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How Helpful is Outsourcing in Trade Businesses?

The answer to such a question is always dependent on the nature and current situation of your trade business. In this podcast, I am joined by my good friend Charlie Valher from Outsourcing Angel as we discuss the positive and negative sides of outsourcing for your trade business.

Charlie and I got to tackle some pretty interesting and insightful topics related to outsourcing. Being able to identify which area of your business can use some offshore help will boost its potential to grow to a maximum.

What I noticed is my email went from three hours a day to a maximum 30-minute phone call for me to dictate these replies.”

How has outsourcing helped your trade business?

Are you interested in trying out this thing called outsourcing?

What are your concerns regarding outsourcing and its effect on your trade business? Let us know what you think!

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Matt Jones: [00:00:01] Hello listeners and welcome back to Toolbox Talks on The Site Shed podcast. I am Matt Jones and I am joined today by my man Charlie Valher. Charlie, welcome.

Charles Valher: [00:00:11] Thank you for having me through to be here.

Matt Jones: [00:00:14] Absolutely. Charlie, you are from Outsourcing Angel and today we are talking about the magical world of outsourcing. So, this I believe is an exciting topic actually especially in an environment in the landscape today where so many resources are available and at our disposal through means that don’t necessarily involve employing people and staff full time and going through the typical staffing rigmarole. So I think this is gonna be a very well received podcast from our listeners out there. And when I say I think I mean I know.

Charles Valher: [00:00:53] Well I know as well I’m confident on this one and what a changing world we’re in

Matt Jones: [00:00:57] Yeah, no kidding. And it’s funny isn’t it like I mean I speak just like some businesses today and like many of them are still kind of caught up in that mindset of well what do you mean? I don’t I can I can actually have this service done I can find somebody who can reconcile my bank accounts and they’re not they don’t have to sit in my office and drink my tea and eat my eat my madeira cake. It’s an exciting space.

Charles Valher: [00:01:30] Yeah it’s a very very exciting space and like that’s exactly it. And when you think about it like I think it’s just the way from now on I almost think of this is just the standard idea of having you know everyone at your office or at your factory or whatever your business does is just pure madness. And I don’t think anyone can really get away with it and be competitive like they used to.

Matt Jones: [00:01:52] So I want to carry on a few things on this podcast first of all obviously our listeners are trade business owners, locally and abroad; and they are a lot of them are just typical trade business owners as they are they’re out there on the tools themselves. A lot of them are wearing way too many hats as you know we often do in business and really want to cover off on I suppose things that could potentially they could potentially outsource in the grand scheme of things like things that they could remove themselves from because my experience with outsourcing is certain roles are more suited being left onshore and some are definitely fine to be outsourced. So I’m sure you would have far more experience and you probably argue with that to a degree but I’m interested to see how and if and how you think certain areas would be specifically tailored for trade businesses in a better way than others. So I mean you’ve got to work with trade organisations in the past.

Charles Valher: [00:02:56] Definitely and the first thing I’ll say is I feel like I’m qualified to answer this question because I once upon a time was a tradie, like I’m a qualified plumber. So this isn’t some guy that’s come from office life thinking he knows how it’s done. I have you know I myself am no stranger to the race coffee set up with a little click dialler.

Matt Jones: [00:03:20] We get old Nescafé Blend 43 by the box nice

Charles Valher: [00:03:24] Absolutely I know that well I’m also no stranger to what it’s like to know bucket screenings into a drain while it’s floating in the middle of winter

Matt Jones: [00:03:31] Yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:03:32] You know like I’d been there and understand the trading side of things probably more than most.

Matt Jones: [00:03:38] Yeah

Charles Valher: [00:03:38] Obviously not as much as the other trades but compared to the people that come from the world, I mean now.

Matt Jones: [00:03:43] Yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:03:43] So it’s a very unique perspective that I bring to things and that’s kind of can be a strength when we combine two worlds.

Matt Jones: [00:03:49] Yeah absolutely.

Charles Valher: [00:03:49] So the first, the first thing I’ll mention though is like you’re absolutely right. It’s like if you’re thinking you can hire someone offshore to lay bricks for you like that’s just a terrible idea.

Matt Jones: [00:04:01] So I should clarify that. So in my worldly vast experience. I have learned through the school of hard knocks that sometimes trying to outsource things like support and call taking will work against you in a lot of environments especially when it’s customers calling up for certain things and it’s being answered by somebody in Mumbai. Now, what’s your experience.

Charles Valher: [00:04:35] Yeah, so this is where the topic can get a little bit confusing and I want to

Matt Jones: [00:04:39] I’m glad we started—

Charles Valher: [00:04:40] I want to make sure, yeah we started with the (inaudible) it’s not like we’re going to start with the (inaudible) stuff so let’s get into the hard stuff then. So what I need to first distinguish is there’s different types of solutions that exist out there when we come to outsourcing.

Charles Valher: [00:04:53] So there’s one type which is like call centres which you’ve just described which is like you sign up you sign your business up to this service and then someone in Mumbai will pretend to be your company. Honestly I’ve never seen that be a good idea for a small business like being real with you. Like in no way shape or form have I ever had someone come up like this. “This call center in Mumbai is amazing.” It’s never happened.

