EFP 44: Building A Profitable Business Through Leveraging The Philippines

Justin Cooke

April 25, 2013

A few weeks ago, Joe and I hosted our Philippines mastermind right here in Davao City. In addition to getting (and giving) some great feedback about our businesses, we had the chance to sit down for a round table discussion with Chris from ChrisDucker.com and are sharing that conversation with you here today.

Leveraging Your Business Using the Philippines

There’s literally nobody we know that is more involved in outsourcing to the Philippines than Chris and it’s always great to be able to get together and swap war stories. Today, we wanted to share with you some of our most successful experiences and tips when it comes to leveraging the Philippines to grow and scale your business. This episode is filled with value-bombs and is a must-listen!

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

Direct Download – Right Click, Save As

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Our latest teambuilding, island-hopping extravaganza!
  • Working through cultural differences with your virtual team
  • Key strengths that are unique to the Philippines
  • Mythbusters: The Super VA
  • Blending onshore/offshore staff (and how to make it work)
  • Our answer to the “sending jobs to foreigners” question


  • Chris @ ChrisDucker.com – Tips and strategies from a guy who is absolutely CRUSHING IT here in the Philippines.
  • Virtual Staff Finder – Chris’s Virtual Assistant “matchmaking service” that pairs up skilled/talented VA’s with growing businesses.
  • 2 new 5-Star itunes reviews – A big shout and thank you to our latest iTunes reviewers!
  • James Schramko – James has 80+ VA’s at work for him in the Philippines and has one creating his unique, awesome images for all of his posts.
  • Spotify – Our ninja tip for using Spotify music services outside of an approved country.

And a big shout to Ryan from PublicSpeakingMan.com for giving us an awesome video review for IntelliTheme…check it out!

Have you used virtual assistants from the Philippines to grow your business? Have any tips you’d like to share? Let us know on Twitter or feel free to share your story in the comments!

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  1. Julia says:

    Hi Guys,

    Nice episode and quite a few new insights.
    Apart from odesk/elance or the mentioned virtual staff finder – what would be your favourite services or websites to find VAs?
    Do you have specific suggestions or recommendations?

    Thanks in advance

  2. kenyon says:

    I recently discovered you guys and thrilled. ive been based in the phlilippines for 3 years now, and recently started up a consulting business as well as just two days ago my first call center. starting small but thinking big. its great to hear guys out here who are real and sharp and doing good things, as you know its not easy to find. I am based in manila though. i see so much opportunity here my mind can’t rest. im am really excited to be breaking into this biz. ive been in show biz out here for the last few years. this pod cast as well as the others is right on. you guys are great.
    i am in davao regularly, now even, do you have any get to gethers soon. i love to meet in person.
    thanks again for doing what you do

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Awesome, Kenyon!

      You’ve been in showbiz in the Philippines? That sounds pretty interesting…would like to hear more about that!

      Yes…a ton of opportunity in Asia over all and specifically the Philippines. The PI beat out China last quarter in terms of GDP growth…I really think the country is in a great position for explosive growth in the next few years!

      • kenyon says:

        Thanks for getting back Justin,
        Ya i got allot of experience here in the film, tv and modeling biz. allot of pretty crazy stories about just how unorganized it is too haha. but allot of great contacts came of it, but its certainly not anything i can rely upon for the future. I have been to every Asian country and your right the Philippines has something special, in quality of life and lifestyle design, as well as opportunity. look forward to diving deeper into your work, and making some great new connections.
        Thanks guys for what your doing

    • Steve says:

      Hello Kenyon..Good luck with your venture. I have a similar goal and wanted to discuss the possibility of collaborating with you.
      [email protected]


      • kenyon says:

        sounds great steve,
        Building a solid network of like minded people is very important, specially out here, where we are the minority.

  3. I second the “throw your VA a curve once in a while” assertion. You may end up with an assistant that’s competent in an area he/she never thought about before, even though it actually isn’t that far from their core competence. Last year I worked with a Pakistani VA who very quickly got the hang of spintax and saved me hours of precious time each week.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Totally agreed, Gus. It’s great to find hidden skillsets your team has that you didn’t know about!

  4. Joe Norton says:

    Nice episode guys! I like hearing more about outsourcing, very interesting stuff. I’ve had mild success going through sites like odesk and elance. Nice to hear about other options. Anywho, good post – keep’em coming!

    • Joe Magnotti says:

      Thanks Joe, we’ve been lucky in that we had exposure to outsourcing early on. So it was easy to leverage that later in our online business. Hopefully you can learn from us so you don’t make the same mistakes we did when we started.

  5. ilias diamantis says:

    Hey guys , what’s up ?

    It was a pleasure to hear all three of you .
    I have finally decided to pull the trigger and hire . Being a control freak all my life, even the idea of delegating tasks makes feel weird to say the least . But I understand, that if I want to expand my business , I will have to do it .

    Anyway , we’ll see how it goes .

    Be healhty and smile.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Thanks, Ilias! You were at that meetup in Berlin, eh? The DC guys can be pretty convincing that hiring is the way to go, hehe.

      Keep in mind that it’s a learning experience and it may take some time to find the right people and get the engine running. Even if your first experience doesn’t work out so well, keep it up…it’s THE best way to build out a true biznass.

      Best of luck!

      • ilias diamantis says:

        Thanks for the advice Justin . I’ll keep it in mind .
        DCBER was an amazing experience . I left with a plenty of ideas . And inspiration .
        Unless something terribly wrong goes , I’ll be in DCBKK .
        See you there . :)

  6. Taylor White says:

    Nice to see the change recently from Adsense Flippers to Empire Flippers.

    We currently employ a few female VA’s from the Philippines and while it has taken some work finding team members that fit – its definently worth the time investment.

    I find its very important hold Skype (voice) interviews, weekly (voice) meetings, and to make sure VA’s know exactly what you expect from them. Once you build up some trust – then feel free to challenge them as Chris recommends.

    While I would agree “most” Philippine VA’s speak English well – a much bigger percentage than you might imagine don’t like actually using voice – just writing. Make sure in the interview process you make Skype voice calls mandatory.

    If they come up with some excuse why they can’t (head set broken, boyfriend won’t let them, etc) its most always because they lack the confidence to use voice.


    • Justin Cooke says:

      You’re spot-on about the reason they may be uncomfortable talking with you over Skype. If they know their English is a bit off they’re likely embarrassed about it. I always like to mention it upfront and let them know they’re MUCH farther along than me…they likely speak 2-3 language and I only speak one! (with a bit of Spanish, hehe) That helps to ease their worry…

      • iain says:

        I never thought of something so simple, but when you’re dealing with a different culture there are bound to be some things you need to think differently about.

        Justin, that sounds like a great way to get them to relax a bit and not to be shy.

        I haven’t hired a VA, but it is something that I like the idea of. I would have to go through the things that I don’t sit down and do and see what a VA could do.

        Great podcast gents. Look forward to the next one.

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