Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hi, my name is Jaime Nacach, I am the founder & CEO of Virtual Latinos. The company is a recruitment agency that searches for the best professionals in Latin America to work remotely with our clients in the USA, Canada, and even Europe all from various industries.
We offer entrepreneurs and business owners the chance to connect with top, pre-vetted talent from Latin America to help grow their companies and achieve their goals. Our VAs occupy various roles in areas such as administration, marketing, customer service, sales, and more.
What's your personal history and the inspiration for your business?
I was born in Mexico City but have now been living the majority of my life in San Diego, California. I got a Business Administration degree from San Diego State University. Later on, I participated in an MBA Exchange program at the National University of Singapore and got my MBA from Tel Aviv University.
I started my first business, a marketing agency called Bloominari, 9 years ago. I wanted to delegate some of my tasks, so I decided to hire a virtual assistant. I tried different freelancer websites and Virtual Assistant companies from the Philippines, but none of them worked for me. Either because of the time difference, high pricing, or simply because some VAs ghosted me. Then, I came up with the idea of Virtual Latinos, and hired my first virtual assistant from Guatemala. It was with Virtual Latinos that I found the opportunity that I was craving for: to help many people and make a positive social impact while running a successful business.
Describe the process of launching your remote business
A quality that I share with my father, and that I probably learned from him, is to always have an entrepreneurial mindset. Before creating Virtual Latinos, my father and I were always trying to come up with ideas that could potentially become a business.
It all started when I founded a marketing agency, and as my workload increased, I wanted to delegate some tasks. To achieve this, I decided to hire a virtual assistant. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out due to challenges such as time differences, high pricing, and unreliable VAs. Due to my Mexican heritage, I was familiar with the potential of professionals from Latin America. That’s when I came up with the idea of Virtual Latinos!
At the time, my father had a company for outsourcing physical manufacturing, using a directory model. This was part of the idea that inspired us to start Virtual Latinos using a similar model.
I went online and looked for some plugins that could help me build a directory, but then I decided I wasn’t going to try to make the best directory on my own. That’s when I found a content management system plugin for about $50, installed it, tested it, and started inviting people to try to make it happen. I think the only way to see if an idea can be turned into a business is to actually try it and then make it better as you start getting feedback from users.
Marketing also played an important role in starting to gather potential interest from clients. Initially, we offered free access to our directory in exchange for our clients’ feedback, thoughts, and tips on improving our website and service. The main goal at that point was to offer real job opportunities to the VAs – we didn’t want to keep them waiting for too long.
The company’s domain, VirtualLatinos.com, was purchased in January 2018, which we count as the company’s anniversary.
The first landing page to attract VAs was launched on Feb 24, 2018, and the client’s landing page launched soon after, on April 27. The first 50-100 VA applicants completed their application within a few weeks, and by May 3, 2018, we had hired the first VA through Virtual Latinos! Things looked promising.
After 3-4 months of clients using our directory service for free and hiring several VAs, we decided to switch to our paid model. A few months into launching the directory, we learned many clients needed more support. We decided to launch our “agency hiring” service, which would provide a complete recruitment service to our clients, and present them with the best 3-5 candidates from our pre-vetted community. The agency model helped clients spend the least amount of time looking for the perfect VA, and more time focusing on their business.
The company started remotely and has maintained that way ever since, but we have not missed the opportunity to meet occasionally, starting in 2021 when we organized the first Virtual Latinos Summit in San Diego, California. Since then, we have decided to make it an official Virtual Latino’s tradition and meet once a year, where we increasingly seek to invite more team members to different parts of the world. Last year’s summit was in Cancun, Mexico.
What has worked to attract customers and earn their loyalty?
Since day one, we’ve used the inbound marketing methodology as our marketing and customer attraction strategy. I worked for many years as a digital marketer so when I decided to create Virtual Latinos I gathered all the knowledge from my previous experiences to help this new project succeed online through natural organic rankings on Google. I have always had a huge passion for technology, so this was right up my alley.
We decided to focus on creating valuable content, such as tips for hiring Virtual Assistants (VAs) from Latin America, especially for those who were already looking for VAs. We created many valuable blog entries on our website and naturally aimed to have them rank on Google.
Additionally, we decided to run small advertising campaigns or paid ads on Facebook and Google. We thought this would be good, especially for recruiting candidates.
Then, we started doing some groundwork. We began having important conversations with people in real life to learn more about business dynamics. Likewise, we received a lot of feedback about our project.
Currently at Virtual Latinos, the majority of our efforts and marketing budget are used to create original content that attracts leads using specific keywords related to our industry and services. On the other hand, one of the best ways to obtain new clients has been through recommendations, which is why it’s extremely important for us to provide high-quality service from the very beginning. We make sure our clients feel comfortable and satisfied with our hiring process. Then, when they start working with our super well-prepared VAs, they are usually completely satisfied, and subsequently, this leads to a recommendation.
I would say that a large part of our clients’ loyalty comes from the fact that they feel heard from the outset. We consider their needs to find the perfect virtual assistant to help them achieve their goals, and we maintain the quality of our services from the moment they contact us as a potential client, all the way through their journey as a customer.