Matt Jones: [00:05:16] Yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:05:16] Now—

Matt Jones: [00:05:17] To be fair I’ve never seen an enterprise do it well either. I mean I know Telstra went down that path and it was like a complete (inaudible).

Charles Valher: [00:05:25] Yeah and how good their live chat. But that’s a different topic for today. And that’s— the different side of things is going that what I’ve seen do really really well is when we effectively bring people onto our team that are offshore. So instead of using like a faceless corporation that has a big call centre, using people that are dedicated to your business I found to be much much more effectively and this is like you know hiring someone locally this is like bringing someone in who comes to understand what your business does and how they go about things.

Matt Jones: [00:05:57] Mhmm

Charles Valher: [00:05:58] So this is the first thing or one distinguish is like understanding the different roles. So you know call centre on mass supply not such a good thing in my opinion. A team that actually comes in that a member of your team and you know works well within your business I’ve seen done phenomenally well and especially with Tradies. So, the next side of that is you’re talking about you know one of the questions we get a lot were Tradies is like can you know they (inaudible) handle phone calls and things like that. And the answer is, some.

Matt Jones: [00:06:23] Yep.

Charles Valher: [00:06:24] Okay. Not all, but just like anything it comes down to recruiting them well making sure that they can have an understanding of what you do when you’ve got the right training and resources that are able to answer questions or help out with things.

Matt Jones: [00:06:36] Yep.

Charles Valher: [00:06:36] So here’s a really good example. If you’re a service plumber, right. You get a lot of phone calls asking for all kinds of specific parts that come with a heater and that like

Charles Valher: [00:06:49] That’s a very technical role that’s going to be hard for anyone that’s not you to answer- Not a good idea. On the reverse of things, if youre an emergency plumber, or an emergency trainee, and like your ringing up and wanting to know when can someone come out to a job. Well that’s very achievable. That’s information that you’re able to kind of work within your business. So, the first thing you’ve got to discern is like if a technical really understood role is required like someone needs to be able to know about parts and things that only a tradie would know. Well then let’s be smart and make sure that goes to a tradie who can answer it so we can provide a really good customer level of service.

Charles Valher: [00:07:25] But on the reverse of things, if we get inquiries that technical knowledge isn’t really necessary it’s more about picking a job or finding out information that’s available and easier way than that can be done and really done well at a cost effective way.

Matt Jones: [00:07:40] Yeah. Yeah I think that’s a big. I mean that was always I mean that’s probably the main bottleneck that I’ve seen in terms of what can be outsourced apart from that. I think there’s less everything can be outsourced to a degree. So what are some of, what are some of the fundamental areas that you in your experience and obviously we’re relevant to trades in this podcast however you and I both know that trades are effectively a small business so I’m interested to see from your point of view what are some of the areas that you see businesses outsourcing that make the biggest difference.

Charles Valher: [00:08:18] Yes so I would discern this from there because there’s a couple of things I’ll look at. So the role I see that gets the biggest results across the board, okay. So this is for the business owner that maybe isn’t on the tools as much.

Charles Valher: [00:08:32] So if you’re tradie and you’ve got a team working for you the role I see that gets the most support is taking all the small and ten dollar an hour tasks off the business of themselves.

Matt Jones: [00:08:42] Like what.

Charles Valher: [00:08:44] Okay, so for instance in my company like what I get my V.A. to do is a lot of things like managing my email. Okay, that’s a really big one.

Matt Jones: [00:08:53] Like your inbox?

Charles Valher: [00:08:53] Absolutely

Charles Valher: [00:08:56] I can go into that one a little bit more. If you want to know how we do that

Matt Jones: [00:08:59] Yeah I’d be very keen to hear that because I mean I know a lot of the guys I mean and myself to a degree. I mean obviously you’ve got Google filters which are pretty good at filtering out a lot of spam junk e-mails but I’d be interested to see how your VA filters through emails that are important. So yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:09:17] —-Let’s let’s do it or go through it.

Charles Valher: [00:09:21] —-So, going back into my career there was a point when I was working in this business where email was taking up a lot of my time. Like a lot of my time was like three hours a day plus I was spending on e-mail. And I was looking at this and going this is madness like how am I going to grow my business or spend time on the things that are important. If you are effectively half of my days just being taken on dealing with my inbox now I looked at this and there’s some challenges here because you know obviously it’s not something that I can just not do but it’s something that I need to reduce and get rid of as much as possible so I can be more effective.

Charles Valher: [00:09:54] So we’re back at it in this way I divided my inbox into three categories.

Charles Valher: [00:09:58] Okay, category one is my friends or people that know my V.A is managing my inbox. So a really good example if my wife was to email me and say, hey can you pick up milk.

Charles Valher: [00:10:10] My VA could just reply and say, hey it’s Juvy here I’ll get Charlie to get the milk on his way home.

Matt Jones: [00:10:15] Mhmm

Charles Valher: [00:10:16] That e-mail solved. There’s no issue with that happening from there and you know even people, even get to the point where they just message my email box going ”Hey Juvy“ which it was. “Could you please tell Charlie this” and that’s fine I’m completely cool with that.

