As entrepreneurs, we love wearing every hat imaginable. But to grow your business, you’ll need to take off a few hats and learn to work on your business instead of in it. The first step to taking off hats is hiring a virtual assistant. If the thought of hiring sounds intimidating, John Jonas, founder of Filipino job board OnlineJobs.ph, can ease the intimidation factor. From recruiting to breaking cultural barriers and maintaining loyal employees overseas, he’s breaking it all down. Stay tuned.
After starting his own company, John knew he needed to outsource but realized there was no platform for employers to hire their own virtual assistants. So, in true entrepreneurial spirit, John created his own. In 2009, John launched OnlineJobs.ph, a site that cuts out the middleman when it comes to hiring help. John’s site is quick, user-friendly, and even performs background checks on all applicants.
Why the Philippines?
There are several reasons why employers seek help from the Philippines. One, there’s not as great of a cultural divide as there is with other countries. Also, Filipinos are culturally loyal to employers so the country is great for finding long-term hires.
While hiring may sound overwhelming, John has a few simple tips. Start by searching for specific skills like product research and narrow down your search terms so they’re Amazon-specific. You can even ask applicants to include something specific in the subject line of their response to ensure all applicants have actually read your post.
John also recommends paying employees an annual salary. Why? Because in the Philippines, hourly wages mean part-time gigs. If you offer an hourly wage, employees will look for another job in addition. Second, an annual salary incentivizes you to send them more work. Remember, to grow your business you need to work on your business, not in it.
The biggest issue you’ll face is gaining employee trust. A fear of letting others down is ingrained in the Filipino culture. Gain your VA’s trust by providing training, checking-in daily, and, when there’s a problem, assume it’s your fault. That way they’ll see you as an approachable employer.
Happy selling everybody.
Resources From This Episode
Outline of This Episode
[00:20] Todd’s intro to this episode
[00:38] John’s background
[10:00] The benefits of hiring from the Philippines
[13:28] Tips for hiring the perfect VA
[27:16] Why it’s important to gain trust
Welcome fellow entrepreneurs to the Amazon Seller School podcast, where we talk about Amazon wholesale and how you can use it to build an eCommerce empire, a side hustle or anything in between. And now your host, Todd Welch.
Todd Welch (00:20):
All right John, welcome to the Amazon Seller School podcast. Really appreciate you coming on the show. We’re going to a really good one today talking about virtual assistants, which have really helped me build my business. Why don’t you tell us your background and how you got around and making onlinejobs.ph.
John Jonas (00:38):
I graduated from college in 2004 and I’m a terrible employee. And I figured that out cause I had a job for eight months and my only goal was to quit that job. Like I couldn’t handle having a job and it took me eight months to figure out how to quit it. And I quit and started working online cause that was the dream. Only to figure out like, Oh my gosh, there’s so much crap to do and there’s not enough time in the day to do it all. And I think almost everybody who goes through this transition goes through that phase where like there’s so much stuff to do. And there’s so many programs and systems and things you have to do. And there’s just not time, you know, and there’s not time to learn it all and there’s not time to do it all. You know, you can’t be everything. So I started hiring people the only way I knew, I hired some people locally and the first thing they did was quit because they saw I was making money on the internet and was like, Oh, I’ll go do that on my own four different times. I tried that, that sucked. I tried hiring people in India to help me out and that I knew within a week that wasn’t gonna work. And not that they’re bad. It’s just really hard. Like the cultural difference there is so difficult. And then I tried Elance which I thought I had found everything I wanted. You know, today Elance is Upwork. Elance and oDesk merged into Upwork years ago. And I hired this guy to write some articles for me. And I thought like, this is it I found the help that I need. And this is amazing. He writes these articles, he gives them to me and then I paid him and then the burden fell on me. Like I just got all this work done and now I have to do the rest of this work because he wasn’t going to submit the articles. He wasn’t going to add the links to the articles. He wasn’t going to have the resource boxes and the headers and all of that stuff. He just wrote the articles and it was like, I just felt this huge burden on my shoulders. Like, Oh my gosh, I have 50 articles now I have to submit them. And I hate doing this. And so that was about when I had this conversation with the owner