How to grow your travel business by outsourcing and hiring virtual assistant?
If you have a travel business right now that you want to grow, you want to scale it up, you want to earn more money, you want to impact more people, in order to do that successfully, your are going to need help. You can’t do everything yourself. Often times, that’s one of the biggest mistakes and the biggest roadblock that a lot of entrepreneurs face, is they try to do everything by themselves. Sure enough, they’re limiting their growth, their stress, they’re overwhelmed and they’re not able to make as much and automate and have actual freedom in their travel business.
When you’re first starting a travel business, for the most part you’re going to have to do everything by yourself. When you’re first starting it, you’re going to have to play all the positions on a team. You have like a sports team, let’s say it’s like a soccer team, and you’re playing every position. You’re playing goalie, you’re playing forward, you’re playing defence, and you’re having to do everything yourself. That can be useful at the beginning because you might not have the money to hire people. You’re going to be forced to do a lot of things by yourself. Then, hopefully, once you start making money, you can reinvest that money to hire help and have people help you to do a lot of the other positions in your travel business and help you grow more.
At the beginning stages of a travel business to work in it and to do a lot of the stuff yourself because you learn a lot by doing it that way. When you first started your travel business, you used to write books yourself. You used to design covers. You forced yourself to learn graphics design and marketing and SEO and WordPress and blogging. All these different skills. I found that even though it was very challenging to do that and it was a really huge learning curve.
More importantly, when you get to a point where you start hiring and outsourcing different things, you understand these skills and you can effectively train people in your business to help you grow your travel business and do a lot of that stuff for you. You totally get it, You’ve been there but, at a certain point in your business, if you want to grow and scale up, you are going to need help. You can’t do everything by yourself. You are going to need to hire help. There’s a lot of fear. There’s a lot of issues that a lot of entrepreneurs face. A lot of entrepreneurs, they’re control freaks, they need certainty. They’re afraid and they feel like other people can’t do things as well as they might be able to do it themselves.
Oftentimes, you can hire people that are better than you at doing certain things. They’ve specialised and mastered their craft and they can really help you grow even further. In order to effectively scale up and grow your business, you’re going to have to switch from working in the travel business to on the travel business. Being a travel business owner, not a travel business operator. Even better than that is actually being the manager and eventually the owner. Actually having a whole team in place for people to manage and run the operations, the marketing, the customer support and the different elements of your travel business.
That’s always the end goal, is you want to remove yourself from all the majority of the operations in your travel business and you eventually want to be in a position where you are focusing on your strengths, what you’re good at and what you personally enjoy in your travel business. That’s the position that I feel privileged to be in right now in your travel business. You want to remove yourself from it as much as possible.
How do you find a virtual assistant or how do outsource things for your travel business? What do you outsource first? There’s a number of different questions with that. You actually get a virtual assistant training program that goes into a lot of details. You have a link below in the description. It’s primarily for Kindle publishers, for those of you that are publishing on Amazon, selling on Amazon. There is a lot of great advice and tips that can be applied to any business in that program. It’s very useful at the beginning stages to hire freelancers that are based on certain projects in your travel business. There’s freelancers on certain projects and then there’s actual assistants and employees that you might have. You prefer freelancers or actually companies and services that have a team in place because then you don’t have to spend as much time managing employees.
Very useful way as opposed to having to train people and manage people, because managing people is full-time job. A lot of people don’t realise that there’s a lot of time spent in just managing people. You much rather work with a company that can do that for you and manage it. Might be is you want to get a website design or graphics. Instead of working with individuals, you can maybe find a company that has a web design, the programmers, the graphics people. Work with the company. You’re going to pay a little bit extra because of that but oftentimes it can be a lot easier because you’re working with a company that already has a team in place. They’ve already found the talent, hired them, and trained them. They can deliver better, more reliable results for you. That’s one strategy of outsourcing. It will always cost more money that way because you’re working with a company and you’re working with the manager and they already have everything in place.
