EFP 48: 8 Characteristics Of A High-Impact Outsourcing Relationship

Justin Cooke

May 23, 2013

1. Wonderfully Successful
2. Horrible Nightmare

When talking to business owners about outsourcing, we’ll inevitably hear a story describing one (or both) of those scenarios. Why are the experiences they had so vastly different?

Joe and I have been on both sides of the fence, both as an outsourcing provider and a customer. We wanted to sit down and go over some of the characteristics seen in successful outsourcing relationships. Much like businesses, some just seem to be more “lucky” than others when it comes to success. In this episode, Joe and I break down those factors that determine luck and share the real deal when building teams of outsourced workers.

8 Traits for a Powerful Outsourcing Relationship

While we talk about this episode through the lens of offshore outsourcing, many of the strategies mentioned work with onshore teams and employees as well.

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

Direct Download – Right Click, Save As

Quotables:

“Can you make me a worthwhile SEO company. You know, just pull it out of your ass?” – Justin – Click To Tweet!

“You’re going to pay either way…you might as well get the most out of the process.” – Justin – Click To Tweet!

“If you want to get through the outsourcing dip faster, you’d better have the training materials ready.” – Joe – Click To Tweet!

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Outsourcing Support – What tasks do YOU wish we could take over that would help your business?
  • Know Thy Process (And document the hell out of it)
  • “It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better”
  • Skill transfer and measuring ROI with outsourcing companies
  • Redundancy and the “Hit By A Jeepney” Policy

Mentions:

  • iTunes Reviews – Wrapping up our niche site giveaway (bribe) this month!
  • Sites For Sale – We have 4 sites for sale right now, ranging from $141 – $348 per month.
  • Niche Site Duel 2.0 – Pat Flynn has launched Version 2.0 of the Niche Site Duel – should be interesting!
  • Episode 17: Skill Transfer Mastery – The BEST way to transfer skills from one team member to another without losing the plot.
  • Yesware.com – Part contact management, part todo list – great for tracking prospects.

Have you had success with outsourcing or do you have a horror story you can share? We’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below or feel free to reach out on Twitter!

 


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Speaker 1:                           Yeah.

Speaker 2:                           Welcome to the Empire Flippers Podcast. Are you sick and tired of gurus who have plenty of ideas but are short on substance? Worried that eBook you bought for $17.95 won’t bring you the personal and financial freedom you long for? Hey, you’re not alone. Join thousands of others in their pursuit of niche profits, without the bullshit, straight from your hosts, Justin and Joe from Empire Flippers.

Justin Cook:                        Welcome to Empire Flippers Podcast. This is episode 48, and I am your host, Justin Cook. I’m here with my business partner extraordinaire, Joe “Hot Money” Magnotti. You got a funny look on your face, buddy, what’s going on there?

Joe Magnotti:                    What’s up with the stuttering in the beginning?

Justin Cook:                        Well, I don’t know, man, I’m struggling today. Anyway, let’s get … let’s talk about the episode a little bit. We’re gonna be going over eight secrets to a high impact outsourcing relationship. So, you know, we’ve been outsourcers for a little while now, Joe, and we’ve definitely used VA services before, and we’ve worked with outsourcing companies in the Philippines when we were in the US. We’ve docked some things out, we’ve made mistakes, we’ve seen mistakes made, we’ve been screwed over, and we wanna talk about those today, to help other people out.

Joe Magnotti:                    Remember those Egyptians?

Justin Cook:                        Oh my God, do [inaudible 00:01:10]. Well, it’s not … Okay, sorry I’ll clarify, we don’t have a problem with Egypt, there’s a lot of people in Egypt that I’m sure do fantastic outsourcing, but the Egyptians that we worked with sucked. Yes, I remember that, it was horrible.

                                                Anyway, before we do that, let’s go over some updates, news and info. First thing, was we got some five star iTunes reviews, buddy.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, hit me up.

Justin Cook:                        Like a boss, Mike D. says, “A great, great, podcast for online entrepreneurs. Found this podcast at just the right time, it’s given me the inspiration and drive that I need to start building niche sites again.”

                                                Got another one from Dave Nico, says, “Get outta my way, Justin and Joe. Man, these guys won’t stop cranking out great actionable content day after day, hope I will find the time to take action. Get outta my way, guys.”

