TITLE: “Turning Brick & Mortar Biz Operations to Digital”
GUEST: Daise Virtudazo | “The Systems Maven & Happy Homeschooling Mom”
Known as The Systems Maven and Happy Homeschooling Mom, Daise is a certified online business manager, systems strategist and product launch consultant since 2012. A former Physics teacher, she also became course creator where she crafted two (2) successful courses – Systems Slay and VAMP.
More importantly, Daise is a happy homeschooling mom to her 5 kids. She shares all that she knows about her niche on her FB page – ‘Daisy Virtudazo and her FB group ‘Happy Homeschooling Moms’. She is also picked as one of the Top Freelancers To Follow this 2020 for her teaching on systems and online business management.
With the unexpected demand of the new normal, Daise Virtudazo shares her system expertise and breaks down the steps on how to quickly pivot your brick and mortar business to digital operations.
Q: You have five kids. How are you adjusting right now with what’s happening especially there’s been changes and you have been working from home. Has there been any changes?
A: “Yes, there’s still been changes. I switched industries because the industry that I was initially serving has been impacted.
With the kids, it’s the same. The lessons just became more relevant because it’s about being aware of your surroundings.”
Q: Before you have achieved the successes that you have achieved, you launched two digital courses, you have your own agency and you have your flower shop, who was Daisy Virtudazo?
A: “So I used to teach physics and chemistry, but then I had a growing family, so let’s admit that teachers are one of the most underpaid in our country. I just had to be realistic that I needed more income. So for me, my usual step was what was the easiest for me to transition to?
So that time, I assessed. Marunong naman ako mag-English. And that time, ang pinakamadaling applyan was call center. So nag-BPO ako for four years. But then it came to a point where you know the dilemma. You are going to work, kasi night shift, your kids are just about to go to bed. Di mo sila masamahan sa pagtulog. And then the next day when you come home, they want to play with you, but you don’t have the energy anymore. It hit me very strong that I realized that I don’t want my life and my kids growing up na nakikitang ganito ang family dynamics namin. So I really just made the decision that I want to be with them. That’s the main thing. And then I just literally googled how to work from home, actually on demand, online jobs, getting a feeling for English or homeschooling at that time to English working jobs from home and then I stumbled upon Rare Job PH.
At the time, I sww ODesk na. Yung Upwork ngayon. It was too good to be true tapos ang daming kailangang i-set up di’ba? I only go back to that when I was feeling down. Unti-unti kong binuo yung profile. And then when I got accepted by RareJob, nagresign na ko agad and then sineryoso ko si ODesk.
From there, I had my first ODesk job, and then I learned about becoming a VA. Through the years, through the clients I’ve worked with, na-open yung mind ko about Digital Marketing.
So I invested in myself din until I became certified as an Online Business Manager in 2017, and now I launched my two courses. So it has been a journey but it’s one that I’m really proud of because the main reason why I work from home is because I wanted to be with my kids and homeschool.”
Q: During the course of journey that you had, what challenges arises and how did you defeated those?
A: “Two things stood out. First was when I lost my dad on Christmas morning. He was with us on the 24th, then the next morning on December 25th, I just got a call that he was in the morgue. The thing that hurt me the most was I never got to say my goodbyes and I wasn’t able to help him.
Second one, I was working then my daughter has convulsion with bubbles in her mouth and she was turning violet and gray. We rushed into the hospital and we were not admitted right away because we had no cash. That was my lowest. One thing that I realized was, yeah it happened, but I can’t blame anyone but myself. I was brought to that moment because of the little decisions I made each day.
Except with my dad, because with my dad, it’s just living in the present moment and just saying what you want to say with the people that you love, because you’ll never know life can be gone in an instant. And also forgiving the people that have hurt you. That’s the lesson I learned, how short and fragile life is.
With my daughter naman, my realizations were our little decisions matter so don’t take it lightly. And it’s about taking responsibility. Ang nangyari kasi nyan was because of what happened with my dad, we were always living in the moment that I forgot to prepare for the future. In short, buhay millionaire. One day millionaire. Syempre you want the kids to be happy so bigay bigay. We didn’t prepare for any savings or stuff like that. Ang nangyari kasi that time na-layoff si hubby, lumipat kami Montalban to Paranaque, so naubos ang savings. We didn’t know it will happen, of course it was an emergency, nobody wanted it to happen. But then I realized that because of that event, my kid was almost dying and we were not accepted because we didn’t have money to pay for the down. “Okay Daise, what were you doing with your life? Mawawala na yung anak mo.” Ang iresponsable ko. So I relaized that I will never be this helpless again.”