Charles Valher: [00:10:31] Category 2 is like a lot of e-mails were coming to me that I would just like pass through or things that I didn’t necessarily need to be responding to or give a few examples is like someone with email asking for information on something. So they go you know when’s the proposal going to be out overcoat or where can I find this information on your website. So there’s this category of emails where I found like I was just like passing information back and forth.

Matt Jones: [00:10:56] Yeah

Charles Valher: [00:10:56] Didn’t actually need it. So category 2 is like when an email came in to the company and was like well you can deal with this. You can or speak to someone who knows how to deal with it. Get the information and come back and reply. Go for it.

Matt Jones: [00:11:09] Yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:11:11] And a really important thing is there is like if you want to be really clever if there’s questions you commonly get answered just or asked. Have templates ready to go.

Matt Jones: [00:11:19] Yeah

Charles Valher: [00:11:20] So if you’re always get asking a certain type of question does have a template ready to go.

Matt Jones: [00:11:25] Yeah. So.

Charles Valher: [00:11:26] Really really easy.

Matt Jones: [00:11:27] And does your V.A. respond to your e-mails in like your voice? Like is it, is it her? Effectively being you or is it her being her. Or everyone knows her?

Charles Valher: [00:11:40] So this is what’s interesting is because this is one of my concerns in the beginning was like I’m like I don’t know how I feel about this really and like is it misleading or something like that but what actually happened was the clients got a better experience like their emails were getting responded too quicker, than the other side of things is my V.A. actually ended up providing a really good line: Like I’m a trainee. I left school at 16 to go and be a trainee so I’ll be real with you my spelling and grammar is not fantastic.

Matt Jones: [00:12:07] I feel your pain brother

Charles Valher: [00:12:09] Yeah, it’s not a strength area for me but for my V.A she smashes me at it. So I actually like there was an improvement.

Matt Jones: [00:12:16] Right.

Charles Valher: [00:12:16] Whereas all of a sudden things were more well worded and understood. So it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing that I wasn’t the one writing them and in fact was helpful.

Matt Jones: [00:12:28] Yeah. Okay and what’s the third category?

Charles Valher: [00:12:32] So the third category is there’s undoubtably going to be e-mails that come in which the V.A. can not respond to. There might be technical, there might be things that need your attention like this is category 1 emails.

Matt Jones: [00:12:42] Right.

Charles Valher: [00:12:42] But, when I looked that from here as like well how do we get through this. Now, one solution is my VA would put a label on them or start them and I would reply. Or the other solution that works much much better is that well, what if we just have a phone call once a day and you could read me my emails and I’ll dictate my reply to you. I mean she would type them up. So I developed this system and it’s like there’s a hint in that developing a system so you can’t use off shore people really effectively or use your business more effectively can make a huge difference. But for me, what I noticed is my email went from three hours a day to right at max would be a 30 minute phone call for me to dictate these replies.

Matt Jones: [00:13:20] Yeah, right. Amazing.

Charles Valher: [00:13:25] Huge difference like I got it like the two and a half hours a day was like level up in a big way for me.

Matt Jones: [00:13:31] I know a lot of our guys like they have, I mean I’ve always sort of said to them I said I’ve got a lot of call answering service with work and it’s brilliant. You know people call the 1 300 number, ladies answer the call and if it’s important they’ll patch it through to me. Transfer it if it’s not necessarily important or if it’s like a you know like a sales call or something like that they’ll just send me an e-mail, and it works great because it means I’m going to worry about answering phones all day. However you know I’ve tried to like I’ve had this conversation with a lot of guys you know let’s get you guys out with the same thing so you don’t have to keep putting your tools down, got to answer the phone call and you lose or your flow and momentum or lack of stuff and the conversation that they often come back with or the argument is more well. I need to be answering the phone because it’s always technical comments it’s always it might be a build like a relationship that I’ve built. You know they want to speak to me directly and with that kind of stuff and I can kind of understand that, but I also think in a way they’ve kind of built themselves a very dangerous scenario.

Charles Valher: [00:14:32] Absolutely, and like when I hear that comment like you know it’s a very interesting thing where it’s like I understand a point of view where a business is like sitting there going well. You know I need to have these relationships or I need to take these calls and I kind of look at that and go like that’s a risk like you’ve just created a huge risk in like, is that the type of business you really want to build?

Matt Jones: [00:14:50] Mhmm Yeah. So I’m wondering how

Charles Valher: [00:14:54] I think I think there’s some deeper questions

Matt Jones: [00:14:56] Yes

Matt Jones: [00:14:57] But I suppose what I’d like to know is, how do you then have that converse? how do you segue into a different beast different model to learn?

Charles Valher: [00:15:09] Yeah, look that’s a really good question in itself. So I mean we’ll use some trading examples to keep it relevant.

Matt Jones: [00:15:15] Yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:15:15] Is that if you are looking at it and you’re doing let’s say you work in for a new home’s builder or a mass builder and this, certain relationships that are really important to you. Get that type of work you’ve got to put your hand up and say well it’s important for me to take these phone calls and build these relationships. It’s the other things I need to get off my plate.

Matt Jones: [00:15:34] Yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:15:34] The other things I’ve got to make sure I’m not doing so identify critical things that will make the difference. But on the other side of things if there’s a key person in there some let’s pretend you are working with a mass builder, the chances are you’re probably only talking to the big gun ever so frequently and it’s like when other people are emailing you for things or asking for requests for work or things like that. That very much can be put through to one person.