Joe Magnotti:                    Dave Nico, a pizon of the house.

Justin Cook:                        This guy’s fired up, man. Get outta my way fellas. Anyway, that next part I wanna talk about is we’ve got some vetted sites for sale right now on the marketplace. We’ve been pushing them through, we’ve been selling a lot, actually, a lot of the vetted sites over the last couple of weeks.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, we did pretty well with the marketplace. You know, I put some packages up last week, and they sold within our typical 24-48 hours, but we’ve got some good vetted sites out there right now. Actually one of them is one of our previous packages that a customer wanted to sell. So, if you’re interested in that, take a look.

Justin Cook:                        Then also, a bit of good news we got, is we’re closing out the premium eCommerce site we got on the … on our site, on Empire Flippers. Yeah, I know, just crossing those fingers. The deal’s not done, check’s in the mail right? No, they’re working on a deal right now, I actually closed off the Buy Now buttons on that, so you can’t make a deposit or anything, and we’re just, you know, waiting for the deal to go through.

                                                But, it looks good, man. I think it’s gonna go. The buyer looks happy with sites, the sellers are happy, so I think it’s gonna be a good transaction.

Joe Magnotti:                    Contract’s written, I think everything’s pretty much covered. I’m looking forward to the after party.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, buddy, that’s awesome. So, the next part I wanna talk about is I am taking this week off, man.

Joe Magnotti:                    Taking the week off?

Justin Cook:                        I’m off, buddy, no work … Well, okay, well I can’t say no work, actually, I … basically we pushed all of our stuff to next week, the week after, because I’m doing some OAP stuff. So I’ve just been head down, trying to knock through OAP, transfer over all our emails, set up a tagging system. You know, I’m telling you, it’s a lot of work, man, it’s pretty crazy.

                                                I was hoping OAP would be easier, but I don’t know, man, there’s a lot to it. There’s a lot to it. It’s good though, I think it’s really good. It’s gonna be fantastic when everything’s set up.

Joe Magnotti:                    OAP hell, huh?

Justin Cook:                        OAP hell. We do have a bunch of interviews coming up next week, where we’re gonna be interviewed, or be interviewing a bunch of other people. So that’ll be fun, and we’ll have that on the show, and we’ll be on those shows, and we’ll make sure that link up to those.

                                                Other thing I should mention that’s big in the industry right now, is Niche Site Duel 2.0 over at Smart Passive Income. If you haven’t checked it out, you should. The first Niche Site Duel was pretty big and popular, and really kind of paved the way for people building niche sites. It’d be interesting to see how this one shapes the marketplace, and how many new people get involved in niche sites because of the new, or the second round of Niche Site Duel.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I actually was in a Google Plus Hangout the other day, it was a 30 minute hangout, where they’re talking about that, it was pretty cool. They went through what they were gonna try to do, and how they were gonna try to participate in it, so it was interesting.

Justin Cook:                        They’re following along the process, [inaudible 00:04:13] part of it, they’re gonna, you know, share their information as they go along. There’s a lot of people doing that right now, actually, it’s pretty cool. It’s a Renaissance with niche sites right now, I’ve noticed.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I was saying to myself, “I gotta get into this,” but then I was saying, “Oh, I don’t know if I have the time.” But, you know …

Justin Cook:                        So, let’s talk … Before we get into the heart of this week’s episode, last thing I wanna mention is outsourcing products. So, we’ve got one that we’re gonna be putting up here shortly, which is basically, we’re gonna start handling your support tickets. So, if you want to … and it’s gonna be strictly with Zendesk, so if you don’t use Zendesk, we can’t help you.

                                                But basically, we’re gonna sell batches of Zendesk tickets. We will handle those support costs, and there’s gonna be some training component involved with that, but we’re gonna sell batches of Zendesk tickets. If you have any ideas … I mean, the problem is, is that a lot of, you know, early entrepreneurs don’t have the money to support a four or five man offshore team. Honestly, anything less than that, like supporting one VA, it’s just not really worth it to us or to you.

