Talha Bhatty; the founder of The Premier Tutors gave us an awesome testimonial about his experience working with his H.Y.V.A.™ Virtual Assistant. (<<<—What he said made my day and left me smiling). Check out the video below!
Owen McGab Enaohwo (OME): Hi everyone. My name is Owen McGab Enaohwo, and I am the Community Engagement Officer here at H.Y.V.A.™ and what I do is I empower entrepreneurs to focus on their income-producing activities by outsourcing time-consuming work over to virtual assistants. Today I have one of my clients on the show to talk about his experience doing business with us, and today we have Talha Bhatty from ThePremierTutors.org. Go ahead introduce yourself to the audience, and we’ll talk about what your business is about.
Talha Bhatty (TB): How’s it going? Thank you Owen. The Premier Tutors is a company that I started a couple of years ago and it’s focused on empowering young kids to perform at their best and use the same resources that are available to other, more wealthy people. It’s cheaper tutoring for people, it’s just the same quality as you paying 250 dollars an hour, and you’re getting quality tutoring for a fraction of the cost. We cater to all the needs of the students like Math, Chemistry, Physics, SATs, GREs, GMATs, all the way through middle school, high school, all the way up. That’s how.
OME: Let me get this right. Basically, you provide tutoring services to you know, high schoolers, and essentially it’s like a market place where they can come in and basically look for a tutor, and you provide them with a tutor that can basically work one-on-one with them at a very affordable price to meet their specific needs.
TB: Exactly, and it’s not even a market place. Basically, they’ll come to us, they tell us, this is what the student is like, this is what he wants to study in, and we sort of pair them with up with the tutor that would help the kid get the most… the expert in their field, at the same time we’ll add sort of the same personality the kid is also looking for. Say the kid wants a stress-free environment, where it’s not like work, work, work, then we’ll pair them up with somebody not serious, like crawling down the kids is not work. Like the parents say, we need somebody who can crack a whip, then we’ll give them somebody, who is more drill sergeant about it. So basically, it’s sort of matching people up with the kids who can help them sort of deliver to their max.
OME: And I like that too because it all appeals to the learning style, the kind of learning style you have. Like for me, I prefer to watch videos and listen to a book, and so finding a person who could teach me in that form would just make sense. And so you started the business, and you got to a point where you felt like you needed a VA. I mean, what drove you to the point I’m trying to get at?
TB: Well, so in the past, this business is largely driven by your customers and stuff, people referring you and they in turn refer somebody else, and I mean, right now, recently for example, we came like 4 links down the chain. We have somebody referring somebody else who refers somebody else, who refers somebody else, and you know, it’s a big deal for us. And so, the work, sort of, personally for me, because I tutor myself as well, had just gotten to the point where the stuff that I needed to do on a daily basis, I couldn’t just because now, my schedule was so filled up with students. So, I then needed to take off, and I knew some of the things I was doing was just really pointless – anybody could do them, if I just spent like half an hour telling them how.
OME: And actually let’s just give our listeners a context of how your day was before you hired a VA. What were the things you were doing? Give us some insight on that.
TB: Well, I guess, I mean I haven’t had a VA long enough in my life to completely get changed – I’m hoping that it will in the near future, but up until recently I was barely getting four hours of sleep at night, for like extended periods of time. My wife wants to kill me right now. And in the day, when it was daylight, I would do the things that required daylight, and actually be able to talk to people and meet people, and drop things off, and pick things up, that sort of stuff, and in the night, I would sit down and do the stuff that I didn’t need to interact with the outside world, so I’ll catch up with all of my emails, go through the accounts and the invoices, some of the things which anybody can do. Play with the website a little bit, stuff like that, so by the end of the day, it was just exhausting, physically exhausting. But at least now, the crazy chunk of work I do at night, I’ve been able to pass on to somebody and so far so good. Like one of the ways that I’ve sort of tried to keep quality control, let’s follow that, is to have these guys sort of send me back sort of training videos of what they’re doing.
OME: Just so, anyone’s listening, when he says these guys he’s talking about is the VA’s.
TB: Exactly. So my two VAs right, they really show me if they’ve understood exactly what I want of them as well. It’s a good strategy to check on that. So like 90% of it will be okay, and then the neglected detail will sort of happen this way, so you get to pay attention to that detail now, you’re not just sitting there doing everything from scratch.
OME: You know one point you made that I like is that the work that they do, that you have them create systems and processes and now basically using them—our Vas—to create kind of like a system manual on how you do the different tasks and processes in your business.
TB: Exactly, and what’s funny is I was just thinking about it’s like for example, H.Y.V.A.™ has forced me to do is to be more systematized about things. I mean, I still have to do things, but it’s just like spending half an hour with my VA and just sort of today, this needs to happen, and then after spending that half hour, I just freed up five hours. And the funny bit is, you’re going to love this, what use to take me five hours, these guys get it done in just two hours. So it’s cool, maybe the two of them are working together, I don’t know what they’re doing, and maybe they’re just super focused, that’s the way that it’s done.
