Watch: 2018 Year in Review

Watch: 2018 Year in Review

2018 was another amazingly fulfilling year for VBP. Apart from consistently hitting our targets and satisfying our clients, we also have greatly increased in number, both our staff and clients.

Last year, another milestone was reached as we launched our third expansion and our largest office yet.

Let’s take a look back at how 2018 went:

3 Quick tips to build and grow a strong team

3 Quick tips to build and grow a strong team

We have reached a new milestone!

Last March 2018, VBP has reached a new milestone—we are now 200 in our team! As we continue to cater to more financial planning firms in Australia, we also continuously (and rapidly!) grow our team here in the Philippines. Seems like yesterday when we were working as a team of 20. And now it’s four and a half years later and we’ve grown 10 times in number!

Being a culture-led business, growing our team and living our purpose are some of our main goals. See our Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal (BHAG) below:

We have a clear purpose, goal and plan, which is vital in keeping everyone aligned. (We use a one-page plan and learnt all about these principles from Gazelles coaching and from the book Scaling Up by Verne Harnish.)

Every company should have a clear vision for the business and of the four focus areas: People, Strategy, Execution and Cash. By far, the most important for our company is the decisions we make relating to ‘people’.

So how were we able to build, and now grow, a strong team? We focus on 3 things.

  1. Find the right people. The first step is, obviously, to hire people. As we are in a specialised business, we make sure that we find the right people for our team. Our recruitment team has developed detailed job descriptions for our open positions and makes sure they gather important data and assess the candidate’s competency. Of course, we also value culture fit. Aiming for cultural fit doesn’t mean that we are into the same kind of people and character, it isn’t a deal-breaker. However, we also consider this in order to maintain harmony beyond our growing number and diversity. We have adopted our recruitment methodology from Topgrading.
  2. Develop their competency. The next step is to use effective training strategies in order to develop your employees’ skills. Learning should never stop. With our growing number of clients, it is important that we expand our service offerings as well, and with that comes more training and development for our staff to make them indispensable to our clients. We encourage our people to be self-leaders and help one another by giving support or assistance to others regardless if they work with the same firms/teams or not. We want our team to flourish and not become stagnant in their profession. We have adopted ‘situational leadership’ as our framework for managing our team. Each of us learns about this through the book Self Leadership and the One Minute Manager.
  3. Give them a reason to stay. Once you’ve built your A-team, it’s time to focus on how to keep them. Building a strong culture is our way of showing our staff that we care—through employee programs, engagement activities and different reward systems. We make sure they feel comfortable in our office, not feeling restricted from anything, whilst maintaining a secure and professional workplace. Little treats keep us happy—beer Fridays, free breakfast, table tennis area, board games, karaoke—these are simple yet effective things to make your staff feel at home and have a nice working environment. You can learn more about our core values and culture here.

Hear it straight from our team on how they feel about working at VBP:

As we now focus on our next milestone to reach 300 staff by 2019, we remain focused on continuing to develop our people’s skills, to commit to improving advice delivery processes (via better use of technology) and maintain our unique business culture. This helps us with the longevity of our staff and the stream of people being referred to work with us.

We have a NEW website—packed full of useful content!

We have a NEW website—packed full of useful content!

We are very excited to announce that our new website is now live!

Over the course of three years, we have experienced a fast-paced growth as a business (we now have 204 staff and 62 clients). With this, we wanted to make sure that we are able to present our company, our brand and our purpose, in a well-structured site.

As we are an Australian company based in the Philippines (Cebu), our main goal was to have a more targeted marketing strategy by segregating the Australian audience (existing and future clients) from the Filipino audience (employees and aspiring applicants). We wanted to build a website that is comprehensive and has all the information needed for those who are interested in improving their back office. We also wanted an area where we can share about our amazing culture to those who want to join our enthusiastic Cebu team. We now have a separate website from our main site called careers.virtualbusinesspartners.com.au which is focused on recruitment.

The Main Site is for everyone who wants to know more about how VBP works. We have provided lots of feedback from clients and a more comprehensive list of all the services we provide, together with a bunch of resources and download materials to assist clients to get the most from outsourcing.

Click here to take a tour, and feel free to provide any feedback, as we would love to know what you think!

New Facebook Page

Having a separate careers page has also brought us to the idea of having a new Facebook page. Our previous FB page called VBP Back Office Solutions has now been renamed to VBP Careers and Culture which will now focus on recruitment and sharing more about our company activities to show people how we are as a company and as a family.

We have created a new Facebook page intended for our existing and future clients. Focusing on all things to improve business efficiency. Here, we will also be sharing updates and our blog articles that are relevant to the financial planning industry, outsourcing and business processes.

Like our NEW Facebook Page

Over the coming weeks we will also be making some changes to our  email communication for clients and contacts. Our client broadcasts and updates will now be classified into 5 categories:

  • Monthly Training Updates – These will provide alerts on internal trainings offered to Financial Planning Assistants, which will help with specific tasks and skill areas that you can opt to register them for the training.
  • VBP Community – a monthly update that will include general updates on major (internal) events like conferences, awards night, outreach programs, and general goings on in Cebu.
  • Tech Updates – once a month we will highlight the latest apps and software, IT security and all other stuff that maybe useful in your business from a tech perspective
  • VBP Services – a monthly feature showcase the best case studies and uses of outsourcing by our clients
  • VBP Updates – This will include important updates regarding holiday reminders, emergency alerts, operation status, etc.