Matt Jones: [00:15:57] Right.

Charles Valher: [00:15:59] So if you will say, look we want to book in a (inaudible) for a certain day like that doesn’t necessarily need to go to you. So teaching to build is or who you’re working with how things work that are going to get them a better result can make all the difference as well.

Matt Jones: [00:16:13] Yeah. So I mean in that scenario I suppose if they did have somebody that was at least taking that call. You know not even if half the calls get patched through to them it’s still like they’re still getting twice as much done, right?

Charles Valher: [00:16:28] Absolutely. Sometimes it’s not that we get the whole thing off our plate but we get most of it off like a reduction is still a win.

Matt Jones: [00:16:34] So before we go, I’ve been a little bit further to some other points I want to cover often. I want to know what your position and stances on automating against outsourcing. So you know there’s so many tools and technologies and things out there today, that can handle so many amazing tasks like you know bookkeeping and all that kind of stuff. What’s your position and what is your experience on that?

Charles Valher: [00:17:04] Yeah. So my position is this is like you still need both these days like a guy has not gotten at the point where things are so well automated that you don’t need people. I think we are a long way off that even happening. However, it’s like there’s some technologies that just make the world move so much more quickly. So where I feel the superpower is this. Where you can give your people the access to the automations and tools they need, and combine them.

Matt Jones: [00:17:31] Right.

Charles Valher: [00:17:32] Like when you make them one thing it’s almost like a multiple.

Matt Jones: [00:17:36] And so, would an example of that be like CRM or something like that?

Charles Valher: [00:17:43] Yeah. So let’s use e-mail as an example here, let’s pretend enquiries come into your website for whatever reason and we’re going to send them a sequence.

Matt Jones: [00:17:52] Yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:17:52] Or something like that or someone’s done something in a business that will require a sequence. So an automation version of that would be that someone has filled out a form and then they’re sent emails based on that really really powerful but a more powerful way. We could almost go about that is going well with an inquiry came in and they got an email from your VA, and then based on how they respond to that e-mail they got sent a different automation.

Matt Jones: [00:18:20] Sequence. Yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:18:22] Or she was able to give them a certain tag based on their needs or something she knew well, then all of a sudden we’re kind of amplifying the result they were able to give.

Matt Jones: [00:18:32] Yeah, okay. So that kind of ties into that. We’ve spoken about this on the show before qualifying, qualifying people and making sure that they’re getting the right communication or the communication relevant to where they are and where you know who they are where they’re at. So yeah that’s a, that’s a valid point.

Charles Valher: [00:18:48] Up another one here is like you’ve got a fantastic thriving Facebook group. Now one thing I know you can do is there’s some tools out there that will show you who are the active active members. Okay.

Charles Valher: [00:19:00] Now, one way to go that it is sending an automated e-mail to people that aren’t active. And that’s a little bit impersonal but a more powerful way is looking at it, and going well if a V.A. was to personally contact someone through Messenger or Facebook and say “Hey! Look, you know we’ve noticed there’s you know you’re not active in the community is there something we can help you with or is there a question you would like to help you get started”. You can really add this personal touch and almost take advantage of the human element as well.

Matt Jones: [00:19:25] Yeah. Yeah, and I completely agree with that. So what about what other technologies do you, I mean. I’m sure. I’m guessing that when you know where you help somebody bring on a new staff member who is you know located off shore. I’m guessing that, that is a conversation that you certainly have to have with them. What tools are you using or what tools can we use to help this process right?

Charles Valher: [00:19:50] Absolutely. So this is in itself is a really interesting thing is when we hire people, we really have to do an assessment of ourselves first or an audit of ourselves.

Charles Valher: [00:20:02] So it’s like when we go, we don’t just hire people randomly. We look at our business and go okay, well this is what I need done. You know that’s the starting point. You know what do I want to hire someone for like what output am I looking for. Is it a marketing person. Is it a support person or is it someone to handle phones. Is it someone that’s going to be on the tools. The second part of that is we look at it and we go well what are we already using. So when you I suppose let’s pretend you don’t, we’ll use bricklaying as an example here. You’ve already got Mix’s and Barrow’s and things like that so you’ve already got a set of tools. It’s just that they can see them in present.

Matt Jones: [00:20:37] Yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:20:37] So when you work virtually with someone you’ve almost got to do the same thing. Okay well as a business what do we use and maybe we use Google Suite, and then maybe we use (inaudible) there’s a whole bunch of other ones that come in that you know about what bookkeeping using. So it’s doing a bit of diagnostic and going this is the stuff we use that I would expect someone else to be able to use. And then that’s where you can come with the hunt for that skillset.

Matt Jones: [00:21:01] ——Yeah and I think that’s that’s important as well. I mean realistically there’s a lot of a lot of listeners out there probably aren’t familiar with a lot of the tools so I suppose when they know when they speak to guys like yourselves you know you can offer quite experienced hand and guide in the space of you know different things that can be implemented in order to help streamline certain areas of their business, right?

