony is that the over-working Americans went from stressed, to hopeless with the economy slowing down. Why is it so hard to strike a balance in life.

During my visit to Denmark for a spiritual gathering, I was reminded daily how much I disliked their beautiful resort of a country. The people were very helpful, but there was nothing to do and it was boring. The only people who were friendly with me were muslims. The culture of the whites was very frigid to me. But, the people were very happy with their country and their government.

The attitude of the Asian and Middle-Eastern immigrants matched the attitude of the whites — they loved their country (even though they didn’t like each other).

My finding is that it is hard(er) to be happy when society has removed the basic building blocks of happiness from your life. If you are forced to work all the time and not have a family, how can you be happy? If you live near a Whole Foods store, you can still get the wine and vegetables, but the “Family” aisle where they sell ready-made families was not well stocked last time I was there.

In the USA, we live in a country of broken families and unhealthy lifestyles. It seems that the only way to be happy is to engineer your life according to very carefully prescribed guidelines. Take enough time off. Spend enough time with others. Relax. Meditate on the cosmos. Don’t think too much about the future. Enjoy what you are doing. Don’t forget about the red wine. Oh — and don’t forget to smell the flowers! In short — engineer the right attitude.

Tweets:
(1) Are the happiest countries in the world necessarily the happiest? Does money make you happy?
(2) Why are the Danes so happy while the Americans are not?
(3) Swedes are one of the happiest people on earth, but they also have the highest suicide rate.

You might also like:

Wealth consciousness and why it is essential
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2013/08/11/wealth-consciousness-and-why-it-is-essential/

The mindset of a millionaire
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2013/08/05/the-mindsetof-a-millionaire/

From 100 Indian call centers down to 1

Categories: Call Center, Popular on Twitter, Semi-Popular | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

From 100 call centers down to 1

I just did a big clean up of my outsourcing directory. I found that there were many companies who were just not worth listing. If a company is paying to be listed on my site, then I am forced to keep them whether I like them or not. But, most companies on our site have free listings which gives me the freedom to remove them.

I called more than one thousand companies in various categories such as software, call center, data entry, etc. I found that in India, there are some very intelligent sounding people working in Web Design, .Net development and PHP programming services. But, the call center folks were not worth calling 99% of the time. Out of 100 call centers in India, I found only 1 who I felt was worth listing. I kept another few dozen to keep the site populated. What do you do when you call a call center and they answer with a practically inaudible, “Hullo?”.

Me: Hi, this is Jeremy from 123outsource.net, what is your company name?
Company: Who are you?
Me: I just told you, this is Jeremy from 123outsource.net, what is your company name?
Company: Who is this?
Me: I told you who I was twice, now you tell me who you are.
Company: What do you want?
Me: I just told you, I want to know your company name, so I can know if I am calling the right people.
Company: Why should I tell you, what is in it for me?
Me: I will remove you from our directory if you don’t tell me your company name. If I was a prospective client, I wouldn’t hire your company even if you worked for free.
Company: who are you?
Me: Never mind, I am removing you from our outsourcing directory. You have no phone skills whatsoever, it is scary to think that you dare call yourself a call center or any type of business for that matter.

They behave as if I am invading them in their bedroom just to know what their company name is. Why is it such a secret? If you want people to think you are professional, announce your company name and personal name when answering the phone. Answer all questions in a helpful way, and don’t be a pain in the neck like the 65 Indian call centers that we removed in September!

Tweets:
(1) From 100 Indian call centers down to 1 after the weeding out process.
(2) 123OUTSOURCE.NET weeds out the deadbeats who don’t know how to answer the phone. We over-and-out-sourced them!

You might also like:

How to get clients for your call center – get an agent!
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2013/09/14/how-to-get-more-clients-for-your-call-center-get-an-agent/

How to get clients for your call center: Pay-per-click!
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2013/08/01/how-to-gain-clients-for-your-call-center-pay-per-click/

Good Sign Bad Sign: What to look for in newly hired workers

Categories: Hiring & Firing, Popular on Twitter, Popular Posts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes it is hard to know who to hire, especially when you are in a bind and need someone right away. There are many signs to look for and many phases in the relationship. Sometimes people start off with a bang and end with a low thud or fizzling sound. Always assume that a good relationship can go South. However, I have never seen a bad relationship turn good. On a brighter note, people with good attitudes who are working on their skills might improve their skills over the period of a year or two.

