Life After Outsourcing – 6 Ways You Can Use Your Newly-Gained Time !!

So, you decided to take the big step and hired a Virtual Assistant to help you get through life’s challenges. Outsourcing was never your top choice, but you had to, owing to the increasing work pressures, the costs of keeping an in-house assistant and the growing responsibilities you had to shoulder at home. Now you’re glad you hired a VA, but what next? What does one do with the free time and how does one transition into the new life with the newly-gained time, effortlessly?

Consider why you chose to outsource in the first place. Either you believed that a professional would do a better job than you would at a particular job, the costs of outsourcing were a lot cheaper than if you were to hire an in-house assistant or also because you realized that your children and wife were beginning to forget what you looked like.

With outsourcing, you finally got those laborious tasks out of the way and earned yourself a minimum of 2-4 hours for yourself everyday. There’s so much you can do! If you are unsure of how you can use this time productively, take a look at a few of these suggestions-

1) Read A Book

Keep yourself abreast with all the reading that you’ve missed out on all these years. Download an e-book if you’re running out of time or walk to the local bookstore to pick out a book you like. If you are a bookworm, there is no better way to spend your time productively than by reading. Reading can help you de-stress and can transport your mind into another world altogether, whilst also helping you sharpen your mind.

2) Prioritize Your ‘Bucket-List’ Activities

2-4 hours is a lot of time to tick at least one of the activities off your bucket-list everyday. Always wanted to sign up for a dance class? Go paragliding or volunteer at a local NGO? With the time you’ve earned from the outsourcing, you could try your hand at the activities that interest you. Finding a hobby or working on one, can help you put your job and/or life in perspective and can help you develop a new set of skills. It will also give you the chance to expand your networking opportunities and is a breath of fresh air when you feel like you’re on the verge of a total burnout.

3) Build A Better Business

Ever heard of the adage, ‘Do what you do best and outsource the rest’? Now that you have outsourced all the back-end work to your Virtual Assistant, you will find more time to focus on the core competencies of your business and set better goals. If you have had to manage all the aspects of the business yourself, you will know that your life was nothing short of a nightmare! With outsourcing however, you will find that you have more time to strategize, de-clutter your mind, reorganize your business and govern its primary activities to help it grow and sustain.

4) A Healthy You, Is A Happy You

Exercise well, eat healthy and meditate in your spare time. Rather than sitting at home and lazing around, go for a light jog or a long walk. Doing things that keep you feeling fit, physically or mentally can help you lose the stress you’ve been carrying around on your shoulders and will also give you the time to gather your thoughts. Furthermore, exercising regularly can help you discipline your mind, get your endorphins flowing and make you look and feel better. Need more reasons?

5) Spend Time With The Ones You Love

If you live with friends or family, spending your free time with them makes absolute sense. Make some time for your children and spouse. Attend your girl’s ballet performance or your son’s big game. Imagine the joy on their faces when they find that both their parents are in attendance. If you’ve missed out on those dinners with your friends or your partner in the last couple of months, make it a point to catch up with them during your free time and show them that you care and you are not anti-social. There is nothing more relaxing than to surround yourself with the people you love and who love you during your free time.

6) Invest Some Time In Personal Care

Once you find that you’ve got a flow going with outsourcing and your VA is handling all the work for you, don’t burden yourself with more work during your free time. Instead, invest this time for some personal care. Whether it is something as small as filing your nails, getting some sleep or hitting the spa, ensure that you make time for your personal needs everyday to shed those layers of stress. Though making money is important to make ends meet in today’s time and age, spending time for yourself can make you look and feel like a million bucks.

Life after outsourcing can be rewarding if you choose to make it so. The time you’ve earned is precious and limited. Make use of it productively and you’ll automatically find success and will be able to strike the perfect work-life balance in the process.

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Save 60 Minutes A Day – ‘Hi, I’m Richard!’

