Tag Archives: Virtual Assistants

What is a BPO and what do such companies specialize in?

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A BPO is a business process outsourcing company. The term is popular in India, but is gaining popularity around the world. It is expensive and time consuming to do your own back office work. So, it is popular to hire virtual assistants and outsourcing companies overseas to do particular repetetive tasks at a low price. Please be aware that there is RPO which is recruitment process outsourcing, KPO which is highly specialized knowledge process outsourcing which normally includes research, accounting or programming. LPO work is legal process outsourcing. But, in a general sense, all of those other acronyms fall into the BPO category.

There are various general categories of BPO work.
Call Center, Data Entry, Programming, Web Design, Medical Transcription, Accounting, and Content Writing are some of the most popular BPO tasks to outsource. Recently, social media outsourcing has been on the rise as well. There are various subcategories of call center work including appointment setting, order taking, chat support, inbound, outbound, lead generation, sales, and technical support.

Then, there is more general back office work that is harder to categorize. Some companies offer marketing and loyalty programs, content management, digital marketing, online publishing, payment processing, proofreading, data transcription, engineering, eCommerce set up, translation, web research, mobile applications, and the list goes on.

In fact, there are so many types of BPO tasks, that 123outsource.net divided the tasks into 28 specialties to keep them all straight. The most popular by far is our general call center search results as well as BPO and data entry.

We welcome you to browse 123outsource.net to see what companies are out there. We verify our search results every few months, so the information should be up to date 97% of the time! Good luck!

Enjoying the “Four Hour Work-Week” by outsourcing

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There are people out there who run small businesses who have read the book: The 4-Hour Work-Week by Timothy Ferriss. It was a very interesting book that gave me a lot of new insights about outsourcing. The basis of the 4-hour philosophy is to outsource almost all of the tasks that you do. You need to calculate exactly what you do all week, how long each task takes, and who you could outsource it to. Part of my problem is that I like doing as much as I can myself, so I know that it gets done correctly. If you outsource without knowing who you are dealing with, you could get into a lot of trouble. You need to make sure people are reliable and not ripping you off.

Outsourcing mundane tasks so you can grow
Regardless of whether you want to enjoy a lot of free time, or free your time up to use it in other ways to grow your business, you need to understand the concepts of a four hour work-week. If you bog yourself down doing mundane tasks that someone else could be doing for you, you will not have time for more critical tasks that you need to grow your business. You will also not have enough time to take a long daily walk and keep your weight down.

Finding the right people
Finding overseas virtual assistants in the Philippines or India is easy. There are so many of them. Outsourcing your bookkeeping to someone in India or locally is also easy. There are many people who are good at that. But, what about harder tasks like blog writing. If you want to find someone who can write viral blogs, you might spend more time searching for them, that they spend writing blogs. As hard as it might seem, it is worth it to learn to be an expert at hiring people to do more difficult creative tasks like writing and blogging. It will take a lot of time, but if you find the right person, the rewards could be huge.

Empowering people to make decisions
Part of the philosophy of decreasing your workload is enabling your outsourced workers or employees to make their own decisions. If you let them make smaller decisions themselves, they won’t be bothering you while you are on vacation or working on a big deal. Your time needs to be spent making big decisions, or creating the rules for making small decisions which you share with your workers. The more your other people can do themselves, the more you can do more critical tasks.

Finding great travel deals while you enjoy your free time!
To get to the point in your business where you can outsource almost everything means that you probably worked twelve hour days for over a decade to get into that position. That means that you deserve a vacation. Optimizing your vacations is a skill that is quintessential to any four-hour work-weeker. There are particular cities in the world where you can enjoy five-star comforts for a very affordable price. Timothy Ferriss mentioned that Berlin, Tokyo, Buenas Aires, and a few other locations offered a great lifestyle for less. That was many years ago, and it is unclear where the bargains are to be held these days. But, if you search around, you can find great deals on villa rentals, dance lessons, karate lessons, and other fun stuff to do.

Personally, I enjoy travel in America and to other fun locations in the world. I am less worried about the daily cost, and more interested in how cool my experience will be. But, for domestic travel, I learned that Albuquerque is a wonderful place to visit where I can get a comfy hotel room for $55. Going to Phoenix when it is hot, I stayed at the Hilton for $95 which can get up to $500 during peak season. Tucson is more mild during the summer and I was able to go hiking every day and get 4-star hotels for $89! The bottom line is, if you have money and time, and an eye for optimizing your experience, you will find great deals in parts of the world you never thought of. You will be using the same skills you use when finding optimal employees who can do it all for a reasonable price. BTW, next year I want to visit Bali and enjoy comfortable hotels at $20 per night and great spicy meals for $2 per dinner. Wish me luck!

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Running out of office space? Create a virtual office by outsourcing?

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If only we lived in a perfect world, you could just add another cubical to your cramped office space. It could extend out the window and make a little protruding chunk hanging over the sidewalk. But, in real life you can’t do that unless you own an R.V. with a living room that extends outward (actually very affordable.)

Moving your office to another location so that you can accommodate that 9th worker could cost thousands and might be a decision you need to reverse later on. Squeezing that 9th guy in might be very uncomfortable as well. It might be better to create a virtual office by outsourcing. You can get virtual help in countries all around the world these days. There are also freelancers right here in the USA who can work from home. That way you get labor when you need it, but don’t have to commit to office space.

Shared offices are another alternative. You might have your main office in one location, but a few blocks away rent a room or two in a shared office. That way, you know where your people are, and don’t have to commit to a two year commercial lease!

Virtual assistants are a popular type of person to outsource to. Most call centers can give you someone to do phone work for you. Many will let you lease an employee for as little as eight hours a week! Imagine if you only need half an employee, rather than sawing them in half, just hire a virtual assistant in Makati City, and you have it made!