                                                So we wanna start talking about the mini things that you wish someone would just do this for me. If I could just have this done in a regular basis, I’d pay, you know, 200 bucks for one time, or 600 bucks a month to have this handled for me. We wanna hear about that. So let us know in the comments, shoot us an email, Info@empireflippers.com, we’d love to hear about it.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I think it has to be a fairly repeatable process, but even something as open as a Zendesk ticket, I mean, we can figure it out and come up with a good pricing for that.

Justin Cook:                        If we can’t, we’ll let you know too. Podcast editing we can handle, but there are other things, obviously, that would not be good for us. But anyway, shoot us an email, Info@empireflippers.com, we’d love to hear what you have to say.

                                                Let’s get right into the heart of this week’s episode.

Speaker 2:                           This is the Empire Flippers Podcast.

Justin Cook:                        All right, so before we get into this Joe, let’s talk a little bit about the type of outsourcing we’re talking about. Now, we’re talking specifically about offshore outsourcing, but I think a lot of these tips are gonna apply when you’re hiring and onshore team, when you’re hiring staff too as well, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, they apply more to the team level. I mean, if you have a virtual assistant, like you just need one general VA, I’m not sure these apply as much.

Justin Cook:                        Not all of them at least.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, not all of them at least. But, if you are looking to build a team and replicate what you have onshore, these are some good tips to stick to.

Justin Cook:                        All right, so the first point we wanted to make, and this is really your point, Joe, is … and you hammer this home all the time, but know your process, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    I can’t believe how many people we talk to on the phone that just don’t know their process, they haven’t figured it out yet. They have an idea, they think that it could be valuable, but they haven’t never tried it themselves.

Justin Cook:                        Oh I know why. I know why, buddy, ’cause you have these people talking about outsourcing, they say, “Oh, outsourcing is like the second coming, it’s amazing, it’s gonna totally change your business. It’s perfect, it’s, you know, 20% of the cost, and it’s gonna be even better work, and they just overpromise us.” People have these wild expectations that all you have to do is sign businesses to set up a corporation, and then push it offshore, and they’re gonna magically make you a business. That’s just not …

Joe Magnotti:                    You’re so right. I mean, I’ll give you an example. We talked to an MLM, a couple of guys who were part of an MLM group.

Justin Cook:                        Dun, dun, dun.

Joe Magnotti:                    You know what I think about MLM to begin with.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Joe Magnotti:                    But I gave them a shot, right? They wanted us to do SEO for their down line, okay, for the guys that they had signed up.

Justin Cook:                        Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Joe Magnotti:                    They had basically gone out and signed up for all of these SEO courses, and books, and other videos, and all this kind of stuff. They had collected that, and they wanted our staff to go through those SEO courses and tips and tricks, and come up with a process that would magically make their down line rank their websites, and be able to sell their products.

Justin Cook:                        Oh, so basically they just wanna set up a profitable and positive ROI SEO company, by reading a few books.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah.

Justin Cook:                        That’s cool. That’s sweet of them, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    I was amazed on the phone, you know, I said-

Justin Cook:                        Can you make me a worthwhile SEO company? You know, just pull it out of your ass, that would be fantastic.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, when I explained this to them on the phone, they thought that I was the crazy one, and that, you know, you should definitely be able to figure this kinda thing out.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, no, look, I mean, being real here Joe, I mean, the best thing for them to do, if they really wanna do that, they should have an onshore guy that’s an SEO expert that tests it out with some of their down line, and some of their own sites, whatever it is that they’re doing, comes up with a profitable, repeatable, scalable, process, that he can then break down bit by bit. They don’t have to pay him $5,000, $6,000 a month, they can now ship that offshore, piece by piece, and he doesn’t have to do it anymore.

Joe Magnotti:                    Absolutely.

Justin Cook:                        You’re multiplying that guy’s efforts.

Joe Magnotti:                    I mean, we know so many successful SEO companies who have done this, time and time again, onshore, small team onshore, maybe one, two, three guys, and then expanded with 20, 25, people offshore doing the same thing.

