So excited you’re on this journey with me in subcontracting. We’re turning the corner and this You Tube video allows me to give you the tour of where we’re turning the corner. It comes down to tips, networking, podcasts and dedication to help you turn your time into profits with the subcontracting concept. Take a look.
In the past decade, small and bigger businesses have turned to subcontracting for a series of benefits. When deciding to subcontract, businesses save money. A subcontractor may seem more expensive than a regular employee, but in the long run it saves businesses money.
My passion is helping businesses make the right decision when subcontracting. You can turn to me for support and advice either as a business owner who needs to subcontract work, or a subcontractor looking for the work. And one thing I truly understand is that doing business is all about the right people. Especially in a service-based business, virtual, or brick and mortar. One cannot grow a business without its most valuable commodity: people. Whether employed full-time, per project or per a period of time, the right job will be done by the right people.
This may sound incredibly simple and true, yet one thing that I have learned is that business owners who take their team seriously grow. Without showing dedication, trust, and a personal side, your business will go no where. Although I have been “away” from my audience so to speak for a little while, I have observed, helped, and learned a lot during this time. And I am very excited to be back sharing from my experience with you.
The subcontracting business is a living and breathing thing, like any other business.
So, what has happened lately to bring more value to the idea of subcontracting? Below you will find my major conclusions after this hiatus.
1. One shift that I have noticed, is that the perception of outsourcing has changed and improved considerably. Outsourcing has continued to acquire a positive aura, and businesses understand that outsourcing can be done locally, at a state-level or nationally, it does not have to mean going overseas. The advantage of outsourcing?
Outsourcing is a cost that only occurs when you need help, rather than being a regular cost. In addition, it saves businesses from paying a number of fees, like employment insurance, social benefits and union fees.
2. Virtual assistance has become more and more popular. Depending on the industry, “virtual help” is sought and valued. But what does it mean to be a Virtual Assistant? Being a Virtual Assistant subcontractor means that an experienced Virtual Assistant hires you to complete projects that they have under contract.
3. Increased product quality and problem prevention. I feel these two go hand-in-hand. Furthermore, as the selection process is rigorous, choosing the right subcontractor will guarantee a quality product that will meet all expectations. Remember that contractors are specialized in their area; and this is where I come in place, as well, making sure you will be connected with the best subcontractor, or the right business, depending on your role.
Another wonderful thing that I have experienced, is the endless opportunities! In the subcontracting world, when one door closes other doors open. Although I have witnessed the retirement of a long-time customer of 10 years, I counted my blessings, and looked for new clients. And my perseverance has paid off! Which brings me to the reality of transitioning from working outside the home full-time to coming home and working remotely, providing subcontracting services.
You too are probably in love with being a part of a team that creates success. What has worked for you? How are you creating new client opportunities? Before you share your thoughts, I can tell you what has worked for me: Networking. One of the organizations that I belong to is the International Virtual Association of Virtual Assistants (IVAA). Rather than reinventing the wheel, the members share their “a-ha” moments and tips. Using Linkedin, I acquire new clients consistently and have the opportunity to work on exciting projects, all the time.
If you are in need of advice or resources, feel free to reach out and I will make sure to get those resources ready for you. Also, for any questions or suggestions specific to subcontracting, email me at email@example.com
When it comes to side hustles, we all want to find something that will last. It’s absolutely possible, and it’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I’m reflecting on my journey as I approach my tenth year of being a part-time virtual service provider. Don’t get me wrong, things haven’t always been a breeze. Nothing starts out perfectly, and there will always be periods of trial-and-error while you figure things out. But if you keep persevering, as I have, things will start to work out, and even prosper. Lately I’ve been gaining more clients, but without adding on more work, and best of all, I’m enjoying what I do. This is precisely what I’ve aimed for, and it’s in reach for you, too!
Many of you know that my virtual service niche is subcontracting. This grew as I saw the need for subcontracting: how it can help a business grow, increase profits, and bring greater satisfaction. So, that’s what I decided to focus on. Over the last ten years, I’ve been amazed by the various individuals I’ve met.
First of all, there’s my mentor Diane Hess, who offers a variety of virtual services and has taught me so much along the way. Her experiences have been instrumental to my own success. Additionally, I’m grateful that my first client is still with me after seven years. He’s an older gentleman who owns a virtual desktop company, and I’ve gained valuable knowledge by working with him. And finally, my most recent client has taught me about social media management, which I didn’t have the skills for in the past. All three have led me into places I’ve enjoyed learning from, and I plan to continue to improve myself.
