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Virtual Assistants

Outsourcing Project Management: Pros, Cons, Examples, & How to Do It

outsourcing project management

Outsourcing project management is one of the smartest moves you can make for your business. You may like being at the helm, but you are more needed elsewhere in your business. Your position as business owner means that you are more valuable as the one who charts the course. Project management outsourcing allows you to let someone else steer the boat. This way, you can keep making all those great plans that get you to the next and the next level.

What is Project Management?

Project management entails using certain knowledge and skills to ensure the delivery of a product. Coupled with tools and techniques, this product can become of even greater value to the people you intended to serve. No matter what that project is – department expansion, office software, physical infrastructure, social services – properly managing it matters. 

The whole point of project management is creating value for others through various services, products, and processes. These can be short-term or long-term solutions, and accomplished quickly or needing more time to execute. Managing the process is all about setting up the proper structure. This helps you make sure that the people involved can do all the tasks that are part of realizing the project to a high standard.

Even with all the automation options that are available to us these days, you will almost always need someone to take the lead. This person will be responsible for initiating phases of the project and planning the smaller details. They will also check periodically that each phase is executed on time and without compromise. This is important to the success of the project, and in tandem, the success of your business.

Assigning Project Management

Now, you can do this yourself, but we think that’s not the best use of your time or talents. You can also get a partner or department manager to do it. But taking on this new role will usually leave a gap in the role they were previously taking care of. Neither of these is good for your business. 

A third option is hiring a new person to manage your projects. Since the volume and difficulty of projects varies, we cannot recommend hiring someone in-house. You may not have enough work for them to do month over month to justify the expense. This is especially true when you have projects that require different skill sets.

Outsourcing in project management means that you look elsewhere for help. Instead of drawing from your internal resources, you hire someone from outside your company to take on the role of project manager. Still, you may not be able to give them full-time work. This is why outsourcing project management to freelancers is the option we suggest you explore. You hire them for as many hours as you need, and then you part ways clean and clear.

What Are the Tasks And Responsibilities of A Project Manager?

A person creating a chart on a board.

Project management outsourcing may not be the simplest thing, but we can help you do it well. Outsourcing in project management hinges on understanding the role that you are hiring to fill. You want to make sure that you have the right person for the job so you don’t waste a lot of time. 

The first step is to become familiar with the task and responsibilities involved in project management. Then you can start looking for someone to fit the bill in a more targeted way. Here they are, along with the skills a person needs to fulfill them.

Leadership

First and above all, project managers take the lead. They lead in terms of managing  timelines and budgets. They also lead in terms of managing expectations and people on the project team. Managers may not be the ones who set these targets, but they are in charge of meeting them. Everything rises and falls with the leader. So, a project manager must know how to bring all the moving parts together to ensure success at every stage of the project.

That said, we see a few vital responsibilities under this umbrella.

Timeline Management

A project manager needs to handle work schedules within the team. This isn’t just making sure people get to work on time and don’t miss too many days. Different people on a project will often have interrelated tasks to do. This means they do work that is dependent on the work that has already been done by others. If these others don’t finish their tasks on time, then the first group of people will not be able to work. That created a jam that your business will likely pay for. Project management means juggling timelines so that work flows and you aren’t paying for people to sit around waiting for other people to get going.

Budget Management

Timeline management does involve money in terms of the labor hours that you’re paying for. And, yes, people are a big part of the money spent. For example, a project manager will also have some degree of control over personnel. They are on the ground, so to speak, so they know who is needed to do what. If the current roster isn’t cutting it, they can recommend additions and replacements within the project team.

But budget management is a bigger picture than who’s on the payroll. The project budget covers all the tools that each team member uses, down to the last paperclip. It also includes the power that each piece of equipment sucks up, and the space they all occupy for the duration of the project. Computing all this and staying on top of it can be a full-time job in itself for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing!

Motivation

All of the above plus setting proper expectations is part of this area of responsibility. Project managers care for the needs of the team. How well they engage and direct people often determines how well they perform. And this means better performance from the team as a whole, too. Proper motivation keeps everyone balanced to meet the set project goals without burning out.

Conflict management is in the mix as well. Whenever you put a bunch of people together, there’s no telling how they will all get along. Honestly, unless they’ve worked well together before, chances are there will be some friction. If the manager does not deal with it, you will soon begin to see the effects on productivity.

Outsourcing in project management might seem to present challenges in team motivation. We have found, however, that hiring people who don’t work in the same office can be even better. You can quickly spot the self-starters, who are always better to have on any team. You can also see how everyone makes that much more of an effort to connect precisely because an easy pat on the back isn’t possible. They actually have to find something concrete to compliment each other on, and this works much better as a motivating factor.

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Project Management

 

outsourcing project management

Disadvantages

Outsourcing project management means that you are letting go of a greater degree of control. This can be a benefit because it means you can’t easily grab control away from the manager. It can also be among the top outsourcing risks if you are not managing the manager. Yes, you still need to lead because you are still the top leader as the owner of your company.

One setback that you need to watch out for stems from the fact that an outsider won’t automatically understand your business. This means that you’ll need to take some extra time in the beginning stages to help them acclimate. A good freelancer will always do their best to use whatever information you supply them with to learn about your brand and goals. But, you need to fill in the gaps because they can’t learn in a few days what it took employees months and years to get the hang of.

Advantages

One definite advantage of project management outsourcing is the cost. When you hire from outside the country, you usually pay much lower rates. This is because the cost of living is often cheaper elsewhere in the world. So, even if you’re a startup, you can afford proper help from professionals to ensure the success of your projects. 

The level of savings you can enjoy only doubles and even triples when you factor in skills and experience. Just because the cost of living is lower in other countries, it doesn’t mean that intelligence, educational level, etc. are lower, too. In fact, many countries in the third world boast more college graduates than the west! This means you can hire top talent with loads of experience for half the cost. 

Don’t forget the much larger talent pool you get with outsourcing. You can not only find excellent managers, but those with experience in the various niches you need for each project. And when you’re hiring freelancers, you can engage a different manager for each project. This way, if the technical level of your projects requires it, you can get perfect matches in terms of skill sets every single time.

Important Things To Know When Outsourcing Project Management

We have three non-negotiables when it comes to outsourcing project management: infrastructure, communication, and agreement.

By infrastructure, we mean the technology they have available to support their work. The minimum here is a stable internet connection and a reliable computer or other internet-enabled device. This connection and device must of course be capable of sustaining all the aspects of their work. Specifically, this can include the CMS apps you use, and the communications channels you prefer.

For communication, it can be minimal or more complex, depending on your systems. At the very least, as hinted at above, the manager must be able to use the communication channels your business has set in place. This is because they need to be able to keep you updated and promise seamless contact with every member of the team. Communication also touches on working times. They will most likely be in a different time zone, so they will need to have a level of overlap with everyone else to stay in touch.

In terms of an agreement, it again depends on what you’re comfortable with. We just want to make sure that you are doing your best to make sure you are on the same page with anyone you hire. As the business owner, you will set the expectations for the project manager. When you’re confident that you understand each other and know what’s expected, work should go smoothly.

How Do I Hire A Project Manager?

outsourcing project management

The best way to handle project management outsourcing is through online channels. You can engage a hiring agency, join virtual assistant websites, or reach out to individual freelancers. 

If you go the agency route, you can find agencies that will do everything for you, and you talk to one contact point. You can also find agencies that will simply connect you with candidates. This is more like how a freelance marketplace would work. The difference is that you have more control with an agency. They are better equipped in most cases to provide more personalized service and security. With freelance websites, you have larger talent pools, but not necessarily the highest levels of security.

The owners of Outsource School have hired several project managers for their other businesses over the years. They have mostly gone with these two options. The third option, hiring one on one, is possible, but risky. You are contracting with an individual overseas. You have no third party running verification or backing you up. So, we don’t recommend this unless you got a referral from a trusted associate.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 

Conclusion

Project management outsourcing is definitely not the same as outsourcing for other positions. This is a management role, and it comes along with greater expectations. This means that you need to be more careful when selecting a hiring partner as well as selecting the actual manager. Managers also have access to higher levels of your company, so security around them must become tighter.

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Virtual Assistants

11 Best Websites to Hire Latino Virtual Assistants for Your Business

If you’re thinking of hiring Latino virtual assistants, we think that’s a great idea! Hiring from Latin America offers a few distinct advantages, which we’ll discuss below. We’ll also give you 11 websites where you can find Latino talent, and why we like them. Each site has its own best features, so choose the one that meets your needs most closely.

People using a laptop, representing virtual assistant skills.

1. Hubstaff Talent

Hubstaff is known for its time tracking software. However, the company developed a robust hiring platform over the past few years. We now know Hubstaff Talent as the free place where you can meet the world’s top remote talent. Companies can search for remote hires all over the globe without worrying about markups, hidden fees, or middlemen.

You pay people based on their chosen rates, so pricing can vary greatly. This is mostly due to factors like location and skill level. Of course, you will also expect to pay much less for data entry as compared to project management or consultations.

2. Outsourcely

Outsroucely has been around for some time, and offers talent from over 180 countries. Their goal is to connect you to talent that will benefit your business over the long term. They make it easy to start working with any of more than 400,000 remote workers. All the talent on this platform are competent and reliable in their fields. They focus more on long-term employment and stability, but you can also find some who are willing to do smaller projects or work part time. 

