How Companies Find Success by Turning to Remote Workers
The BPO industry, otherwise known as business process outsourcing, has grown tremendously in the past decade. Despite the doubts and trepidations of some business experts and advisors, BPO businesses are still going strong. Now, you have to ask yourself, why? Why are many of the successful companies and entrepreneurs opting to outsource jobs?
Under the BPO umbrella, there is one industry that is growing exponentially in the recent years, and that is the virtual assistant (VA) industry. This particular industry has developed quite a bit over the past decade, in many countries across a number of business types, scales, and models.
VA outsourcing in the past typically means hiring a personal assistant to handle all the tedious paperwork and bookkeeping. From scheduling appointments to responding to emails, a virtual assistant can pretty much do what an in-person personal assistant does, and more.
Virtual assistants who are successful in their line of work get their skills and expertise from their own experiences and in their work environment. They utilize their specific set of skills to provide the best service possible to individual entrepreneurs, companies, and enterprises anywhere in the world. But not all VAs are good, or at least good enough, for some companies. It takes considerable research and time to find a suitable VA who can handle the tasks you may that you’re thinking of outsourcing.
More importantly, VAs today serve as your offshore/onshore business partners who are equally invested in making sure your organization succeeds.
How will onshore and offshore VA benefit your business?
The issue surrounding onshore and offshore outsourcing, which is better, has indeed spilled over the virtual assistant industry. Which is better for my business, an onshore VA or an offshore virtual assistant?
Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this particular question. Both options, onshore and offshore VA, have their own pros and cons. They each have different advantages to offer, depending on what the needs are of the organization.
Onshore virtual assistants have the advantage of working with clients or companies in the same time zone. If you are someone who relies heavily on your VA for time-sensitive tasks, then having someone in the same time zone as you to cater to your needs is definitely a pro. Onshore VAs also provide an advantage when it comes to cultural understanding. Since you’re practically working with someone in the same region, there shouldn’t be that much of a cultural difference. So the adjustment period should be a breeze.
Effective communication can be an issue with offshore hiring, but countries like the Philippines are fully capable of circumventing the language barrier by providing VAs who are proficient with the English language.
Communication is another pro when it comes to hiring onshore virtual assistants. Whatever your native tongue is, if you hire an onshore VA, there’s a high chance that you will be working with someone speaking your primary language. However, this doesn’t mean that communication will be a problem when you hire offshore.
Yes, the language barrier can be an issue when you decide to outsource offshore. But it doesn’t have to be. Countries like India and the Philippines have made the English language a major part of their culture. This is why when it comes to BPO, and virtual assistants in particular, both countries are among the most popular offshore sites that a lot of global companies and entrepreneurs turn to.
Another benefit of hiring offshore VAs is cost-efficiency. As an organization, it is prudent to grab cost-saving solutions wherever or whenever they become available. Once such avenue for cost-effective solution is through offshore outsourcing. With proper research and verification, you will find highly experienced workers the offer their services at lower rates. You are essentially gaining access to unique skill sets and experiences for nominal investment.
The downside with offshore outsourcing is that you might actually get what you pay for. You might be hiring VA or offshore personnel at low rates, but they could end up costing your company more than they’re worth. This is why proper research and vetting is very important when outsourcing, whether you’re hiring onshore or offshore.
Key reasons why successful companies and solo-entrepreneurs are investing in VAs
Regardless of your doubts and trepidations when it comes to hiring a virtual assistant, onshore or offshore, you must be wondering deep inside why many of the successful companies and entrepreneurs out there are investing in them.
Investing in virtual assistants has many advantages for organizations and individual entrepreneurs. More often than not, VAs cost lower than in-person or in-house employees.
Also referred to as remote workers, VAs can provide companies a level of flexibility when it comes to work hours as well as workloads. They can multi-task across different aspects of your organization.
So why should you hire a virtual assistant?
1. To save time
In the world of business, they say that time is money. Hiring a virtual assistant allows you to focus on other more important aspects of your business. This is often cited as one of the main reasons to hire a VA. And there’s a reason for that.
Instead of spending most of your time doing excruciatingly time-consuming tasks, you can have someone do it for you at nominal cost. Now, you have more time to chase down clients, close deals, and increase your profit.
2. To maintain a suitable working environment
For entrepreneurs, one of the most important aspects in achieving entrepreneurial success is having a healthy mindset. This is a lot harder than it sounds. The truth of the matter is, a lot of people fail to capture the right mindset that allows them to manage their business effectively.
If you’re wondering about your own mindset, consider some of these questions: Do you feel like you’re getting a little too overwhelmed by your work? Are your daily tasks and to-do lists starting to pile up? Do you find yourself going home late more and more? Do you feel each working day going longer and longer?
If your answer to most, if not all, of these questions is a “yes,” then you probably need help. And the best way to get help without breaking the bank is to hire a virtual assistant.
3. To find a cost-effective solution for business scalability
Capital is crucial for any business, especially those still in the development process. If you want your business to grow, you will need capital. But business growth doesn’t necessarily need huge capital. There are ways to minimize the amount you are investing into your business to facilitate its growth.
By investing in onshore or offshore virtual assistants, you can significantly reduce your capital requirements as an organization. In addition to the fact that hiring virtual assistants is considerably cheaper than hiring in-person employees, the HR and management expenses are significantly less as well.
Choosing the right virtual assistant firm for your needs
Choosing the right service provider or VA firm is crucial if you want to make the most out of your investment. The company you invest in and work with can make the difference between experiencing all the benefits mentioned above and the disappointments you often hear, which are the cause of your doubts and fears with regard to outsourcing in the first place.
The first step in finding the right BPO company or virtual assistant firm is to identify what type of company you need. There are no virtual assistance companies that cater to all aspects of business in all industries. If a firm claims that, they are lying. The truth is, VA firms are as varied as the companies or organizations they cater to. So it’s important that you identify what type of company you wish to work with.
The next step is to decide between individual-grade and business-grade VA staffing. There are a couple of basic types of virtual assistant staffing; there’s the individual-grade VA, which is best suited for individuals or solo entrepreneurs; then there’s the business- or enterprise-grade, which is catered towards SMBs and the more complex tasks associated with them.
Finally, you should also consider the type of tasks you will be assigning or outsourcing to the VA and make sure their experience and skill set are suited to those tasks. The last thing you want is to need someone to help manage your social media content and end up with a VA who has no experience in social media management whatsoever.