August 11, 2010, 5:00 am

Virtual Assistant; Do You Need A VA?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Alternative Income,Career
email this postEmail This Post Print This PostPrint This Post Post a CommentPost a Comment


As you already know, I am a big fan of the Pareto Principle. The idea behind the principle is that 20% of your effort/work will generate 80% of the results (as 20% of your clients will generate 80% of your business). So if you want to become efficient, you better identify the 20% soon ;-). However, having the 80% done to get the last 20% is sometimes important too.

So how can you manage to complete 100% of the work to get 100% of the results without having a nervous breakdown? Through the help of a Virtual Assistant (VA).

I briefly mentioned it on TFB (and I will discuss this matter in my monthly newsletter), we have hired a virtual assistant recently to help us out working on administrative tasks (the 80%). The primary goal behind having a VA was to be able to concentrate on the promotion and creation of content. We are preparing the launch of another website and we are almost done with the purchase of another blog (then again, more details in my newsletter ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Therefore, we definitely needed someone to take care of the tasks that didn’t necessarily add the most value.

Can You Outsource Everything To Your VA?

Definitely not! At first, there is definitely a bond of confidence that needs to be built. One of the major issues of having someone living at the other end of the world is that you donโ€™t have a direct contact with him. Sure, there is email and Skype to communicate, but in the end, you canโ€™t be 100% sure that you can trust him.

So outsourcing tasks that are repetitive and with a smaller impact on your business can be a great idea. On the other hand, I would not outsource my email or advertising management right now. These are too important for me to let someone else deal with my accounts.

How to work with your VA

For the first month, we had a weekly conference call for about 20-30 minutes. We discussed what had been completed and what were the next tasks to work on. Since you canโ€™t read body language, it is important to send documents to support your conversations and to coach your VA properly. Communication is key with this kind of situation. Tell the person what you like and what needs improvement. Be careful, a few words can sound harsh if someone canโ€™t see your face when you say them. Be nice and patient, you will see the fruit of your labour (or your VAโ€™s labour ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

Can you have a VA for other types of job?

I actually believe that if I was self employed in this business, I would hire a VA. You can find really good virtual assistants that speak English with no accent. Therefore, they can make calls, book appointments, write business letters for only a fraction of the price you would pay for a fully trained assistant in North America. I must say that I am quite impressed by the level of English of my own VA and she is certainly cheaper than any assistant I could find here ๐Ÿ˜‰ (and I donโ€™t have to supply a computer and an office!)

Virtual Assistant for students

Imagine how cheap it would have been to have all your papers corrected by an English teacher in India or Thailand? If I was a student, I would certainly look for people who have a master’s degree in my field and ask them to correct or review my papers ๐Ÿ˜‰ This would be one of the best investments ever ๐Ÿ˜‰ hehehe!

Final thoughts on Virtual Assistants

I think that it will become an important trend in several offices in the years to follow. The fear of having someone working for you 10,000km away will slowly disappear to instead save huge economies on your business fees….

Oh! And if you want updates of my online adventures (including my experience with a VA), be sure to register for my newsletter (itโ€™s free and you get additional content that is not found on The Financial Blogger!)

Name:
Email:

image credit

Similar Posts:

You Want More? Sign-up! ->
TFB VIP Newsletter


If you liked this articles, you might want to sign for my FULL RSS FEEDS. If you prefer to receive the posts in your email, subscribe CLICK HERE


Comments

Very interesting post and love the image… but please explain to me what the image means..:)

What would you consider the biggest challenge or obstacle in hiring a Va TFB?

by: The Financial Blogger | August 11th, 2010 (12:33 pm)

@IS,

we need to kill all stormtroopers we can find ๐Ÿ˜‰

@BMSP,
The biggest challenge is to get the right thing done the right way. it’s hard to show someone living at 10,000km from your place how you want your tasks to be done. Don’t forget to provide constant feedback!

I think that a good challenge would be to find the right virtual assistant as well ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hiring a VA is as difficult as hiring someone for a company (fits with culture, with his responsibilities, with his colleagues, …)

Good post!

by: OttawaGuy | August 11th, 2010 (3:15 pm)

That is possibly the best picture on the internet…..

I’m curious what thier salary is based on? hrs worked, tasks completed…?

I operate a free recruitment service for people looking for virtual assistants. By far the most important aspect of hiring a virtual assistant is knowing that the quality of their service is what you are looking for.

For this reason all our VAs are bound by a code of conduct that is monitored by a professional standards panel. Our Code covers – Responsibiity, Respect, Competence and Integrity.

cheers, Liz

You can pay per hour or per task depending on what you are looking for (steady work vs one time contract).

