There’s a reason why the global outsourcing industry has been growing at a steady pace the last 15 years… It works! Businesses regardless of size, scale or type of industry have been outsourcing tasks in order to maintain profitability at a time of great uncertainty. If you are looking to expand your business and navigate through economic turbulence you should consider outsourcing tasks to virtual assistants.
For sure you have heard of virtual assistants. But perhaps your idea of a Virtual assistant is a person who is contracted to do secretarial tasks and personal assistant services. To a certain degree this description is correct but it is far from being accurate.
A Virtual Assistant is a person who works online from a remote location and is contracted to manage tasks, a project or a set of responsibilities. But he or she is not limited to secretarial or personal assistant services. While these are part of the usual scope of work, today’s Virtual Assistant is capable of providing more technical and highly specialized tasks.
Because the roles of virtual assistants have evolved from what it was before the new millennium, they are alternatively referred to as freelancers, home-based workers or telecommuters.
Since 2014, more companies have been incorporating virtual assistants into the work force to great success. In the United States alone, it is estimated that by 2020, 50% of the workforce will be comprised of home-based workers of virtual assistants.
There are many benefits to outsourcing tasks to virtual assistants:
- Saves Up on Operating Costs
The primary reason why companies hire virtual assistants is to reduce costs. When the stream of revenues is inconsistent, you should look at managing your costs to maintain the bottom-line.
When you hire a Virtual Assistant, you only pay him or her per productive hour. A Virtual Assistant is not entitled to receive benefits because he or she is self-employed.
As such, you also do not incur additional costs for business. The Virtual Assistant is responsible for his or her costs of business such as Internet and power.
- Increase your Productivity
Have you ever been in a situation where you were pulled away from the work at hand because you had to attend to a phone call, a payment or an overdue task?
These types of situations can greatly impact your productivity. As the business owner, your time is best spent attending to functions that relate directly to profitability. However, as the business owner you will routinely receive phone calls and requests for payment from creditors and suppliers.
By hiring a Virtual Assistant, you will someone who can attend to these non-essential but otherwise valuable tasks. You will have more time to allocate for core business functions.
- Improve Business Flexibility
At a time of uncertainty, it will be futile for businesses to focus on creating the “Perfect Plan”. If the business environment has become highly unpredictable the conditions to support a “Perfect Plan” will not exist.
Instead of adapting rigid business strategies, your approach should be to focus on business flexibility. You should have the ability to foresee and identify changes in market conditions so you can draw up alternative courses of action.
Outsourcing tasks to virtual assistants allows you to improve business flexibility in 2 ways:
- You can terminate the engagement any time. If hiring the Virtual Assistant has not generated a Return on Investment or ROI that warrants the cost, you can always end the appointment. You can then choose to hire a new one or put off the decision until you can assess business conditions.
- You can take advantage of time zone differentials to optimize the value of the virtual assistants. If you reside in North America and want to set up a customer service group that can monitor your business 24/7, simply hire virtual assistants from the Philippines.
By hiring virtual assistants from remote locations such as the Philippines or India, you also further streamline your costs because they typically charge lower than their foreign counterparts.
- Improve Quality of Work
As mentioned earlier, virtual assistants are no longer confined to secretarial work. The virtual assistance industry opened up its doors to more specialized skills in response to overwhelming demand from companies worldwide.
You can find virtual assistants who can perform these highly specialized tasks for you:
- Web Design and Programming
- Social Media Marketing
- Legal, Medical and Business Transcription
- Market Research
- Software Development
- Content Marketing
Even if you are proficient in one or a few of these skills, it is advisable to delegate them to a Virtual Assistant so you can focus on activities that require your immediate attention.
- Capitalize on their Experience
Many virtual assistants have had experience working in the traditional brick- and- mortar work environment. They know what it’s like to meet deadlines, compete and work with clients.
Many virtual assistants also receive additional training to become better at what they do. Some have been certified or licensed by the local regulating agency. These include those who can practice law, medicine, design software or trade financial securities.
In fact, the growth of global outsourcing has led to an evolution or transition in the working relationship between client and service provider. Clients recognize the ability of service providers to contribute to the success of their business in more ways than just meeting deadlines.
A Virtual Assistant can help you make your business more efficient:
- Develop an Internet-based system for close collaboration.
- Organize all of your work documents through the expert use of cloud based file sharing programs.
- Manage your Customer Relationship Management or CRM program.
- Create easy access and user friendly templates for spreadsheet or Word-based work.
- Lend assistance in following up or closing leads for business development purposes.
This is the reason companies in developed countries are starting to integrate virtual assistants into their work forces. The best virtual assistants approach work from the perspective of a strategic partner not just as a party to the contract.
If you want to take your business to the next level, consider outsourcing tasks to virtual assistants. The Virtual Assistant could be the key that opens the door to success for your business.