Charles Valher: [00:21:28] Well, this is what’s getting really fascinating to me is like as a tradie or you’re doing your thing and all the rest but we have to recognize the world’s changing. Once upon a time like a really obvious example to me is like the yellow pages used to work. Okay, it really did.

Matt Jones: [00:21:44] Yeah. Yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:21:44] When I was plumbing we used to do all the pipes in copper, when I start it right we were welding up an entire house for water. Towards the end of my career were using plastic like everything was like rehaul.

Matt Jones: [00:21:55] Yeah. And now it’s gone back to copper again but we compression fittings just like that.

Charles Valher: [00:22:00] Yeah, crazy like and even some of the gas lines I’ve seen is like this high pressure plastic. So it’s, it’s nuts to think that you know business stay still and that’s the first thing I’ll say is like it’s forever moving. Now when we can acknowledge that we have to almost be open to new things we really do, because otherwise you’re going to end up like the yellow pages and we see this really commonly in all businesses -this isn’t these tradies. But you look at Kodak, failure to adapt.

Matt Jones: [00:22:27] Yeah yeah

Charles Valher: [00:22:28] Where are they?

Matt Jones: [00:22:29] Exactly.

Charles Valher: [00:22:30] So when we start to consider that is like you know we have to be open to like you know where’s things changing without a doubt it’s technology and particularly looking at offshore labor. So what you’ve almost got to consider is like well if my competition are using software and tools and doing online marketing and then taking advantage of offshore labor rights and things like that and you’re not, you’re at a heavy disadvantage to do the same job right you’re actually going to a much higher basal costs. So all of a sudden it’s like well it’s not a matter of you know can I be stubborn and just ignore this stuff. You have to recognize that if my competition are doing this and this is the way the world is going like I’m going to be pretty screwed if I don’t.

Matt Jones: [00:23:12] Yeah, I think that’s kind of as well. In my experience, one of the reasons that I want to start it was Syesha was to give people of business owners out there exposure to alternative ways to doing things because you had no idea when you did your apprenticeship right. You did your apprenticeship with one company?

Charles Valher: [00:23:32] Idea were to?

Matt Jones: [00:23:33] With your company so. So I did. I was I wanted my apprenticeship with two companies and I know when I went to my second company I was like oh my God this guy has to like this this is so much better. But until that point I had no exposure to two alternative ways to do things so I always thought the way that we did it was the way that it was done. But you know through learning and through seeing other her way other people do things and you know networking and speaking to people that are doing different things or doing the same thing but just doing it differently. Like you learn about things right. So I think that’s really important that people know what is really important that you get that exposure to alternative things.

Charles Valher: [00:24:18] Absolutely now like it’s such an important thing and I completely agree with that. By the way I was like I remember how blown away I was and how quickly we were getting Ruffins done when we had like one person on water one person on gas

Matt Jones: [00:24:30] Right.

Charles Valher: [00:24:30] And one person on the set out and I was like well the old company just kind of did all those things and I was like this is so much better

Matt Jones: [00:24:37] Yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:24:37] And quicker so fascinating nonetheless. But it kind of exists on layers and as I said applies to every business as we’ve said.

Matt Jones: [00:24:45] Right. Yeah, that was exactly right.

Charles Valher: [00:24:49] Yeah. So then I suppose the next part of that is like well now that we’re open and going okay well, I can’t stay a dinosaur if you will one of these people can be open enough to see these things and your early adopter which I still think is the case for a lot of traders like a lot of traders are refusing to adapt to the new ways of things like you can actually be at a significant advantage. So you do a really good example like there’s someone that I see frequently on my Facebook Feed and all he does is he’s a plumber who does bathroom renovations but he takes before and after photos and posted them on Facebook to tell you what if I ever get to a bathroom and I don’t, I’m using this guy.

Matt Jones: [00:25:28] Yeah, interesting and simple.

Charles Valher: [00:25:33] It’s just showing his work to an audience, that’s it.

Matt Jones: [00:25:36] Mhmm

Charles Valher: [00:25:36] But I love it.

Matt Jones: [00:25:37] I mean this kind of ties into a different topic altogether you know and we’re big on this like trying to get guys to really start telling their story because you know we have this conversation with these guys and we’re like okay we’ll talk. Tell me about what you do. Tell me why it’s cool and then go with nothing. We just build houses and I’m like oh really just like transform people’s lives. And they’re like oh yeah you’re right. So like, putting that in perspective and then giving them a platform which enables them to tell that story before photos after photos during photos you know problems overcame always kind of stuff. Telling the story that’s such a powerful tool and on a conscious and a subconscious level like that builds trust and rapport like no Facebook ever will. That’s for sure.

Charles Valher: [00:26:24] Yeah so this is what I think is really interesting and we’re talking about you know examples before of having the use of a VA, so just going to put it out there. If you’re trendy right now and you just take photos of you before and after? Or even shot a little iPhone video and talked about why you did a job in a certain way, and that you gave that to a VA to post on your social media or send to your database or show customers that have put a quote in. I’ll put a guarantee out there, that will move your business in a positive way.

Charles Valher: [00:26:51] Really well.

Matt Jones: [00:26:52] Nice. Yeah, okay. We moving on then?

Charles Valher: [00:26:59] We are definitely moving on.

Matt Jones: [00:27:01] Awkward silence, I guess.

