If you’ve been paying attention, then you would have noticed that a great number of businesses have started farming out some non-essential yet necessary business-related tasks to virtual assistants based in offshore locations like the Philippines. This strategy is often employed to improve a business’ operational efficiency and it has indeed given many businesses a competitive advantage. At the very least, it has allowed business owners and key managers to focus on the core aspects of the business while the VA takes care of the other aspects. There are several good reasons why a good VA can be essential to achieving business success, among them being:
1. A good VA can help you win back former customers and gain new ones. Depending on the specific tasks you assign to him, a good VA will always be there for you or your customers whenever necessary. The VA can even serve as liaison between a business and its customers.
2. The best VAs can also serve as modern telemarketers, ones who know how to entice people to try out new products and/or services without going on a tiresome sales pitch. People these days have become increasingly wary of sales pitches, and a good VA knows that. He gives you an advantage by knowing how to approach potential customers without getting their guard up. After all, he isn’t really part of your business; he, too, is a consumer just like the people he’s trying to convince.
3. Many offshore locations are also low-cost locations for two reasons: 1) cost of living is relatively low in those countries and 2) foreign exchange rates are such that an unbelievably low rate for a Western business translates into ample compensation in the offshore location. If you are running a small business, the savings you get will definitely be a huge help.
Here are the most common VA myths you’d do well to forget, in case they’ve ever crossed your mind:
1. VAs are a waste of good money.
There are those who think it isn’t necessary to hire a VA. While this may be true, it would be a stretch to say that hiring a VA is a waste of money. On the contrary, hiring a VA can actually save you a significant amount of money. Consider this: You won’t have to provide your VA with equipment, materials, work space, and benefits; plus, you won’t have to pay for the VA’s income taxes. He takes care of all of that himself.
2. VAs from developed countries are more skilled than those based elsewhere.
It matters little where the VA is based; his skill set depends entirely on the individual. A person offering Philippines virtual assistant services can be just as highly-skilled as his Western counterpart. He even has the advantage of being able to charge lower rates for reasons mentioned earlier. The key is in you taking the necessary steps to ensure that you hire the right person/s for the job.
3. VAs are only hired to take care of small tasks.
One of the reasons why some business owners think it is a waste to hire a VA is that they think VAs are only capable of doing the simplest administrative tasks. The truth is that VAs specialize in a wide variety of work. There are those who are adept at database management. There are also those who have a strong background in accounting. Others have social media management and/or customer service as their strong suit. What is important is for you to find a VA whose skill set is a perfect match for the tasks you plan to delegate.
4. VAs need to be micro-managed.
Some business owners think that because a VA is located off-site, he will have to be micro-managed, thereby putting more burden on the business owner and keeping him from totally focusing on the core of the business. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. As long as you have chosen your VA carefully, all you’ll have to do after giving the necessary instructions is monitor his progress the way you would a regular employee.
5. All VAs are work-at-home moms.
There is nothing wrong with hiring a work-at-home mom. But if the work you have in mind requires that the VA be a single lady or a gentleman, then you don’t have to worry. Virtual assistance is non-gender specific and contrary to what you may think, there are many male VAs out there.
Once you let go of these misconceptions, you can be on your way to benefiting greatly from the services of a good VA, no matter how big or small your business is.