Justin Cook:                        There’s no guarantee that you’re gonna find success there. You’re still gonna have hiring problems, you’re still gonna have people that flake out, you’re still gonna have everything else you have. But your chances for success, your luck factor, gets a lot better off.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, you don’t have to worry about the language barrier, not that there’s much in the Philippines, I mean, it’s a little bit better. You don’t have to worry about cultural barrier, you don’t have to worry about distance, time changes, you don’t have to worry about that stuff. You have a guy right there next to you in the office who understands your business, working for you. Use that, hire that guy first, and then expand offshore.

Justin Cook:                        Absolutely. Second point, is it gets worse before it gets better.

Joe Magnotti:                    I love the way you worded this one.

Justin Cook:                        It’s true, man, all right. So, you’re gonna start off outsourcing, and things are gonna get kinda screwy. I mean, you’re gonna … things aren’t gonna work the way you want them to, it’s not … you’re probably gonna end up double paying, ’cause your paying in house and you’re paying for the outsource work, and it’s gonna be a little messy.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, especially if you have a custom process. Look, you have to pay for training, okay? Most outsourcing companies are not gonna just go, “Oh yeah, we’re gonna give you a two months free training while you ramp up.”

Justin Cook:                        Well here’s the thing. They’re gonna charge you some way, ’cause I gotta pay my people. I gotta pay them their salaries, right? So I’m gonna charge you some way. Either you’re gonna pay for training upfront, and we’re gonna, you know, give you the regular deal long-term, or we’re gonna bake it into your price, or we’re gonna bullshit you, and say, “Oh yeah, training’s included.” It’s horrible training, and no one’s involved in the process.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I would be better off paying for the training, because this way the outsourcing company, like ourselves, we have some skin in the game. We know that you’re paying for it, we know that you’re gonna get value out of it, we know we have to get you from training to actually doing the process, as quickly as possible, so that you will stick with us.

Justin Cook:                        It’s similar, you know, ’cause I know some freelancers that do work, and some of their work requires them to do research, right? They have to research the company to really understand the company, so they can actually help the company. Well they have to get paid for that time, and maybe they charge a flat rate, and they’re gonna include that training time, ’cause they’ve done it a bunch of times. If they’re new, maybe they won’t, maybe they’ll charge you an hourly rate for that learning period.

                                                But you’re paying either way, I mean, it’s gonna come out. You might as well … make sure you’re the most of that, ’cause it’s gonna be a much smoother, cleaner, process. It’s still gonna be messy, you’re still gonna spend some money early on, it’s gonna get better after that, though, so you have to basically fight through the dip, right? It’s fighting through the outsourcing dip.

                                                So, third point I wanna talk about is training materials. So, you know, it’s great, now you should at minimum have this, have step one, step two, step three. So you’ve got the process laid out step by step. That’s helpful, and that can work, and sometimes the outsourcing companies, depending on the client for us, we may put that in different mediums. But, I’ll tell you the best way to do it, is to not only have step one, step two, step three, but also have screen casts, right? Have the video walkthrough, have some audio versions, so you can … you know, ’cause people learn differently.

                                                It’s the same reason we put out content. We’re doing a podcast right now, we do blog posts, you know, we’ve done some videos, that’s because people consume content differently.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I think this is a great lead in from the last point, right? If you wanna get over the dip faster with an outsourcing company, you better have the training materials already, because otherwise-

Justin Cook:                        Oh, that’s a great point, Joe.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, otherwise the outsourcing company’s gonna have to come up with those training materials themselves, and they’re gonna have to develop it out of the janky process that you’ve given them scribbled down on the back of a napkin, you know?

Justin Cook:                        It’s not likely to be the way you want the training to be, right? The further removed you get from the source, you know, a bad game of telephone.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, now for high-end sort of processes, some of you might be saying, “Well, how does this apply to a programmer or a designer?” It does, because you still have to think of wire frames, you have to think of the scope of the project. Have you written down everything that you think the piece of software is gonna do? Or the website, how it’s gonna look? You better have that well-described, so that you don’t just get on the phone to them and say, “Oh, make it look very web 2.0-y.” You know, that’s just not a good way to communicate with an offshore team.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, we’re beating up the client a little bit here, and telling you, you know, some of the mistakes we see. But this is what we see on our end, and so we wanted to help out a bit. I think this fourth point is something you should ask the outsourcing agency you’re gonna work with, and what is their process for passing down information, their chain of command, their process for getting skills transferred?