Good Signs
The service provider:
(1) Is always friendly and happy to talk
(2) Conversations last for more than two hours!
(3) You feel that if you were stuck with the person in an eight hour car ride that it would be a pleasant experience
(4) The person gives thoughtful answers to all of your questions and suggests their own points of view too
(5) Finishes work on time or early
(6) Is not only willing, but happy to meet with you on a Sunday or email you on a Holiday about a work related issue
(7) Enjoys taking you out to eat or being taken out to eat
(8) Gives consistently reasonable bids
(9) Is willing to do small things at no cost

Bad Signs
(1) The person is not so willing to answer questions, and answers seem incomplete or evasive
(2) Conversations are short and the person doesn’t seem to enthusiastic about talking. It is more of a burden
(3) Work is finished late, or is sloppy.
(4) Refuses to lift a finger on the weekend no matter what.
(5) Politely declines when you offer to take them out to eat at your expense.
(6) Complains about the work
(7) Answers their phone less than 35% of the time and doesn’t normally return calls or emails.

Categories of signs
(1) Willingness to interact:
Length
Phone answer rate
Answering messages rate
Answering emails rate & speed
Willing to socialize with you off the job

(2) Quality of interaction:
Quality answers to questions
Suggestions — the person makes great suggestions on their own initiative
Complaining — the person complains regularly about small things
Tone: (happy, distant, absent minded, hostile, etc.)

(3) Punctuality — getting things done on time indicates a “Willingness to work”
(4) Quality of Work
(5) Efficiency of work — keeping bids reasonable and being helpful.
(6) Integrity — not cheating or lying.

Based on my experience, if you hire someone to work for you, nobody is ever perfect. So, don’t hold anyone to perfection unless you are Steve Jobs (who could get away with it.) Unfortunately, if a workers is seriously lacking in any of the six categories of signs listed above, you really can’t use them. But, if they are not too bad in any department and get the job done, you are in business.

One of the most critical signs that I read about in other people’s blogs is a gut feeling. How long would you consent to be stuck in a car with the other person. If the answer is twenty minutes, maybe you should not work with them. But, if the answer is all day, then you found a winner!

Pay attention to signs. A single sign doesn’t prove your destiny, but if there are too many question marks or bad signs, your work relationship will most likely not work. It makes sense to end a bad work relationship as soon as possible, or you will be complaining every day about the person!

You might also like:

What does Warren Buffet look for when he hires people?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2014/02/12/what-does-warren-buffet-look-for-when-he-hires-people/

Don’t hire an employee, hire 5 and keep the best one!
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2013/10/20/dont-hire-an-employee-hire-5-and-keep-the-best-one/

7 Habits of successful salespeople

Categories: Marketing, Popular on Twitter, Semi-Popular | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

I talk to great salespeople regularly. It is not rocket science to see the difference between a seasoned pro and a useless flop. Here are some things that I noticed that the really successful salespeople do.

(1) Pay attention to detail.
If you are selling a complicated product or service, such as software outsourcing — you need to be good about details. Lousy second rate salespeople typically give a lot of misinformation and just try to close the sale no matter what. Those are mediocre salespeople, and respectable salespeople do not talk out of their hat. I just got off the phone with one of the best technical salespeople I have ever met. He took copious notes about what we had talked about. He emailed me after our conversation and reiterated every single important point that we had discussed. I was very impressed.

(2) Get back to people.
If you don’t get back to a prospect, no matter how good a talker you are, you will lose them. You would be amazed at how neglegent many salespeople are these days! It pays to get back to people periodically who are “on the fence” about their decision to buy from your company. Just the fact that you are “in their face” by politely contacting them at strategically appointed intervals makes more difference than you can believe! Strategic intervals are part of my company’s marketing campaign, and I make a study out of it.

(3) Be a good listener?
Girls in America always say that they want a guy who listens. Well, prospective clients do too! Think of your prospects as girls. They want tender loving care, and a shoulder to cry on. Listen to them, and understand not only what they NEED, or what you want to sell, but, how they FEEL. If you care about them — they will be much more likely to buy from you. I have a great story about a programming house in Colorado. The boss had been through similar experiences that I had. When I told him about some difficult experiences I had had with programmers — he told me about a similar problem he had had a year ago. He basically identified with how I felt — an amazing psychological button to press! Study the art of psychological button pressing. You won’t regret it.

