That Kat Radio – Podcast 49 – December 9, 2013: Am I ready to hire and train a VA?

 

In this episode of That Kat Radio, we discussed hiring an international VA and training them

Today, Kat spoke with Brad DeGraw of FBA Hotlist and Andy Dew of It’s Dewable. 

 

Brad DeGraw and Kat discussed “Why a VA?”

Questions that Brad answered were:

1. How and why did you first start using VA’s in your business

2. Why do you feel outsourcing is necessary for an internet business?

3. How do you suggest and internet entrepreneur begin outsourcing?

4. What will people be able to learn from the webinar series Kat and Brad did on hiring a VA?

 

Brad discussed how very important it is to outsource the most mundane of your tasks so that you can focus on the more important ones. He stressed that each job done by you eats away at the time you could be using to grow your business. Kat and Brad discussed the webinar series they did about this very topic. You can find out more information about the webinar by clicking here and by reading below:

When you purchase this webinar package you will learn these benefits to hiring an International VA:

  • More flexibility with your time
  • Freedom from repetitive tasks
  • Greater productivity in an 8 hour day
  • Amazon specific tasks for a VA that can bring huge ROI
  • Create More Time in Your Day
  • Proven training techniques
  • Understand cultural differences

 

Andy Dew and Kat discussed “How to train a VA”

Questions that Andy answered were:

1. How and why did you first start using VAs in your business?

2. Why do you feel outsourcing is essential to online business?

3. How do you suggest an internet entrepreneur begin outsourcing?

4. What are some of the tools you recommend for training a “virtual assistant,” or VA?

 

Andy discussed how to best decide if you were at a point in your business that it was smart for you to begin outsourcing, then he went on to discuss the best training methods for VAs. He also shared his personal story about how he hired and trained his VA and how he promoted his VA to his online business manager. Now he has tons of free time to focus on different facets of his business!

 

Andy and Kat revealed that they have begun a new webinar series dedicated entirely to the topic of hiring and training an international VA. This series of podcasts is Kat and Andy walking you through the process step by step. You will have a coaching opportunity with Andy and one on one communication so that you are able to get your questions answered. This is a limited space opportunity and there are only TEN SPOTS available! If you are interested in being a part of this, and you feel that you are at the point where you have the resources to begin outsourcing, send Andy an email at Andy@ItsDewable.com and he will send you a questionnaire to gauge whether or not you are ready for this in depth program. Space and time is of the essence, so send those emails quickly! You can also find out more via Kat’s Facebook group!

 

 

After a great and stimulating couple of interviews, Kat wrapped up the show by sharing that she is now in charge of helping to organize the Seabay Cruise coming up soon, February 8-13, 2014. She will also be attending the TES conference in Tucson, AZ, March 21-22, 2014 and she will be attending the More Fun Bigger Profits conference hosted by Danni Ackerman of the Danni App, May 2-3, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV!

 

 

Links for the show:

Brad DeGraw’s links:

Andy Dew’s links:

 

 

 

 

How a Simple “Video Shoot” Can Get Legally Complicated

cliff“I’m a video photographer who, up until now, has specialized in shooting weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other ‘celebration’ type events.

A local high school recently contacted me about making a video of their school’s drama production each year.  I frankly didn’t realize there was a market for that, so I contacted other area elementary, middle and high schools in my area.  All of them told me they would love me to come in and videotape their school functions as long as I didn’t charge the schools anything for that service (in other words, I would charge the parents for copies of their child’s performance).

This sounds like a great opportunity for me, but my lawyer doesn’t like it for some reason.  He’s not the kind to explain his reasoning, so I’m hoping you will help me understand the legalities of doing something like this.”

I’m not sure I would be as negative about this as your attorney, but he’s right that if you do this type of video work you need to be very, very careful as things can get very complicated in a hurry, legally speaking.

Before you shoot a video of anyone other than a professional actor or actress (and sometimes even then), you need to get a document – often called a “permission and release form” — by which he or she:

  • “permits” you to make the video and edit their performance as you think necessary;
  • “releases” you from any liability for the video shoot;
  • “assigns” or “licenses” the right to use their likeness and voice, their copyright and other rights to you (if you plan to sell the video to people other than him or his parents); and
  • “indemnifies” you from any legal liability that may result from the video shoot (unless of course it was your fault).

Because you are dealing with amateur actors and their parents, this form should be written in “plain English” and should be not more than one page long.

Since most of the student performers will be under the legal age of consent (21 in virtually all states, 18 in some), you will need to get the release forms signed by every single parent or legal guardian of every single student involved in the production (a teacher’s signature is not enough).  In these days of ready divorce I would not trust a release signed by only one parent unless the release language specifically states that the individual signing the release has “full and legal authority” to grant it.

If you omit to get a release for even one of the students you are videotaping, or if a single parent or guardian refuses to sign your form, then you are faced with a stark choice:  you can either edit that student out of the video (which will upset the integrity of the performance you are trying to document), or you cannot use the video for any purpose whatsoever.