3. Virtual Latinos

If you want to stop spending your valuable time doing various busywork for your business, this is the solution. Virtual Latinos offers virtual professionals to help you focus on growing your business. They hand-pick talent from Latin America to serve business owners and entrepreneurs abroad. They hold the rank of 80th on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America. 

These LatAm VAs can take care of your to-do list so you can get out of busyness and into productivity. You can’t have another “you” but you can hire a reliable VA. Virtual Latinos is home to fully bilingual experienced college graduates who live in your time zone and are ready to serve.

4. Near

Virtual assistants help businesses all over the world to grow faster and operate better. Near helps you hire remote VAs from Latin America risk-free and without the common times delays and additional costs. This platform works with a lot of startups, so they understand the need for affordable and reliable help. They also serve larger companies who need greater numbers of experienced talent quickly. You can start working with the VA who fits your description in about three weeks from the time you submit a request. 

Near assists companies through the process of identifying, interviewing, negotiating with, and hiring Latino virtual assistants. They only recommend professionals they already vetted, so you can feel confident. Choose from over 20,000 candidates who will bring high performance to your business to outpace the competition.

5. Upwork

Upwork is arguably the most well-known online marketplace to hire virtual assistants. This means that many businesses and freelancers flock there every day. That makes it a great place to bet on finding the best people to do the job you need done. You can join the platform at no cost to look through freelancer profiles. 

When you register, you can explore projects and book a consultation with their hiring experts. Then you can choose to post a job to attract talent or have the team search through the talent pool for you. Upwork allows you to work with the best while enjoying low transaction rates. With reduced hiring expenses, you can bring your business to the next level faster without compromising on talent. 

6. Fiverr

Fiverr believes that the right freelance service for everyone is available. They exist to draw a variety of services together so you can find the right one right away. They built the platform on the needs they saw, so Fiverr is the best of everything you need when hiring. 

Unlike most freelance marketplaces, Fiverr does not offer hourly pricing. All services are proceed per project, so you can easily stick to your budget. Because it’s project-based, you can also get quality work done more quickly. You engage a freelancer for a fixed price, and pay only when you approve the work. This platform allows you to hire someone at any time of the day or night. You can also access 24/7 support. 

A man communicating with a latino virtual assistants via video call on his laptop.

7. Freelancer.com

The world’s largest freelance marketplace has got to be the right place to hire from, right? Freelancer is a forerunner in the online hiring space, and boasts the best freelancers for any job. Top talent loves working through this platform because of their long-standing reputation. Hiring here is secure because you don’t need to pay until you’re happy with the work. You can get free quotes, too, from among more than 60 million freelancers. 

Freelancer shows you work portfolios for prospective hires so you can see samples of their previous work. You can also read reviews from past clients so you can find trustworthy talent. You’ll find them fast, too, since most projects get bids in the first minute they’re posted. Two things we love are the integrated time tracker and the mobile app that lets you track work on the go. 

8. Tecla

You can find vetted, trained, and certified freelancers to hire through this less-known website. The VAs who work here are exclusively from Latin America. They are all fluent English speakers and can work hours that match your time zone. Hiring here works by tiers, where you can engage basic-level VAs for $12 per hour. If you need more autonomous help, able to handle intricate tasks, you can hire mid-level talent for $15 per hour. These virtual assistants have diverse expertise and can work independently. You can also hire specialists at $20 per hour for tasks that require high-level support. This tier offers seasoned professionals with extensive expertise for the budget-conscious.

9. There is Talent

This is one of the few VA hiring companies based in Latin America –  Columbia, specifically. Most others are registered in other countries. This means that There is Talent knows the available Latin talent at a deeper level. 

Entrepreneurs and small business owners can get customized virtual assistance and outsourcing services here. The process involves a free strategy call with the director where she gets to know your business requirements. Then you can meet with the top matches for interviews, and hire the best fit. 

Depending on your needs, you will fall into one of three monthly plans. 10 hours weekly will cost you $499 per month. 20 hours is $799 per month, and 40 hours is $1499 per month. Each plan comes with a dedicated supervisor, onboarding assistance, weekly reporting, and technical assistance. Each VA is bilingual and has a fully-equipped workstation. If for any reason the VA you hire needs to be replaced, you will get a backup quickly and easily.

A woman working on a laptop and thinking about hiring latino virtual assistants

10. Workana

This site also boasts the top remote talent in Latin America to grow your business with. Their aim is to help you develop your business quickly but also sustainably. You can find thousands of professionals here who speak both English and Spanish. They can work stable hours in your time zone. These features are what has made Workana the industry leader for remote hiring in Latin America. 

Workana values reliability in remote work, and has more than ten years of experience. With that, you can trust them alongside thousands of other companies who are expanding their businesses through the platform. 

11. Valatam

Valatam is short for “Virtual Assistance Latin America,” an agency providing remote bilingual talent. Their remote team members serve busy entrepreneurs and business owners from one side of the world to the other. One unique things about this company is their Impact Hub locations, which are co-working spaces their VAs can leverage. This raises the level of quality control the agency can provide when work-from-home solutions don’t cut it.

The virtual team at Valatam hail from several Latin American countries and boast various professional skills. They are all college graduates and most have previous experience working with international companies. Their aim is to provide expert, dedicated assistance so you save time and money and avoid stress.

Frequently Asked Questions

A man remote onboarding latino virtual assistants via a video call using a laptop.

Why consider hiring Latino Virtual Assistants?

Most Latino virtual assistants are well-educated and eager to work for companies in the US and Canada. They pursue these posts because of the opportunities for growth that come along with the work. So, you get top talent without needing to pay top dollar. 

Hiring Latino virtual assistants is also a nearshore hiring model, which means close physical proximity. This ensures that hires have a greater familiarity with American and Canadian cultures. You will tend to be more aligned than with freelancers from far-flung regions. This applies in terms of work ethic and values as well as business practices. As a result, you can enjoy smoother collaboration and fewer misunderstandings. You will also have more opportunities to meet with them in person because they do not live too far away.

The tech scene in Latin America is growing. This also means a skilled workforce at affordable rates. As time goes by, the hourly savings you enjoy grow even more profitable. You get streamlined operations and positive ROI from increased efficiency and higher productivity.

What language skills can I expect from Latino VAs?

Most Latino virtual assistants are bilingual. Some even speak a third language. This can be of great value to companies in regions where there are large Spanish- and English-speaking populations. Companies that serve these communities can serve them better with staff that can smoothly transition between languages. The rapport and ease that this fosters with customers is invaluable. 

What are the typical working hours for Latino VAs?

Latino VAs usually work during their day, but can be flexible as well. Being in similar and neighboring time zones, they usually have only up to a two-hour time difference from US and Canadian time zones. This makes communication easy because they will usually be working the same hours. You can reach out to them in real-time during your workday. This means no time lags that could potentially interfere with meetings and decision-making processes. They can cover day shifts without additional strain, which is a huge advantage.

What tasks can Latino Virtual Assistants handle?

Latino VAs can handle just about any type of task that you can perform over the internet. Most are highly educated, some coming out of the professional world to seek fresh opportunities. The term “virtual assistant” can carry negative connotations because of the way it has been used. However, it simply means someone who doesn’t live near you and can offer you the help that you need. Many experts in their fields actually prefer to work remote these days, and that does not diminish their skill level.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 

Conclusion

Hiring Latino virtual assistants can be the best decision you make for your business. Latinos make excellent additions to any team because of their similar work times, bright culture, and proximity. With a reliable hiring partner, you can build a team of VAs that bring excellence but won’t break the bank.

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Virtual Assistants

A Cost Effective Guide to Outsourcing Financial Services

When is outsourcing financial services a good idea? 

A clipboard and calculator representing outsourcing financial services.

Perhaps you’ve been doing your books on your own for a while. Maybe you have an in-house team dedicated to your finances, but you want to move them to a different department. It’s possible you want to cut costs and be smarter with your budget. 

Any of the above are good reasons to consider letting someone else take charge of the money-tracking department. 

In this article, we will define the types of financial services you can outsource. We will also go deeper into the benefits and risks of letting a third party take care of financial duties. We will also give you some advice on how to outsource and the best practices to follow. 

What is Financial Services Outsourcing?

This is the process of hiring an outside company to handle parts or the entirety of your business’s financial needs. Financial services is an umbrella term that covers a number of roles, tasks, and responsibilities. 

Types of Financial Services Outsourced

Bookkeeping 

This involves all tasks related to maintaining the general ledger of a business. This is basically a journal of all your business transactions. 

A bookkeeper is responsible for bank reconciliation, recording transactions, categorizing them into the proper accounts, and keeping receipts. They can also manage your accounts payable (what you owe) and accounts receivable (what others owe you). Other common duties include expense tracking, paying bills, issuing invoices, and preparing papers for tax filing. They prepare essential financial statements monthly or as needed including your Cash Flow Statement, Balance Sheet, and Income Statement. They tend to work closely or sometimes under an accountant. 

Accounting

Accountants can typically perform all the duties a bookkeeper can. Though they are qualified to perform a variety of other duties, such as 

  • Tax preparation, tax filing, and payment 
  • Tax planning services
  • Auditing duties 
  • Creating and presenting budgets and forecasting 
  • Managing a team of bookkeepers and clerics

Both accountants and bookkeepers also tend to use accounting software. This software helps automate certain processes, allows for more accuracy, and makes their lives easier. 

Financial Analysis/Strategies

Bookkeepers and accountants can give you some level of financial guidance. Sometimes, however, you need to bring in the big guns. 