Don’t you wish you had the time to fly back home to be with your wife and kids this holiday season? Don’t you yearn to give your loved ones some of your time? Let’s face it. With so many people working 9-5 jobs everyday and managing whole businesses, it becomes almost impossible to make some time for yourself and also, your loved ones. Giving someone your time is intangible and the most irreplaceable feeling in the world. At GetFriday, we understand that ‘time’ is precious and creating fond memories with loved ones is crucial – one that can even beat the joys of winning a lottery or even bringing home fat pay checks!
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The Smart, Learning and Development Culture At GetFriday

“In essence, learning and development is at the core of what high impact performing organizations do” – Todd Tauber
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GetFriday Celebrated DIWALI With Pomp And Style

November 9, 2015 was the start of another power-packed, exciting week at the GetFriday office and it also happened to be a propitious day, as it welcomed one of India’s feted festivals – Diwali!


A Brief Background

Diwali is celebrated across the 28 states of India because it marks the end of the vile, ‘Asura-King’ Ravana (‘Asura’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘Evil Soul’) and the glorious homecoming of Ayodhya’s most adored king, Lord Ram (‘Ayodhya’ is a birth place of Hindu Mythological God ‘Ram’). In a turn of unprecedented, hostile events, Lord Ram was banished to the forest for 14 years, where he, along with his brother, Lakshman and Ram’s devoted wife, Sita, spent their lives as hermits in solitude. It wasn’t long before Sita was abducted by the Asura-King. A fierce battle ensued between Ram and Ravana in the kingdom of Lanka (Now known as the country Sri Lanka), and Ram came out victorious, rescuing his wife, defeating the king and returning to his kingdom. This glorious return gave birth to the festival of Diwali and is now, celebrated around the world by Hindu communities. On this auspicious day, houses are decorated with ‘diyas’ (earthen fire lamps), embroidered with colorful floor designs, commonly known as ‘Rangoli’, with communities getting together to burst crackers, eat sweets and indulge in merrymaking.

How GetFriday Celebrated ‘Diwali’

When the whole of India was gearing up for this auspicious, colorful festival and offices in Bangalore were festooned in lights, how could GetFriday be far behind?

The GetFriday office celebrated the festival in pomp and style. Employees were dressed in their ethnic best on this day and the workstations were bedecked in lights, earthen lamps and floral decorations. The office was buzzing with excited employees walking into office in their new, colorful traditional wear and distributing sweets among each other. Wearing new clothes for Diwali is customary and the women employees of GetFriday engaged in excited banter and displayed their new jewelry sets and saris, among other carousing.

The celebrations at GetFriday continued through the day, with a special lunch organized for the employees. This lunch consisted of all the popular delicacies from around India and a whole variety of lip-smacking sweetmeats. As twilight approached, GetFriday witnessed a dynamic “Rangoli-making” competition between the teams present. Each team was given standard pack of powdered colors and the idea was to come up with the most visually appealing, innovative Rangoli design using only those colors and nothing else! Revelry prevailed and every employee who participated in this event made sure that they put their best foot forward to make sure their Rangoli design was the best! The festivities continued well into the night-shift and these teams also competed to earn the coveted spot among the winners of the “Rangoli” competition.

All in all, the day was a grand success and every employee who was present in office on this day can only agree that the Diwali celebrations uplifted their spirits and set the tone for the rest of the work week! As GetFriday employees work incessantly through the year, it is festivals such as these that give them a chance to celebrate their hard-work and efforts and offers them a well-deserved break! GetFriday is now gearing up for Thanksgiving and Christmas, with double the fun and festivities!

Stay tuned to this festive feed for more fun, GetFriday updates!
Cheers!

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Understanding When To Outsource

Knowing when to outsource your work for better productivity and control is very important, and it is fairly simple too. You need to watch out for a few tell-tale signs that will give you enough and more reason for you to outsource the work that you don’t necessarily need to do yourself. For instance, you may suddenly feel a swell in work pressures or you might realize that you are spending a lot more time at the work place than you should be. Your regular 9 hour job has now turned into a 13 hour job and to make matters worse, you are spending all your time thinking about work or doing work, including the weekends! That leaves you with no time to focus on your personal life or even, have a life!

