Quality control is the cornerstone of any good product or service. In this blog, Brook Borup of My Clone Solution is going to introduce herself and share her thoughts on maintaining quality standards in your business.

  • Who is Brook?

    Brook has been described as your Swiss Army Knife for Business. As a jack of all trades and master of none, she is the go-to person for a solution to almost any business pain. As the owner and lead clone of her own business, My Clone Solution, she is an expert on providing virtual assistant support to small businesses and offering creative solutions to common small biz problems.

  • Her #1 Tip for Startups

    Put systems in place. It’s the hardest thing that you’re ever going to do but it is the only way to be consistent, grow your business and be able to, when you do grow your business, be able to duplicate yourself because you cannot do it all.

The business backstory

I was just kind of gaffed up with the corporate world and people not caring and not appreciating what gets done for them by the people that support them. January 1st of 2014, I left my last corporate job and said, “I’m going to work with small business owners that appreciate having a good assistant.”

I basically started as a task master, a virtual assistant for small business owners, and I did stuff in person. Going to people’s offices and worked for them a couple of hours a week, because that’s all they could afford.

And now, 2016 is going to be an awesome year. Started a coaching program and I have now taken it online as well as live events. I also have an entire team of virtual assistants in the Philippines that are ready and willing to help all the small business owners in the United States.

How she manages quality control

My first virtual assistant that I brought on back in July, I went through a service and had 220 applicants for my one job that I posted. It took me an entire day to narrow those resumes down. Just like any hiring process is. I started working with her and we had a 90-day agreement.

By the time we got done with the first 30 days, I just knew. She is just like me and has common sense. She can work without having me to say, “Do this, do this, do this.” I can say, “OK, this is the task I need done. I don’t care how it gets done. Just do it.”

She makes it happen and that’s awesome. About 60 days into our relationship, we were having a conversation one night and she said, “I have been working in what they call VA houses for the last six years,” which is basically a staffing agency for virtual assistants. She’s like, “I can managed them and run them, but I’ve never been paid or had the kudos to do so.”

That kind of sounds familiar and so I said, “OK, you send me a proposal of what you think this looks like.” Within a day, I had an entire proposal put together on how she wanted to pay people, how she wanted to manage people, how she wanted to find people and how she wanted to work with me in doing it. I said, “I think we can make this work.”

Fast forward

Four months later we now have five virtual assistants. Three of them are employed by my own clients here in the US. The other two are employed by me. We are looking to grow that and help as many small business owners as we can.

Two of my virtual assistants right now handle four clients, so two clients each. They are appointment setters. They are cold calling from a listed script and they are setting appointments for our clients.

Illus/Problem Solving/Blue Hands Framing Gears

Working with employees in the Philippines

There’s so much experience in the Philippines. They have a huge population and they want to work from home. Most of them are sole breadwinners for their family or stay-at-home moms. When you have a mom that’s up with a baby all day long and her baby actually sleeps all through the night, they like to work at night. They work third shift because they work on our time, since they’re 12 hours ahead of us.

Their primary language is English. They learn English just like they learn their own language. In most cases speak it better than we do.

Standing out in the digital crowd

Right now, I’m posting about twice a month. I usually post the second and fourth Tuesdays. Take care of my other social media in between there. I hope to have a virtual assistant to start taking care of that for me.

I have a great following of business owners. That’s who my target is. My blog articles are really all about being productive. So with two million articles or two billion articles coming out every single day, they all reach to a different audience.

Set of red plastic toy tools

What her favorite tools of the trade

FullContact is my absolute favorite piece that’s on the cloud for automating your networking homework. Now FullContact works with Zapier, an aggregator between cloud-based services. I use Contactually as my CRM system, Constant Contact as my contact marketing management system and I use Gmail and the Gmail apps and stuff for my email management.

When I scan a business card into my FullContact, as soon as that transcription goes through, an email gets sent out from my Gmail saying, “It was nice to see you,” yada, yada, yada. Let’s meet up for coffee, here’s the link to my calendar. That gets dropped into my networking list in Constant Contact. It automatically gets added to my CRM and gets put into a program, all just by me taking a picture.

So now four of the processes that I would have done – had to do manually before, I can do all because of FullContact and Zapier.

Recommended Reading

I get told a lot that my business resembles The 4-Hour Workweek and The E-Myth

Google Apps for Work

Choose tech that helps you perform quality control

I love Gmail and the Chrome extensions. That is by far the biggest tool that anybody can have. I love the fact that Microsoft has Outlook and I was an Outlook user for years, but Microsoft is not cloud-based.

Until Microsoft gets its act together, Gmail has picked up the slack and has started working with companies and extensions like Mixmax, Streak and a few other Chrome extensions that are there to make your Gmail more robust. It’s much easier to manage quality control with robust tools.

You can color code them and with the help of Mixmax extension for Chrome. And you can track it. I mean even better than Outlook ever could and it’s free.

Mac or PC?

I’m a PC girl. I love Macs for the simple fact that they don’t get as many viruses and they don’t get as dirty as PCs do. But PCs are the most affordable solution for most people and when it comes down to running a business.I am a PC and Android girl all the way.

Final thoughts on quality control

Put systems in place. It’s the hardest thing that you’re ever going to do but it is the only way to be consistent, grow your business and be able to duplicate yourself because you cannot do it all. That is what quality control is built on.