Charles Valher: [00:27:03] Now we’re going to cover it.

Matt Jones: [00:27:04] So..

Charles Valher: [00:27:04] Well I actually had to have a quick sip of water then and I was like well this is bad timing.

Matt Jones: [00:27:07] Oh okay gotcha gotcha. I thought you I thought you’re going to enlighten us with some more wisdom and instead you’re just chugging water. That’s cool. So what about when we talk about so we’ve covered I suppose college to the Times was or I won’t keep you much longer but I would just like to maybe in closing talk about some of the key areas that a typical trade business can can step away from as a business owner and get somebody to fill that fill that void that doesn’t involve having somebody sitting physically in your office. So let’s fire through some of the areas that can be that can be outsourced.

Charles Valher: [00:27:45] Yeah let’s do it so I’ll go with the one I just kind of covered

Matt Jones: [00:27:48] Yep.

Charles Valher: [00:27:48] Like I really do feel that there’s room for marketing to be done out of the office.

Matt Jones: [00:27:53] What type of marketing?

Charles Valher: [00:27:53] He’s in well like the example I just use.

Charles Valher: [00:27:56] If you’re someone who is going to take photos before and after and you want posted on your social media sent to your database or sent out to people that are putting inquiries in, I think that’s a really powerful strategy.

Charles Valher: [00:28:08] I really do.

Charles Valher: [00:28:10] On the reverse of things if you’re also selling I mean we are also sending a like you know an e-mail newsletter are you doing promotions like him and it’s like ah it’s getting very cold in here this time of year Matt and I look at it and go a lot of people are going to need their (inaudible). So can you imagine sending in a broadcast to everyone that’s got you know been with you on that database. Really powerful strategy as well. That type of marketing really effective to be done by a VA, that’s some strong stuff. Specialist marketing like AdWords services are a bit of a different category and I’m kind of hedging that now in saying that that probably isn’t the most suitable thing because I know how competitive some of those spaces can get.

Matt Jones: [00:28:49] Right.

Charles Valher: [00:28:50] That’s probably much better off working with guys like you to go through that type of thing.

Matt Jones: [00:28:55] Do you reckon as well? Charlie, in those sort of instances. I mean I know we’ve worked with companies in the past that are very good at what they do but in a different location. So we’ve worked worked. I worked with the Adwords company. At one point they were a US base and the language difference between locally and abroad was so amazingly significant. When you add obvious when you’re considering keyword research and things like that. I was just like what are you guys talking about. And then not knowing the location you know the areas, the suburbs, slaying and all that kind of stuff it really. I really found it quite a challenge.

Charles Valher: [00:29:35] Look, I wish I could put a blanket statement on that

Matt Jones: [00:29:39] Yeah yeah

Charles Valher: [00:29:40] Yes, but I’ve really had good and bad experiences with boats like I’ve had experiences where I’ve hired local marketing companies for that exact reason and they’ve been terrible

Matt Jones: [00:29:49] Right

Charles Valher: [00:29:49] And I’m like wow that was a big waste of money

Matt Jones: [00:29:51] Right.

Charles Valher: [00:29:51] And then reversed like I’ve hired offshore companies to do this type of work and it’s gone well. So really I guess we’ve got to say you’ve got to be to do due diligence. I think you are going to play in these fields. The best thing you can do is look to sources that have had success in the past, so try and hedge your bets by saying who’s doing it well and using those types of providers or getting a recommendation.

Matt Jones: [00:30:17] Yeah. Okay, cool. All right. So that’s marketing. What else we got?

Charles Valher: [00:30:23] So you mentioned this a little bit earlier that bookkeeping and accounting, like I really don’t feel like any tradie should be prioritizing that is something they must do personally they should definitely be reading the reports definitely on that front.

Matt Jones: [00:30:35] Yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:30:35] Actual that type of thing there you’ve got to get that off your plate you’ve got to get that out the door.

Matt Jones: [00:30:41] It’s actually it’s interesting that you say that because that’s something I’ve been looking at doing myself although to be fair I don’t really have a whole lot of stuff to reconcile. But, I mean I know these guys like a lot of these trade tradies out there I mean they’re doing you know sometimes 10 15 20 30 plus invoices a day like that’s a grind.

Charles Valher: [00:31:02] It is an absolute grind and it’s brainpower. You can’t be caught up with.

Matt Jones: [00:31:06] Yeah, exactly. Okay, cool. So that’s interesting. So you can outsource accounting and then a lot of people will be sitting there going, oh yeah great I’m really going to outsource my account to someone who’s overseas and give them access to all my financials. What do you say to that.

Charles Valher: [00:31:20] Oh I’ve heard that before, and the funny thing is if you’re using an account at the moment you probably already doing it.

Matt Jones: [00:31:26] Desaturate

Charles Valher: [00:31:28] So before you throw stones at the idea as I said you’ve got to be open to how the world’s changing and how he looks these things from there.

Matt Jones: [00:31:34] Yep.

Charles Valher: [00:31:35] Now, obviously data sensitivity is a big thing. Like I’m not saying you don’t only take the risks you need but there’s certainly companies out there doing very well. And my experience with offshore like particularly the Philippines is like I probably trust them more than I trust a lot of Australian companies.