Q: During this lockdown, do you consider this a gift because you’re finding quality time with your family?
A: “More than being a gift, it’s grounding me that making you realize how blessed I am, how blessed we are with the lifestyle that we’re living. We just usually take it for granted because it’s our normal. It’s just a reminder. But then, I also feel for our kababayan na nagwowork pa especially on the first days of the lockdown. Grabe yung stress na just going to work, and then di makakapasok. The ordeal that they had to go through… I felt for that but at the same time, I’m grateful na nandito na ko sa space na ito because I could easily be one of those na nahirapan because of the quarantine. Not truly a gift, although it is, but more of the perspective na I’m blessed, just realized that the life we are living is something to be grateful for.”
Q: As a systems maven, what’s your economic projection with the currrent situation that we’re in now?
A: “A lot of brick and mortar businesses will be transitioning online. Within 2-3 years, virtual operations and businesses is going to be the new normal. If you haven’t really taken time to invest in creating your online presence for your business, probably now is the best time for you to do that. In a sense it’s already too late, but there’s no best time to start than today. So go ahead and take advantage of the quarantine so you can start your planning. But definitely businesses will be transitioning online.”
Q: For those with totally no systems yet, can you give advice on how they will start streamlining their operations to keep the sales engine running? What is the first thing that they should do?
A: “First off, I agree with what you said when you approached me with this topic.
Four areas lang naman talaga yan eh – Operations, Online Advertising and Marketing, People Management, and lastly, Online Sales Process (and Fulfillment).
For those who will start from scratch, SOPs have not been established yet, what you need to do is take this time to really sit down and think about the branches of your business. Brain dump on paper. Prioritize in order of what’s most urgent in a sense that once this aspect is systemized, continuous na yung sales nyo.
For me, I think the most important part is Online Sales and Marketing. If you’re a traditional business and that’s what you’ll prioritize as number one and funds are tight, simply create a FB Page instead of a website. As soon as you have a FB Page, contact your existing clients and inform them via call and email. “In light of recent events… we are pivoting and in order for us to continue to serve you, we are actually transitioning online. You can like or follow us to get updates on where the business is headed.”
If they are your longtime customers, they would appreciate it that you are making an effort to transition online because you want to continuously serve them. And their end, it’s an automatic response that, ‘Oh, I’m going to support this because they are doing their best to provide the services to us.’
That’s the easiest way that you could do. Just put your brand out there on FB, create a Page, inform your customers however you usually do it. Call them, mas personalized. Email and send them messages just letting them know that we are pivoting. If they have been with you since you were beginning, they become part of your brand evolving since the beginning.
Once you already have followers because you already contacted your old customers, this is also the right time to check in who are your actual target audience. From the current database that you have, do a little bit of research on what your target audience really needs because that will help you on crafting the content that you’ll put on your Page.
First, Hey we’re still here, we’re pivoting because that’s what the time demands. Second step, is because there is an awareness that you have a Page online, next is to focus on operations side and sales. You need to come up with a system that will make the process of closing a client online. So if before you meet in person, now you just need to come up with a simple funnel and map out the customer journey from the moment of first contact until they become a paying client. Map it out and look at it. Sometimes, you have to dump it on paper and look at the big picture. From there, you can see areas where you can automate like collecting leads and have a type form questionnaire that you can connect to your scheduler. Then you can hop on a call with a client and have that conversation where you can really assess and give what they need, then you can offer the right services and products.
In line with that, if you have many products, start with one because it can be really overwhelming. In terms of operations, just find a way that you can operate virtually. Choose your best product and figure out how would you sell that? What are your tools and strategies? Once established, you do the SOPs for that. Even if not yet super nitty gritty, we’re in a rush in a sense that we don’t want to stop the income from coming in to sustain the business especially if you have employees. Start with one, document, roll it out to the team so they’re in the loop, once that’s established, roll out the other products.