(4) Identify the prospect’s needs, and issues.
Sometimes, the client might want a product, but doesn’t realize why they need that product, or another similar product. A good salesperson can correctly identify what the prospective client needs. A stupid salesperson just tries to cram his product down the unwilling propect’s throad and convince the client that he needs it no matter what. Once the good salesperson knows what the prospect needs, he can inform the prospect which product best meets his needs.

(5) Use fear to motivate prospects to purchase your product – but, don’t over do it!
A smart salesperson can tell the prospect of the DANGERS of picking the wrong product. Fear sells well, just as long as you don’t over do it. If you pressed the right button in a prospect, you only have to touch upon it lightly to MOTIVATE them to purchase the product you want them to. A dishonest salesperson will use this technique unethically to motivate a client to purchase from them — and this type of move will seem very blatantly phony to clients and can LOSE you a sale! Don’t be a phony — be a pro!

(6) Get to know your propects a little.
In India, business people are so uptight, and want to keep business strictly business and talk about percentages, and formal statistics. Many of them are very impersonal which is why they get mostly low-level work if any work. Smart salespeople know how to be personal. People want to buy from someone who they feel comfortable with, and feel close to a little bit. The more someone knows you, the closer they feel. In America, selling to people who know you is called WARM MARKET SALES which is supposedly five times easier than cold market sales. Your skill as a salesperson is warming the market up by warming the prospective buyers up. Get to know them and chat them up BEFORE you try to talk about sales and money! If you don’t know how to talk to strangers, become an expert at this, because you will NOT make money in sales if you can’t learn to be an expert at conversation.

(7) Know your product inside out
If you know your industry and your product well, people will think that you are trustworthy and knowledgeable. Nothing sells better than credibility. If you always speak the truth, people will trust you more, and you will sell more. Foolish salespeople are often liars, and people can sense that they are liars right away. Do you want to buy anything from a crooked liar? Me neither. Just because so many other salespeople are liars, doesn’t mean you should be. Be honest and smart — impress your prospects, and make the sale. Many salespeople know almost nothing about their company. They do not know much about similar products. You can ask questions, but they will give you shallow answers. This tells you that they didn’t do their homework, and are NOT a good source of knowledge. The more you know — the more you can communicate to others. Being a good salesman is more than just about sales — it is about how well you can INFORM others about the ATTRIBUTES of comparable products and which attributes might be best for them. If you are HELPFUL, people might buy from you even if your product is NOT their absolute favorite. You would be surprised.

You might also like:

If a client criticizes your workers, who do you side with?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2013/09/19/if-your-client-criticizes-your-workers-who-do-you-side-with/

Are you good at estimating jobs?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2013/10/09/how-good-are-you-at-estimating-jobs/

Steve Jobs watched his programmers carefully — so should you!

Categories: Management, Popular on Google+, Popular on Twitter, Popular Posts | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Just let the programmers do their work?
I am always being told to just let the designers do their work, and just let the programmers do their work. But, whenever I am not watching, they do things wrong and go off on expensive tangents that cost me hundreds in lost labor. They will fail to follow directions, or on a vaguely discussed point, build things in a way that I either don’t like or simply cannot use. Watching programmers can save you hundreds, thousands, or your life. So, why would people tell me to back off?

It is annoying to have someone looking over your shoulder.
I believe it is a nuisance to people to always have someone looking over their shoulder. But, if they would do their work the way I want it, I wouldn’t be looking over their shoulder in the first place. If a software developer generally does what they are supposed to, I don’t need to inspect their work that often or as carefully. But, very few of these software developers follow directions well. It has gotten to the point where I just won’t work with someone who has a track record of following directions any less than 80% of the time which is still a low figure.

So many people do not want me watching their programmers.
But, Steve Jobs watched his programmers much more than I watch mine. If you want to be successful, the evidence points to paying more attention, not less. I believe that I have been dealing with very negligent people who just want me off their back and don’t care much about the quality of the work.

