Why Outsourcing Services to Virtual Assistants is a Good Business Strategy

 

Why Outsourcing Services to Virtual Assistants is a Good Business Strategy

More businesses around the world are outsourcing services to virtual assistants. From small- scale businesses to Fortune 500 companies, many have discovered and acknowledged why contracting virtual assistants is a good business strategy.

Virtual assistants are Internet- based professionals who are contracted to handle a specific task or set of responsibilities. They work from a remote location; usually from home and are generally considered self-employed or proprietors of a business that offers virtual assistance services.

The demand for virtual assistance work has increased to a point that the industry itself has opened up opportunities for those with diverse skill sets and competencies.

Today you can find ideal candidates for virtual assistance work on any type of job or project. They are no longer limited to administrative or personal assistance work.

The diversity in the industry has led to new terminologies for the VA. These include “telecommuter”, “home-based worker” and “freelancer”. Regardless of the terminology, the definition and function essentially remain the same.

It is estimated that by 2020, 50% of work forces would be composed of VA’s.

If the big corporations in the United States and the United Kingdom see the value of contracting virtual assistants, so should you!

What is Outsourcing?

Outsourcing is the process of delegating or transferring asks or specific work to a qualified third party service provider. It is a process that has been in practice since the 1970s, primarily as a way to reduce costs. However, steady demand for outsourcing services has led to its discovery as an effective strategy for business development.

The growth of global outsourcing industry runs parallel to that of the virtual assistance industry. Since the year 2000, outsourcing has had 15 years of steady growth. From a US$ 45 Billion industry, outsourcing reached a high of US$ 105 Billion in 2014. The entire industry is estimated to be worth US$584 Billion.

Outsourcing remains to be seen as a viable business development strategy in 2017 and beyond. You can outsource on a large scale by contracting the services of an outsourcer to manage departments or a smaller scale by delegating measured tasks to a VA’s.

In the United States, companies such as United Health Group, AETNA, Dell, IBM and SAP are outsourcing work to virtual assistants by integrating them into their work force.

Either way, your business will reap the benefits of outsourcing in terms of cost reduction and increasing productivity.

6 Benefits of Contracting a Virtual Assistant

1. Reduce Cost of Business – If you’re planning to expand your business or just need help in managing certain areas, contracting the services of a Virtual Staff will achieve your goals without breaking the budget.

Remember that online assistants are generally self-employed. They are accountable for their costs of business and are not entitled to receive benefits unlike Full Time Employees or FTEs.

It is estimated that you save up to 40% by contracting virtual employee’s rather than hiring FTEs.

2. Increase Productivity – By delegating other tasks to the remote employees, you can free up more time for you to focus on the core functions of your business.

The cost savings realized from outsourcing work to virtual assistants can also be used to fund revenue generating activities such as marketing and promotion.

3. Improve Quality of Products and Services – If your business needs help in specialized work that falls outside your core competencies, you can easily find a virtual employee to do the job.

Many professionals who have had experience working in the 9-to-5 office world have crossed over to the virtual world. They have the training, certification and credentials to get the job done right and ensure top level quality.

4. Introduce Business Flexibility – If you want to maximize the cost saving capacity of outsourcing work to virtual assistants, consider remote workers from regions like the Philippines and India.

These countries are the consensus top 2 picks when it comes to global outsourcing and have built a solid reputation for providing top notch virtual staff.

The cost of hiring remote workers from the Philippines and India is much lower and will give you more flexibility in your budget.

You can also capitalize on the time differential. For example, you can contract remote virtual assistants to manage your after- office hours. You will not incur additional costs for overtime, night differential or hazard pay.

5. Reduce Risk of Expansion – An expansion plan involves adding personnel to accommodate expected increases in work volume.

But what if the work volume is not sustainable? Terminating FTEs will become a problem because there are legal issues to consider.

With online workers, you can just terminate the contract due to business losses or redundancy. There will be no need for payment of separation pay.

6. Relieve Stress – Ever thought about taking the vacation you’ve put off for the past 5 years? Contract the services of a VA and start packing your bags for your new travel destination.

With a Virtual Secretary, you can be assured your business will be in good hands while you are away. They can just update you once or twice a week or in case there are developments that need your attention.

You can also have more time for the family, friends and yourself. Taking a few hours a day or a few days a week to recharge is good for the mind and the body. A healthier you will always be good for your business!

What Services Should You Outsource to a Virtual Assistant?

If you are outsourcing services to a VA for the first time, start with non-essential tasks or the non-core functions. These include:

  • E-mail Filtering
  • Calendar Management
  • Appointment Setting
  • Phone Handling
  • Preparation of Presentation Materials
  • Update of Customer Records
  • Organizing Files and Documents
  • Personal Tasks

The idea is to get a feel of outsourcing work and to assess the performance of your candidate.

Once you are more confident of the remote employees abilities, then you can delegate more specific tasks that are in line with his or her core competencies.

Another option would be to hire another one with the skills to expertly handle more specialized tasks. This way you will not over-work your outsourced worker.

If you want to take you business to the next level in 2017 and beyond, consider outsourcing services to virtual assistants. It will provide you a double – edged sword that will protect you from the uncertainties that lie ahead.

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