OME: And one thing I like about this whole process of systemizing your business is that a lot of entrepreneurs don’t look at it from the perspective of lifetime value of taking that time to systemize it, they look at it if I take this time to do it, I might be doing something else. They don’t think that tomorrow or the day after if someone else take that work from them because it is systemized.
TB: I’ll give you one more funny story that I’ve heard from a place. Now, do you think that McDonald’s has the best burgers in the world? Do you think you could personally make better burgers than McDonald’s?
TB: You could. Anybody could man! But that’s the whole point. They’re making billions because they have a system that works on autopilot. Nobody has to be anywhere. The system just does its own thing. All around the world, that’s what you want to do. Just make a machine that runs without you having to sit there and watch it work.
OME: That’s awesome. One of the questions I want to ask is that now you know that you needed to hire a virtual assistant, what kind of fears, reservations and challenges were you having in the process even before you pressed that trigger and said, “Let me hire a virtual assistant”. What challenges were you having?
TB: Well, a lot of it has to do with the “too-good-to-be-true” syndrome, I guess. Really, somebody will work for that amount of money and just takes so many things off my plate, and not just run away with it? Like sort of internet scams. That’s the first, the “too-good-to-be-true” factor. And the other thing is that I guess that because it’s not something done widely enough, is that people don’t know which ones are scams. There’s no brand, so it’s not like you can just pick something and be like, “Samsung makes good TVs, let’s buy a Samsung TV.” There not something like that for Virtual Assistants. I mean there might be. There’s not just something like that, like those guys are the best, let’s go to them. That was one of the big things, is that you don’t realize what’s wrong, who the competition is, some people working in India, some people at the Philippines. I actually found people working here in Massachusetts, but you know she’s three times more expensive, and she lives in Massachusetts. The big selling point there is that if I need to, will you send packages for me? And she said no, I can’t do physical stuff. Oh well, then what’s the difference? I might get anybody from elsewhere in the world, doesn’t make a difference. That was one thing. And other than that, the other sort of big thing is, and I guess any entrepreneur probably would say this, is that every entrepreneur would stick to the attention to detail, and I find myself that way as well, so just handling that over to somebody else and just really pushing controls is a little hard that way. I’m going show somebody else that they wouldn’t do a job as good as I do, so just getting over that and handing over the tasks, making the process by getting them to the point where you think you’re at is also one big thing.
OME: And you made a good point, but how did you meet that challenge of letting it go, because someone who is listening now would wonder, how did Talha let go?
TB: Well, I mean, what I did was, and I don’t know actually if I can share some screen shots with you.
OME: Oh let me see, definitely. Go ahead and share your screen.
TB: Alright. Like this. I’m a big Google Docs fan. So what I’ve done is I’ve broken it up to a lot more for the daily, weekly, monthly activities. There’s stuff that urgently needs to happen, so I made a to-do list so that everybody is on the same page all the time and I broke up the work that needs to be done piece by piece that way. The biggest thing is there has to be constant communication link and that’s how the leverage system to make it work. As soon as the communication link breaks down or one side stops talking, things just have a tendency to start falling apart. A daily quick update. You don’t need that daily interaction necessarily, but just to keep things on point, the more you transfer the live system like Google Docs, I love this because everything is alive. Nothing is static. Stuff like email, like I send you an email, and then you edit it, then you send it back, back and forth, with the way technology is moving currently. Google Docs just lets you add something to the to-do list and my VA will see it instantly. If I need to do anything else, there’s chat and sort of explain why I put it there. Communication is what drives it like that.
OME: Wow. Talha I really enjoyed you sharing your experiences so far, and anyone who is listening to this. What is that one thing you can give to the entrepreneur listening to this to move forward and just take the step and hire a VA. Hire a VA from H.Y.V.A.™ or whatever. What is that one thing you want to give to the listeners to take that plunge.
TB: I think it’s again, get over your fear of relinquishing stuff. Be okay with somebody doing the job, that might not be in the beginning be as good as you do, but you know, you can train them and you can appoint them. The beginning is just the setting up the system so spend time building systems, especially if you’re a small business man like I am myself. You don’t even realize. There’s a lot of stuff that you can pass up, but you know, somebody else can do this, but you don’t hire them. Like when I started, I was not good to do this, and there were just two things now, it’s getting bigger, and that’s what you have to remember. The more you systematize things now, the more things are going to get more organized.
OME: Thank you so much for dropping in knowledge and letting people know that from you. Take that first step, systematize, and gradually grow and grow into the point where you’re doing less and less of the work and that’s what we’re going try to make sure that we deliver.
TB: I’ll be honest with you, the reason why I picked you guys was because I did a whole bunch of research, and you know Google page ranking for them or what not. The reason you stood out was because you had taken so much ownership of your product and like all of the videos that you’d put up and stuff and that was a big decision-making thing. Here’s somebody who’s also an entrepreneur who’s in the same shoes I am and I’m trying really hard and he’s doing more than I am.
OME: Thank you for your time.
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