Fire people who don’t want to be watched – immediately
The moral of my little article here is that if people want you off their back — fire them. Find people who are on your team, who are willing to be watched if necessary. Find people who care about following directions and getting things done on time in a reasonable amount of hours. Doing a long search to find good people might be difficult, but it is easier in the long run than hiring people who are evasive, dishonest, difficult, or who just don’t follow directions.

Good luck finding cooperative people
Unfortunately, to find a software development firm that generally does things right, they are less than 1%. Happy hunting! It might be better to hire your own programmers so that you are in control if you can’t find another company who cooperates 100%.

Tweets:
(1) If Steve Jobs watched his programmers carefully, why shouldn’t you?
(2) If your programmers don’t want u watching over their shoulders, watch over their butts as you kick them out of there
(3) Your workers won’t mind you watching over their shoulder as long as you give each shoulder equal time
(4) Watch carefully over your programmer’s shoulder, or shoulder blame for shoddy work they do on their own.
(5) If Steve Jobs watched his programmers carefully, so should U. Come back for upgrade of this tweet a year from now.

You might also like:

What are your work standards? When do you fire substandard workers?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2013/07/12/what-are-your-work-standards-when-do-you-fire-substandard-workers/

Hiring people with a good attitude does wonders!
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2013/07/09/hiring-people-with-a-good-attitude-does-wonders/

How do big companies get big? It is not an accident!
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2013/08/20/how-do-big-companies-get-big-it-is-not-an-accident/

The mindset of a millionaire!
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2013/08/05/the-mindsetof-a-millionaire/

How to create a new corporate culture in 3 easy steps!

Categories: Of Interest, Popular on Google+, Popular on Twitter, Semi-Popular | Tagged | 1 Comment

Creating a new corporate culture is easy with our new powder. Mix with water, get a new corporate culture. It is actually, not that much harder than that, but you need good analytics and cooperation from higher level people at your company to pull this off.

Sometimes, to succeed in a particular market niche, or to be efficient in your company, you need a particular type of corporate culture. If you have a few anti-social types, lazy people, or uncooperative people, that can throw the entire corporate culture off. It is much worse than the fact that those individuals are not producing the types of results you want, they INFLUENCE others in a negative way — and you can’t have that!

Or, maybe the corporate culture you have is uncultural. Let’s say that you can not talk to your employees about Mozart or the finer points of Hungarian literature. Maybe those attributes are important to attracting better future staff members, or perhaps attracting more cultured clients. Remember, high class people are impressed by people who are cultured. On the other hand, most rich people in the United States are culturally illiterate, so maybe culture doesn’t matter.

Putting aside what types of attributes you want in your new culture, you should have good reasons for whatever attributes you want, and a sensible way of gaining them.

If you have a corporation with 300 employees, you might find that people fit your new cultural model to a greater or lesser extent. If you have clearly defined attributes written down, you might find that 100 of your employees fit the model well enough to keep. Perhaps another 100 have a few of the attributes you like and would be worth it to TRAIN to meet some of your other attributes. The remaining 100 employees should ideally be let go — but, not all at once.

Step 1: Start firing the worst 33% of your workforce that doesn’t match your new model

If you have to get rid of 33% of your workforce, you need a timetable for doing so. You need a plan of which types of workers to get rid of first as well. You create an algorithm which takes many factors into consideration. How well someone fits your corporate cultural ideal would account for several of the factors, how well they do their job and contribute in general would account for the other factors.

If you fire roughly 1.5% of your least favorable employees per month, over a period of two years, and rehire people who fit your new corporate cultural ideas to a tee while doing great work as well, you have accomplished much of creating a new corporate culture.

Step 2: Hire new people who meet your cultural and work model to a tee.

Step 3: Culturally mold the employees that you didn’t fire, as well as your new hirees to see if they can match your new model perfectly

Training is the second and potentially more difficult part of the cultural change. You need to INSTILL new corporate values into the workers who you are not going to can. If your new values include being knowledgeable about Mozart as you plan your takeovers, then play Mozart all the time. Give lectures about Mozart to your people. You can write lyrics to Mozart string quartets too.

“We’re going to seize your assets…. I’d like to see you try… Your corporate debt…. It makes me cry… We’ll take you over….. You will see… and in the end…. you’ll understand our decree.”