A financial analyst and strategist will gather all financial information, interpret the data, and run analyses. They will view key financial metrics,  create spreadsheets, and run reports. After evaluating the data, they can come up with detailed plans to cut costs, increase profitability, and generally improve the financial standing of the business. 

An analyst will also be able to research and recommend potential investment opportunities and other ways to increase business profits.

Payroll

Need help to pay your employees and calculate taxes and withholdings? You can outsource that too! Those in charge of payroll can automate pay schedules with software. They can set up multiple payment options for your employees. Payroll accountants track time off, paid leaves, holiday bonuses, deductions, and overtime pay. They also make sure payroll tax documentation is accurate and complete for filing. 

Benefits of Outsourcing Financial Services

Outsourcing Financial Services

Cost-effective 

Keeping an in-house team has its benefits, but one of them is not cost savings. Wages and salaries are one thing, but consider other factors such as taxes, overheads, paid leave, and other employee benefits. It adds up. An outsourced team would be lighter on your wallet. 

Not to be stingy with paying workers, but you may not be spending your money very effectively. Ask yourself. Are you really getting the most of your in-house financial team? You may find yourself paying a full-time rate when you don’t actually need them to be active that much. You could get by with fractional bookkeepers who can take care of duties on a project basis. 

Expertise and Experience

Consider also that you are getting experts in the field to take care of your financials. These professionals have already developed systems and processes in place. They know how to spot mistakes right away and fix them quickly. They can bring a level of efficiency to your business. Not only that, but a lot of these individuals and teams have worked with other companies and clients before. This means they likely have experience with businesses of all sizes and know how to apply that knowledge to yours. 

Flexibility 

If finance tasks bog you or key members of your business down, consider outsourcing financial services. This frees up core staff to work on more pressing matters, like sales or advertising. Back-office tasks shouldn’t put the actual operation of your business on hold. By outsourcing financial help, you allow yourself to do what you do best and let them do the same. 

Scalability 

The great thing about outsourcing is the freedom it gives you to upscale and downgrade when needed. Is tax season coming up and you need more help? No problem, hire an accounting team to get that done for you. You can work based on hours or projects and hire them again only when you need them. 

Technology

Another factor to consider is the FinTech infrastructure. Not only can they carry the latest, state-of-the-art software, but they also know how to use it. This saves you monthly subscription fees you would likely have to pay on top of paying for those who will use it. 

Risks of Outsourcing Financial Services

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Data Security Concerns

This is probably the risk that most are concerned by. Financial data is very sensitive information to hand off to anyone. 

There are a few ways this can be mitigated. For instance, hire a company that has clear data protection policies and security measures in place. 

However, you still cannot guarantee the complete safety of your data when hiring freelancers. Nor can you guarantee they have well-protected data servers or tight lips around the office! 

Lack of Control Over Processes

You won’t have much control or oversight over the course of the project. You have the authority to evaluate meeting schedules, but it can be challenging to arrange them.. This is especially true if they are from different time zones. 

Communication Issues

Remote team management can be challenging. While time zones can allow you to get work done after hours, it can also cause work delays. For instance, if you’re from New York and are hiring in the Philippines, the gap is 13 hours. 

Sometimes you also can’t guarantee they will have a consistent internet connection on their end. 

How to Outsource Financial Services

A man in a suit holding his chin and thinking while using a laptop doing research on Outsourcing Financial Services

Identify Business Needs

Before starting your search, ask yourself these questions:

  • What type of financial service do you need? 
  • Are you partially outsourcing or are you outsourcing the entire process (BPO)? 
  • Do you need a full time, part time, or fractional service?
  • Do you want an individual or a team? 

Determine Budget

This is a big consideration. You might start by researching the general cost of in-house vs outsourced services. It will be challenging to get an exact amount, but at least you’ll have an idea of what you can afford.

Consider what you can set aside for trial projects, any associated hiring fees, and the services as a whole. 

Find the Right Partner

We can subdivide this step into four key steps: seeking, sifting, selecting, and starting

Step 1: Seeking

This step is all about research. You need to expect that looking for the right fit will take time. Browse popular lists online for outsourcing services and freelance marketplaces. 

Step 2: Sifting

This stage is all about narrowing down your options. This is where you start comparing price points, services offered, and product benefits. One service may offer a free trial month of bookkeeping. The other might offer better value monthly plans. Maybe you’re looking for a solution that can do catch-up bookkeeping which can seamlessly transition to a regular service. 

In this step you set up initial interviews with your select few.  Do they match your values? Would they be a good fit for your company culture? Do you think they can work well with your team? 

Step 3: Selecting 

Finally, after careful consideration you’ve decided to pick one. This step involves negotiations (rate, schedule, etc.) and where you conduct your remote onboarding process. 

Onboarding is all about getting them up to speed on your business and duties. You also set up schedules for check ins and deadlines. 

Step 4: Starting 

You’re now ready to get to work with your new outsourced worker/team! This stage is all about monitoring their performance and building good working relationships. 

Best Practices for Outsourcing Financial Services

A woman writing about Outsourcing Financial Services

Set Clear Expectations / Onboard Well

Create a list of duties, responsibilities, and qualifications and attach it to your job description template. This way, both of you know the needs of your business. Going through these before and during onboarding ensures that you have those needs met. 

Hire from Reputable Sources

To mitigate outsourcing risks, hire from places that are known. Consider looking at client or customer reviews online. These show you a picture of what to expect when working with these services or people. 

Be Upfront

If we’re talking finances, you need to be straight with your accountants and bookkeepers. Make sure to tell them if you have neglected your books for a while. Give them access to account records and any transaction receipts you have. They can’t help you if you aren’t honest. 

Set Up Communication Channels Early

We love to stress this point a lot because this is a significant pain point for a lot of people. As soon as possible, you want to establish what platforms to communicate with. If you prefer a particular platform, let them know. This way, they have time to learn the ins and outs of that platform. 

Cost of Outsourcing Financial Services

These costs depend on how extensive your financial needs are. Below are some rates for common positions we found based on data from Upwork. 

Additionally, outsourced bookkeeping services typically cost around $200-$400/mo. Though others, like our friends over at EcomBalance, will give you a custom quote after evaluating your needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

A cork board with pins and yarn connecting frequently asked questions.

How do I ensure effective communication with an outsourced financial services provider?

Establish communication channels early. This also includes clarifying when to meet for regular updates. 

What is the typical process for outsourcing financial services?

The process typically follows this pattern:  Research –> Initial Interview –> Selection –> Onboarding –> Performance Monitoring

Can outsourcing financial services help with tax planning and preparation?

Sure! An outsourced accountant can make sure you have all the documents and papers you need for tax season. They can take the not-always fun process off your plate and save you from tax stress and potential errors. 

Just make sure your accountant is fully knowledgeable about your country’s tax laws. International accountants may not be well-versed in the intricacies of local, federal, or state regulations. This is something to consider if you’re offshoring. 

How do I choose the right financial services outsourcing provider?

You can try several out for a trial period and see which one is the best fit for your business. A lot of services offer free or discounted periods, so you can see if you like what they do.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 

Conclusion

Outsourcing financial services is a valid choice for businesses looking for a cost-effective solution. They can benefit from the flexibility and scalability this option offers. Though there are a few risks, we can mitigate these through careful selection and planning. Follow these best practices, and you’ll avoid a lot of hurt.

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Virtual Assistants

Why Hire a Kajabi Virtual Assistant? With How-Tos & Examples

A female virtual assistant working at her desk on a laptop.

Do you know why you should hire a Kajabi virtual assistant?

Kajabi is a great platform for doing courses and various other content. In fact, it’s the most popular one! It’s pretty easy to use, too. But it has tons of features! If you don’t already know how to navigate them all, you’ll spend tons of time learning! On the other hand, if you hire a virtual assistant who knows the ins and outs, you can take full advantage of this tool immediately.

In this post, we’ll look into the benefits of hiring a specialized Kajabi virtual assistant.

What is a Kajabi Virtual Assistant?

Before we can answer this question, let’s get to know Kajabi a little better. 

Kajabi is a comprehensive platform made to help online creators. These can be anyone from content course creators, teachers, coaches, and other knowledge-based entrepreneurs. They offer multiple solutions, opportunities, and marketing pipelines to grow your business and engage your audience. All of them integrate seamlessly together, making it easy to manage everything in one place. Some of these solutions include:

  • Website builder
  • Landing page builder
  • Email marketing automations
  • Contact management 
  • Automated campaigns and sales funnels
  • Hosting for live webinars 
  • Payment integrations
  • Analytics

So, now that we have a basic understanding of what Kajabi is. What then is a Kajabi VA?

Well, we know that a virtual assistant is a remote worker that is outsourced to perform a task. So, we can say that a Kajabi virtual assistant is someone who is skilled in using the Kajabi platform. They are someone who can help you bring your business ideas to life through Kajabi.

For this article, we will discuss all forms of Kajabi assistance.

Benefits of Hiring a Kajabi VA

Technical Expertise 

You don’t have to spend time learning the platform or going through the courses. If something goes wrong or you hit a wall, your Kajabi assistant will be able to find a solution. 

Time Saver

Maybe you’re busy writing and editing the course material. You probably don’t have time to actually set up the whole thing. It’s not your expertise! A Kajabi virtual assistant can do the implementation for you. That’s their expertise!