of backcountry.com and he said to me, you know, when you’re ready to start outsourcing some of this stuff, make sure you go to the Philippines with it. And I was like, huh, like that’s super different. And he was like, yeah, well in India, when you tell them something and they say, yes, that means, yes, I heard something come out of your mouth. It doesn’t mean, yes, I understood what you said. And I was like, okay, you know, like that’s different. Right? And so I hired someone in the Philippines. Like he gave me a reference where I could hire someone full time and I did. And it was the most liberating experience of my life. Like I couldn’t believe I had this guy whose full time job was to do anything I asked him to do. So I taught him to do that article process and he did the entire thing. I had to teach him how to do all those steps, but I didn’t have to do any of the steps after I had taught him. And that was like an amazing revelation to me where I can get someone to do the work. And I was paying this agency that I’d hired him from $750 a month. They were paying him 250. And I didn’t know that at the time. And that’s kind of what led into online jobs was the agency model for finding people just was crappy. And I didn’t like it. And I wanted to recruit on my own. And so did everybody else, everybody else wanted to recruit on their own, but you didn’t have that option because there wasn’t a job board. And so I started it hoping I could maybe get a couple hundred profiles until onlinejobs.ph, where I could recruit someone myself. And we got a couple of hundred profiles in the first month and that was like, okay. And then it just kept growing from there. And so that’s my backstory and how I started.
Todd Welch (04:19):
Okay. Very interesting. So what did you do? Well, maybe you still do it, but what was the business, if you don’t mind sharing that you were trying to find help for it.
John Jonas (04:29):
So, I’ve had so many and a lot of this stuff that I did then doesn’t work now, but so that one that I was trying to find help with, we were building websites. I mean I built software that built websites and the websites would populate themselves with content and they would get ranked on Google and then you serve ads on them and, and it was garbage. It was stupid. But it worked at the time and I knew it wasn’t gonna work longterm. And then I started learning ads and I started learning arbitrage with Google ads and I started learning affiliate stuff and I started learning some copywriting. And I started writing reviews about products and posting them on my sites. And so there was a big, long evolution of things that I did that I, that I was getting them to help me with.
Todd Welch (05:15):
Okay. Very good. So you kind of got the idea out of necessity. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, you needed something, it wasn’t there. So you made it, which is kind of the whole spirit of being an entrepreneur. So that’s pretty awesome. And I’ve used you guys to hire several of our virtual assistants now from the Philippines to have before you guys I used a free up, which I think their service is really good. And if you don’t have any experience with interviewing and hiring, then that’s a good place to start. But once you get some traction, you know what you’re looking for then online jobs is perfect because then you can get just a bunch of applications and pick and do interviews and stuff like that. And of course you pay less, right? Because you don’t have the middle man in there. So tell us a more, well, like what size have you guys built into and when did you actually begin onlinejos.ph.
John Jonas (06:18):
It started in 2009. I launched it in 2009. I hired a programmer in 2008 to build it. And it took us like a year to get it launched. And we launched in 2009 and we did basically nothing. I sent an email to six of the guys in the Philippines that I had working for me and said, Hey, what can we do to like, spread the word about this thing? And they were like, Oh, I can post it on Friendster, which was their social network at the time or I could post on Facebook and that’s all we ever did. And so a couple of months ago we passed a million profiles of Filipino workers. We’ve had hundreds of thousands of employers use it. It grows every month. I don’t know how many jobs we’ve helped people get, but I would say hundreds of thousands we track, we don’t track it all because like you said, we’re not a middleman. We don’t take a cut of salaries. We don’t mark things up. So we don’t know every time someone gets hired because we just let you communicate with the people. So, but we get like hundreds of job posts every single day and thousands of job applications every day.
Todd Welch (07:28):
Very nice. So a couple of, some of the things that I like on your website, well, one it’s really easy to post a job and you have that ID proof, which makes me feel a little bit better that the person is who they actually are. What goes in behind the scenes too, you know, that we’re not getting lied to about, who’s actually applying to our jobs.