Without people like that (whether it’s clients, networking groups, or the like) you won’t get anywhere in business. To gain the most value, you also want to teach others. Even just sharing the story of how you got started can lead to interesting and beneficial discussions. An interchange of encouragement and knowledge can lead to big steps in terms of growing your business. Most recently I was able to be on the OIVAC (Online International Virtual Assistants Convention) committee with Sharon Williams, of The 24-Hour Secretary. Now that was a huge step for my business! It led to networking with even more people, widening my circle of opportunities, and being able to learn from their expertise, as well as sharing my own.
For myself (and this may be the case with you too) this supplements my income, rather than being the bread-and-butter of my family. My full-time outside job enables my family to have health insurance, which is an important benefit for us. But this side hustle has given me so much freedom when it comes to spending time with my family. It’s part of why I’m able to visit Mackinac Island this summer, both for our 20th wedding anniversary, as well as for my 10th business anniversary.
Don’t be afraid to start out small, like I did, and slowly build your side hustle into something that will bring you significant gains in the end!
Heather Ann Havenwood, is a serial entrepreneur and is regarded as a top authority on digital marketing, sales coaching, and online publishing business strategies. Heather Ann has been named Top 50 Must Follow Women Entrepreneur’s for 2017 by Huffington Post. She is also called Chief Sexy Boss™ (from her Amazon BEST SELLER book Sexy Boss™ How Female Entrepreneurship is Changing the Rule Book and Beating the Big Boys and others call her an ‘Icon Creator’ or a ‘Wizard Behind the Curtain’. In 2006 she started, developed and grew an online information marketing publishing company from ground zero to over $1 million in sales in less than 12 months. Starting without a list, a product, a name or an offer, Heather Ann molded her business partner into a successful guru now known as an expert in his field. She has instructed, coached and promoted hundreds of entrepreneurs leading them down the path to success in building a lucrative business from their knowledge and leveraging it online.
Heather Ann currently is the Author of many books including Sexy Boss™ How the Empowerment of Women are changing the Rulebook for Money, Success and Sex and The Game of Dating and How to Play it: A rule book for divorced men stepping back into the game. (Found on Amazon)
Heather Ann is now a nationally syndicated radio show host of ‘The Win’ where she shares her incredible story of success and loss on the entrepreneur journey, and her true happiness in a completely compelling and vulnerable way that audiences relate to and always learn from. She talks about achieving ‘The Winners Edge’, from “losing it all’ and discovering her true passion in owning her own businesses and serving her clients by helping them achieve their goals.
Heather Ann Havenwood is a smart and savvy business woman who is now stepping out from behind the curtain to educate, enlighten and empower ALL entrepreneurs to grow or start an online business and live a fearless and fulfilled life.
Be You! Be REAL! Be the BOSS of your LIFE!
As an online service provider, it’s important that we all share resources, tools, and networking tips with each other. So, that’s what I’m going to do today! In the past I’ve talked about a few conferences and organizations that I’ve invested money into. I choose that word, rather than “spent” money on, because it truly has been an investment in my business, and in my future. I’d like to talk about why they have been so beneficial to me, and give you something to consider for yourself.
One of my favorite organizations is the International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA). I joined about 6 months ago and I’ve found that the cost is extremely reasonable and there’s a vast amount of education and resources to draw from. After all, we want our businesses to constantly propel forward, rather than being stuck in a stand-still. Sometimes taking advantage of something like this is exactly what we need to progress.
One of the biggest benefits has been what they call Coffee Chats. IVAA’s website describes them as, “An informal chat where you can get answers to your business questions from others in your field.” Oftentimes organizations have online discussion groups, Facebook groups, Twitter chats, or the like. What’s unique with this is that it’s a great opportunity to chat casually with whoever is on at the time. You can either ask questions, or bring your own expertise. You could even do both! It’s also a wonderful way to get to know other virtual service providers, and possibly link up and help each other.
The resources they provide are varied and will help any entrepreneur, regardless of your niche. A few of those benefits are online and offline summits, training opportunities, monthly experts, peer discussions, and so much more. One of my favorite is their “Filing Cabinet” which is a library containing ready-made forms and templates that’ll take the guesswork out of it for you.
