You know you need help, so you’ve just made an important decision. You’re ready to move out of survival mode and into growth mode.
Bravo you! This is the decision of someone ready to take their business to the next level and seize control of their time (and sanity!).
The good news is you can tap into a global marketplace of skillsets, specialists and experts to help support you. So how do you do that? How do you choose the right Virtual Assistant for you and your business?
Onshore vs offshore
Not sure whether to work with someone locally or overseas? The answer lies in what tasks you need completed, whether there is customer communication and liaison required (and your level of comfort), and of course, budget.
Offshore VA’s are fantastic for process-oriented and task-focused situations that have clear guidelines provided. Depending on location they can work within your time zone or effectively work while you sleep! Website updates, structured administration tasks such as weekly invoicing or a daily update of a CRM system, are examples of work offshore VA’s can do efficiently and cost-effectively.
If your business requires a high level of customer interaction and liaison, onshore VA’s are a good option.
You may choose to outsource one element offshore and another to a local VA. Regardless, an effective relationship with either requires forethought, preparation and documentation. The Productivity Hub’s VA Ready Program does this through defining tasks, workflows and documenting procedures so everyone is on the same page, regardless of location!
Offshore VA’s – Home vs office
When business owners choose to go down the VA path, many don’t realise VA’s are either home-based or office-based.
A home-based VA is often a freelancer, working for themselves as a sole trader. An office-based VA is someone working for a VA service company managed as part of a team of online assistants.
Both have benefits and drawbacks.
A home-based VA may only have a small number of clients he or she works with, which means they are often laser focused on keeping the client relationship strong. However, there may be minimal back-up systems in place if communications are offline or the home-based VA becomes ill or takes extended leave. There is also a certain amount of trust required that the VA is working to requirements.
A VA service company has additional support systems in place, including faster internet, back up generators as well as having a team of people around them to help with morale, training and day to day support.
What your business requires will dictate the type of VA you choose. The technology, tools and documentation both you and your VA use, regardless of whether they are home-based or office-based, will drive the level of success of your relationship.
Specialist vs Generalist
It’s no secret the VA industry has exploded in recent years as savvy business owners tap into a global marketplace overflowing with various skills, talent and expertise. But an interesting side-effect of this explosion has been the rise of the Virtual Specialist.
A specialist focuses on a specific skillset or niche area. For example, a Virtual Assistant may be able to work in the back-end of a website and complete basic tasks such as updating copy or uploading blog posts, but a Virtual Specialist will focus on one particular area such as creating an online store and be ridiculously good at it.
Obviously, engaging someone with high-end skills will require a higher budget, but it also means you can tap into a targeted area of knowledge that you wouldn’t find in a generalist.
Your business may require the skillset of a generalist Virtual Assistant to keep daily processes ticking over AND the knowledge of a specialist Virtual Assistant to complete a specific or niche task.
That’s the beauty and the flexibility of the VA Industry. You can tap into both.
You can have your Jack of all Trades and a Master of One!
It’s an exciting time. Business owners from Dubbo to Darwin can optimise their business growth and their own level of happiness and personal satisfaction by outsourcing various tasks and responsibilities to a VA.
To get started we recommend making a note of all the lower level tasks you are currently completing that are taking you away from thinking, selling and delivering within your business. Complete this list over a couple of weeks – you’ll be surprised just how much work you complete that can be outsourced.
If you’re keen to discover what’s possible – let’s chat. We’re currently working with smart small business owners just like you that are enjoying the freedom of outsourcing.