Skills and Qualifications Required for a Kajabi VA

Knowledge of the Platform

This is the most obvious qualification. Kajabi has a ton of free resources that teach people about their platform. They call this Kajabi University. It’s an entire library that will help orient you on all that the site has to offer. These contain hours of material. A Kajabi VA has to at the very least know the info contained within. This isn’t to say they have to go through these courses specifically. But, they should commit to continuing education as the platform grows and updates. 

Real Experience on the Platform 

Ideally, your Kajabi VA should have experience working on real campaigns with past clients. This is more so a requirement for Kajabi advisors and strategists than entry-level assistants. Experience is essential because they will be able to tell you how well certain campaigns performed. They will also track how the audience responded. 

Digital Marketing Experience 

Now, this isn’t a hard and fast requirement. However, the more experience they have with marketing, the more effective they will be. For instance, say you were a food and fitness influencer looking to create a course. They would probably know how to conduct some market research for your target audience. A VA can also analyze successful influencers’ course structure, language use, and attention-grabbing techniques.

How to Find and Hire a Kajabi VA

You can find and hire VAs in many different ways. We recommend that you use online platforms. This makes the whole process quite comfortable. Having a platform partner is also an extra layer of safety for you.

When you begin looking for a VA, start with a job description. Sit down and outline what you need done. Then think about the skills that you expect them to have. You don’t have to know all the intricacies of the job. (That’s why you’re hiring someone to do it for you!) Just list out the practical aspects of the skill level you expect. Then you can add in all the soft skills that you want them to possess. This can be stuff like sending daily work reports, morning check-ins, fluent English, and a positive attitude.

Once you have the job description written out clearly, you can upload it. We recommend starting with the most reputable freelance marketplaces and hiring platforms. If you want some tips on where to hire safely, we have a post on the best virtual assistant websites.  There isn’t any objectively best choice, though. What is going to work best for you is highly dependent on your needs and preferences. You may even have some very specific requirements that only a few niche agencies can provide.

Once you get recommendations from your platform of choice, you can start interviewing. Keep your core needs in mind as you speak to the candidates. Don’t hesitate to ask probing questions about their skills and experience. You never want to settle when hiring a VA but hit all your main targets. Even if you need to pay more to get top quality help, it’s worth it in the end.

How Much Should You Pay a Kajabi VA?

Because this is a niche type of VA skillset, you can expect that will reflect in their rates. Additionally, depending on the type of help you need, the rates will be different. 

Most web design projects will cost upwards of $120. If you’re looking for more of a managerial role for your courses and other projects, that could cost around $40 or more an hour.  

Examples of Tasks That Can Be Assigned to a Kajabi VA

Data Entry 

This is the most basic task. Essentially, what they will do here is obtain the materials from you and put them into pages. They will input the course copy, format it, and arrange information in your specified chapters. A Kajabi VA can also input other information that will show up on your landing pages, emails, newsletters, and such. 

Email Contact List Management

Kajabi has an email list feature that works with their landing page feature. Most of the collection process is automated. You do need the VA, however, for tasks like tagging your customers based on behavior. This allows you to target them better for certain email campaigns. They also update information as needed. 

Email Marketing

A Kajabi virtual assistant can use the built-in email templates to customize your emails. This way, all your content and marketing will fit your brand. They can also set up automations that send out emails when a visitor or lead triggers a certain action. For instance, say someone goes to your landing page and inputs their information. You can set up rules that trigger an email welcome series. Perhaps this email could include promotions or a link to sign up to a newsletter. 

Strategy, Advisory, and Guidance

This is less of a task and more of a role. A Kajabi strategist will give you tips and tricks on how to market yourself more effectively on the platform. This includes coming alongside you while creating your course, plan, etc. They can provide feedback and edits to make sure your offer is as polished as can be at launch. 

Website and Landing Page Design

Through Kajabi’s landing page builder, they can create attention grabbing pages that convert. Their website builder allows you to do sales funnels, too, and implement related strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Kajabi virtual assistant handle other tasks?

As long as these tasks are Kajabi-related, yes. There is a premium for having expertise in a niche. Having them do unrelated tasks wouldn’t be cost efficient or skill efficient.

However, say you do email marketing through Kajabi and want someone to manage that entire process. Hiring someone knowledgeable about Kajabi might be helpful in filling that role. 

Is it safe to outsource Kajabi tasks to a virtual assistant?

Yes, it is safe to outsource to a virtual assistant as long as you are hiring from reputable or well-known marketplaces. You want to have all the protections that you can get. Make sure there are measures for data and intellectual property protection, too. 

How Do I train a Kajabi Virtual assistant?

There is no official certification or formal training out there. However, if you’re considering having a current VA become a Kajabi VA, Kajabi’s got you. Kajabi University contains a lot of courses and material for free. Your VA can start by going through these and learning about the platform from there. Then, you can conduct a trial run for specific competencies like web design, course creation, email marketing, etc. Note that this training will be at your own expense. 

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 

Conclusion

All things considered, the best reason to hire a Kajabi virtual assistant is time. Anyone can learn how to use Kajabi – it’s built that way! However, your time is so valuable and best spent where you excel. When you hire specialized help, you actually pay less considering the time and effort you will save. 

 

Categories
Virtual Assistants

19 Ways a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant Can Help Your Business

Are you in need of a digital marketing virtual assistant?

digital marketing virtual assistant

Online marketing has given so many small businesses a chance to thrive. The online audience is so big that it could arguably be the main place to advertise in the near future. 

In this article, we will go through several ways digital marketing VA can help your business. With proper digital marketing, we know it can reach greater success. 

What is a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant?

A digital marketing virtual assistant is any VA who helps you advertise your business. They will have your target audience in mind and use a variety of methods. 

19 Ways a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant Can Help Grow Your Business

1. Social Media Management

These platforms get a ton of users every day. If your business doesn’t have a social media account, you should get at least one. Otherwise, you can’t reap the benefits of getting your brand out to more people. 

Social media managers help you schedule content and post it. They make sure also that the content you post matches the aesthetic, tone, and message of your brand. They can create many types of social media ads from reels, shorts, and other graphics and videos. 

2. Email Marketing

This type of marketing uses one of the most popular forms of online correspondence. An email marketing assistant can help create and categorize contact lists. These are lists of people who have expressed interest in your products and/or services and have given their details. They can send targeted mass emails to segments of this audience. The type of content sent includes: 

  • newsletters
  • promotional materials
  • welcome series emails
  • abandoned cart reminders
  • transaction emails

They also make use of email marketing automation like Mailchimp. 

3. Content Marketing

Hiring digital marketing virtual assistant

This is all about how to put your content out so it’s available and attractive to your targets. The aim is to create engaging content that people are drawn to. This includes copywriting, blog-post writing, and other strategies that leverage content. 

4. Search Engine Optimization

SEO refers to a list of factors that determine your search engine rankings. If you want organic traffic to your website, you need a strong SEO strategy. This involves keyword bidding, linking, on and off-page optimization, and more. 

5. Sales Funnel Creation

A sales funnel comes in many forms.‌ Though it typically has 5 stages: Discovery, Interest, Comparison, Decision and Action.  It functions to help businesses understand how customers think and plan around that. A funnel shows the customer journey from awareness of your brand to considering purchasing to becoming a paying customer. To encourage repeat sales, businesses can offer loyalty programs during the post-purchase stage.

6. PPC Campaign Management

If SEO was organic search engine marketing, PPC is paid SEM. PPC stands for pay-per-click. It is a campaign where you pay a certain amount every time a visitor clicks your ad. This type of paid advertising also involves keyword bidding, testing ad copy, and creating a landing page with a strong call to action. 

7. Graphic Design

Whether it’s a company logo, website, or social media graphics, a graphic designer is a necessity. These individuals are responsible for creating attractive visuals. This can be for grabbing attention, communicating a message, or conveying your brand visually. 

8. Affiliate Management

hiring a digital marketing virtual assistant

Affiliate marketing is where third parties promote another brand’s products. They usually get a percentage of the profits from sales from their advertising. Alternatively, they can accept other benefits, depending on the arrangement.

Affiliate managers are responsible for affiliate recruitment. They also maintain relationships and improve the performance of affiliate relationships. They communicate with those in the network and ensure they are well-equipped. 

9. Partnership Management

This is a step above affiliate marketing where two companies combine their efforts and promote each other’s products.  Partnership management is similar to affiliate management. They communicate with partners to ensure mutual and respective goals are being met on both sides. 

10. Analytics and Reporting

Whatever the campaign, your digital marketing virtual assistant can run reports and analytics to gauge its effectiveness. Your virtual assistant for digital marketing tracks crucial metrics and notes any changes after trying out different tactics.

11. Website Management

Your website is essentially the face of your brand. Therefore, you must ensure that everything on your website is well-organized, enhances the customer journey, and represents your brand effectively. A website manager’s duties involve:

  • Handling content on a website blog. This includes sourcing engaging images and videos.
  • Editing, updating, or removing outdated content 
  • Formulating strategies to improve web traffic. They typically have some SEO knowledge to improve web rankings. 
  • Making sure all pages are working properly. They conduct website tests and try to improve performance. 
  • Hosting and server management
  • Coding and other technical duties

12. Video Editing

Video is probably the most engaging form of ads out there. With the advent and popularity of short-form content, a video editor must know how to grab attention immediately. They naturally must be proficient in editing software like Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro. These people must know how to adapt to short and long form formats for social media. 

13. Mobile Advertising

Two men looking at a mobile phone.