Sometimes, a recurrent, onerous task, that is handled internally and is draining a company’s resources can be handled better externally and for cheap! Or if you feel that your business is saturating at the peak with no further growth or profits, you could outsource certain functions of your business to virtual assistance providers and see how your business fares. If you have crossed the threshold, then it is probably a wise time to outsource. This blog post highlights 4 instances where you should consider outsourcing!

1. You Are Compromising With Your Work-Life Balance
When you start outsourcing your lives, you will be able to strike that perfect balance with your job, children and your family. To make room for things that really matter, you can begin by outsourcing routine jobs that either take too much of time, are too mundane to carry out everyday, or tasks that can easily be handled by someone else. This way, outsourcing will give you the freedom to use your time the way you want to spend it and can finally help you leave for home earlier from work and give you your weekends back. Striking the perfect work-life balance is paramount and when you think you are giving away too much; far more than what you are receiving, that’s where you draw the line and make the decision to ‘outsource’!

2. Your Business Is Stagnating
Intermittent outsourcing can work wonders for your business – if you know when to take advantage of it! With outsourcing, your business will be able to grow at a healthy pace, talent and expertise are available at your fingertips and you don’t need to provide for an office space, or a phone or a computer for the person working for you. If you find that your strategies are failing, your employees are not motivated to work because they are overburdened with too many arduous tasks or you aren’t generating the revenue you have been expecting for a while, these are sure-shot signs of your business stagnating.

In such a situation, a complete turnaround needs to be made. You need time to understand what has gone wrong with the business and what areas need focus and improvement. If you think you have hit this point in the cycle, it would be a wise-time to outsource works that take up your time. By freeing yourself and your employees of tasks they don’t necessarily have to handle, or delegating onerous work to your Virtual Assistants, you will be able to make some time to re-strategize and re-structure your business before it spirals out of control.

3. You Juggle Multiple Hats At Work
Years ago, outsourcing wasn’t very accessible to SME’s. This was a luxury that was once limited only to the Fortune 500s. Today however, it is advisable for small business owners to outsource as much as they can from the get-go, because time is the greatest asset for small businesses.

Though cash flow for SMEs are not as sturdy or secure as large businesses, outsourcing the work to cost-effective remote assistant companies might just be feasible and can let SMEs focus on growing their businesses. According to a study conducted by Constant Contact, 56% of small business owners feel like they can never leave their businesses to do anything else and need to be constantly around to save the day. Consider the situation – if small business owners don’t delegate the work to the right persons at the right time, they would have to juggle between different responsibilities, including managerial roles, marketing, accounting, customer support and other administrative aspects of business. To handle so much at the same time, could result in the lack of quality, stress, loss of time to focus on other aspects of life, and the company and can slow down the process of scaling the business considerably.
Conversely, by outsourcing specific functions of the business to reliable Virtual Assistants, it is possible to maintain the highest level of operations, in a manner that doesn’t break the bank and your back, and also promote the growth of your business by giving you more to time to cater to existing customer and new ones. At the end of the day, being a small business owner will require you don many hats, but effective outsourcing from the start could help you laser your focus to what really needs to be accomplished and can also give small business owners the benefit of taking periodical breaks to reboot and plan ahead.

4. It Is Expensive To Get Work Done Internally
The battle between outsourcing vs. insourcing is incessant. However, when you find that a job can be handled externally for lesser costs, than internally, it would be better to outsource – especially because labor is a lot cheaper overseas and you also get more bang for your buck! Sometimes, in-house employees need time and training to handle specialist tasks. This requires money and can take a number of sessions before an employee is completely adept with the software or the tool. For instance, it could be cheaper for companies to outsource their payroll work to companies like Sage Payroll rather than hire in-house payroll specialists, train them, pay them salaries and provide for their benefits.
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Is Your Work-Life Balanced?