So first, make people aware that you’re still here (that’s Marketing), second is products and the delivery (that you’ll document), and third is the team. If you have people who especially have been with you for a while. Have a team meeting and you can use Zoom – it’s a free platform. Just huddle everyone and be honest and transparent with the status of your business. If finances are tight and pausing a contract can’t be avoided, let them know. They’ll appreciate as long as they know what to expect and not leave them in the dark especially that they have their own families too. You won’t be able to do your business if not for them so you have to take them into consideration. And open the conversation on this is where we’re headed, we’re pivoting and for us to continue working together since there’s quarantine, let’s have our operations virtually. So how do we do that? Establish your communication processes. Every Monday, for example, we’ll have a team call. Use whatever platform is best for you. Before you start throwing tasks to your team, it must be established clearly that everyone understands what their roles are. There may be a consideration of hinging of duties and responsibilities because you are transitioning online. Once it’s clear, start rolling it out and training them to go digital.”
Q: For restaurants, what should be the first step that they take especially they have perishable goods. If they’re going to dabble in Sales, Marketing, Delivery and Fulfillment, what should they focus on first?
A: “Since this is food, the first thing I would suggest before anything else, even before Marketing, is to do an inventory of current assets food-wise and when it will expire. Food is fragile and crucial to be monitored, otherwise, it’s going to reflect on your brand. Just do an audit of your ingredients, when they’ll expire. Process must be set in place especially for contaminated goods. Identify who are the people responsible for certain tasks related to food? With SOPs set, move on the next branch, department.
Just be sure to document so you’ll know how to track and be able to go back to who’s responsible. People Management. Okay, this is what’s assigned and expected of you. And then how are we going to transition online? Okay, this is our communication and reporting process… Once the team is established, go back to identifying your bestseller/s. Start with that and roll it down. With focused products and established teams and documented processes, you can now discuss advertising. All of this can also be done simultaneously as long as the team is ready and making sure that food is not expired. First impression lasts in the food business.”
Q: What are your best practices on minimizing time wasted when you started operating your business from home?
A: “PLAN talaga. I’m a planner. I can’t rely on my mommy brain (with five kids). It helps that there’s a notebook and task management platform that I can rely on. What I do to minimize distraction and align myself with my goals is planning out what are my daily priorities? I’m a strategist guys, (so there are several hacks like) get things done, eat the frog first. Eisenhower is the most effective for me when prioritizing tasks. Urgent and important, urgent and not important, and so on and so forth. If you have tasks, dump ideas on paper, then categorize. Our brain according to Dave Allen is not to hold any information, it’s just for ideas.
What also helps me is time blocks and batch scheduling. If there are related tasks, do it all at once according to the time block that you’ve set. I thrive in routine and planning. With the kids and homeschooling, I need to have a plan. It saves me and keeps me sane. Have a plan and know what to prioritize. Do brain dump regularly (at the start and end of the day). It should be simple and not too fancy. Doing this will also help you better.”
Q: What bothers you most with what’s happening in our country today?
A: “The uncertainty that you don’t know when it’s going to end.”
Q: What is the biggest problem facing our educational system today and why?
A: “It’s the system itself. How children are being taught in schools, and I say this with utmost respect to our teachers, coz I’m also a teacher and my family is a group of teachers. It’s the way kids are being taught in an educational system that was created in the industrial age. Parents work and the children has to go to school to fill in the hours. That doesn’t work anymore because it’s a different time now. It’s being adept with the times.”
Q: What are the best qualities a parent can share to their children and why?
A: “First is Resilience. Filipinos naturally have that. More emphasis on Resilience, things will not always go their way, so how do you cope with that?
Second is Mental Strength, Mental Health – as long as they know who they are, and they have the mental capacity to overcome that, they’ll be all right.
Last is Empathy and Kindness, they are here not to be strong, but to be really kind to those who are victims of the powerful and abusive.”
Q: Before we end, tell us the story behind this photo of yours. What’s memorable here?
A: “That’s my big family. We are seven. I don’t know for you guys, but for those with multiple age kids, ang hirap pagsama-samahin sa photo ng lahat nakatingin sa camera. We are complete, the kids are behaved and Riley is there. Prior to that, Riley was in my tummy. So this was a really memorable photo for me.”
“I always plan to minimize time wasted and align myself with my goals. What are my daily priorities? Eat the frog. Categorize. Assign time blocks. Do brain dump regularly at the start and end of the day.”
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
For more related content, follow Daisy and Melissa at:
- Visit Daisy Virtudazo’s website at http://daisyvirtudazo.com/
- FACEBOOK – SYSTEMS SLAY HAPPY HOMESCHOOLING MOMS DAISY VIRTUDAZO
- Join the Queen’s only Tribe http://bit.ly/enterkingdom
- Get to know Melissa Profeta at h https://www.thisismelp.com/
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