This is marketing aimed at targeting mobile users. More than half of website traffic comes from mobile users in 2023. That’s small compared to the fact that over 90% of net users access the web through a mobile device. This is why this form is popular. Your internet marketing virtual assistant can help you reach these users through:

  • Social media
  • SMS/text marketing 
  • Location-based marketing 
  • Ads in mobile apps
  • Mobile app push notifications 

14. Lead Generation

Lead generation is a key element to consider when outsourcing sales and marketing. This process involves grabbing the attention of a potential customer (lead). This is near the top of your sales funnel. It involves using the various marketing methods discussed to attract prospects.

15. CRM Management

Customer relationship management involves improving your business’s relations with its customer base. This includes creating and implementing strategies to improve customer experience, satisfaction, and retention.  

16. Marketing Automation

Your digital marketing virtual assistant can help you save time and increase productivity via automation. These marketing technologies enable you to automate campaigns based on certain conditions. You can run multiple campaigns across multiple channels simultaneously with ease. These allow you to use customer data in the system and create automatic delivery systems for promotional campaign material.

17. Strategy Building

Maybe you’re happy with the platform you’ve chosen for your marketing. However, maybe you aren’t getting the results you want. Your VA can help you reformulate and reimagine your campaigns. They can lend a fresh perspective and provide helpful insights and tactics. They can improve lead generation, lead nurturing, sales funnel optimization, retargeting campaigns, and more. 

18. Promotions

These refer to certain announcements or tactics implemented by businesses about their products or services. They include commonly known tactics such as:

  • product sales
  • free samples or free trials
  • coupons
  • discounts
  • limited time offers
  • bundles
  • membership exclusive deals (loyalty rewards programs) 

These can also include publicity posts for a new product launch or a restock of a popular item.

19. Market Research

Hoping to build your audience? Maybe you want to know which platforms or techniques will be most effective. You want to reach those audiences, right?

Want to know customer behavior, trends within your demographic, and popular marketing tactics? Perhaps you want to peak at your competition in the market and learn from them. 

A digital marketing virtual assistant can actually accomplish all this and more! 

What Skills Does a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant Need to Have?

Post-it notes that say "To Do," "Doing," "Done."

Ability to Work Well Under Pressure

The world of digital marketing can be a high-stress, fast-paced environment. Someone who can handle a variety of tasks and marketing campaigns all at once is a valuable asset. With multiple platforms often involved, they need to schedule tasks well so they don’t get overwhelmed. 

Strong Work Ethic

Advertising and marketing management is no simple task. The digital space is ever evolving. With attention spans at an all-time low, businesses must stay on top of their game. If they don’t, they won’t catch their targets’ attention. And they’ll also lose their chances to engage with their audience. So, businesses need to post on multiple platforms practically every day. Your VA needs to juggle these.

Effective Communication Skills

Digital marketers need to communicate their ideas and strategies effectively. This is not only so that the rest of the team can implement it. It’s also so that the company can get behind the idea and give it their full support. The members can also contribute their own ideas. 

Research Skills

A digital marketer needs to know how to find relevant information related to their duties. They must stay current on the latest trends and platforms. They will be researching audiences, competitors, and new advertising opportunities. 

Tips for Working with a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant

Review their portfolio

An internet marketing virtual assistant should have a portfolio of their previous work experience, graphics, and campaigns. Someone with less experience will have less in their portfolio but may cost less. That’s a risk you need to weigh properly. A portfolio shows you if they’ve worked with similar businesses. 

If working with someone specializing in graphic design, this is crucial. You can view their skill and style and evaluate if they fit with your branding. 

Onboard them well 

Too much information is better than not enough. Make sure they have an in-depth knowledge of your company. This includes the culture, tone, brand, mission, vision, values, and target customers. Provide all details ahead of time, especially if your aim is for a particular aesthetic or style. 

Early Involvement 

Be involved in the process but don’t be domineering. You probably should be involved in approving certain campaigns, designs, ad copy, etc. You should do this at least in the beginning until you have built enough trust to give them more leeway. Once they’ve proven their effectiveness, you can start giving them the reins. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find a reliable digital marketing virtual assistant?

We recommend popular freelance platforms like MarketerHire, Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com

What qualifications should a digital marketing virtual assistant have?

Anyone can have the skills to promote products without a degree. But you probably want someone who is knowledgeable about popular trends and culture. Good research skills are a must. They must be knowledgeable about the platforms you use for advertising. You might hire a marketer with specialized knowledge related to SEO or PPC. 

How do I train a Digital Marketing VA for my business?

So, you know how to hire a virtual assistant for internet marketing. Now you learn the answer to this question close behind that. We recommend educating VAs thoroughly on your brand. They also need to know what your marketing goals and objectives are. You should also address any skill gaps they may have. For instance, you should orient them on any proprietary or preferred software you use. 

How do I ensure data security and privacy when working with a virtual assistant?

You can mitigate data security risks by hiring through reputable marketplaces. You can also write up legal contracts for extra protection. 

How much does a digital marketing VA cost?

According to several sources, the rates for a digital marketer can range from $10-$35. (These sources include Upwork and Fiverr.) This depends on the specific type of work and level of expertise. More expert level freelancers can charge upwards of $50/hr. 

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 

Conclusion

A digital marketing virtual assistant can help bring your brand in front of more people. Are you convinced yet? Hopefully, we’ve done a good job of marketing them to you!

 

Categories
Virtual Assistants

11 Situations That Shows Who Needs a Virtual Assistant

A laptop on a desk with other virtual assistant accessories.

You may not realize it, but you may be someone who needs a virtual assistant. 

There are many instances where a VA could be a great investment. Below we’ve listed 11 most popular cases where people may need some remote help. 

1. Overwhelming Email Inbox

Do you have too many emails to answer in a day? Find yourself spending hours replying to people before you even start other work? Are you endlessly scrolling just to find key information within an email buried under a hundred others? If any of the above situations apply to you, it might be time to hire an inbox management VA. 

Some of their email management tasks would involve:

  • Organizing emails into folders and applying labels and filters to make everything easy to locate
  • Deleting junk emails and setting up spam settings for unwanted newsletters, subscriptions, and the like 
  • Managing and sorting your list of contacts for mass emails 
  • Responding to emails

2. Administrative Tasks Piling Up

Perhaps you’re looking for an assistant in the more traditional sense of the word. Maybe you need help with a wider array of clerical tasks that require less in-depth knowledge. In that case, you might consider hiring a general VA. They can help you book flights, answer calls and general emails, and compile certain documents. They can also be assistants who assist other VAs and fill in gaps where you need them. 

Perhaps you require someone with a little more managerial experience. An executive virtual assistant can help you organize and implement work as head over other general VAs. They can take charge over internal communications between in-house workers or other VAs. They can take meeting minutes and remind other assistants of their duties. Some executive VAs can also be responsible for onboarding new hires or helping in the hiring process. 

3. Social Media Management Becoming Time-Consuming

Maintaining and building a social media presence for your business is no piece of cake. It requires some marketing, some content creation, and people skills. On top of other tasks like product/service development and sales, this can become overlooked. Either that, or you get overworked trying to keep up with the demands associated with engaging an audience. A social media VA can take these tasks on for you. 

These VAs will know how to manage your Facebook and Instagram profiles through Meta Business Suite. They would also know how to use other social media advertising and marketing tools. 

Their duties include:

  • Creating and scheduling posts
  • Liking and replying to comments
  • Market research and analytics 
  • Ensuring posts align with company values and branding

4. Data Entry and Document Management Backlog

The email-backlogged is not the only person who needs a virtual assistant. Other businesses may neglect data and documents too. You may require regularly updated customer records or simply better organization systems for your files. Never again waste time skimming through folders and drives looking for the right information and let a VA take care of that. 

A VA can help you with all your data entry needs, from updating spreadsheets to transferring files across destinations. Quickly access information to share with partners, investors, and your team.

5. Inability to Handle Appointment Scheduling and Calendar Management

If you’re anything like most people, there have been times where you’ve arranged two different meetings at the same time. One of them might have had to be pushed to later in the day or rescheduled completely. It’s an honest mistake, especially if you’re thinking about how to fit other tasks into a busy work-week.

Give a VA access to your calendar and let them take care of organizing your appointments. They can schedule meetings internally and with external parties, like suppliers and other business partners, via call or email. They can also assist with the hiring process and schedule interviews. Use a shared calendar and work together with them to organize your daily, weekly, and even monthly schedules in advance. This way meetings don’t sneak up on you and you have more time to focus on other duties.

6. Unable to Handle Customer Support and Inquiries

One or two customer inquiries a day is manageable. However, if you’re getting enough that you’re spending hours answering simple questions, then you may need a customer service VA. 

These VAs can help you with a variety of customer support related-tasks. For instance,  can hire a live chat VA who will engage customers on your website and help them in real time. They can set up automated quick response chats and direct customers to certain pages like your FAQs. If you don’t have an FAQ section, a customer service VA  may also help you with its development. They can also manage a separate email specifically for customer inquiries. 

Customer service is crucial to growing your business. So, you want to make sure you have enough of an infrastructure to support all customer questions and concerns.

7. Blog Post Writing and Content Creation Backlog

Blog management and content creation is almost a necessity in this day and age. Whether it’s a website or social media, content is important to drawing attention and attracting potential consumers. Another level to that is SEO, which is important if you want your website and its pages to rank on SERPs (search engine results pages).  

Add a content writer or copywriter to your team to create quality, engaging content for your audience. With knowledge of SEO best practices, they can level up your content to cater to both humans and search engines.

Let a blog manager take charge of posting and scheduling on your website. 

