Back to Blog

How To Scale Your Business With The Help Of Virtual Assistants - With Ana Santiago

May 22, 2021

Tom Bailey, founder of Succeed Through Speaking, interviews Ana Santiago.

Ana Santiago is the current COO of Outsource School and has been working remotely for 10 years. Starting at the age of 18, Ana started taking on her own freelance clients full time helping them with sales work, SEO, content, eCommerce, among other business tasks. As the COO of Outsource School, she is in charge of managing the entire team of 15+, optimizing operations, and contributing to the growth of the brand. Ana lives in the Philippines and regularly speaks about her experiences helping companies to efficiently operate and grow with 100% remote teams.

Why you've got to check out Ana's episode:

- Learn how Outsource School helps entrepreneurs who have proven systems and processes and are looking to ramp up without having to do all the work themselves.

- They also help Entrepreneurs who struggle to consistently make good hires, or who have had a bad experience of hiring. Outsource School helps you ensure your investment in people is a good investment.

- Understand how good or bad hiring can be the difference between success and failure in your business. And what you need to hire for as well as what is the priority instead of taking on everything yourself.

- Why you should set expectations up front and create a list of tasks and clear standard operating processes that you want to hire for, and then when interviewing look for great attitude and communication skills.

- Get access to the VA Budget Calculator to help you understand how much you can invest in resource for your business. You can also get access to a free training webinar and a 25% off coupon code for Outsource School.

Resources / Links

Find out more here -

Special Community Discount for 25% off the Outsource School yearly plan: Code: GROW25


Tom Bailey: Hello and welcome to the Flow And Grow Expert Interviews. The place, for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business results.

Hello, I'm Tom Bailey. And in today's episode, I'm joined by Ana Santiago, who is the current COO of Outsource Score. And amazingly has been working remotely for over 10 years now. So, Ana, hello, and a very warm welcome to today's episode.

Ana Santiago: Hi, Tom. Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure.

Tom Bailey: I really appreciate it. And whereabouts are you in the world right now?

Ana Santiago: Well, I'm from the Philippines born and raised.

Tom Bailey: Incredible. Thank you so much. And let me now just dive into the subject of Ana in a little bit more detail. So, as the COO of outsource school, Anna is in charge of managing the entire team of over 15 people, optimizing operations and contributing to the continued growth of the brand.

The title for today's episode is How To Scale Your Business With The Help Of Virtual Assistants. And Ana is going to show us how to do that in just under seven minutes. So, question number one for you today is who are your ideal clients?

Ana Santiago: Right. So, our ideal clients are entrepreneurs who have proven systems and processes in their business model, or at least just a little bit and are looking to ramp up without having to do all the work themselves in every single part of the business. Our clients could also be entrepreneurs who have struggled to consistently make good hires or delegate and have had a lot of bad pirates experiences.

Tom Bailey: Got it. Thank you so much. And what is the biggest challenge that they typically face?

Ana Santiago: I think it's around having a good set process that efficiently vets, good hires, setting the right expectations. Keeping the virtual assistants around long-term hiring is an investment. And if you have a lot of turnover and hiring mistakes, it's really poor investing.

Tom Bailey: Yeah. So, you've mentioned a few of the challenges. When we think of these challenges, what impact does that typically have on either them or their business?

Ana Santiago: Well, the difference between good and bad hiring is of course, between success and failure. There are a lot. There are a lot of great ideas and entrepreneurs that never go anywhere because they can't build the right team, the right standard operating procedures to drive, you know, the, the car, the figurative car in their business, and the ability to hire well, any time you need something in your business changes the growth.

So, you can't really run a business entirely by yourself. So, we also help you figure out what you need to hire for what is a priority and rather than doing every little thing yourself.

Tom Bailey: Yeah. Amazing. Completely understand. So, what is one valuable piece of advice that you'd give to somebody to really help them solve that problem?

Ana Santiago: Right. So from the get-go with your hires, talk about setting expectations upfront, what you like doing in your business, incorporating, good attitude into infer interviewing creating a list of tasks that you should be doing. And my overall hiring advice is one common mistake that I've seen with the interviewing processes.

