Have you considered outsourcing tasks to virtual teams hundreds of miles away?
The idea might seem a bit far-fetched, impractical even. Our latest guest on “In Systems We Trust” had similar thoughts, until he took a leap of faith and made it his business.
Meet Robert Nickell, Founder and CEO of Rocket Station, the leading provider of outsourced staffing and process management for the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. His company helps businesses hire virtual teams with greater efficiency, allowing operators to focus on core competencies and outsource the rest.
When we talked to Robert, he had just gotten back from Tulum, Mexico, where he visited friends and completely switched off from work. In a sense, Robert is living every entrepreneur's dream. That wasn’t always the case. In fact, he’d had quite a rocky journey when he started out on his own in real estate back in 2013.
Getting out of your own way
Like most young entrepreneurs, Robert was ambitious. A bit too ambitious, he admits. In the early days of his start-up, he took on every role himself, from answering phones to posting on social media. As a perfectionist, he was resistant to the idea of delegating tasks to others. As business started to pick up, however, Robert knew he needed help. His first hire was someone from the Philippines answering the phone...and they were terrible at it. Suddenly, Robert’s worst nightmare of having someone horrible at their job representing him had come true. The interesting thing was, despite that employee’s poor performance, Robert had closed more sales that month than ever. Having someone dedicated to answering the phone and setting appointments allowed Robert to focus on what he did best: closing deals.
“That was a big moment for me,” Robert recalls, “releasing the fear of letting any control or letting go of any tasks.” After that, Robert learned from his experience and started outsourcing his admin tasks to virtual assistants so he can focus on revenue-generating activities. His journey inspired him to help other companies figure out what tasks needed outsourcing and connect them with the right talent.
Removing roadblocks and creating clarity
Robert recognized, with the many small businesses he’s worked with, they were experiencing the same roadblock he had faced when he first started out on his own. Managers are overwhelmed with the day to day activities and managing staff that they barely have the energy to work on driving revenue or engaging with their clients. The workday becomes tedious as a result, and hardly any of the tasks managers were hired to do ever gets done. These are the issues Rocket Station is hired to tackle.
When Robert is first brought in to consult with struggling businesses, he does not immediately jump to the hiring process. Creating clarity is the first step to establishing a strong foundation before creating and filling positions. After understanding the inner workings of the client’s organization in the alignment phase, Rocket Station moves on to identifying systems and processes and documenting SOPs (standard operating procedures). Only then are they able to create job descriptions that give them an idea of the personality profile that can fill those positions that will enable the business to function at its best. They then match these profiles with the hundreds of employees they train from different places around the world and connect the best fit with the client. It’s a long process that requires trust and full buy-in from the client in order to reap the desired results.
What’s appealing about Rocket Station’s services is their commitment to handling all the HR work and hiring the right staff at a reduced cost. Clients don’t have to worry about any HR liabilities, and employees enjoy training and full benefits that allow them to thrive in the work they deliver.
Start with what’s working
On many occasions, Robert recognizes hesitancy and sometimes embarrassment from the client’s side due to the lack of clarity in their current systems. For this reason, Robert recommends identifying strengths and building on them. For instance, if the client has a strong sales rep, focus on that and figure out ways to enhance their performance. This process generates quick wins, thereby instilling confidence within your client about your capabilities and judgment. With this newfound trust, you are then able to approach the client with feedback to improve on other areas that require more attention. More likely than not, the client will be open to your suggestions and more willing to implement them.
“Oftentimes, supporting what's winning gives us more wins,” says Robert. “We support small to midsize businesses to grow and actually increase the number of W-2s they have. Not only that but also increase the quality of those jobs to higher-paying jobs.”
The end goal is not hiring or staffing, Robert emphasizes. The main objective is to empower efficient and clean businesses to provide as much value to the world as they possibly can. Now, due to the pandemic, Rocket Station strives to help companies adapt and adjust through the adoption of remote and virtual teams.
Our conversation with Robert left us invigorated and eager to learn more about the benefits of virtual outsourcing. Make sure to catch our full conversation on our latest “In Systems We Trust”, now available on all platforms.