Matt Jones: [00:31:50] Yeah, totally.

Charles Valher: [00:31:51] So there’s a bit of a mindset thing is like is the thought that because I can drive to someone’s office and yell at them, if they use my data incorrectly like that. The driving force

Matt Jones: [00:31:59] Yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:32:01] And you know this is coming back to what we mentioned earlier about we’ve got to be open to how the world is moving.

Matt Jones: [00:32:05] Yeah. All right, cool. So we’ve got marketing we’ve got accountings slash bookkeeping. What else we got.

Charles Valher: [00:32:12] Yeah. So this is when you look at admin support. So what I say in that point of view is if you like you’ve got an office go that is under the pump or you have no office go and you need someone that can take calls or inquiries to the business or deal with things why youre not available who might be on the tools or building those good relationships, then it can be a really powerful thing to have someone that can take care of these things. And like I meant she didn’t email example like that could be an inquiry an example. So really really powerful one there is just making sure that you know it’s funny that when I look in this space it’s funny that the people who respond quickly get jobs

Matt Jones: [00:32:50] Right.

Charles Valher: [00:32:51] So if you’re an emergency plumber and you’re putting an inquiry go on how quick can you get out here and you don’t answer the phone

Matt Jones: [00:32:56] Right.

Charles Valher: [00:32:57] You’re not getting that job.

Matt Jones: [00:32:58] Yeah Yeah.

Charles Valher: [00:33:00] So that’s a really important kind of role I look at from there and you know as specified it’s not a technical role, it’s just helping people get to the information that you’re not available to give.

Matt Jones: [00:33:09] Yeah, okay. And I suppose like there’s so many factors that could add to the admin bracket isn’t there really. I mean.

Charles Valher: [00:33:20] Absolutely

Matt Jones: [00:33:21] I mean

Charles Valher: [00:33:21] Even ordering materials can be a really interesting one

Matt Jones: [00:33:24] Yeah, right.

Charles Valher: [00:33:25] I’ve seen done.

Matt Jones: [00:33:26] Interesting.

Charles Valher: [00:33:27] Follow the following up and getting prices so I’ll give you an interesting one like I did a little bit of work in commercial. At one point (inaudible), what was interesting is what went into quoting a job and often there be guys spending hours ringing different suppliers going you know how much is this three quarter over here. They ring someone else and I walk, I know these guys you said this price and you know what price can you do a three quarter elbow for me. I’m like well that’s not really a good effective use of time. So you know there’s actually like quoting facets that could be really interestingly used as well.

Matt Jones: [00:33:56] Yeah, yeah. Okay, cool. All right it makes sense so we’ve got marketing, we’ve got accounting finance, we’ve got admin. What else we got?

Charles Valher: [00:34:06] Well you know it is one I think is might get a vein of someone’s existence

Matt Jones: [00:34:10] Ohh..

Charles Valher: [00:34:10] Who is listening to this show, debt collection

Matt Jones: [00:34:13] Oh shit, yeah. With that type of accounting you’re working?

Charles Valher: [00:34:17] A little bit, but I want to make it its own thing because it’s like you know we might proceeding as accounting as you know reconcile the books or you know that side of it are a very in the numbers thing

Matt Jones: [00:34:26] Yep.

Charles Valher: [00:34:26] Where I don’t think we think of accounting is like you know having someone ring up and chase debts or notify on payments. So like this is one that applies across the board and I’ve seen a lot of service businesses, kind of make use of this is a simple thing like having someone who can email people telling them things are due and providing links to make payment and really keeping you notified on who’s paid and who hasn’t paid and taking that off your plate. I think he’s a role that a lot of tradies especially but a lot of businesses can benefit from.

Matt Jones: [00:34:55] Is that one of those areas that you would say works very well with or works in conjunction with technology?

Charles Valher: [00:35:03] Absolutely, and you know here’s an example of this you may or may not be familiar with the tools.

Charles Valher: [00:35:08] Like zero and strive to beat you up but for the average guy out there is like if you equip a V.A. with stripe and zero so they know who the debtors are and they’ve got the ability to send them an email with a link to pay then and there on the spot. Right. It can make getting payment really really easy. Now something we kind of note is if you just email someone to say, oh you haven’t made payment yet but you don’t make it easy for them to pay then and there

Matt Jones: [00:35:35] Yeah, right.

Charles Valher: [00:35:36] And they go, no worries I’ll do it later. And they just don’t do it.

Matt Jones: [00:35:38] Yeah, totally agree. Good point. Okay, yeah. Debt collection I mean that’s massive and that sucks a lot of time and a lot of energy. So mean outsourcing that that’s a complete no brainer.

Charles Valher: [00:35:53] Yeah and as you can see why that’s not a technical thing. They have nothing to do with how your business you know knows what thermostat to put into a water unit or anything like that

Matt Jones: [00:36:01] —Right.

Charles Valher: [00:36:02] Or what lines are required for the solar panels. It’s more about where a hang on you know this amount we need this money like

Matt Jones: [00:36:09] And to be fair in a lot of those cases it’s it’s more like in most cases I would probably say you know it’s it’s not the people it’s just the people we’re busy being busy and they just don’t get around to it. So having someone that can remind them means it will get done.