Since most schools will be reluctant to give you the names and home addresses of each student involved in a production (after the Columbine and Newtown shootings you can understand why), you will be forced to ask parents to sign release forms as they show up for their child’s production and hope that all of them agree to sign.  Some schools may be willing to have their teachers deliver the forms to the participating students so they can be signed beforehand and delivered by the student on performance night, but if even one student forgets to have the form signed in advance (would YOU trust a teenager to deliver an important message to their parents?), you have a “rights” problem that will compromise the video shoot.

Even if a parent or guardian signs the form, they may be reluctant to give you free reign over how the video is used.  For any kind of competitive event (such as a basketball game, or a business plan competition), the school or coach may not want copies of the video to be delivered to the other team for fear of publicizing a game strategy or secret play.

Most parents will also want you to assure them that the video will present their child in the most favorable light possible.  While we all love to watch videos of little kids saying silly things or making cute mistakes (remember Art Linklater’s television show “Kids Say the Darndest Things”?), there’s a growing concern in this age of social media that “blooper” tapes of students looking foolish, blowing their lines or acting in politically incorrect ways onstage can be posted online for worldwide comment and mockery (to say nothing of college admissions people who may stumble upon them in future years).

In promoting your services, you will need to promise each school they will not be sued or embarrassed as a result of your video shoot.  Break that promise, and your entire community will know about it.

Cliff Ennico, a leading expert on small business law and taxes, is the author of “Small Business Survival Guide,” “The eBay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book” and 15 other books.

Turning Your Crafts Product Into a Mass Marketing Success

 

Ciff Ennico Headshot“My daughter, a full-time college student, has made money in her spare time making customized covers for her friends’ smartphones and mobile devices.

We are thinking about turning this into a real business.  We’ve spoken to a local patent attorney and he’s optimistic we will be able to get a patent on my daughter’s design.  All of the graphics she uses on the covers are original so we’re also optimistic we will be able to copyright most of them.

 

But the process of manufacturing these products is very intimidating.  How do we go about doing that?”

 

With a product like this, you have two basic choices:  the “high road” and the “low road.”

 

The “low road” is fairly easy. You sell a few items each month, make each one by hand, and advertise them locally – notices on campus bulletin boards, booths at local crafts fairs, an ad in The New Yorker magazine, (maybe) a listing on etsy.com which focuses on handmade crafts items.

 

If you are following the “low road” with low sales volume you need to price your products as high as possible, at least $30 to $50 per cover.  If you are customizing each cover with the customer’s name, her pet’s name, or something unique to that individual, you can charge even more, maybe $50 to $75 per cover.

 

You won’t sell a lot of covers following the “low road,” but it will be easy to do and will generate a fair amount of extra income. Also, and forgive me for saying this, but it sounds like neither you nor your daughter have the free time to build a fast-growing business of any kind.  If someone orders 100 covers for delivery next week, you have to say “no”.  Until one of you is ready to devote herself full-time to this business, the “low road” is the right road.

 

The “high road: is all about fast growth and developing a mass market product.  Here are the steps:

 

  • you will need to find a manufacturer who can put together an estimate of the cost of manufacturing your product at different quantities of production (the cost of producing 500 covers will be more than the cost of producing 100 covers but will usually result in a lower cost per cover);
  • since you don’t have the time to make, market and sell the covers yourselves, you will need to license your product to a larger company that will take care of all that and pay you a royalty on sales (usually 5% to 8%); and
  • you will need to work closely with the large company on an ongoing basis to make sure they maintain your desired product quality and to help manage any changes in the product that may be necessary for mass marketing (for example, if you need to use a lower quality of fabric to keep the retail price low, will the covers fall apart with ordinary use?).

 

Here are some questions you will need to answer before pursuing the “high road”:

 

Where can I find a manufacturer to provide the cost estimate? Search online for “[your state] association of manufacturers.”  Most states have a trade association of local Mom and Pop manufacturers who will be eager to work with you.

 

How do I deal with these manufacturers?  Deal with several of them, ask for a “nonbinding competitive price quote,” and be sure to get a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) from each of them before showing them details of your product design.

 

Should I talk to a manufacturer in China?  While your large company partner will almost certainly be manufacturing your product in Asia, they will not expect you to find the best deal for them.  If you must talk to Asian manufacturers, use services such as www.globalsources.com and www.asiaconnection.com that “certify” them so you know you are dealing with reputable companies.

 

How do I license the product to a large company?  I don’t recommend doing this yourself.  Large companies will be more comfortable dealing with a “licensing agent” who specializes in this type of merchandise.  To find the leading national agent firms, check out www.inventorsblackbook.com.  You should also search “[your state] inventors association”.  Most states have associations of inventors, and these organizations almost always have licensing agents as members.

 

How do I prevent the large company from stealing the product?  You will need a good lawyer to negotiate your license agreement with a large company.  The nondisclosure clause should be ironclad, and there should be specific language in the agreement preventing the large company from “reverse engineering” your product.

 

The best protection, though, is to keep “on top” of the relationship with your new partner:  don’t let them just take your product and run away with it.  Make sure you have the right to approve any product changes they recommend, and that you own the intellectual property rights to any “modifications, improvements or enhancements” to the product.

 

Cliff Ennico, a leading expert on small business law and taxes, is the author of “Small Business Survival Guide,” “The eBay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book” and 15 other books.