Do you feel like there is an imbalance in your personal and professional life? Are you not able to find time for yourself, let alone find time for your family and friends? It is easy to let our lives become overwhelmed by work and once that happens, it almost seems impossible to find the right balance and you’ll find that your productivity levels would have dropped considerably at work. Here’s how you can recognize if there’s an imbalance in your work-life and what you can do to bring yourself back in the game.


Symptoms To Look Out For

The first step is to take a look at the symptoms of an “imbalance” in work-life and then tally your own symptoms/experiences with this check-list. Here you go-

  • You find that you work longer hours than most of your colleagues. You spend more time in the office than you do at home and you always come back stressed, tired and anxious. To top it all, you have to commute in traffic!
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    9 Steps Guide For Creating Effective Landing Pages

    You create landing pages either for products that are tangible such as electronic items, tyres or cars OR a service, that is intangible in nature such as home maintenance, a teaching course OR a combination of both products and services. But few things remain the same when it comes to creating an excellent and effective landing page.

    We, at GetFriday, have years of experience in creating landing pages through personal experimentation, creativity and, data-based analysis. We have put together important pointers for you to work with and follow whenever you are creating a landing page. Given below is the step-by-step guide to create an effective landing page.

    Step 1: Optimize Your Landing Page For The Keywords

    There are 3 main ways through which a company can try to reach out to their target audience -

  • Search Ads (on Google or any other search media)
  • Display Ads (on Google, social media sites or print media), and
  • Mailers (direct mails to list of prospect clients)
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    5 Steps To Effective Lead Generation For Business Development

    At GetFriday, one in five inquiries is about lead generation. Entrepreneurs and business owners are always seeking ways to generate leads. It could be perplexing to go through this phase of marketing operations. Though this sounds like the simplest of things in a business, this could in fact, be tricky to handle. A constant doubt lingers about the success of efforts and money being spent on lead generation activities.

    Click on the image below to see this blog in SlideShare presentation format.

    GetFriday has been assisting businesses for over 10 years now and we have seen our fair share of lead generation tasks that we have done for our clients – mostly small business owners. From our experiences with lead generation, here we list a few facts –

    Define Your Target Customers
    To begin with, you may ask is this not common sense? How is it even possible to generate a list without defining your target customers? Well yes, it is true most business owners define their target customers at the outset, but there are some who don’t. For instance, the common mistakes that could take place are – you may have asked for business development manager but instead, received an application from a marketing manager. The list may not distinguish the difference. Or instead of listing all dental surgeons in your area, you may have listed all the general surgeons in your area.

    Defining the target customer while generating leads must include a clear point-wise description of leads required and a list of points that state “don’ts”. A list with email address generic to firms eg: info@useless.com will not serve any purpose for you. Ensure you give clear instructions to search for alternate contact points. A good and clear definition of leads would look something like this -

    1. Law firms within radius of 100 km of Greenville
    2. Law firms must have employee strength of 10 – 15 people.
    3. 1st preferred contact point is senior attorney.
    4. 2nd preferred contact is junior attorney.
    5. 3rd preferred contact is procurement officer.

    It Is A Hard-Work To Collect These Lists – Gather The Right Tools
    GetFriday has been in this business for 10 years now. And we can vouch that lead generation is hard work. But there are smart ways to handle this. There are ways through which, one can verify email addresses collected and tools that can help verify zip code authenticity. Databases could also be carefully mined for lists and tools like MS Excel can be employed to predict and source the most probable email ids.

    In case you delve into this without experience, you will surely learn it over time. But the cost of expensive time spent on this activity will not be worthwhile for your business. Instead, you would be doing a better job designing the marketing campaign details and fixing the operations for new customers that could be acquired through these lists.

    Is It Possible To Buy Your Way Through?
    Yes, you could buy your way through. If your business is a B2B, then you are lucky. The list may after all work. But if your list is B2C then you could end up annoying a lot of unknown people. All it does is exasperate people for having received one more mail from you, trying to sell something.

    If you are a business owner, you might relate to the analogy we have used here. How do you feel when you receive another mail about “best SEO service” or to source your products from some rural province in China? You would probably hire a virtual assistant right away to delete those e-mails even before you see them. Some GetFriday clients actually hire us for this! To delete those annoying, spam mails.