Blog managers can:

  • Head your team of writers
  • Ensure things get pushed out in a timely manner
  • Check if existing content needs updating
  • Check if there are gaps in your current content collection that might be beneficial to write about
  • Make sure there is no duplicate content or plagiarism 

A virtual assistant for blog post writing.

8. Unable to Do Research for Various Projects

Research is a skill. Almost everyone has the internet at their fingertips, but not everyone knows the right sources. Not everyone knows how to find accurate and useful information. We can’t always find information through a quick Google search. Research can take a lot of time. Correction. GOOD RESEARCH takes a lot of time. This is especially true if, for instance, you need scientific evidence to support certain product claims. Excellent research wins the trust of consumers and helps you avoid legal trouble. 

You can hire general internet research VAs. Alternatively, you can also hire VAs with specialized knowledge. Though, that might be more challenging and costs extra. 

9. Not Doing Bookkeeping and Expense Tracking

Financial management is often overlooked. This is unfortunate, seeing as a lot of companies fail due to poor money-management. You might be spending hours on your books monthly. Maybe you have no idea how to do taxes. Maybe, even, your relationship with your accountant is strained because of poor bookkeeping. If this is you, you may be someone who needs a virtual assistant to take care of the financial back-office.

This is where a bookkeeping VA or a fractional bookkeeper comes in. Bookkeepers can help you keep your finances tidy, track your spending, issue invoices, pay bills, and organize key reports monthly. Some can even manage your payroll duties for you.

You can also hire a virtual accountant for needs like tax filing and compliance, budgeting and forecasting, and financial analysis. They can provide financial guidance and share key insights on your financial reports. 

10. Unable to Do Lead Generation and Database Management

You can have the best or service product on earth, but without customers, it only helps you. Lead generation is an essential part of the sales funnel. This is the process of getting the attention of potential customers and nurturing their interest. The ideal end of that customer journey is a conversion or sale.

However, this can be quite a pain-staking process. You can outsource this process to an individual or lead generation team.

These people can help you with

  • email marketing
  • content marketing
  • landing page optimization
  • cold calling
  • other advertising techniques

They can also maintain and update your customer information database. This database allows them to target customers more effectively. 

11. Unable to Keep Up With or Get More Sales

It’s one thing to have difficulty making a sale, it’s another thing to not be able to keep up with a high sales volume. While the latter is definitely a better problem to have, you probably want it solved. 

You can hire sales VAs and a sales management VA to help get your sales force organized. They can help build your sales strategies, plan for high-volume seasons, and even coordinate with those in charge of inventory management. They work closely with your marketing team to produce leads and are an essential component to nurture them towards conversion. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is hiring a Virtual Assistant cost-effective?

Absolutely! There are several ways a VA can help you save costs. 

For one, you don’t have to worry about taxes, employee benefits, or other overheads typical of in-house hires. 

A full-time or even part-time salary of an in-house worker will come out to be much higher than a VA. This is because you can hire a virtual assistant on an hourly or project basis. This is more cost-efficient because you only pay for the hours they are actually working. 

Second, the most popular countries to outsource have lower costs of living. This affects the rates of virtual assistants. If you’re hiring from places like the UK or the US, local rates will be much higher. 

How do I find and hire a Virtual Assistant?

We recommend finding a reliable VA through reputable freelance marketplaces like Upwork, PeoplePerHour, and Freelancer

Do I need to provide training to a Virtual Assistant?

Not necessarily. A lot of VAs already have a mix of experience, education, and certifications. 

Someone who needs a virtual assistant might want to hire someone with less experience or skill and handle training themselves. Some actually prefer to do this with entry-level freelancers. Because they are more of a clean slate, they are easier to train in certain processes and work habits and culture. However, if you go this route, you  will be the one to shoulder the cost and the risk. 

How do I ensure data security and confidentiality with a Virtual Assistant?

There is always a level of risk when hiring freelancers. However, hiring from reputable places will mitigate this risk. 

You can also have lawyers write up contracts between you and the freelancer. 

Can I hire a Virtual Assistant for personal tasks?

Sure you can! 

A personal general virtual assistant can help you:

  • book travel arrangements
  • schedule personal meetings
  • do your personal finance bookkeeping and accounting, and more

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 

Conclusion

So, who needs a virtual assistant? Well, from our list we can see that anyone can benefit from a VA. They can help you save time and provide expertise and efficient processes anywhere from creative tasks to organization. If you relate with any of these situations, this might be your sign to start looking for one.

Feel like we didn’t touch on something you relate to? Please let us know in the comments!

Categories
Virtual Assistants

How Can an Executive Virtual Assistant (VA) Help Your Business?

An executive virtual assistant in semi-formal professional attire sitting at a computer desk in an office.

Are you looking for an executive virtual assistant job description to help you understand this position? If you are, then you’re in the right place! In this post, we’ll go over what the job description covers. We’ll also get into where you can find one and how to set them up to work with you.

What Is an Executive Virtual Assistant (VA)?

An executive virtual assistant is like an in-person executive assistant in many ways. The reason why executive assistants are important lies in how they help business executives. They are key in managing a variety of administrative tasks. You may think that this means that the job is easy – by no means! An executive assistant juggles many things, keeping everything organized. The job centers around the top people in the company, so they need to adjust to serve individuals in a very customized fashion. 

Executive assistants also serve as supervisors to all the other assistants in the company. Because of their proximity to the top executives, they are equipped to keep an eye on things. They are often charged with getting the right information to the right people. This can also extend to making sure other assistants keep their areas of responsibility organized.

Note that this level of assistant is way above your average VA. Make sure that you are prepared to appreciate them and compensate them as they deserve. 

What Is the Difference Between an Executive VA and A General VA?

The word executive itself helps us to understand a lot about why executive assistants are important and what they do. That then helps us understand what role a general VA plays in contrast.

An executive position means the person has a certain level of power to execute plans. An executive assistant would take instructions from the boss and get them implemented. A general VA would be in an administrative position as well, but in a department under the executive. Executive positions also entail management. The executive assistant would therefore direct and manage these other general virtual assistants. 

Note that VA roles are generally flexible. A virtual executive assistant would basically supervise whichever department and other VAs you release them to supervise. 

How Can an Executive Virtual Assistant (VA) Help Your Business?

An executive virtual assistant in a thinking pose looking at her laptop.

The common responsibilities and skills of most executive assistants are crucial to the success of the executive. We’ll go more into specific tasks below, but suffice to say that they take care of many vital support tasks. As such, they help your business by taking the load off your senior people. 

Many business owners and managers spend too much time doing this and that. This means they can’t seem to get around to doing the tasks that really move the business forward. Having an assistant alleviates that burden on time and energy. 

Below are some specific ways that executive assistant virtual help can be a game-changer.

Helping You Execute Business Plans

An executive VA can be your right-hand man. When you find the right person for this job, you can enjoy more time and peace of mind. They will take your plans and filter them down the pipeline. They can essentially be the implementer to your visionary role. These are the expert types of virtual assistants, and are rare gems.

Organization of Systems and Processes

Sometimes, you don’t yet have the infrastructure you need to execute plans. This assistant can create the necessary systems and processes for you. Systems and processes are necessary for properly implementing any plan. Without them, you are playing a hit and miss game. This means that you will waste a lot of resources before you get it right. 

Bringing in New Ideas

Because this level of executive assistant is above your average VA, they will be able to contribute a lot. They normally have loads of experience on top of a good head on their shoulders. They have also been on the ground and in the trenches a lot more. This means that they can see and evaluate things in a way that you can’t. The new ideas that can be birthed from this are priceless. 

Saving You Time

Just being able to pass a plan off to someone else is already a huge time-saver. You can save yourself 90% of the time it would take to implement it. When you find a gem of an assistant, they can come in even earlier. Help from someone who knows the ranks during the conception stages is precious. You will be set up for success because they will give valuable input to properly shape the plan. This helps you to avoid making last-minute changes because some people don’t fit your mold.

What Are Some Tasks Executive Virtual Assistants Can Help With?

An executive virtual assistant writing on a tablet in front of her laptop.

The executive virtual assistant job description you have may be different from what other people have posted. It helps to do an internet search to see what’s out there. In the end, though, you have to point out the exact skills and qualities you want for the tasks you need done. This list here comes from the most needed areas that we’ve collected over time. Use it to spark your thought process as to what your ideal virtual executive assistant looks like.

Administrative Work

This is an executive assistant’s wheelhouse. It’s also their first stage. Any assistant must be able to do a wide range of administrative work. An executive assistant, however, does it smoothly and with style. 

Scheduling becomes easy, and anyone who needs to reschedule or be moved leaves happy. You will approach your email inbox with joy when an executive assistant has been there first. They review every message and organize them by priority level. You don’t even have to answer them all because they already responded to the ones that don’t need your attention. When calls come in, everyone parts with a smile on their face. They get all the information they need and are treated with respect.

Personal Tasks

Assistants also help with similar tasks for you personally, not just the business. They can schedule personal appointments, maintain your personal records – basically anything that you want them to handle. When working with virtual assistants, just remember that they won’t be able to pick up your dry cleaning or fetch your spare keys! 

Project Management

This is also a more common executive assistant task. Since they are like an extension of the boss, they will manage all the company’s projects, up to a point. They also assist the managers, acting as a sort of go-between for executives. They will stay on top of all progress to be able to report to the boss at any given time.