Working with subcontractors, freelancers, that’s one great way of outsourcing. To find some of these companies, It’s actually really the same way to finding the individual virtual assistant. The other way is virtual assistants. These are people that you might hire as employees. People that can do certain tasks for you. You’re going to find them, hire them, train them, interview them, and manage them. It’ll be a lot less expensive doing it that way but it is going to require more of your time to train them and get them setup. Both are effective ways. Some of the sources that you can use for your travel business are Upwork.com, to find virtual assistants, freelancers all over the world. They also own freelance.com which is another website as well. Basically, with Upwork, you can post a job on the website. If you have a certain task that you outsource or your looking for someone, you post a job. You put in a title, a headline for the job and a description of what the job’s about. For example, if you’re looking for a social media manager in your travel business, you post the job say, “I am looking for a social media manager. I’m looking for someone who has experience with Twitter and Instagram and Facebook.”
When you post up the job, you’re going to have people from all over the world that are going to bid on that job. You’re going to have people from the US, from Canada, from Australia, Europe, in Southeast Asia, in China. All over the world that are going to bid on the job. and They’re all going to say, I can do this, I can do that. You’re going to be able to see their profile. On their profile, they’re going to have feedback and ratings from other people they’ve worked with. They’re going to be verified by Upwork. You’re going to be able to see their portfolio and a lot of stuff from them.
That’s a great way to find and outsource things because you’re putting the job up there, you’re attracting all these people to your job. You can then screen through and see and interview, the top candidates and filter them as well. To find the best ones that can help you grow your travel business. The same process can be done for graphics designers or web designers, programmers.
Upwork gives you a feature to look at the work diary and see the work that they’re doing. Also, Upwork acts as a third party to help protect you as the employer. For example, if there’s any issues that you might have with your employee, which everybody faces at some point when you have employees. Whether they steal from you, they scam you, whatever it is. These are things that do happen. Basically , Upwork will protect you. Upwork acts as a third party. If there’s any issues you can report them to Upwork.
Somethings that you’re doing are maybe things you could probably outsource to someone else for $3 an hour. Other things that you do, maybe, if you were to outsource it might cost $100 an hour. Maybe it’s very specialised skilled. Out of the list that you have, you want to put a dollar amount on the value of what it cost, that it’s worth to hire someone else to do that for you. Very repetitive, mundane things that don’t require much thinking. Whether it’s submitting to databases, directories, and data mining and posting things online. Promoting things and back linking and SEO. All these sort of things. Those are things that you could probably outsource for, maybe, $3 to $5 an hour. Other things, maybe like video editing and editing a podcast or transcribing or proofreading and stuff like that, graphics design, maybe those things, if you were to outsource it, it might cost $5-$10 an hour. The again, maybe it’s copy writing and recording videos and writing blog posts, those things they might be worth $20 to $40 an hour. There’s maybe somethings that are worth $100 plus per hour. Whatever it is, you want to do the best you can. Obviously, you’re not going to be perfect but you want to basically identify what are the things under the list that are the things that I’m doing that I could easily outsource. That, by me doing them, I’m losing money. If there’s things that you’re doing on your list that you could outsource for $3 an hour or $5 an hour or $10 an hour to someone else, and you’re still doing it, well, now you’re valuing your time at $3-$5 or $10 an hour. You’re losing money by doing because you can hire someone else to do that for You want to take the list. Usually, out of a list of things that you have, really, 80% of the things you can outsource to someone else. 20% of those things you want to continue doing yourself, become better at and focus most of your time, energy and attention doing. Out of the list, take 20%. The other 80%, You’re going to outsource that to other people. You’re going to find a virtual assistant. You’re going to find people that can do this. You’re going to do that. Ultimately, the position you want to be in in your travel business is working on the business not in it.
The first employee, the first virtual assistant you hire isn’t going to be the best one because you’re going to make a lot of mistakes. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to hire the wrong people. Really, it’s going to take you failing a few times and hiring different people, to really get it and to know what to look for. It’s almost like dating. If you’ve only dated one person your whole life, you don’t have anyone else to compare that person to. When your first dating you don’t know what to look for, you don’t know the signs or anything like that when you’re meeting people and dating and stuff like that. When you go through a breakup. You meet someone, you go on a date, it doesn’t work out. That’s how you learn what you’re looking for in a relationship. It’s really the same thing in a travel business as well. You’re going to have to go through a few different virtual assistants to really identify the best talent for you and your business.