    So, why would the recipients of your mailing list feel any different? It fits Albert Einstein’s definition for insanity “doing the same thing again and again expecting a different result”.

    Generate A Long List
    It is mandatory that you generate a long list. The longer the prospect client’s list, the better the chances of success. Let us explain.

    Email campaigns and social media campaigns are about reaching your target audience at the right moment with the right offer. You can get your product offering right, but cannot predict the right moment. For example how do you predict the need for “buying shoes” or “buying handbags”? It is true there are seasonal increases in the sales of products. An example would be table ware sales before thanksgiving as people prepare to entertain family and friends. But the right moment cannot be predicted for most products and services.

    A larger leads/email list could increase chances of success by increasing the probability of reaching the right people at the right moment.

    Hire Virtual Assistants To Do The Work
    If you are a business owner or entrepreneur attempting to research and generate leads, the cost of lost time will be much higher for you. It is better to hire professionals to do this work. In case you still feel you must do it yourself, spend at least 10 minutes listening to this podcast “9 habits to stop now”, by Tim Ferris -http://fourhourworkweek.com/2014/06/16/not-to-do-lists-drugs-and-other-productivity-tricks/ .

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    Industry News: Emerging Education Trends in Australia

    The education industry is seen by governments around the globe as an increasing contributor to a country’s national wealth and economic development. This blog details the most significant emerging trends in the education landscape in Australia and how it is becoming the most preferred choice for international students at the Bachelor’s Pass level, Master’s Coursework and Master’s Research level.

    Statistics published by the Australian Government Department of Education and Learning show that the highest number of students arriving in Australia for higher education come from South-East and Central Asia; particularly, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and India.

    The reports show that there has been a major leap in the influx of Indian students coming into the country for higher education, with a staggering 47.6% increase from the year 2013. This makes India one of the largest exporters of international students, following China and followed by Malaysia.

    Though Iraq, Egypt and Nepal don’t fall under the top 5 countries that have outbound mobile students to Australia; all three countries have shown a relatively significant increase in the number of students between the years 2013 at 2014, with figures at 51.8%, 40% and 33.8%, respectively.
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    ‘Kaizen’ – How It Is Helping Us… And You!

    In the 10 successful years of virtual assistance operations, Get Friday’s client base has been growing at an exponential rate and benchmarks itself on efficiency. With 14 dedicated virtual assistant teams handling clients from across 60+ countries, Get Friday’s VA’s are working round the clock to make sure that all tasks outsourced by clients are executed with unfailing precision and deadlines are strictly adhered to.

    Being the longest running VA company in the world, comes with its share of perils. Operational effectiveness is paramount to maintain the satisfaction levels of clients. And with competition looming, it has become even more important to become effective operationally and turn it into a competitive advantage, which cannot not be replicated easily.

    With this in mind, the term “continuous improvement” started to resonate within teams at GetFriday. This is the story of two such teams, GMT (UK) virtual assistance team and FE (Australia) small business team. Both these teams managed to bring and implement a globally recognized quality tool at GetFriday.

    What Is Kaizen?
    For the benefit of those of you who are unaware about Kaizen, here is a brief explanation of the philosophy -

    It is a Japanese philosophy that aims at ‘eliminating waste’ in the organization, without large capital investments. The word literally translates to ‘change’ (kai) ‘good’ (zen).” Any activity that does not add value to customer is a waste and needs to be eliminated. The overall objective being continuous small improvements.

    Identification of Non Value Added Activities:

    Every Wednesday, the teams meet to identify the Non-value added activities that stops them from delivering quality results on time to clients.

    Some example of Non value added activities identified and eliminated are listed below. This added to small continuous improvements within the teams and results began to show.

    1. The pending emails were identified as waiting inventory. It was decided to generate a daily report on the number of emails to be responded to. These emails usually are customer interactions. Elimination of this waste had immediate positive effect on the satisfaction level and responsiveness within the team.
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