It used to be extremely limited. If you needed a virtual assistant to relieve you of the onerous tasks related to the running of your small business, one of your few options was to find someone sitting in an offshore office who could answer emails, respond to customers’ queries, and handle data entry for you. Nowadays, the entrepreneur can pick and choose from a range of specialized and highly-skilled VAs, some of them based onshore, others based offshore. Finding the right VA, however, can result in a bit of head-scratching.
The Choice is Entirely Yours
Besides the traditional VA hired to deal with basic tasks, the modern virtual assistant could fill any of the following roles:
- Web developer
- Graphic designer
- SEO (search engine optimization)/Internet marketing VA
- Content writer
- Video editor
- App developer
These VAs deliver not only their skills but, by keeping up to date with the latest technology and industry trends, they can also offer solutions that may help the business grow.
The Two Types of Virtual Assistant
Domestic VAs: These are often ex-corporate employees who have decided to go freelance or jobless business professionals who have launched their own start-ups. This type of VA lives and works in your country, which might be the United States, Britain, Australia, and Canada. They tend to classify themselves as entrepreneurs rather than as VAs.
Offshore VAs: These are citizens of developing countries such as India and the Philippines. They offer similar services to domestic VAs, but with some important differences, as we shall see.
“Both local and offshore talent can effectively deliver the services you need to run, support, and grow your business, no matter where in the world it’s based,” says Chris Ducker in his book, Virtual Freedom(P135, Kindle version). “But,” he adds, “there are pros and cons to both types of workers.”
So let’s take a look at some of those pros and cons.