The salary starts at $1/hour to $15 usually (if you pay more than $15, than you are getting a “real” employee ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

What tasks might you assign to a VA? I have a bunch of work I need to do with the appearance and content of my webstore but not the time….unless I stopped reading all these blogs ๐Ÿ˜‰

JP basically anything you can do at the end of a computer you can assign to a VA – we have over 300 on our network all with different skills, from graphic design to answering the telephone and evenrything in between.

Working with a Virtual Assistant is cost efficient and time efficient. People who have realized this are utilizing these services. People who talk about problems related to hiring a Virtual Assistant, fail to realize that getting a work done in-house is also not without problems. Problems will always be there, we need to handle them efficiently.

I could use a good VA. Mike, please let me know when yours is fully trained – then I’ll make her an offer. ;P

I think this is quite an interesting post but I just had to comment as I understand the Virtual Assistance industry. Two years ago, my web design business morphed from a VA business doing administrative and design work and I also have a team of highly skilled VAs in my business.

Firstly, VAs are not “employees” , they are independent contractors and consultants who are also business owners themselves. With plenty of experience to backup their fields of services. Thus you’ll find VAs with extensive Executive Assistance, Marketing, Technology, Legal, Financial, Research, Insurance and more experience. They also have their own fully equipped home offices and some also rent office spaces.

It works for me to work with VAs in the States and they are worth every penny from $25 – $55 per hour.

Your team should be the most valuable asset in your business. It’s all about finding/building the right team for yourself.

Here are 2 great resources for finding experienced VAs globally: http://www.virtualassistantforums.com and http://www.ivaa.org

by: The Financial Blogger | August 12th, 2010 (11:11 am)

@Mike,

be sure I’ll charge you ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wow, $1 an hour? That’s a steal. I guess you want to make sure their English is good and that you can communicate with them.

So what do you get them to do for you? =)

Yeah, well I was pretty excited too when I found people at $1/hour… but you really get what you pay for ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mine cost a little about $5.50/hour. At that price, I was able to find someone with an amazing level of English, someone smart and that is able to understand the various concept of finance through reading finanical blogs ๐Ÿ˜‰

I get several things done by my VA and we have several projects for her too. If you want to learn more about it, I suggest you register to our free newsletter. This is where I discuss most of my projects ;-D

I’m already registered, TFB =)

Thanks =P

[…] Virtual Assistant I found this post very interesting because I’ve been considering using a virtual assistant. There plenty of cheap labor options but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet because I’m […]

I find it difficult to believe that you are in partnership with a VA for $5.50/hr.

A decent VA (no matter where they’re physically located) will charge anywhere from $25 to $50 an hour. And that’s STILL a bargain compared to what you’d have to pay an in house employee. If you consider space, equipment, learning curve training, breaks, down time, holidays, bennies, yadda, yadda. Not to mention all the taxes that go along with it i.e. payroll, disability et al. And what about the money you’re saving from not doing all that stuff yourself? How much do you charge YOU out per hour?

VAs are the wave of the future and I think that more and more business owners are realizing it every day!

Cheers

by: The Financial Blogger | August 17th, 2010 (7:01 am)

@ Janice,

I think it really depends on which kind of work you want to outsource and the location of your VA.

I highly doubt that I would make the same income if I was a banker in Thailand, right? The key point of a VA is that you are able to benefit from currency arbitrage. So a very bad salary for you may be a very good salary for someone else!

Your Virtual Assistant is an extension of YOUR organization and the image that YOU want to portray. I am the founder and owner of Virtual Option, a Canadian-based company that provides timesaving administration support services to associations, corporate organizations and independent consultants with a strong focus on social media. Our full-service professional team offers administrative, creative and bookkeeping services on an hourly basis and customizable to any budget. We act on our clients’ behalf and present “executive” support services. We have an impressive list of clients and our success is directly dependent on theirs – $1.00 an hour is not a profession – it’s a “drive-thru” service! We’re in the business of making ALL of our clients look good so they can concentrate on generating revenue!

As a VA myself I’d like to point an important tip in looking for a Virtual Assistant. That is to look for someone who can communicate in English (both verbal and written). Skills and stuff you want your VA to accomplish are something that can be learned through your instructions, trainings and webinars.

I had been leading a team of Virtual Assistants and link builders that are based in the Philippines for 2 years now. I would love to be of help so feel free to ask me anything you’dd like to know about Filipino VAs.






๏ปฟ