                                                We talked about this, if you wanna check it out, check out episode 17, we talked about skill transfer mastery. We have a specific process for transferring one skill to another person, so that we have the least amount of lost … or loss in the process. Basically, we get into it, but, you know, the five steps are explain, demonstrate, practice, observe, and feedback. Definitely check out that episode, and we talk a lot more about that. But what that does, is it makes sure you get very little data loss between the trainings, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I mean, one of our favorite mentors that we ever worked with came up with this, and he was in the call center business for a long time, and that’s why this is kind of a proven and tested method. We used it-

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, I’m not smart enough going with this, man, this guy used it with hundreds, maybe even thousands of call center agents for AOL, Time, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. Yeah, and then we used it onshore to teach our people how to do stuff, and then-

Justin Cook:                        In the US, and then here.

Joe Magnotti:                    Offshore here in the Philippines.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah.

Joe Magnotti:                    So, it’s a great process, definitely look it up, and make sure that when you’re working with a outsourcing company, that they have something. They don’t have to have the exact same skill transfer process, but as long as they say, “You know, when we’re teaching our people, this is how we do it.”

Justin Cook:                        You know, they say … they may say something like, “Train the trainer. We do have a train the trainer approach.” Well explain their train the trainer. You ask them that, make sure they explain it to you, so that you understand they have a good grasp of how to transfer on skills to other people.

                                                Next point I wanna talk about is measuring ROI from the start. So, here’s the best way to address this, is that, if you don’t start off with a process or a plan in place to measure whether it’s worth it for you or not, you’re not gonna know whether it’s worth it for you or not. You’re not gonna know whether it was successful, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, if you have nothing to compare it to, it becomes very difficult to try to say, “Is this worth it for me?”

Justin Cook:                        So, there are three ways to really compare it, right? The first is, is it profitable for me? It is profitable for me at all, right? Is this worth doing and worth continuing? Second thing is, is it profitable versus having people do it onshore? So, I’ve now pushed this offshore, am I saving more money by what’s … you know, let’s say I had four people in the US, I now have six people in the Philippines, and I had to keep one person in the US managing that team. Is that … Am I getting the same amount of work done? Is it making sense?

Joe Magnotti:                    Money, baby, yeah. You have to start measuring that, and keeping that all in the loop, because you are going to lose some efficiency going offshore. That’s something you really need bake into the equation. You’re not gonna know exactly how much until you offshore it.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah.

Joe Magnotti:                    We’re seen, we usually say about 75%, but don’t … that’s not a magical number. You need to measure it, and figure out over time based on how much the outsourcing company’s charging you, and how much you’re able to get that labor for onshore, if it’s worth it. I mean, if you’re in Utah or Oklahoma, your cost of labor might be very low, you might not need to offshore.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, the third point … or the third thing there, I would say is you wanna make sure that you’re measuring people against each other, so that kinda gives you, lets you know if there’s some weaknesses in the process. So if we have, you know, four agents on this process, they average about 10 per hour, or whatever, whatever it is, and one of them’s doing five or six per hour, what are they doing? They’re watching too much Days of their Lives, or whatever, right? They spend too much time … well, [inaudible 00:16:10] I think is the show name here.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I mean, I love tracking and having spreadsheets over time that give me an idea of the output per hour, because that just tells you who your best agents are, who your worst agents are, and who the guys in the middle. You have a baseline, so you can tell offshore, onshore, what to expect.

Justin Cook:                        Absolutely. So our sixth point is highest value. So you wanna go with the highest value provider, not necessarily the best price.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I think we see people make this mistake all the time, that are outsourcing a team for the first time. They go ahead and they find the cheapest call center that can do it, they find, “Oh, these guys are willing to do dial per hour at three dollars an hour, read my script, they have a dialer, they have a … what else do they need?” I mean, Justin, why wouldn’t that work?

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, okay, so I was thinking about this one a little bit though. Here’s kinda the problem with it, right? So, I’m a customer, and I’ve got two outsourcing houses, one of them’s offering me … you know, they both seem pretty reasonable, they seem pretty responsive to my requests, they seem like both companies I would go with. One is 12 bucks an hour, and the other one is eight bucks an hour, right?