“Oh no you won’t… we’ll call in the calvary… we know investors… that can turn this around… never mind that our lyrics do not rhyme… you will see that we will save our corporation in thyme!!”

You can play Mozart piano concertos in the morning, sonatas during lunch, string quartets in the early afternoon, and then test employees on their knowledge. Those who can’t deal with the new corporate culture would need to be weeded out slowly over time.

Step 4 (of 3): Continue the process for around three years with any necessary refinements.

The end result after about three years, is that you would have successfully converted your uptight and stuffy corporation into a bunch of music loving nuts who do corporate takeovers and sing silly lyrics to Mozart string quartets. All you need is a vision, a very capable HR department who understands algorithms & counter-harmony, plus a really good corporate training division which hires Russian dissidents who know how to teach music (and chess) really well. A good sound system wouldn’t hurt either.

Good luck!

You might also like:

How to create a company culture like Google’s and enjoy doing it
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/03/14/how-to-create-a-company-culture-like-googles-have-fun-while-doing-it/

An Indian company learns Japanese culture to boost teamwork
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/04/01/an-indian-bpo-company-learns-japanese-culture-to-boost-teamwork/

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

Hiring people who work from their home

Categories: Hiring & Firing, Outsourcing Articles, Popular on Twitter | Tagged | Leave a comment

In this day and age, it is more and more common to see responsible and successful people work from home. However, I have found that many companies with bosses who work from home can be very irresponsible. Hiring a new company to outsource your work for is risky and actually dangerous. No matter how careful you are choosing them, many things go wrong, and you are left holding the bag.

Companies with offices are also risky
I have learned in my years that hiring companies with professional offices is risky too. These companies will often hire young and inexperienced (or reckless) employees and put them on YOUR projects — while these employees don’t care at all about you or your project. Your business is in jeapardy simply by being involved with careless people. My motto is that you hire not only a company, but also particular staff members. No company likes how I pick and choose people, but my experience has dictated that even a good company can burn you if the wrong staffmember is working on your case!

Companies that work from home are more risky?
Companies with offices have turned out to be 50% responsible on average for me. But, I have many stories about nightmares that happened hiring individuals who worked from home.

(1) I attempted to hire a very gifted and bright Indian gentleman in California. He advertised as being a former VP of some large company. I didn’t believe it, but I’m sure he had some post at the alleged company based on his very professional sounding communication skills. At any rate, when I asked him how many hours per week he could dedicate to my project he said 15. Then I talked to him two days later and he accused me of trying to take up too much of his workweek, and that he didn’t want to work for me at all. I mentioned that it was HE who volunteered 15 hours a week when I only needed 5. I think the real reason he didn’t like me was that I insisted meeting him at his SHARED office which was a source of humiliation to him — perhaps because it didn’t exist at all.

(2) I hired a sidewalk mechanic long time ago. He didn’t have a garage. In any case he did some wiring for me that resulted in years of having to replace starters. I had to have a two hour session with Toyota many years down the line to finally figure out that the source of my trouble which had cost thousands was because I hired a cheap rate unprofessional who didn’t have an office.

(3) I hired another guy in California who was very nice to work on one of my sites. He had 30 years of experience. He looked at my site and told me that it was in PHP, not ASP (which is what I thought the site was in). Then, after six weeks of waiting for him to learn a little more PHP which he was weak in — he announced that he had no time to work for me at all. What a waste! So, I took it to a company that did have an office (a shared one — better than nothing), and lo and behold, they told me that it was in ASP, not PHP (the story keeps changing), and they got the job done in days.

(4) I hired a printer who USED to have an office, but started working from home. I questioned him as to whether he was still in business or not when my order was delayed when I stopped cracking the whip. I am busy and don’t have time to harrass people who don’t do what I ask them to do. In any case, the next year he was gone — without a trace — and all of my files were gone. Fortunately I had backup — and was able to publish a revised edition of my book!

I work from home and so does my assistant
My assistant and I, and a good friend of mine all work from home. We are responsible. I would recommend ONLY hiring someone who works from home if you either know them, or know they have a solid reputation. Otherwise it is too risky.

Someone told me — how can you speak so poorly of people who work from home when you do too?

I replied — with me it is DIFFERENT because I KNOW MYSELF!!!! And therefor can trust myself.