Charles Valher: [00:36:24] Absolutely

Matt Jones: [00:36:24] I mean I’d like artificial timelines. Oh yeah okay sorry I got to pay that but it’s not because of my being a prick about it, I just. Do it.

Charles Valher: [00:36:34] Absolutely.

Matt Jones: [00:36:36] All right, good point. What’s next?

Charles Valher: [00:36:38] Okay I’m going to next one for me here and this is one probably for the little bit of the bigger companies that are out there but like one that I’m coming across and I know this because my, I know people that are doing it is drafting up and doing plans like a lot of CAD drawings.

Matt Jones: [00:36:51] Ohh, this is a bit of a hot topic actually because a lot of guys are saying that it’s hard to outsource quoting and drafting and things or how you talk about quote you know are you actually talking about coming up with a design work.

Charles Valher: [00:37:05] Yeah. So I, you know I can’t name the person but I know someone who works in a conditioning space that is really big duct work. But really big stuff and it’s like when they do a project the amount of like CAD drawings, duct design

Matt Jones: [00:37:18] Right.

Charles Valher: [00:37:19] And all that. It’s huge now for them to do it offshore is about a third of the cost as onshore.

Matt Jones: [00:37:25] Yeah

Charles Valher: [00:37:25] So it’s been able. So they’ve become incredibly competitive just cutting down like what it takes for them to put a quote together

Matt Jones: [00:37:32] Interesting. Yeah, that’s it. I mean that’s one of the we’ve had this conversation quite a lot in the community actually about actually it was only recently somebody asked something about it and I think the general feedback was, yeah it’s fine to outsource some of the outsource the design not the CAD stuff but it’s often hard especially if you’re like a builder or you do like renovations or extensions. It can be quite challenging to outsource the quoting process because it really does take someone on site to knock a hole in a wall, to find out that it’s not brick it’s actually timber.

Charles Valher: [00:38:08] Yeah. Well, renovations I can imagine is probably one of the hardest things to quote for in my experience was renovations took three times longer than building new

Matt Jones: [00:38:17] Yeah

Charles Valher: [00:38:17] And I was like I mean it sounds a bit weird you know like because there’s existing stuff there surely it should be easier but no, painful is what it is

Matt Jones: [00:38:26] Yep

Charles Valher: [00:38:27] And there’s always surprises and things so I can understand that comment, and you know that might be something where if you’re in the renovation space you might well look I need to do these quoting because this is just such a high risk area.

Matt Jones: [00:38:38] But then that sort of that sort of strengthens the point of, yeah you should be doing that. So outsource the other shit.

Charles Valher: [00:38:46] Exactly.

Matt Jones: [00:38:46] Yeah. Okay.

Charles Valher: [00:38:47] Find what’s critical and then get rid of the rest.

Matt Jones: [00:38:50] Anything else?

Charles Valher: [00:38:52] Look I think they’re the main ones I would go with on this point from here, I think if you’ve got that sorted you’re in great shape.

Matt Jones: [00:38:58] Yeah, yeah. So I call, well I reckon that pretty much wraps up this conversation. Are you, is there anything that you wanted to add?

Charles Valher: [00:39:08] Look I mean this could be an overwhelming topic in the beginning like what I’ll mention is like if you do want to investigate it more like we had a fantastic e-book on our website, outsourcingangel.com which is the roadmap. Have a look at it. It annoys me when I download e-books and they’re not very good. This one, is one we’ve put a lot of effort into. So it is very well mapped out and understanding this stuff in more depth and then I’ve also provided you with a nice little bonus as well, which is like a little mini course I made so that if people want to find more information about this stuff and understand it better like that’s a really good starting point.

Matt Jones: [00:39:42] Yeah, cool. Well I’ll put all the links of that stuff within the show notes and I will maybe give it a plug in the Facebook community too for guys that want to hear about it and if any listeners out there if you’ve got any follow up questions for Charlie in relation to outsourcing, just wherever you see this product you hear this podcast or wherever you see it or if it comes across social media or whatever just leave a comment and I will get him get him to answer that or ask him to come back on the show or something or that we’ll get an answer for you anyway. But yeah I mean look the bottom line is guys I think, in a modern business you certainly need to evolve and look at modern strategies and one of the most and most effective strategy I think you can adopt within your business today is looking at ways that you can reduce labor costs and you can outsource some of these tasks to highly highly qualified people that don’t necessarily have to be sitting in your office. So I’m hoping that Charlie has helped a relay that message, I’m sure he has. But if you’ve got any more questions, by all means you can head across to the show to get more information on that or you can head across to Charlie’s website which is outsourcingangel.com Charlie thanks for your time. That was awesome. I am going to wrap this one up and I’m going to go hit the gym. What a hurricane.

Charles Valher: [00:41:06] Sounds good. Enjoy them, off as well.

Matt Jones: [00:41:08] Rock‘n roll, man. Thanks for your time. Much appreciated and listeners, that is a wrap.

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Matt Jones
Founder at The Site Shed
I'm the facilitator here at The Site Shed. My passion lies in doing anything that helps trade based organisations grow. My other company, Tradie Web Guys, helps tradespeople stand out online, while The Site Shed is all about education and resources.
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