                                                I don’t know … I think that the value they’re gonna deliver is the same, right? So my smartest move is to go with the eight dollar an hour agency. I think [inaudible 00:17:26] the same, why don’t I just go with the cheaper one? ‘Cause it seems pretty … they match up in other areas.

Joe Magnotti:                    Right, but just as we said in the last area, it’s all about ROI. So let’s talk about, you know, we don’t do any voice, but voice is very easy to translate in something like this. If you have a two dollar an hour process and an eight dollar an hour process, well then the eight dollar an hour guy has to convert four times as many deals as the two dollar an hour guy, right?

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Joe Magnotti:                    You’re not gonna know that until you test it out. I mean, if you get on the phone with both these places, and they both seem exactly the same, and one is two and one is eight, I would say something’s up. Either your nose for bullshit is not what it should be, or you should just hire both of them and test them against each other.

Justin Cook:                        Well that leads into our next point, which is gonna be redundancy, right? That we have the whole hit by a [inaudible 00:18:16] thing. You know, if you’re hiring … you’re just looking for a VA, it’s almost always better to hire two. It should be cheap enough to where you can bring on two virtual assistants offshore, if it’s not, then you probably should rethink whether you’re … you should be outsourcing at all.

                                                But try to bring on two. If you can, if you have a process that needs eight people, try to hire two agencies with four people each, right? You can have them kinda battle it out in pods. So now you have competing agencies to make sure you have the redundancy. Also, if one drops off the map and completely shits the bed, you can just transfer it over to the other one.

Joe Magnotti:                    Especially offshore when there’s so many technology issues, you know, there’s so many internet problems.

Justin Cook:                        Typhoons, and-

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I mean, the electricity is-

Justin Cook:                        Sick buffaloes. All kinds of stuff.

Joe Magnotti:                    All kinds of stuff. I mean, there’s always an excuse why the work can’t be done, so I like that idea of having them compete against one another. You know what? I think it’s fair to tell them-

Justin Cook:                        Yeah.

Joe Magnotti:                    Tell them that you, you know, “You are outsourcing eight people, but you’re only gonna get half of my business.”

Justin Cook:                        I like that. You know, as an outsourcing, you think I’m gonna shoot myself in the foot here, but I don’t think so.

Joe Magnotti:                    No.

Justin Cook:                        I’ll take the Pepsi Challenge, you know what I mean? Put me up against another agency, let me just demolish them, right? Then I’ll get all your business.

Joe Magnotti:                    Right.

Justin Cook:                        So, our last point I wanna talk about is agreements in writing, right? Make sure that whatever it is … whatever you talk to them on the phone about, that you have it in the contracts, or in the email, that you have everything kind of fleshed out. This is especially important with, you know, bro deals, or if, you know, a friend of ours is outsourcing to us, or people we’ve known for a long time. We need to protect ourselves and they need to protect themselves by making sure it’s in writing, and everyone understands the deal beforehand.

Joe Magnotti:                    Look, we’re not lawyers, we always tell people this, “This contract is not gonna be written in legalese, it can be written in plain English.” But-

Justin Cook:                        Our contracts are pretty plain too, I mean, they’re pretty straightforward-

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah.

Justin Cook:                        Point by point, I mean, we cover the basic areas, but they’re not this ridiculous … they’re like some terms of service bullshit that you-

Joe Magnotti:                    They’re not-

Justin Cook:                        Click away from.

Joe Magnotti:                    They’re something that you can easily read in, you know, 20 minutes sitting down, and understand exactly what we’re gonna be doing for you. Our contracts are normally based on an hourly basis, but some contracts, you know, maybe they’ll do flat fee per task. Whatever that is, you should make sure that that is clearly defined within the contract, and that you’re understand all the terms. Whether there’s a deposit, if there’s a cancellation fee, if there’s a time to cancel, that kinda thing.