Knowing what you know now, are there things you would have done differently when first starting out?
Something that I learned thanks to the experience of building my first business is that not everything has to be ready and perfect at the moment of your launch. Of course, you will work hard to present the best version, but if you focus on achieving perfection, that business will never be ready to launch. In the beginning, it is more important to focus on your strong points than on small details that you can correct later. I would have liked to be a little less perfectionist and not delay the launch of my first business so much.
On the bright side, I tried this different approach when I created Virtual Latinos! I didn’t have anything figured out, I just launched one landing page and waited. Now, we have helped 450+ companies grow and 800+ professionals find their dream job.
Something I found difficult to do at the beginning of Virtual Latinos was to delegate. This was very hard for me because I always thought I was the best option to do most tasks related to my business, and that’s not the best way to be an entrepreneur! Now, instead of being on top of what everybody is doing, I trust that the people I hired will do the best job possible.
So, occasionally take a break and think about how delegating and outsourcing a piece of what you do could be the best way to grow your company!
What has been the best part of starting a remote business?
Outside Virtual Latinos, I am also a father and husband. So I can say that one of the best parts of starting a remote business is the freedom to control my time, spend time with my family, and also do things that I love that are not necessarily related to work.
Having a remote business allows me to plan my own future while fully living in the present, spending special moments and quality time with my family. It all comes down to a healthy work-life balance.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
As I mentioned before, I am passionate about technology. Running a business remotely has allowed me to explore many tools and platforms to improve Virtual Latinos processes.
I really could not finish naming all the platforms and tools that we use within the team, but I can name some of the ones that we use almost daily, like Telegram for instant messaging and Zoom for video calls. These may sound like very basic tools, but they make all the difference in communication processes. We also use Infinity as a project management tool, Zoho as CRM, and Zapier has been great for SEO purposes, among many others.
Speaking of technological tools, I can say without a doubt that investing in technology is something that I highly recommend for any business owner, but especially for a remote business. We must take advantage of the fact that technology continues to grow and develop, providing valuable information that helps to make decisions and improve our processes.
I recommend examining each process within your business in detail and based on that, search for platforms focused on improving and making those processes more efficient.
On that same note, I am happy to announce that this year at Virtual Latinos, we opened a technology department that we are very excited about, as it’ll allow us to continue exploring the different and wide variety of solutions for our remote business.
What have been the most influential books, networking groups, podcasts, or other resources you've found?
Virtual Latinos was influenced by a book called “Virtual Freedom” that explains all about the world of virtual assistance; in this case, in the Philippines. I was mostly inspired by the ability to have more freedom by outsourcing work.
The book is very specific and explains step-by-step how to go about hiring somebody in the Philippines and that is what I did. Hiring a VA from the Philippines was an awful experience, but it ultimately led me to build Virtual Latinos.
The point is that the book pushed me to try out something new! I opened my mind to the possibilities of working and building a fully remote team, which eventually helped not only to create but grow Virtual Latinos.
Most recently, Virtual Latinos has also been influenced by the book “Traction,” which is all about helping business owners have better control of their organization and move forward together as a healthy, functional, and cohesive team. In my opinion, it is a great book, and I totally recommend it to any entrepreneurs out there.
The writer, Gino Wickman, is the founder of EOS Worldwide. His company offers workshops and lectures to businesses looking to improve their Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)., At the beginning of this year, the Virtual Latinos’ leadership team met in San Diego, California, and spent one week learning more about EOS and applying the principles to VL. Moreover, it was a nice opportunity to spend some time together. It was an awesome experience!
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to build a remote business of their dreams?
The human resources of a company are very important for its success, but building the perfect team isn’t easy. At Virtual Latinos, our internal team is composed of over 60 people. Some advice I would give to other remote business owners is that you have to accept that people come and go, and it is not something you can control. Regardless of the reason, whether they left or got fired, it’s going to happen, and you can’t predict it, so be ready for the change.
Having a team that aligns with your company’s values is key to growth. Creating a remote work culture is hard because we’re not physically there to talk to each other, see each other, etc. In general, my advice to other business leaders in terms of creating a great work culture is to be open to listening to other people’s ideas about what they are interested in. This way, you can work towards having the type of company that makes them happier.
I always make sure that everyone is aware that we are a company that doesn’t know everything, that we’re learning as we grow and that there are always going to be ways to make things better.
Plus, being humble by accepting that nobody is perfect, nobody knows everything and everybody here is just as equal to everybody else is very important in Virtual Latinos as well. In fact, it was one of the things that we did very openly, especially when we were growing as a team.
Are there any positions or internships you're hiring for now?
Definitely! We are constantly looking for new Latino talent to work with our clients in roles in areas such as administration, marketing, customer service, sales, content creation for social networks and blogs, project management, graphic design, web design, accountants, legal assistance, and more.
So the invitation to apply for professionals living in Latin America is always open. We encourage them to review our website and read all the information in detail so that no doubts arise during the process, and we hope to continue growing much more this year.