Tell us a bit about your business?
Virtual Coworker was founded in 2011. We are an offshore recruiting company that specialises in recruiting part-time and full-time roles in the Philippines for Australian and US businesses. You tell us what you're looking for and we source, screen, interview and match the perfect candidates for your business. There are no set-up costs involved and hourly rates are usually a fifth of those for comparable roles in Australia. It's a very exciting space for us to be in, with so more and more small business owners realising what outsourcing can do for their business!
Why did you start up your business?
I had been on a trip to the Philippines and was so excited at the hard-working, dedicated, bustling workforce with perfect English. It made me so excited at the opportunity. Many large corporations were relocating parts of their business there, but small businesses didn't have access to these wonderful people, skills and culture. I wanted to change that and give small businesses the chance to work with Filipino workers too.
What are the major hurdles you experienced when starting up your business?
A lot of people are skeptical about outsourcing. They know someone who has had a bad experience or have had a bad one themselves. We spend a lot of our time educating our clients about the right way to outsource, from the recruitment process through to keeping your remote staff motivated and engaged.
What tips can you give other SavvySME members that are thinking or in the process of starting up their business?
Start a business that's in a growing market, much easier to get a slice of action. Validation of your business model is key...dont create a solution looking for a problem.
What made you decide to take the jump and focus on your business?
I'm a serial entrepreneur; Life is one big jump!
How did you family and friends react?
Some jumped onboard as clients straight away.
How has your life changed?
Running my own outsourcing business has unsurprisingly inspired me to outsource almost everything I do, concentrating only the things I enjoy doing most in my business and that really add value.
What success have you experienced since starting your business?
It's always a rocky road adventure but we've seen great growth over the past 12 months. It's exciting to be part of an industry that is just going to become a larger part of how we live & work.
What is the vision for your business going forward?
Continue to grow our Australian client base, place longer lasting roles and come the middle of the year we'll be rapidly growing our presence in the US with a team on the ground.
What tips can you give other SavvySME about motivating yourself to push through the challenges that rise up while building your startup?
Surround yourself with positive people as well as devil's advocates. An imbalance will leave you feeling either demotivated and not driven or on the other hand with a false sense of how to be critical of your business and change/adapt where necessary.