Marketing and Sales

High-level executive virtual assistant job descriptions can include these specialized tasks. Did you know you could outsource sales and marketing tasks to an executive VA? Because of their past experience, they can handle several of these task types. These can include fielding sales follow-up calls, handling new hire onboarding, facilitating company-wide meetings, and the like. Make sure that you specify what you want them to oversee so you can attract the right candidates. 

Client Success Management

More than sales calls, an experiences assistant at this level can even handle existing clients. Relationship management is not a small task, though, so make sure you have the right person for the job. We’re sure that with the right leadership from you, any executive-minded assistant can grow into this role.

Social Media and Content Management

Getting a social media marketing calendar set up and organizing the teams involved is no small feat. This assistant can communicate on different levels to get everyone lined up. This includes the blog team, marketing copywriters, branding executives, graphic designers, and social teams. This way, you can publish all your social content on time for maximum results. They can, as an extension, also supervise the content marketing team. This can mean getting topics ready for writers all the way to overseeing analytics and tweaking content strategies.

Where Can I Find Reliable Executive VAs?

Top 5 Sites Where You Can Learn How to Outsource Online in 2021

Upwork

Upwork is one of the oldest and the biggest network of independent contractors online. You can hire here for short or long-term needs. They offer free hiring since the VAs pay the fees on their end. They also have a full suite of hybrid workforce management tools that you can use. 

Toptal

Toptal is not as big as Upwork because it hosts only the best of the best. This exclusive network of top freelancers is a great place to find executive talent. They are known for being home to expert project managers, among others. 

OnlineJobsPH

OnlineJobsPH can help you find top talent whether you post a job or engage them as a recruitment service. They offer vetted workers from the Philippines, and you know we love outsourcing to the Philippines!

FreeUp

FreeUp also offers pre-vetted talent. Their biggest selling point is the speedy process for matching you with reliable freelancers. They also have concierge-level support and service whenever you need it.

Fivver

Fiverr focuses on helping you find what you need within your budget. They price per project, though, so take note of that if you’re looking to hire hourly or monthly. One advantage here is that they only deliver your payments when you approve of the work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to hire virtual assistants through an agency or directly?

In general, hiring through an agency provides an extra layer of protection. Some freelance marketplaces also provide this, though the type of protection varies. You might get payment protection but not replacement guarantees, for example. If you have recommendations from within your business network, though, you can try hiring directly. Just know that you are on your own if anything goes wrong.

Can I hire part time or full time?

You can hire freelance VAs of any type for on-off projects, hourly work here and there, half days, full days – whatever you want. You can always find someone in the world who can do what you need, when you need it.

How do I pay my virtual assistants?

You can use one of several online payment processors to handle payments to virtual assistants. Different countries support different platforms, so make sure to ask. You can get relevant information from your hiring partner or the VA themselves. Figure out what works best for both of you. Some examples include PayPal, Payoneer, and Wise.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 

Conclusion

We love the advantages that executive virtual assistants can offer. Adding another layer of support between the business owner, managers, and teams is always helpful. It provides added structure and accountability as well as assistance.

Categories
Virtual Assistants

20 Virtual Assistant Interview Questions and Answers to Look For

A man talking to another man via a video call using a laptop asking virtual assistant interview questions

We love lists, and one of our favorite types covers virtual assistant interview questions and answers. If you’ve been following the Outsource School blog for a while, you’ve probably seen quite a few. 

In this one, we want to take you through the interview process we like to use. We’ll also give some background on the top virtual assistant interview questions we use ourselves. This way, you can get a better understanding of what we do to hire the best fits time and again.

Experience and Red Flags

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself…Where are you from? What are your hobbies? What’s important to you?

We like to build some rapport at the very beginning of each conversation. Many times, this can make or break the interview. This is the beginning of the relationship, so you want to put candidates at ease. This removes the stress that they can feel, which can taint their answers. Interviews can be especially challenging for humble and shy people. You don’t want to evaluate them wrongly simply because they were nervous about talking to a new person.

When you ask personal questions like these, you can get a lot of important information. It’s not just about making someone feel comfortable. For instance, you can anticipate power or internet service interruptions based on a candidate’s location. This is especially important when outsourcing to the Philippines, for example. You can also recognize strong potential in the person if they have challenging hobbies.

2. How long have you been working as a VA?

This is an amazing transition question. It relates to what’s important to the candidate and also steps into the realm of work. You want to quickly establish that you value experience without being too harsh. This question early in the process helps them grasp that. It also helps you determine right away if the candidate has what you need. 

Experience is a key factor in all hiring decisions. You need to know if a candidate has enough of it beyond the shadow of a doubt. If they can’t do the job, then you can move to the next candidate. That’s unless, of course, you are willing to work with them and get them up to speed. We do this from time to time if we see great potential in a candidate if they have rare qualities like integrity and loyalty.

3. Can you briefly describe your experience as a virtual assistant? What type of work have you had with your other
clients?

This line of virtual assistant interview questions and answers will dive deeper as you proceed. Initially, you want to know more about a candidate’s experience than just how long they’ve worked. You want to know their range and how flexible they are, too.

Asking these questions will also help you understand how confident they really are in their own skills and experience. Sometimes, people will “fake it ‘til they make it,” and you want to uncover that as soon as possible. If they have true confidence from experience, they will not make arrogant claims they can’t back up. 

A man using a mobile phone in front of a laptop asking virtual assistant interview questions over chat

4. What tools and software are you proficient in for remote work?

When hiring a virtual assistant, you will have particular tasks in mind for them to do. These tasks often involve the use of certain tools, like Time Doctor. This question is to determine if a candidate knows how to use the specific tools that they will be using. They may have years of experience performing a task, but with different tools than you use or prefer to use. You also need to figure out if your choice of tools is more important than, say, the candidate’s attitude. Then you can move forward with the interview or part ways accordingly.

5. Please tell me about your experience with <<type of work you are looking to hire for>>?

This is a good example of interview questions for virtual assistants that dive deeper. You can hone in on the virtual assistant roles that you are looking to fill. They may have other strengths, but these should be your focus.

Probe further so you can get details that show you the quality of their work. For example, have they worked for 8 years doing the same simple tasks? Or, have they grown in the role, learning and applying new skills? Have they done different tasks for different clients?

6. What is your internet speed and backup plan in case of connectivity issues?

Always confirm if the candidate has the infrastructure available to do the job. They may be the best assistants, but if their internet is always down, they won’t be able to work. Ask them what internet plan they are on, and what speeds that gives them. Then ask them what they do to stay online in case their connection gets cut. You may also want to know how often storms hit their area. Ask as well how often the power gets shut off in larger areas surrounding their location. Then ask how long the interruptions usually last. This will tell you how often they will not be able to get to alternate sites or how long their backup systems will cover them.

Ethernet cables plugged into ports.

7. Why did you choose to become a VA?

Some candidates talk about this when they answer the first question. Being a VA may be important to them for several reasons. Mostly, we hear that it’s because it allows them the flexibility to work while caring for their families, and still earn decent pay. Most VAs know that this answer appeals to clients, so be wary. Follow up, for example, by asking if they have children or are a primary caregiver to elderly parents. Then you can also learn more about how much time and attention they can actually give to your business.

8. Are you comfortable with flexible working hours or working in different time zones?

The next few virtual assistant interview questions and answers may seem overly simple. We have found them to be vital, however, in avoiding false starts. You are investing a lot in the search for the right VA. Having them quit after one week because of things like the schedule or going on video is just crazy. This actually happens, though, so ask anyway, if only to confirm that they read your job post properly. (Sometimes they don’t grasp the part about the time zone and assume it’s in their time zone.)

9. Are you comfortable with video conferencing and screen-sharing tools for virtual meetings?

This question is more than just about being shy or not being able to talk at 2 AM. (Many people who work from home will avoid both audio and video calls because it would wake sleeping relatives.) Some people will conduct interviews from a nicer location and not want you to see the area in which they actually work. That’s a red flag. Some may look good on paper and interview well, but not actually have the best motives. 

Still, if you prefer to work with them while on a call, you may not want to hire someone who prefers not to do it that way. The same goes for screen sharing. If you want to share your screen for training, they need to be ok with that. If you want them to share their screens when asking for guidance, they need to know how to do that.

On a side note, be wary of anyone who refuses to have their screens recorded during working time. They shouldn’t have anything on their screens that’s not related to work, so they shouldn’t have a problem with this.

A laptop screen showing multiple video call participants asking virtual assistant interview questions

10. What interested you in this position? What are you looking for?

This is a chance to get more information about why a candidate wants the specific job you’re offering. Sometimes you might get answers that surprise you. 

11. We’re looking for someone to work <<insert schedule>>, does that work for you?

If you haven’t confirmed this yet, make sure you are very specific about it. Give them the days and hours you want them to be working, and get their ok on it. 

12. The rate for this position is $X per hour. Are you comfortable starting at that rate?

Always confirm the rate that you are offering. We have come across many candidates who will interview for a job then complain about the rate after being hired. Sometimes they will not complain but will slack off because they aren’t happy with the rate. They might feel that the job doesn’t deserve their best because it pays too low. Always confirm that they are happy with the rate for the specific tasks they are expected to perform.

A man with a calculator counting money.

Attitude, Values, and Culture Fit

13. Give an example of a time when you had to handle a difficult client or situation. How did you resolve it?

The ability to properly manage difficult clients and situations is a rare skill. This question doesn’t mean that you are difficult to work with or that the work environment is toxic. You are simply trying to learn how a candidate will react or respond if problems arise on the job. When you ask about specific problem areas they faced, you learn whether you can depend on them to push through. You get an idea of whether they will complain about difficulties or adjust.

