View Full Version : Outsourcing
05-08-2007, 03:47 AM
Just a quick bit of info for those interested in the concept of outsourcing tasks to virtual assistants.
I contacted "Your Man In India" which Timothy mentioned in his book. As it turns out, they've branded a sister company for the kinds of tasks that we're talking about. It's called GetFriday (http://www.getfriday.com)
So far, just the process of setting up an account (and the question/answer dialogue involved) doesn't seem to reflect the kind of efficiency that I would want in the service. (You can't set up an account online or download a signup sheet. You have to email them. After three emails and two phone calls, I finally got a signup sheet which I have to fax back.)
With that said, I'm willing to believe that the company hasn't gotten this popular by being this inefficient so my situation might have just been a fluke. Nonetheless, I'm going to sign up for the service and try it out with some basic personal tasks (researching airfare for a trip to Sydney, checking for availability of rental homes in Scottsdale, AZ, etc.)
This is my first post on this board and I don't know how "busy" it will be....but if anyone would like to know how "outsourcing" works for me, you can drop me a note at tony @ tonyrush.com (remove spaces).
To your success!
05-08-2007, 05:30 AM
I filled out the form.. faxed it back.. and haven't heard anything in over a week and a half.
I've given them up for dead and found another company that I'm in the process of trialling.
The only thing is that now they have my credit card number and can charge it an any time. :mad:
05-08-2007, 06:08 PM
I emailed VServe Solution two days ago, but no response yet. Has anyone actually been able to establish a relationship with one of these companies and if so, what was your experience. I am anxious to get this set up, but it seems inefficient for me to make a load of phone calls or send a bunch of emails if someone else has already paved the way. I think Get Friday is too expensive for the pay as you go service and I'm not sure how much I will use it yet, so I don't want to sign up for a monthly service.
05-08-2007, 06:51 PM
Is it really too expensive? The Pay-As-You-Go service is only $10 a month and you pay $15/hour billed in 10 minute increments ($2.50 for every ten minutes they work on one of your tasks.) Unless you need a VA enough to justify going with one of the larger plans, it seems to me to be a pretty affordable way to offload some of the mundane tasks that can be done by someone else.
Example...we're looking at renting a house for a month in Scottsdale, AZ later this year. We'll also require a rental car while we're there. If I can pay GetFriday $30 to do a couple of hours' research to tell me what my available options are.....that frees up a lot of time and energy that I can invest in something more worth my while.
Anyway, I understand your point....we all have to make our own determinations about what this "outsourcing" is worth. For me, as a new customer just exploring what all I CAN outsource....I think $15/hour is well worth it.
05-08-2007, 10:21 PM
I'm in the process with setting up outsourcing some data entry tasks with another company for $3.50 an hour.
You can find quite a few companies that do VA work by checking out eLance. Find a job request that is for a VA on eLance and then check out the folks that have responded. Many of them have their URL in their profile.
Some of them are quoting as low as $2 an hour for data entry work.
For some reason I could not get great results on Google for this kind of company.
05-09-2007, 05:17 AM
After listening to the chapter on outsourcing I too contacted Your Man In India and found out about their Get Friday branded service. Yes, it was slightly more cumbersome to sign up than I would have liked. No online signup form. Everything was handled through email. But the response was certainly timely.
I emailed them last Sunday evening. I received an email the next day answering my original questions. Monday evening I sent an email expressing my desire to signup. Tuesday morning I had the signup form waiting for me with a toll free fax number to send it back, which turned out to be the only major snafu. I was on the road and j2.com was unable to connect to their fax machine. But there was an 800 number I called which was immediately answered by someone who quickly gave me an alternative - send the information to an email address without my credit card security code and someone would call me back the next day for that bit of information.
Right from the start, Get Friday emphasized security and that my credit card information would only be seen by a supervisor. Of course, that doesn't mean all that much but realistically my credit card info has been given to hundreds of people in the past without incident. Plus I use an American Express that provides sufficient protection in the event that there's a problem.
So on Wednesday I was a client of Get Friday and received a User Manual and introductory email from my PA, Helen. Get Friday uses a team approach and Helen will be my primary contact. Her English is very good - both in writing and in speech. This was definitely something I was concerned with.
The first couple of tasks I assigned were pretty simple. Arrange airfare and hotel to a conference. Buy a pair of shoes. Buy a new A/V receiver. These tasks were handled promptly and conveniently. I fully expect there to be a learning curve on both parts and a key is to completely communicate your expectations right from the beginning. I'm also trying to share my pet peeves and preferences with the hope that this information will be retained and used without me having to repeat.
I now have Helen helping me with a job posting on multiple sites. Definitely a step up in complexity and the first real test of this service. But from my small sample size I'm confident it will be handled professionally and expediently.
So in sum, I do think they can improve their signup process. However, as this is a newly branded service perhaps they'll make some improvements quickly. It wasn't that painful (for me), and my experience so far has been positive.
06-13-2007, 08:46 PM
So, I had to send 2 emails to GetFriday to get someone to respond, and when someone finally did (14 hours after my initial request), he said he was sending my request on to someone else, then proceeded to ask me the same things I filled out in the request form, and sent me their rates, which are clearly listed on their website.
They responded with:
>>Could you please tell us the tasks, would like to delegate. This will help us determine whether we can do it in house or hire external resources to complete the task.
So I sent a reply over 8 hours ago with no response. I'm pretty sure this is NOT the service I'm looking for. Has anyone found a service that actually does what is talked about in the book?
06-14-2007, 01:19 AM
hey keep in mind a lot of these VA are in India, so a response of 14hours ca typical if you are in the states. They are working while you sleep.
06-14-2007, 02:02 PM
They claim to have people working US shifts - and now it's been closer to 24 hours with no response from my second contact.
Remote assistants are only great if they are responsive, and you can trust that they are taking care of you. I don't get that vibe from this company.
Check out the GetFriday blog for an explanation of some of the problems you've experienced:
I'm sure they had no idea how fast Tim's readers would respond to his suggestion of getting a VA.
I've been working with my GetFriday VA for about a month. While it hasn't been perfect (my PA is human), it's worked very well. In fact, one week, my VA was out sick, and I got two people filling in for him to make sure that all my needs were met. Really, if you can have a little patience during the sign-up process, I highly recommend it.
06-24-2007, 06:12 AM
What types of tasks have you been assigning to your Get Friday VA? I've had one for just over a month and am trying to offload more and more.
06-24-2007, 06:24 PM
I had the same poor response from Get Friday. Took 3 phone calls and 3 e mails before I got the sign up form. By then I had found a better solution. The Get Friday people I talked to during calls has such poor English and the connection was so poor it was nearly useless.
I used Elance and found 2 PVA that are really working out well. I've had them do some data entry, PowerPoint presentations and online reasearch. And so far, so good!
I have used ELance to find vendors for some web design work as well and it was outstanding. Take a look at my site: www.TLHInteractive.com
06-24-2007, 07:54 PM
TLH: Just some thoughts as a web designer, in your section listing your hosting plans, the top row reads right to left in order of product cost while the bottom list reads left to right. Since the bottom reads left to right the color codes aren't associated with price.
Your gold, silver, and bronze boxes should represent the quality of the service. By having the colors mean different things in each row it makes the color labels useless. You might think about making the rows similar.
I just realized that the hosting page is under someone elses domain. You might ask them to address that. Your landing page looks very nice and is clean and easy to read.
One last note that you might be interested in. Your email links under the quotes is super easy for spambots to find and quickly you will start receiving mass emails especially with advertising and hopefully a good page listing. Some suggestions are listed at http://www.rickconner.net/spamweb/avoiding.html
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