John Jonas (07:54):
So this is one of the things I think that we’ve done differently than everybody else. Where, like there’s no background checks in the Philippines, it doesn’t exist that service. And so after looking at thousands of profiles myself, I started to recognize these patterns of like, Oh, I can tell you’re not legitimate right there. I know that just by looking at your profile, or I know that you are by looking at your profile or we have all kinds of data on people and their behavior patterns on the site and data that we collect from them. And so I started looking and saying like, Oh, I know this is legitimate and this is not, and I can put this into an algorithm. So I started putting that into an algorithm and this is probably five, six, seven years ago. And so we created this ID proof, which I appreciate that you said it correctly, that it is who you say that you are, because oftentimes people think, Oh, this is an indicator of how skilled is this person. And that’s not what it is. So I don’t talk in detail about what goes into the algorithm because we’re changing it regularly because people start to try and game the system. But I will say we do a ton of work on the backend to weed out and to get rid of scammers or bad apples or people from other countries that aren’t the Philippines. We recently have started human verifying every single person.
Todd Welch (09:23):
Wow. Very nice.
John Jonas (09:24):
We look at government IDs, we look at photos of the person, so we make sure it is the person. We verify phone numbers. We basically have human eyes on every single job application and job post.
Todd Welch (09:39):
And so we talked a little bit about, you started in India and went to the Philippines and that was a backcountry.com adjusted the Philippines to you originally. And so give us some ideas and the listeners, why, if they do decide to get a virtual assistant, they should get someone from the Philippines.
John Jonas (10:00):
So typically people think outsourcing is just a big pain in the butt. And that comes from India basically where like they’re good people, but that cultural difference is so high between India and Western nations. That it’s just really hard where the cultural differences from the Philippines to Western nations is way, way, way lower. And so there’s a bunch of cultural things that make this significantly better, especially if you’re hiring a longterm person. So in the Philippines one, you’ll find that they’re honest. And obviously not, everybody’s honest, but you’ll be able to tell really quickly if they’re being honest with you, cause they’ll do things on accident that will show you that they are, or they’re very loyal almost to a fault like Filipinos. So the first person I hired in 2005 still works for me today. And they’re not the kind that will jump ship at the first better job offer. That’s not a thing in the Philippines. So they’re like, if you treat them well, they’ll work for you. As long as you’ll have them. Computers and internet is everybody has computers and internet access. So you don’t have to go through a service to find them, which, you know, you don’t have to have an agency or the salary markups. They’re not entrepreneurial. And this is a big one. Like entrepreneurism is kind of looked down upon in the Philippines. So they don’t want to steal your business. They don’t want to steal your idea. You’re not going to teach them something. And then they’re going to go and steal that and do it on their own. I’ve built businesses and businesses and businesses, websites, and websites and websites of them doing all of the work where they know everything. Like they built the website, they sourced the products. They wrote the content about it. They joined the affiliate programs. They send me a report, how much money I made and how much money they spent on advertising. Like they know the whole thing. So they don’t want to steal your business. That’s a big deal. So there’s all these things in the Philippines that really make it a different situation than really anywhere else in the world. At least I haven’t found anywhere else that has this set of cultural things that makes this really, really good.
Todd Welch (12:06):
Very good. Yeah. I’ve noticed a lot of the same things. I have five virtual assistants right now are doing various things from like social media to Amazon administrative work, to helping me source products and optimize listings and things like that. So it’s worked out really good. The only problem I’ve found so far is so we try to do a weekly team meeting and usually one of them every week has like the Internet’s down or the power’s out or something like that. So that’s the only issue I’ve run into. But otherwise, so far it’s been really good.
John Jonas (12:47):
That is likely the second biggest issue you’ll run into is like internet outages and power outages. It’s going to happen. There’s nothing you can do about it. Like I’ve had people buy them a generator because they’re having power outages. It’s like, well, that’s not helpful because if the power’s out the internet’s out, so then they have power, but they don’t have internet still. So that’s not helpful. So yeah, it’s something you have to be prepared to deal with.
Todd Welch (13:09):
So what kind of things do you recommend to people to actually go on your site and find someone really good? Let’s say they want to find someone who can help them search through Amazon, find suppliers and distributors of products. What kind of process are we looking at?