People tend to look for experience and gratitude sorry, skills, rather than looking at the communication and attitude and red flags. So, what we focus on is looking for great communication skills, attitude, and small red flags that maybe , you can still work with right. Rather than looking for someone with a long list of experience and skill sets.

And usually, it doesn't work. So, without that right communication skills and attitude, you'd probably get a, a great VA for what to stick around with you six months a year. No, you want someone that takes creative feedback and becomes better through time.

Tom Bailey: Great. And let's think of any entrepreneurs that are out there listening to this episode right now. What is one valuable free resource that you can share to help them with this challenge they've got in their business?

Ana Santiago: I actually have a couple for you guys. So, one is our VA budget calculator, which helps you determine how much you can invest into virtual assistants for how many hours and, and how many days in a week.

So, I'll, I'll give that link over to Tom to give to you guys. We also have a webinar from Nathan Hirsch. R C E O co-CEO with Connor one where they talk about how else we can help you in their business. Also, I created a coupon code for you guys for 20% off. Sorry, 25% off if you guys join us and I will add some freebies.

If you decide to set up a call with me, I give free consultations and more in-depth value for you guys to focus on your, your personal issues and challenges within your business and how we can help. So, if you schedule a call with me, I have a few extra bonuses for you guys. But yeah, I'll, I'll give over all of the details to Tom later on.

Tom Bailey: Amazing. Thank you so much. So, and I'll grab those links and I'll pop them into the show notes below this episode or video, so people can click those and get in and either download these resources or get access to that for free. Okay. So, question number six from me today is what would you say is your greatest failure that you've ever made either in life or business? And what did you learn from it?

Ana Santiago: My biggest challenge would be finding the right career path. So, for several years, I've struggled with work. I never been the person that enjoys going, I think, who does enjoy going to work. What I need is. I would call in sick all the time. I wouldn't be there on time. If I just clock in at nine o'clock out at five and don't care. What happens in the business while I'm what changed was I found Nathan and Connor. I became a virtual assistant. They helped me grow. So, a lot of my other clients or other companies I've worked for never focused on what, what would be good for me in, in, in working no growth, no opportunity, no pushing me to, to reach my full potential.

So, with Nathan and Connor, they gave me that stability that I needed. And it is a problem for a lot of people on this side of the world. And they treated me like family. They built a relationship with me to the point where now from just being a VA that handled their emails and their calendar.

And now I'm the COO and because of, because of them. That they made that happen and having that, that great client relationship,

Tom Bailey: What an amazing journey and story you've got. Thank you so much for sharing that. And the final one for me today is what is one question that I should have asked you though, that will also give great value to our audience today?

Ana Santiago: Right? I would say it's centered around why we recommend hiring from the Philippines. What is so great about Filipino virtual assistants?

Tom Bailey: Great. And what would you say is the answer to that one?

Ana Santiago: Great question. So, there are several factors actually. So, one there is a common myth outsourcing the effects. That hiring Filipino virtual assistants have a lot of communication issues, barriers, but really we learn English as a second language. Filipino virtual assistants are generally and genuinely hard workers. They, they want to keep learning new things. They work really hard. Here in the Philippines, we are overworked and underpaid.

The usual salary of a corporate worker in the Philippines is about 12 to $14 a day. Not an hour. I'd say so being a virtual assistant and open so many opportunities for us for, at a better living, we get to stay home with our family. We get to make a little bit extra. We don't have to live paycheck to paycheck.

And I remember when I used to travel four to six hours every day to and from work. And with that time I saved becoming a virtual assistant. I get to spend with my family and I get to even further my growth. I get to learn more as a virtual assistant.

Tom Bailey: Great. So, it really is a win-win for both the entrepreneur and for the virtual assistant in, in these opportunities.

Excellent. So, Ana, thank you so much again for your time today and for joining us to share such great value with that audience.

Ana Santiago: Oh yes. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate the opportunity and I hope I gave a lot of value for my listeners.

Tom Bailey: Thanks again.