I highly recommend you check out their site and see what other benefits are included with membership. In the near future I’ll go over some of those in more detail. Remember: these organizations are more than spending money – they are a valuable investment!
I’m very excited to share this post with you this month. Let me explain why. As virtual service providers, we are often starved for resources that’ll help us expand our business. We want to learn how to avoid making big mistakes, the best tips for our particular niche, and much more. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s hard to find those resources.
This is what Savvy Subcontracting is all about. I’m here to supply you with helpful resources, such as my Virtual Team 360 podcast. Recently I’ve been researching ways for you to expand your business and improve or add to your current skill set. I came across a site that is providing professionals with subcontractors who will fit their specific needs, as well as projects and opportunities for subcontractors themselves. This is something I’ve been successful in, so I thought this website was a perfect resource to offer here.
VirtualVocations.com is a telecommute site which, according to their website, leads to jobs that “offer real pay for real work.” What’s amazing is that they do all the hard work for you. Besides from providing access to potential jobs and team members, they hand-screen it all. It frees up your time while also easing your mind about whether you’ve found a quality, reliable person to work with.
All you have to do is create a profile and search for what you need. Whether you’re looking for a project, or for a subcontracting team member, there’s something there for you. Additionally, Virtual Vocations has many e-courses and valuable downloads that will add to your current knowledge, and teach you some new things too! You can choose to receive alerts when new job opportunities in your field arise, save jobs you’re interested in to return to later, and upload your job application documents to easily apply for projects. It’s really easy to keep things organized.
You can pay for a monthly subscription, as well as try it out for free first to see what you think of it. The real value, I believe, is that they have done their homework, so to speak. They did all the screening and research, so you don’t have to. That’s extremely valuable, especially when you’re a busy professional who might be starting up their business on the side while still balancing a full-time job outside the home. Or you might be a parent who is often distracted from work by your family. Perhaps you simply don’t want to spend your time doing hours of fruitless searching.
Virtual Vocations makes everything easier, and what virtual service provider doesn’t want that? I’m so glad I came across this site and can share it as yet another resource here on Savvy Subcontracting. Be sure to check out the Resources tab for more! And subscribe to my blog so that you stay up-to-date with all the best virtual resources.
You likely enjoy your work very much. You’ve had success in certain areas, but you want to grow more. And even though you know you’re providing for your clients, if something happened to you, they’d be hung out to dry. So is it worth subcontracting?
You need to examine your own skills, time, and resources to decide whether you’re giving clients the full scope of what they need. Additionally, do you want to expand your business? Likely the answer is yes. By contracting with other experts, you can utilize their specialized skills and put them to work. The burden will not be on your shoulders alone. They benefit by being able to do work they love, and you reap benefits like knowing your clients will always be taken care of.
Expand Your Niche
Have you fleshed out who your ideal client would be? Knowing this will enable you to know what services they will need. Look at your current clients: are they your ideal client? If so, what needs do they have that you aren’t fulfilling? Perhaps you ghostwrite for their blog but they also need help managing their website. If you don’t have the skills for that, you can’t offer them this additional service. But if you have a web designer whom you subcontract with, you give clients the ease of adding this service, rather than the hassle they’d have going out to look for someone separately.
Your business was founded on a particular niche that you excel in. But can you expand your niche? By adding to your team you offer your clients a skill that you either can’t do, or don’t offer at the moment. Pass the work off to a subcontractor so you can focus on big picture things!
Rescue Small Businesses
No matter the size of a business they all need various types of services, ranging from web design, customer service, administrative tasks, and general day-to-day operations. You could be the go-to person for each of these, or a “one-stop shop” which will draw busy professionals to you. No one wants to spend unnecessary time and effort looking for a large group of separate people who can perform each of these tasks. If they can see you as someone they trust, who presents them with quality work, then they will turn to you for these additional services.
Virtual Assistants Using the Concept
On my podcast, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to interview a number of virtual assistants who are using subcontracting to further their businesses. One such professional was Bobbi-Jo, founder of Canadian Virtual Gurus. Once she discovered the benefit of utilizing just one or two subcontractors, she decided to expand into a full multi-VA company. She’s now able to offer many services, including web design, bookkeeping, social media marketing, transcription, and more.
Another podcast guest was Lisa Kolb, founder of Augusta Virtual Assistants. She began her business in 2011 with just her and her daughter. Over time she’s acquired an entire team who each specialize in a particular field. In this way, she’s able to work with many different types of business owners.