John Jonas (13:28):
I’m going to tell you two things. I’m going to give you some tips here and we’re time constrained. And so I can give you some stuff. And then I will say I recently put together my full, like detailed recruiting process. So like every single step of the way, what things you should be doing, what things you should be looking for, what you shouldn’t do. And I made that available at onevaaway.com. And that’s like after years and years of figuring out like, Oh, I know I’m going to find a good VA every time because I’ve done this enough. So if I follow my process is going to be good. So here’s, the basics of my process that you should be doing when, when you go to find someone. So, number one, if you go to onlinejobs.ph and you’ll search search for your skill, you want someone with Amazon skills, search Amazon. You want someone who can do product research, search product research, you know, whatever it is, search it. And then go look at 20 or 30 profiles. They started looking at them and see, what are the skills I’m finding. You may just find searching Amazon is too generic. And you’re like, Oh, I can find like anything, let me search Amazon PPC or let’s search wholesale Amazon or, you know, private label, whatever it is, right. Or graphic design and amazon. And then you’ll start looking at them and you’ll start to see like, okay, here are common skill sets that I can find. Here’ssomeone that I can find that, Oh, I really like this skill set. And you’ll start to see salary amounts, like a mouse that they’re asking to make. And then, you have a pretty dang good idea of everything that you need to go into a job post. So then you go post a job and you’re going to post your job title and your description and the salary that you want. And you’re gonna pick a couple of skills that you want people to have, who apply to your job at this point. So you have, you start to get job applications. And one of the things that you should do in your job description, this is a bunch of the things that like I include in that one VA away program. But here’s something specific that you can do to start weeding people out immediately require in your job description, tell them when you apply include something specific in your subject line. So include like the words I want to be your Amazon VA. And if they don’t include that in, as they apply in the subject of their application, then you just ignore them because you know, they didn’t read your job application. Right. And that’ll weed out like 50% of applicants right there. And if you’re posting an Amazon like a job for an Amazon research or something like that, you’re probably going to get like a hundred applications and that just too many to deal with. So you need ways to weed people out. Right? So then from there, I will reply to almost everybody who applies to the job. I’m assuming that they’ve followed the first direction. And then from there I will send them like a form response, which is two or three or four questions. And then I’ll just continue to do that with people. I’ll just continue to ask them questions over and over and over again, different questions. From there I get to see a whole bunch of stuff. There’s always stuff that I’m looking for. A couple of those things are number one, attention to detail. Like if I ask you four questions in an email, did you respond to all four of them? Or did you ignore one of them? Because if you ignore one, then the chances of you ignoring a task that I gave you after I’ve hired you is it’s pretty high. I look at their speed of responsiveness. So like, does it take you two days to respond to me or do you respond twice a day? Because if it takes you two days to respond and the chances of you taking two or three days to respond after I’ve hired you is high. And like that doesn’t work for me. I look at their personality, like, am I excited to get an email from this person? Or am I cringing? Because for me, like I said, the first person that I ever hired still works for me. And I have a lot of people like that. Like people that have worked for me for 10 years or 12 years or six years I know this is gonna be a longterm thing. And if I’m cringing at getting an email from you, that’s not a good start. Right. So that’s a big deal. From there, you’ll find that like, you’ve whittled it down to two or three. And from there you just have to make a choice of who you’re going to hire.
Todd Welch (17:55):
Very nice. Yeah. That’s a pretty similar to the process that I usually go through in that first tip that you gave about putting some question in there for the application that is gold right there. It helps quite a lot. So yeah, I’ve used that one. And once I’ve learned that tactic. That just weeds out a large majority of the applications because there are so many people I think just copying and pasting their response, sometimes the response hardly has anything to do with the job post. Sometimes that’s interesting.
John Jonas (18:28):
Right. So just get rid of them. Don’t even bother.
Todd Welch (18:31):
Yeah. So what kind of tasks are VA’s able to do? Are we talking about just more simple stuff or can they do the really advanced stuff as well?