Justin Cook:                        I made the point, and this is particularly more important with the larger the team you have. I mean, yeah, I don’t know, if someone’s hiring a couple of VA’s or whatever, we’re not gonna have this whole back and forth with our attorneys and lawyers, and signing contracts.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, that’s why I was saying don’t get the attorneys involved, you don’t need to get the attorneys involved, just be clear on a piece of paper-

Justin Cook:                        ‘Cause I think more often than not … Here’s the thing, ’cause contracts are more … Both sides aren’t gonna really hold the other one liable in a contract if there’s a bad deal that goes wrong, right? Contracts are better, and more deals are screwed up by not having the … both parties on the same page initially. It’s a disagreement, and our misunderstanding of what’s gonna be done, and what’s gonna happen.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I mean, contracts that we’ve lost … the outsourcing deals that we’ve lost have usually been-

Justin Cook:                        A misunderstanding, yeah.

Joe Magnotti:                    They thought they were getting something else that we thought we were providing.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, so, they walk away from it feeling like we overpromised and underdelivered, right? So, yeah, I mean, that’s why you wanna have it in writing, or a contract in place, so that both parties are very clear on what they’re getting. I think that’s a critical point, and those are our eight points today.

                                                So, let’s go right into our tips, tricks and our plans for the future.

Speaker 2:                           You’re listening to the Empire Flippers Podcast with Justin and Joe.

Justin Cook:                        All right, so we have a tip for you this week, and no plans for the future. We’re talking about Yesware. Not nowhere, Yesware, buddy.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, we discovered Yesware from our good friend Damian Thompson, and, you know, was kinda looking for a way for me and Eric to track our leads, and if they opened the email, and if they didn’t respond to email within two weeks, you know, or two days, or whatever it was-

Justin Cook:                        This is for outsourcing deals-

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, any sort of sales thing, I think this is a great program, plugs right into your Gmail app, and it will do some of the features of Boomerang, some of the features of an old school Outlook program called DidTheyReadIt.

Justin Cook:                        Reportive.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, it will have … Well, it works hand in hand with Reportive, and if you have Salesforce, it’ll actually load the leads into Salesforce as well.

Justin Cook:                        Are you son of a bitch, I’m telling you, we need to sit down, we need to, you know, have a good day where we go over OAP, ’cause that shit rocks. There’s some amazing stuff in there for lead generation, for tracking potential clients, so …

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, Yesware, if you’re listening, can you get this stuff to work with something else than the most expensive CRM product in the world?

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, Yesware, come on, man, help us out here. Hook a brother up, right?

                                                Anyway, so this has been episode 48 of the Empire Flippers Podcast. Thank you for being with us, make sure to check us out on Twitter @empireflippers, and we will see you next week.

Joe Magnotti:                    Bye, bye everybody.

Speaker 2:                           You’ve been listening to the Empire Flippers Podcast with Justin and Joe. Be sure to hit up empireflippers.com for more. That’s empireflippers.com.

                                                Thanks for listening.

Speaker 1:                           Yeah.


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Discussion
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  1. Keith Mander says:

    Best activity that I’ve ever outsourced is bookkeeping. I have a superstar in the Philippines who takes care of it for me; I just upload expense PDFs to a shared Evernote workspace and then she submits it into my accountants software app. It saves time, but more importantly, it gets rid of a seriously boring task. I’m sure others would benefit from such a service packaged as a product.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      That’s an interesting point, Keith. We have a bookkeeper here on payroll as well. Offering her services to others isn’t a bad idea. She’s fairly expensive (comparatively) as she’s a CPA, but maybe we could have her run a team for us. :-)

      • Keith Mander says:

        Right. My VA is also qualified, I believe, but most of the grunt work is just box standard data entry orientated – the VA just needs to be really attention focused and have some smarts to ask the right questions.

  2. I love the tweets you post on the podcasts – beautiful. “Can you make me a worthwhile SEO company. You know, just pull it out of your ass?” hahahaha

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Thanks, James! I’m sure you’ve had something like this requested of you, eh? “Can you, you know…build me a profitable business and give it to me?” :-)

    • Iain Robson says:

      I am with you on that one James. Those little nuggets of information are pretty funny and helpful for some people.

      Also, Justin you mentioned that you wanted a custom search engine a long time ago. Well I don’t know if you found it or not, but I did locate something that you might find interesting. Google has a custom search engine that you can input sites into.

      Not sure if it is exactly what you are looking for but might be worth checking out.

      http://www.google.com/cse/all

      Great job guys.

  3. Look ma I’m Internet Famous!

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