At Business Blueprint, we have a packed schedule which includes touring Australia and New Zealand four times per year and hosting quarterly events for over 600 members. This is not to mention constantly publishing online content and creating amazing videos for our customers to use as learning tools.
We also host regular webinars, which we’re sure you have heard about by now.
What may surprise you is that Business Blueprint is actually quite a small yet mighty team here in Australia. There are only 6 of us that work full-time in the office. And although they are the best in their fields at what they do (I was sure to hire the right people for each position), there’s no way we could do it all on our own.
Running lean isn’t about cutting corners or sacrificing customer service. For us, it means practising what we preach by implementing systems and outsourcing where possible. We would never want to compromise the quality of what we offer, but by keeping things tight we are able to reward our staff for their hard work.
So, how do we do it?
How Business Blueprint stays lean and achieves so much more
A combination of factors allow us to run lean.
#1 We outsource
While there are only six staff in the Sydney office, our Cebu-based team in The Philippines is 15 strong. This dedicated crew of workers is reliable, helpful and intelligent. They are 100 per cent part of the team and we catch up regularly on a range of devices and digital platforms like Skype, Zoom, Hangouts and Slack to ensure we are all working well together.
Some people say that by outsourcing to the Philippines, you are counting Australians out of a job. We don’t see it that way as we do not have the budget for an extra fifteen people on Sydney wages.
However, by hiring in The Philippines and working smart to expand our business, we became so productive, we ended up being able to hire two more people in Sydney.
In addition to this, if we are generating more revenue and making higher profits, we are paying more taxes and bringing more money into the Australian economy.
Should you outsource?
A full-time employee in The Philippines can cost as little as $5 AUD per hour. If you’re not sure how you could make the most of one on a full or part-time basis, there’s a short exercise you can do.
Write down the tasks you perform over the course of a week and how long each task takes. Then take note of the tasks which are repetitive and could be taught to somebody else.
Wouldn’t you be better off using your time on things other than basic invoicing, data analysis or customer communication? It is more than likely that at least one day of tasks can be outsourced to a VA. A small investment in training them will free you up to do so much more.
#2 We systemise
When it comes to hiring and training staff, it’s all about systems and procedures.
Think about emergency workers and those in high-pressure environments like police officers and military personnel. When they face any situation, they respond using protocol. This enables faster decisions and the right responses.
Your team may not be operating in life or death situations but processes, systems and protocols will be a lifesaver for you. Instead of calling for help, they should be able to refer to your company intranet, a cloud-based document or even a pre-recorded video for instructions on how to complete a task.
Having everything documented can take some time up front but it will save you and your team hours in the long run. As well as enabling tasks to be done quickly and easily, it sets a standard operating procedure which makes it so much easier to make decisions.
What can you systemise?
Everything from how to send the mail to how to use the coffee machine can be systemised or have a procedural document created. Once you get started, you won’t want to stop!
Revisit your systems and procedures regularly to make sure your business is running in the most efficient way possible.
It didn’t happen overnight, but we have an incredibly productive, loyal and well-connected team. The Philippine-based crew costs us only around $100k per year but has helped us to rapidly grow our customer base and to improve on what we offer every client. We have digital experts, graphic designers, virtual assistants and customer care operators helping us as well as our members.
In this day and age, it’s simply not possible to remain competitive without some degree of outsourcing and systemising. If you want to grow your profits without burying yourself in a mountain of work, it is the only way forward.
One of the reasons we are so committed to running lean is we want to help other businesses do the same. For the inside scoop on how to quickly hire an offshore team and leverage them to your advantage, your first step is to come along to 52 Ways, which business owners describe as quite simply the best one-day business workshop ever.