John Jonas (18:42):
I work about 17 hours a week and I have since about 2008 and I have a whole story behind kind of being forced into this, which was amazing, but terrifying at the same time. Terrifying at the time and then amazing afterwards saying that my VA’s in the Philippines do basically everything for me. So for example, we have hundreds of thousands of likes or followers or whatever it is on our Facebook page, which I didn’t create the Facebook page. One of my guys on my team did it without me asking him. And I’ve never made a single post on that Facebook account. They’ve done all that work. So they’ve done the thinking work. They do the posting, they do. I don’t even know what they do cause I dislike Facebook so much that I have no idea. I have really good designers. I have really good programmers. I have a really good front end web people. I have a really good sales copywriter. I have really good admin people that do admin work like backend data verification or customer support people or like you can product researchers or you can find, I have a guy, I know a guy that hired an investment banking analyst, like a $250,000 a year person in the US he hired him for $1,500 a month in the Philippines. And the guy was really good. He knew what he was doing. So like, you can find really talented people. And this is one of the things about the Philippines and this is critical once they trust you, because if they don’t trust you, this isn’t the case. But once they trust you as an employer, they’re willing to think through all kinds of stuff. And they’re not just monkeys. They’re not just, Oh, you missed a step here. So I’m stuck. And I can’t do anything for forever until you figure out that I missed a step. That’s not how they work. They want to do really good work. They want to make you happy. And so like you can find super talented people.
Todd Welch (20:45):
Yeah. And I basically knew the answer to that. Cause a lot of people think, you know, you’re just going to outsource like the little tasks and that’s a great place to start. You know, you definitely don’t need to be going in there and replying to customer messages and Amazon, or updating a product listing that Amazon has suspended because it doesn’t have a description or something like that. Those are little things that my VA’s are checking and doing all the time. But you know, you also have the higher level stuff that they can do for you like sales. And that’s pretty interesting. One there, the business what was that position again?
John Jonas (21:28):
It was an investment banking analyst.
Todd Welch (21:30):
Yeah. That’s pretty cool. So pretty much all over the map that they can do. And just to give people an idea, most of my VAs are on the, you know, the administrative side of things and I’m paying them around $4 an hour, which I think is a really good starting point for a lot of the administrative tasks out there.
John Jonas (21:54):
Yeah. And I would agree. So let me give you a couple of thoughts on that. So $4 an hour is a reasonable starting point. It’s not a great wage. It’s not low. Generally I recommend. And this is from years of experience with the Philippines. I recommend paying a salary rather than an hourly wage. And this comes from a couple places. One in the Philippines hourly wages are always associated with part time work or temporary work. And if someone is temporary, they know they’re going to have to find another job. And so they’re actively looking for another job or they already have another full time job and they’re committed to someone else. So that’s, that’s part of it. The other side of it is as long as you don’t come. And this goes to a lot of entrepreneurs where entrepreneurs want to wear all the hats of their business typically as long as you’re paying someone hourly, you don’t care if they’re not busy, if you haven’t made a commitment to a salary. And so if they run out of work to do well, it’s not my problem, right? As soon as you make that commitment to them, that you’re going to pay them a salary. If they ran out of things to do, now it is your problem. And that’s the thing that forces so many people to work on their business instead of working in their business. That’s the thing that often makes the transition from, Oh, I have to answer these customer support emails. My VA is awful doing product research. I don’t really care. I don’t know. That’s not urgent, but these customer support emails are really urgent. Right? And that’s like the transition of like, no, he’s not busy. I made a commitment to him and myself that I was gonna pay him a salary. So I better stop answering these emails and figure out something for him to do, which that’s really where business growth happens is when you stop working in and you work on the business.
Todd Welch (23:45):
Yup. Yeah. I agree a hundred percent with that. It’s one period that every entrepreneur reaches and they have to make the decision, you know. Are you going to stop the growth of your business? And that’s where you’re going to be forever. Or are you going to start handing these tasks off? And I definitely try to hand off everything as much as possible that I don’t really need to be in. And in reality, I probably don’t really have to be in much of any of it other than kinda, you know, making sure all the pieces are coming together in the end and things are moving in the right direction.