These are just two examples of the many people I’ve interviewed. These subcontracting success stories are very common! It could be you who, in time, is an example for others to look to.
Seek More Clients
When you have subcontractors to back you up and help you out, you’ll have the ability to seek out more clients. Don’t limit yourself! When you speak with prospective clients, or even casually with other professionals on various forums, etc., educate them on how the subcontracting concept benefits them.
Take a Break & Keep Your Biz Running
Now that you’ve assembled a team and have a sure and steady stream of work coming in, you can relax and enjoy things. Get back to the basics of why you started your business and reference the big picture, bringing fresh eyes to your overall plan. Take a week off and spend time with your family, or even take just a couple days off to pamper yourself, without worrying that your business will fall apart. The revenue will continue to come in.
As a final point, remember that you should continue to promote yourself. Put yourself out there, network, join forums, and find opportunities to share why your business concept is beneficial. Only by being persistent, as well as honest, will you achieve the level of success you desire.
The dream of being an online business owner began while I was on maternity leave with my daughter. After hours of research and lots of phone calls, nothing worked out. However, I eventually found a business mentor who took the skills I already had, and what I’d learned from my experience as a bookkeeper, and helped me find my own path. This is when my niche, subcontracting, was born. I’ve become the go-to person providing subcontracting resources for service providers and virtual assistants. After regularly listening to relevant podcasts, I was inspired to create my own Savvy Subcontracting podcast. Over the years it has connected me with some of the best businesses in the virtual service industry. They’ve complimented and expanded my services. Some of their resources are books, podcasts, coaching, mentoring and tools. Services I’ve learned to love continue to be online bookkeeping, creating and maintaining Excel spreadsheets, web research, and my podcast. Now I’m able to supplement income and continue to work on becoming a full-time virtual business owner. This will enable me to raise my kids and show them that a passion can become reality.
What does the New Year mean to you? For me, it’s time to look over the previous year and see what I can improve on for the future. It’s common for people to set resolutions, whether big or small, or to think of ways to challenge themselves. If you think you really did a great job, you might not have significant changes to make.
That’s not my case, however! Looking forward, I want to grow my virtual business, while also becoming healthier and enjoying my everyday life. In order to do that, I’ve set a new challenge for myself. This is something I mulled over and thought was a goal that’d be very helpful for increasing my overall productivity. And I’d like you to come along the journey with me!
I’ve decided to complete an audiobook challenge. I love to read but I don’t have much time for it. Between my duties as a mom, running my small business, and working outside the home, I find myself falling asleep whenever I sit down with a book. I miss out on things I want to learn from them, as well as the simple enjoyment of it. However, I enjoy listening to audiobooks, which is a great solution, and have wanted to listen while going for walks. This doubles my productivity! But I’m falling short with the walking aspect. So, I’ve decided I’ll only allow myself to listen if I’m walking.
I’m excited for this challenge because I have many books that are on my list to read, ranging from personal favorites to business books. There’s one that many people have talked about that I’d like to listen to, which is The Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. A business book on my list is Sexy Boss by Heather Havenwood. There are a variety of business owners who’ve shared their journeys and how they grew their virtual businesses into something bigger and better. I’m inspired by the success of others, and it motivates me to persevere even when things are tough.
I thrive on accountability, and I’m sharing this with you in the hopes that it will help me stay on track. Let’s see what I can do in 2017 in order to find more joy in life and grow my business. And how about you – do you want to do this challenge with me? Or what goals have set of your own? Please share. Together we can push forward into a positive and productive 2017!
This year I chose to join a well known organization in the virtual assistant industry, IVAA. This video shares what you can gain from doing the same. Looking forward to networking with you there.
Carol created Essential VA Solutions after a 20 year career assisting small business owners with their bookkeeping and administrative tasks in the manufacturing, construction, healthcare, and retail management sectors.
During this time, I developed extensive experience in business planning for small business start-up and expansion.
Through my focus, organizational abilities, and commitment to lifelong learning, I proved myself to be a reliable, trustworthy, and skilled partner in business relationships.
I bring this same dedication to the small business owners that I serve through my own company today.
I seek clients who are self-employed, sole practitioners whose businesses are growing and are finding themselves overwhelmed and pulled in many different directions. People who are comfortable communicating via email and/or internet and delegating work.