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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
In February of 2016, we were blessed to be on That Business Show to talk about our services.
Question: What do you do?
We provide full-scale virtual assistant services for business owners that need to learn how to delegate and automate their businesses. We do this by connecting business owners with virtual assistants in the Philipines at a cost they can actually afford. Or, if they’d rather hire onshore we will connect them with interns from local colleges or coach them through the process of delegation.
Question: What services do you offer?
We focus on business administration tasks. From sales calls to appointments settings to reporting and creating your sales automation.
Question: How long have you been in business?
This is my third year in business.
Question: What was your inspiration?
I’ve been an assistant in the hospitality management industry and realized I was very talented at support. As a girl who came from a small business family, I knew I needed to help small business owners. I wanted to make sure they got over the first 5 years.
Question: What are the pain points of your clients?
Time. They can’t seem to get started, know where they need to go, and can’t conquer all the work it takes to get there.
Question: How does the process actually work?
We use online tools to track our employees and interactions, primarily Google products and Zoom.
Question: Do you make office calls?
Right now, I’m making the house calls. But if a person is looking for an in-house solution, we’re always looking to find the perfect fit for you. We can do everything from posting the add to scanning the applicants.
Question: Can you share a client success story?
Sure. We had a telemarketing client and our Philipino Clones started making the calls. Now we’re setting 10-15 appointments a day, after just a few months. He needs to make one sale to pay off the fee of using our service.
Question: How do you talk about the cost of your service?
By talking to our potential clients about their hourly. Most people know what an hour of their time costs. Then I ask them the golden question: How much money are you wasting doing these tasks by yourself? Start slow and work your way up. Virtual is the perfect solution for slow beginnings that allow you to ramp up. (Your hourly rate is your net income divided by your hours worked).
Question: How do you overcome objections?
Most business owners think that it’s easier to do themselves or don’t know how to pass it off. That’s where we step in to create processes so that this can be offboarded.
Brook Borup is a process architect who loves to uncover the superpower in others. Her goal is to help them succeed. Brook breaks down the system she uses to help her clients automate, delegate, and eliminate tasks so their business run more efficiently and smoothly.
MEET BROOK BORUP
Have you ever had a job that you loved and hated at the same time? After 15 years working in hotel and restaurant management, our next guest, Brook Borup, fired corporate America to set a path to elevate small businesses to a new normal.
Some solopreneurs are set in their ways with no end in sight, but those that want to enjoy a life beyond their business are clamoring to find a better way to DO business. The answer is being more productive with automation to EVOLVE to corporate level delegation.
Brook Borup is your Small Business Process Architect and Owner of My Clone Solution.
This podcast is brought to you by Audible. I have used Audible for years, and I love audiobooks. Click the link to get a 30-day free trial of Audible. This offer includes a credit for a free audiobook download.
Are you tired of doing mundane tasks? What if you had a way to automate tasks to make your job easier and increase your sales? Today’s guest is Brook Borup and she shares with us some ways to automate some of the mundane tasks in your business or your life in general, to make your life much easier and achieve success faster.
Brook is the owner of My Clone Solution, a company that helps business professionals and business owners learn to automate and delegate certain tasks so they can focus more on business development.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Brook:
Strategies for Getting Away with Mundane Tasks:
Process before Login
Make sure the first thing you do is have a plan. Have written down processes for your sales plan or projects. Then you can look at that plan and figure out which pieces of the plan you can automate.
Figure out where your targets are going to come from.
Figure out how you’re going to get your list or how you’re going to contact people (email, phone, in-person). Where are these people coming from? Start with that question and work all the way through your sales process.
Automate your voicemail system.
Try using voice mail as your first touch point but use a system that automatically puts that voicemail in for you so you’re not doing it. This gives you more dial time.
Schedule appointments right in your email.
Make sure you get their email address so you can email them and use a system where they can just click on a link and go and look at your calendar and pick the best time for them. (Now you’re not going back and forth with your emails. This saves you from having a full inbox. And it saves you time from looking at your calendar. You’re letting them do it so they’re in control. (Clients want to feel they’re in control because it makes them feel good.)
Acuity (Paid) – Aside from scheduling, this software allows you to add products in so instead of building an entire online shopping cart, you can have products that you can just send somebody a direct link to. It can also charge somebody for an appointment so they pay for that appointment before they even get on your calendar.
Automate all touchpoints.
All touchpoints can be automated in a text message, an email, a phone call, or delegated to an admin. Either delegate it to software or people.
Put the right people and software in place.
Make sure you put the right people and software in to make sure your system flows. So now you’ve taken your 10-step sales process into just 4 steps.
Put the time up-front to automate each touchpoint.
The attention span of your client is nine seconds for each touchpoint. Make sure that if your sales process doesn’t include an email or text marketing campaign, all touchpoints should be automated. It takes a lot of work and time but once the work is done, all of the stuff that comes after that is all automated. You touch where you need to when you see your stats where the person is opening every single email.
Document each process.
For instance, somebody gets to email #3 and they’ve opened all three emails and are about to go into email #4, now is time for a phone call. So you have a daily task list and you know where those clients are in your sales process. There are so many tools you can use to remind you just by documenting your process.
Find an ally in your business.
Find this salesperson and build this process out with them. Utilize their knowledge and utilize them to build your process. Have a company that has a specialist for everything so you can solve everybody’s problem with one project manager.
Scale your business through packages.
Come up with packages and put a dollar figure on them so you can put on a whole big marketing strategy and expand your business development opportunities. Then you can just do the same for every single client because it all happens the same way, just different verbiage.
Brook’s Major Takeaway:
Don’t think you have to do it all by yourself. Find an ally in your business. Find your yin to your yang and keep them around. Find your partner. Utilize your skills because you don’t have to have everything.
My guest today on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots free podcast interview is Brook Borup. A lady who is on a mission to help the world’s entrepreneurs own their own successful business. The goal is being able to run the business without the business owner pulling all the strings.
Along with her team, she pushes her clients towards business freedom, time abundance and the ability to ultimately sell a business at a profit.
Sound good? You betcha.
Brook developed herself to a position where she is rightly called the “Swiss Army Knife” for Business. This is due to her knowledge of tools, automation, and the needs of small business owners. Her ability to create the perfect solution to any challenge in the most cost-effective way is ideal for the small business owner struggling with the business behind the business.
Well, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and Public Relations with an emphasis in Marketing and Event Planning from Grand Valley State University in 3 years. She struggled with the waste she experienced at the corporate level in large companies. That lead her to take the first steps towards teaching SMBs how to avoid those issues.
The fact is most small business owners only understand what they know. Unfortunately, 80% of running a successful small business is NOT their trade knowledge. That has created a never-ending conveyor belt of small business owners lining up to work with her.
So, what is the hardest part of growing a service-based company like her own? Does she look back at her history and think, “Man if only I knew what I know now then we would have been rocking in record time!”
Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Brook Borup.
During the show we discussed weighty topics with Brook such as:
Why she is so focused on building a team around her that will free her even more from her business.
Tackle the things that fall within her own personal super talent.
Why Brook believes that it is so important to spend as much money as you can possibly on hiring a VA.
If you go cheap, you get cheap results.
Why a great way to start a business is to simply look around at the people you already know, and ask them “How can I help you?”
Brooke reveals her worst client ever. You will be surprised to know exactly who she said….. I was for sure 🙂