John Jonas (24:21):
And that’s true. Like I have. Okay. So here’s my second story. My son is 17 when he was 11 he’s he’s always been an entrepreneur. And when he was 11, he was bugging me like, dad, I need this, I need to start selling this. I need to start selling it. He said, dad, I need a. It was like, dude. So I only had the choice of either discouraged him from being an entrepreneur, which I wasn’t going to do, or I had to figure out a way to help him. So I gave him an Amazon course that I had, and he went through the whole thing and he came to me with like, here’s all these products that I found and here’s, so anyway, he ends up started selling this thing on Amazon that he’s importing and whatever. And he’s 11, like he has no clue what he’s doing, right. But he was making a little bit of money doing it. So I was like, okay, fine. I know you’re not competent. So I gave one of my VA’s the same course. And he had a bunch of training from me and I gave him some specific instructions with this course, like, Hey, you’re not going to be making decisions. I know the course tells you to make this decision and make that decision. You’re not going to be doing those things, but go through it. And I want you to kind of manage this product that was six years ago. And I’ve never touched it since. And my son has done very, very little. But he’s not making a ton of money. He only had one product, you know, like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. And so like, you can have a VA do all kinds of stuff for you.
Todd Welch (25:55):
That’s awesome. It’s always good to hear that kids start now young doing with entrepreneurial stuff. So they don’t learn that stuff in school unfortunately. So got away.
John Jonas (26:06):
This kid was born that way. Like the only thing I can do is discourage him or, you know, like he’s making all kinds of money now doing all kinds of stuff.
Todd Welch (26:16):
Yeah. That’s awesome. So in your book, what was the website onevaaway.com, right?
John Jonas (26:22):
So, that’s my recruiting process. Like my full, how to hire people process. My book is the outsourcing lever available outsourcinglever.com and it’s free. I’m giving it away for free.
Todd Welch (26:33):
Okay. Yeah. That’s what I wanted to bring up the outsourcinglever.com. And that’s free plus shipping, right? And I think the shipping was like seven bucks.
John Jonas (26:44):
Yeah. Shipping is $7. Yeah.
Todd Welch (26:46):
Yeah. I always love that when I see those advertisements, I just, I buy too many books.
John Jonas (26:51):
I got copies of it. So yeah.
Todd Welch (26:55):
For seven bucks you can’t really go wrong. I mean, you learn one thing in the book and it pays for itself 10 times over.
John Jonas (27:02):
And it’s not super long or laborious either.
Todd Welch (27:05):
So what else, what other things in the book or that you know of that the audience should know about hiring VA’s that would really help.
John Jonas (27:16):
So the number one issue that people have is something they have no clue that they think they have. So most people, when they go into this, they think, I don’t know if I, how do I trust this person that I’m hiring, right. And the reality is that is the opposite of what you should be thinking. What you should be thinking is how do I gain this person’s trust in me? Because in the Philippines, culturally they’re really worried about letting you down. They don’t want to let you down. And so if, until they trust you that you’re not going to be disappointed in their work or that you’re not going to be upset at them or that you’re not going to fire them. Until they trust you, they’re always going to be hesitant to do really great work. They’re going to be hesitant to think for you or to make decisions for you. So when you go into this, the first thing you should be thinking is as I’m recruiting this person, or as I’m hiring this person, or as I’m working with this person, what can I do in this situation to gain their trust and to have them trust me? And so there’s a bunch of things that you can do. The first thing obviously is training. If you provide training in the Philippines, this is such a big deal. They expect it, they need it, they want it, they crave it. Training will cause them to trust you. Number two, just interacting with them. If you think you’re going to go into this and like, you’re totally hands off, you don’t want to see the person, you don’t want to talk to them. That’s not going to work. So you need to give him feedback and probably daily feedback on things that they’re doing. And it’s not hard. You just have to figure out how to do it. Like I use Snagit to provide video feedback or screen capture feedback to people. And then the third thing is to gain their trust is always, when there’s a problem or there’s something’s not done right, always assume it’s your fault, because I think often people think, Oh, this isn’t right, this person’s lazy. Or they don’t really want the job. They didn’t show up today. They don’t really, there’s a fire in them. Right. And that’s probably 98% of the cases. That’s not the situation of, that’s not the reality of what’s going on with the person in the Philippines. They want the job. There’s just something wrong. Something that they don’t understand. Some of them, they don’t know how to do. Something they worry that you’re going to be disappointed with them. And so if you’ll assume that it’s your fault that something went wrong and go to them with that attitude, that’ll solve so many problems. So this is the biggest problem is they’re worried about letting you down. They call it shy. They don’t want to lose face. And so if you’ll seek out , when they don’t show up to work it’s because they don’t know what to do. It’s not because they don’t want the job.
