Today, Virtual assistants are helping the business world tremendously. From the smaller tasks to the bigger ones, these professionals have saved a lot of time, energy, money, resources, and produced efficient works for their clients. A myriad of assignments can be allocated to them. Hence, finding the “perfect” Virtual Assistant can be challenging, but worth it. After all, virtual assistants must be able to step up to the plate when needed and be always available in a time of need.
Finding your virtual assistant can be a long process. It is almost as if going through the usual hiring procedure. The only difference is, it is done virtually. If you look at the bigger picture, virtual assistants contribute a lot to everyone that needed them. Yet, the question still needs to be asked: Is hiring a virtual assistant worth it?
A lot has to be considered to answer that question. We don’t want to waste effort on both parties when you end up deciding that it is not worth at all. Not only will you lose your virtual assistant, but you will also lose the momentum over your work. Before you decide to hire a virtual assistant, it is important to ask yourself the same question all over again, reflect on it, and weigh arguments if indeed hiring a virtual assistant is what you need to do.
Let us take you through it. Here are some of the pros and cons of hiring a VA.
- Low costs – Full-time or permanent employees are usually paid monthly and other auxiliary fees such as insurance, benefits, and such. Unlike them, virtual assistants are paid only during the duration of their service, but they still give you the output you need. This is the best substitute for businesses especially the start-ups that need employees but can’t afford to pay a full-time employee just yet.
- More time for you – Bearing all the weight is stressful and inevitably a bad thing for you in the end. Virtual assistants can take away your burden at work or with your business and give you more time to do other important tasks at work or outside work. You can ensure that your tasks will be more productive and organized when the bulk of work is lifted. You know you can’t do everything at the same time, right?
- Economic rates – It is an acknowledged fact that some countries offer more inexpensive rates than others. For example, India and the Philippines are known to be the top two countries to go to when it comes to virtual assistants. The competitive edge of these countries? Excellence and economy. Therefore, outsourcing VA’s from India or the Philippines ensures that your business can save a lot than hiring a full-time or permanent employee.
- Time difference – Let’s say the virtual assistant you hire comes from a country with a different time zone from you. You have someone who works for you during your sleep! Isn’t that convenient? You have people working for you literally day and night. This is the time where a virtual assistant can be really useful to you. This will work wonders for your company’s productivity since you get round-the-clock efficiency.
- Area of work is more focused – To gain an edge over your competitors, reputation is everything. You hire a VA for a specific type of job for you. Once they get into it, the results are well-organized, effective, and real. The results are different if specialists who are focused on that job and that job only handle the task. They will delve into their tasks willingly and accomplish them on their deadlines. Hiring a VA ensures both quality and quantity and boosts your overall reputation.
- Communication problems – You will have to communicate with your virtual assistant through chat, call, or video call. This is not really a major concern, but it might be in the future. Unforeseen circumstances such as power outages, calamities, Internet connection loss can pose hindrances for you and your VA.
Another communication concern that needs to be considered is that things may be lost in translation due to the remote nature of the relationship. There is no telling what you or your virtual assistants truly mean during your conversations. This is one of the common mistakes during chat conversations. Messages may be misinterpreted, and can eventually result to conflict for both sides.
- Differences – A working relationship requires a good fit to prosper. Another disadvantage of hiring a VA might be the fact that you will not always have the same beliefs as him/her. The differences might be cultural, religious, philosophical and more. Your beliefs might be opposite to your virtual assistant and might become another interference to the work process. Although it can become a challenge on both sides, further confusion can be prevented when both parties respect each other’s differences to create harmony, thus giving a more peaceful working environment for both.
Another example is the language barrier. Most companies in the USA hire virtual assistants coming from countries in Asia, and most Asian countries are conservative in their communication and feedback approaches. Meanwhile, Americans are known to be straightforward and concise. This may cause problems in interaction and communication.
- No Personal Supervision – Yes, virtual assistants can be efficient always, but if the task handed out to them needs proper supervision, it will not be easy checking up on them. Since you are not by your VA’s side to supervise or check their tasks, it can be difficult to observe if they are doing them right. You will only know of the quality once they submit their finished tasks to you. Yes, you can track their progress using certain and various software, but it is not easy to make comments and clarifications through the chat function. It will become a challenge to explain things through chat platforms compared to doing it in person.
- Data Security Risks – Sensitive pieces of information will be passed so that your virtual assistant can work on a specific task. Regardless of what kind of sharing platform you use, the nature of the Internet offers no guarantee that your data is safe from being copied by another source. This explains why thorough background checking should be done before hiring a virtual assistant to protect yourself, your data, and prevent any possible data infringement.
No business solution is all pros and no cons. The same is true when hiring a virtual assistant. Still, as relayed in the article, the number of advantages outnumbers the list of disadvantages of a virtual assistant. Sure, hiring somebody you have never actually met in person seems risky, but once you do your due diligence and hire the right person to be your virtual assistant, you set yourself up for a mutually beneficial relationship that will add value to your business and your personal life.
Looking for the right VA is a long process but once you find the one whom you can trust with your business, everything will work out just fine.
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