The virtual assistant industry is thriving in 2018, with small businesses around the world turning to offshore remote workers as an alternative to the expense of hiring local talent.
However, when you’re thinking about embarking on something new and untried in your own business, it’s only natural to have a few reservations.
Have you found that certain concerns are holding you back from hiring a VA to help you manage and grow your business? If so, we’d be very surprised if they’re not among the ten reservations that we hear voiced most often by business owners that haven’t yet worked with virtual assistants.
Ten Common Concerns About Working with a VA
In the following paragraphs, we’ve listed what we’ve found to be the most common reasons why business owners procrastinate over hiring a virtual assistant, along with our thoughts on why you shouldn’t get too hung up on them—or let them stand in the way of getting the help you need.
#1: I Don’t Want a Worker Located Half a World Away
For some, the very idea of entrusting your business tasks to somebody thousands of miles away is hard to contemplate. However, another way to look at it is that when you eliminate geographic constraints, you have access to a vast pool of talented people, all of whom are well versed in working with online tools and accustomed to providing high standards of service.
#2: I’m not Sure I Will Save or Gain Anything
The thought of spending money on an extra resource can be daunting, especially if you’re not convinced of the value. The reality though, is that once you establish a system of working with your virtual assistant, the money you spend will buy you back a lot of personal time, which you can then invest in core business activities instead of back-office admin.
Not only that, but with a virtual assistant to shoulder some business workload, the risks involved with business growth are reduced.
#3: I’ve No Idea What Tasks I Could Outsource
This is an easy concern to address. The simple answer is that any of the following task-categories are candidates for outsourcing:
- Tasks that you don’t enjoy working on;
- Tasks that you are not good at;
- Tasks that don’t directly add value to your business.
Once you know these categories, just make yourself a list of the tasks that fall into each, and prioritise them in terms of which ones you’d most like a virtual assistant to take on.
After delegating these tasks, you will be able to spend more quality time on those that you keep for yourself, and spend more time on business strategy and growth.
#4: Reviewing a VA’s Work will Take up my Time
You may be concerned that a virtual assistant will not take as much care over tasks as you do, and that you will spend a lot of time reviewing work and correcting it.
The thing to remember is that a VA is only paid for work that is satisfactorily completed. In other words, if you don’t approve the work, you won’t pay for it.
No virtual assistant wants to risk not being paid, or to have payment delayed because of rework. Hence you can be assured that your work will have been thoroughly checked by the VA before it is submitted to you. Of course, corrections will sometimes be necessary, but that’s a natural part of the learning curve.
#5: I’m Not Sure that a VA can Really Integrate Into My Business
This is another concern connected with the remote aspect of virtual assistant services. It can often help to ask yourself the following question and then draw a comparison…
How much face-to-face contact do you currently have in your business relationships?
Be honest… because if you’re like many business owners today, many of your interactions will take place via digital channels or over the phone.
Your working relationship with a virtual assistant will be no different. In fact, over time you’ll probably all but forget that your VA is working from afar, as many virtual assistants’ clients have attested.
#6: An Overseas VA Service Will Create More Issues than it Solves
Are you concerned about the following negative consequences of working with an offshore virtual assistant…
- Poor Internet and utility infrastructure;
- Communication problems;
- Cultural and social differences?
To some extent, you’d be right to consider these points before you go ahead and hire a virtual assistant. However, if you’re careful about which country you choose to source a VA from, and conduct thorough interviews to gauge how well each candidate communicates, you should be able to find a virtual assistant familiar with a business culture like yours, who can communicate eloquently in your language.
The infrastructure issue is another matter, but you can overcome that by contracting with a company that has virtual assistants working from a central office facility, with business-grade Internet connectivity and back-up power solutions.
#7: I Don’t Think I Could Provide Enough Work to Keep a VA Busy
This is a very common concern for business owners thinking of hiring a virtual assistant. The thing to remember is that if you hire an offshore VA, who works from a country like the Philippines, you can probably arrange for him/her to help you just a few hours work per week, at least initially.
However, even if you hire a full-time VA, the cost will be much lower than a part-time local employee, and there will be none of the other costs associated with employment.
Finally, in our experience, clients who set out initially with a part-time arrangement, very quickly graduate to full-time, once they realise just how versatile their VA is and how much work they can actually delegate with confidence.
#8: I Really Need Specialists to Help me, Not Generalists
Some business owners are quite happy working in their business, and really just want help with certain specialised tasks, like accounting or digital content creation. Others need occasional help with specific projects, and don’t think they will find what they seek among the VA community.
While this may once have been the case, it couldn’t be further from the truth today, as the demand for remote workers has opened up a market for specialists.
If a specialist is what you need, you’ll have no trouble finding a virtual assistant with the appropriate skills, as long as the work in question can be completed remotely using digital tools.
#9: I Don’t Want to Spend a Lot of Time Searching for a VA
It’s true that searching for a virtual assistant can be time consuming, and requires some preparation. Nevertheless, there are ways to cut down the amount of effort you have to put into this.
Rather than searching for the right person among hordes of freelance virtual assistants, you could put the entire recruitment process in the hands of a VA company.
For example, here at Virtual Done Well, you just have to provide us with details of your requirements, and we’ll present you with a shortlist of candidates that have a compatible profile. The whole process takes between two weeks and a month, and your workload will be greatly reduced, as you’ll only have to interview shortlisted candidates and make your selection.
#10: I’m Concerned that Outsourcing is Unethical
We won’t dwell on the ethical questions too much here, as you can find at least one entire article devoted to the topic elsewhere on our blog. Suffice to reiterate our belief that as long as you choose an ethical VA company or find a freelance virtual assistant who’s in charge of setting his own rates and conditions, nobody can accuse you of anything but entering into a win-win partnership with a willing and professional service provider.
Curb Your Concerns and Contact us Today
If any of the above concerns have been stopping you from hiring a virtual assistant, we hope this article has allayed some of them. If you need to release yourself from tasks that tie up your time, you have little to lose and everything to gain from engaging a VA to give you some help.
If you’d like to know more about virtual assistance from Virtual Done Well, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll be pleased to answer your questions and address any concerns that might still be lingering.