Todd Welch (30:04):
Yeah. I’ve, I’ve definitely seen that. That’s probably one of the big things out there is that if they don’t know how to do something, they’re almost like afraid to ask. Cause like you said, they don’t want to look bad. Like they don’t know what they’re doing or something. So I am always encouraging them. You know, if you have any questions or don’t know how to do something, just shoot me a message and we’ll figure it out. You know, the sooner you can ask me we can figure it out. And that’s why we do the team meetings every week. So we can talk. And we, I use Skype to communicate pretty much every day we’re messaging back and forth and stuff like that. So yeah, I can attest that one. That’s a big one to make sure that they have all the tools that they need to keep moving forward and are comfortable with you.
John Jonas (30:56):
Yeah. And so the training that I sent it at first, if you, if you give the training, that’s what allows them to overcome the fear of coming to you when they do have a problem. Cause if they don’t know that you’re gonna give them training or that you’re gonna help them solve the problem, and they’re scared of even coming to you when they have a problem. So just saying like, Oh, Hey, do you have asked me if you have any questions, right. that won’t, I’ll tell you at one time I told one of my people that like, when I hired her, I said, look, you can’t disappear. That’s the number one thing is don’t disappear. Here’s this training, here’s this stuff. Right. So she does really good work for me for like three weeks. And then she stops. And for two days I don’t hear from her.
John Jonas (31:33):
And then I get an email from her that says, sir, you told me I couldn’t disappear. And I’m so scared to send you this email. And I don’t want to, but I don’t know what to do about this thing. And I was like, Oh, well, that’s a super simple solution. Here’s the, here’s the here’s like solve this thing. And it totally solved the problem. And she was super grateful that I helped her and she got back right back to work. But it was only because I had told her, like, I understand this cultural phenomenon of you want to disappear. And I gave her training.
Todd Welch (32:05):
Yeah, for sure. It’s, it’s definitely a few little things that you need to learn to adjust to. But like you said, otherwise, culturally, they’re very similar to us here in the U S they listen to a lot of the same music, same movies and things like that. So I haven’t had any problems, you know, I’ve had a few come and go but I haven’t really had any major problems. And like you said, they do tend to, they’re very loyal. You know, if you treat them well, they’re going to treat you well and they’re going to stick around. So you can have that employee for a long time. Where in the U S you know, if you keep somebody for a year, you’re lucky nowadays. Yeah. And especially like, you know what, at $600 a month or $500 a month for full time work to have that person for 10 years, like, dude, that’s a big deal for a small business owner.
Todd Welch (32:58):
Keep in mind. Yeah. Treat them just like any employee that you’d hire here and in the workout really good, you know, raises and stuff like that. They also have, what’s called the 13th month, you know? So they get paid for a 13th month. That’s kind of like their Christmas bonus kind of thing. That’s standard over there in the Philippines. So knowing those little things, maybe knowing and understanding some of the Philippines holidays and giving them those days off goes quite a long way.
John Jonas (33:23):
Yeah, totally. I, yeah. And you hit on some of the major things that like, you know, 13 a month, the holidays, they have so many holidays it’s silly. And not, not all of them are required day off holidays, but a bunch of them should and need, it goes a long ways to, to be sensitive to their culture.
John Jonas (33:40):
Like they don’t celebrate the 4th of July on the fourth. That’s not their independence day. So they’ll be happy to work that day. But Christmas and new year’s is a really, really big deal. They’re like, and the week between there is, you know, that’s a big deal for them, so, yep, absolutely. Perfect. So I think this gives everybody a really good start and idea on virtual assistants, which are great for growing your business. So give out your websites one more time and where they can pick up that book. So my, the job board is onlinejobs.ph, and that’s where you’re gonna go to find people, if you want help with the recruiting process with hiring people, that’s onevaaway.com. And then my book is the outsourcing lever at outsourcinglever.com.
Todd Welch (34:26):
All right, perfect. I appreciate it, John. This has been excellent.
John Jonas (34:30):
Hey, thanks for having me. I appreciate it, man.
Todd Welch (34:32):
You have a great one.
John Jonas (34:33):
This has been another episode of the Amazon Seller School podcast. Thanks for listening fellow entrepreneur and always remember success is yours. If you take it.