003: Working With Outsource Workers From the Philippines

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Hi! It's David Lee here, this time with my wife.

Sabera Lee: Hello! Sabera Lee here.

And for the last, how long have we been married Sabera?

Sabera Lee: It's about 31 years.

And, who's counting?

The reason I'm mentioning that is that quite often people, because of the association with Sabera and myself, ask about getting Philippine workers, outsource workers to help them with their business. Now do you know people like that, or somebody that's tried to engage outsourced workers, in this case, from the Philippines?

Did you know, Sabera, did you know that 53% of these relationships don't go very well? In fact, they fail.

Sabera Lee: That's correct.

Why do you think some of the reasons are that they don't go as well as people would like? What are the problems?

Sabera Lee: Do you want to have a quick fix?

Everybody wants a quick fix. What happens is, and you'll know from my background that I, being a systems person, I have to go in and look at situations. I have to analyse them. I had to ask questions.

Do I upset sometimes people with questions, Sabera, when I go to the Philippines?

Sabera Lee:  Yes, most of the time.

Well, it shouldn't be the case, but quite often people talk in general terms. And if we're looking to develop systems we have to be very specific. So, questions are essential for a business analyst. And when people give answers you're hoping they're going to give  specific answers, and yet they don't.

People all over the world talk in generalities and that is one of the problems. Do you understand what I'm talking about? So, when I say something like, "Could you explain how this system works?", they may not even know how the system works. They may not understand.

So I have to ask the questions to find out do they really know what they're talking about because, by default, you as the person, the foreigner, asking the questions...they want the job, they want the employment. And if I ask any question in the world, what's the answer they're always going to say? "Yes" Is that correct? They will always say, "Yes".

And so, that's why the questioning is appropriate. Now one thing, because of my 30 years of...oh, thirty...it's a long time, a long time of being a Systems Analyst, developing like property systems with Rick Otton in the United Kingdom, developing them from the ground up, business systems, presenting. Also, using the Internet. People think I'm a property person, I'm an Internet person, I'm a business person or whatever. I am a systems person.

And so, because I can go and develop systems and I understand that I know how to cut right through. And because of the Filipino connection and because of the systems connection I can save people, that are looking to have that solution, so much time and effort and frustration. Pulling your hair out that they would otherwise encounter.

Now the reason I say this is because you in your small business, do you really want to be going in and doing things that are not going to be profitable for you? Or do you  want someone who specialises to do that? Because most people lose focus and attention because they try to do everything. Have you seen that Sabera?

Sabera: Too much.

They try to do everything and I say, "Focus exactly what it is, the core of your business and if you start deviating on things you're not specialised in, you've either got to pay the price, or you're going to take a long time learning, and that's what I talk about the opportunity cost."

And I had John Farrington on a call recently, and I said, "If we could go back to 2008, would you just want what's in here (pointing to my head), so that you would be at 2015 seven years ago with what you knew?" Because, otherwise we spend time learning and making mistakes where we're not specialised.

So you've got to get specific. You need to be clear. You can't do everything yourself. I can not do everything myself. It's impossible and that's why I have a team of people around me. People that I can show what to do. Explain what to do, but they're specialists in their area. And running a small business, it can't be done all by yourself.

So if I talk about one thing, be specific, be clear, don't talk in generalities like most people do, and you've got to get the answers to your questions. So, this is just a short video for you there on Your Business Post, and if you're watching on our blog, it comes from 25 years and more of experience. So, you have a great day.

Sabera: From me, there's no quick fix.

There's no quick fix. She knows that.

Sabera: And thank you for listening.

Thank you. Bye.