14. What are your strategies for maintaining work-life balance while working remotely?

Some people who don’t work in an office can have trouble with work-life balance. They may not be able to separate their work life and their home life. You need to confirm that anyone you want to hire knows how to draw the line. Otherwise, you can end up bearing the brunt of time management issues and burnout. 

15. How do you handle feedback and criticism from clients or colleagues?

This is one of my favorite interview questions for virtual assistants. I always want to know if a candidate will accept correction to learn and grow from it. If they can’t receive criticism with a positive attitude, then I prefer not to work with them. Get examples from them to confirm their answers!

A woman holding her head in front of a laptop and notebook.

16. Do you consider yourself to be hard working? If yes,
give an example that shows your hard work ethic.

Listen closely to how a candidate answers this question. You can learn a lot about what they think of themselves here. Are they satisfied with where they’re at or do they want to keep improving? 

17. Money or growth? Which do you value more? Why?

This is one of our all-time favorite interview questions for a virtual assistant. We want to hire people who value growth because we want them to grow. It helps them and will make them happier in the end. And as we invest in them, it helps us, too.

Final Questions

18. If you were to get the job, how soon could you start?

This question helps you understand how eager the candidate is to work with you. They should know more or less when you will need them, but you should confirm that they won’t grow impatient. It’s also a great way to wind down the interview comfortably.

19. Is there anything else I should know about you?

We always like to make sure that we leave an open space for a candidate to express themselves. This helps them feel more comfortable with the idea that they can go to you in the future if they need additional support on the job.

20. Do you have any questions for me?

This open question gives them the power, so to speak. It shows them that you are open to giving the information that they need. The best candidates will always have their own conditions because they know their value. With this question, they can confirm if you can provide the environment in which they can thrive.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 

Conclusion

We hope this set of interview questions for virtual assistants help you in your search for the best fit. The first set will give you a good basic understanding of each candidate. They will also set and confirm the non-negotiables. This way, you will know very early on if any candidate is not a good fit. We don’t want you to spend any unnecessary time or energy talking to someone who won’t work out in the end. The second set focuses on hiring soft skills. We never skip over these types of interview questions for a virtual assistant. This is where you get into the heart of things. 

Categories
Virtual Assistants

What Is the Cost of a Virtual Assistant in the Philippines?

A woman handing US dollar bills. cost of virtual assistant philippines

What is the actual cost of a virtual assistant in the Philippines? 

We come across this question a lot because our clients notice how dramatically rates can vary. While VA rates do vary, there is a limit to what’s reasonable. 

In this post, we’re going to dive into the variations in VAs to start. Then we’ll see how that affects their rates, and what we think the acceptable ranges are.

Advantages of Hiring a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines

High Education Levels

Most Filipinos have finished high school, and many have college degrees. A good number in fact, have graduated from advanced courses. Still, many prefer virtual work because of the advantages it provides. These individuals are highly intelligent yet will often take on work that they’re over-qualified for. Again, it’s because remote work offers more than in-office jobs.

Competence in English

Most Filipinos have at least a basic ability to use the English language. Many can converse with ease. Many more are more proficient in written then spoken English. This is because English is the medium of instruction in the country. The Filipino accent is also quite clean when compared to that of other countries. Filipinos commonly speak more than one language or dialect. This makes their speech and grammar much more adaptable. 

English or a variety of it is actually a native language to many Filipinos. Note that if you want near-native or native language ability in US terms, that’s different. You will be paying more because that level of ability is rare.

Prior Experience

A good chunk of the Philippine population has experience working with foreign companies. Historically, the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry has thrived there. BPOs love setting up shop in the Philippines for several reasons aside from English proficiency. The population is young, and the people are accommodating and hard-working.

Since the pandemic, the number of Filipinos working with foreign companies has risen. More and more Filipinos jumped to online work when businesses closed down. Because the BPO industry opened up many doors, a lot of Filipinos have broad experience. The country hosts call centers, medical transcription centers, knowledge process outsourcing and back offices, software and game development centers, animation centers, and engineering design centers. 

Time Zone Advantages

The cost of a virtual assistant in the Philippines becomes even more affordable when you think about time zone advantages. We love waking up to clean inboxes, organized calendars, and our days generally all set up for success. Not every VA we hire works while we sleep, of course. But the ability to have some working nights and some working days is fantastic. They are super flexible in this area mostly because of their experience in the BPO industry.

Work Life Balance

Two smiling women at a table with a laptop talking about cost of virtual assistant philippines

Filipinos generally excel at maintaining good work life balance. They value family very highly, yet pay close attention to work because work is a means to take care of family. Filipinos know when to chill and when to put their noses to the grindstone. They also know how to manage their surroundings so they can get things done. They don’t forego the activities that nourish them, but they don’t shirk responsibility, either. 

Culture Fit

Most Filipinos grow up in areas saturated with a mix of cultures. One of the most prominent is the US culture. Most often, they are surrounded by US movies and books and people who use English. The country’s own culture is actually loosely based on US culture because of their great influence. The government, entertainment and advertising industries, to name a few, are also heavily influenced by US culture. This cultural flow makes communication very easy. This means fewer chances for misunderstandings that often happen where vast cultural differences exist.

Lower Rates

After all of the above, the direct cost of a virtual assistant in the Philippines is not the most attractive advantage. The rates that Filipino VAs charge are much lower than you would pay in any western country. If anything, the added advantages make it much more worth it for you to hire there.

Great Attitude

Filipinos are known to be one of the most agreeable peoples. They value relationships very highly and often sacrifice to preserve them. This makes building positive workplace culture easier. Filipino culture also dictates that they make an effort to blend in. They will also take care of clients and coworkers without having to be told to. They are naturally accommodating, respectful, kind and understanding.

Where to Find Filipino Virtual Assistants

A smiling lady working on a laptop. cost of virtual assistant philippines

Because working with foreign companies is so common, there are a ton of places to hire Filipinos. Whether you’re hiring direct or want an intermediary, the internet is your best option. This may surprise you because that space is notorious for scams. This is true, but you have to find the gems in the rubble. From our experience, we have curated several sites that we’ve personally used. You can feel comfortable using these Filipino VA hiring companies.

What Is the Cost of a Virtual Assistant in the Philippines?

The estimated hourly rate range that we’ve come across for VAs in the Philippines is $5-$15. This covers basic skillsets and those with areas of specialization, plus a good amount of experience. If you need someone with high specialization or expertise in a field, expect to pay up to $20 per hour. This can go as high as $25 per hour if their area of expertise is rare. 

Within these ranges, you will always get excellent value for your money if you avoid the most common hiring mistakes. We also have outsourcing strategies to help you make the best decisions when hiring overseas. We advocate hiring Filipinos because they present the above advantages on top of the actual cost being lower because of the lower cost of living in the Philippines. You get the best of both worlds with high quality skills – both hard and soft – and competitive pricing.

Factors Influencing Hiring Costs

Several factors directly influence the cost of a virtual assistant in the Philippines within these ranges. As mentioned, experience and skill set are the main factors, as well as specialized knowledge. Outside of these, you can find variations in rates based on the complexity of the tasks you will assign. The same goes for multiple skill sets. If you expect a single person to know several different tasks and do them well, expect to pay more per hour. You still come out ahead because you are saved from hiring multiple people to cover this range of tasks.

What it actually costs you monetarily to hire a VA is not always the same as the rate itself. You must consider other fees that you may need to pay. This depends on where you are hiring them from, and what your involvement is in the whole process. For example, if you work with a recruitment company, you may have to pay recruitment costs. You will also have some training expenses, even if it’s only onboarding to get them set up to work with you. Will you be paying for software subscriptions or special equipment? These costs are specific to your setup, so we encourage you to take note of them. This way, you will know in total what you are actually paying on a monthly basis.

How to Transfer Money to the Philippines

A woman performing a money transfer on a mobile phone.

There are several options that you can use to pay VAs in the Philippines. These are our favorite because they are easy and cost less. 

Payoneer

Payoneer is a payment platform that integrates well with payment systems in the Philippines. We prefer to use this as opposed to bigger platforms like PayPal because the fees are much more reasonable. The process is also simple and payments are made in local currencies. Freelancers tend to appreciate this because they pay less in fees and don’t have to wait for days or weeks to get access to their money.

Wise, Formerly Transferwise

Wise is a money transfer platform. Instead of having to open an account like with Payoneer, you simply so bank transfers. The difference with Wise is that they can offer you better transfer rates. This is simply because they have a wider network. Their connections allow them to offer discounted rates compared to local banks. The less money is deducted from your VA’s pay, the happier they will be with lower hourly rates.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the disadvantages of hiring VAs from the Philippines?

Wherever you hire from, you will always encounter drawbacks. That being said, we have identified a few common disadvantages when hiring from the Philippines. First, we’ve encountered issues with the stability of internet and power. Mostly this is due to poor infrastructure that requires frequent maintenance. Sometimes connectivity is sensitive to the frequent storms that pass though during the rainy season. Second, some Filipinos are keen to recommend friends and family out of obligation. Be careful because they may not necessarily recommend people based on qualifications. 

Do I need to consider taxes when hiring a virtual assistant in the Philippines?

If you are hiring on a freelance basis, you don’t have to pay taxes. The VAs you hire will be responsible for paying their own taxes as business owners. If they decide not to pay their taxes, you are not liable in any way.

Can I negotiate the hourly rate with a virtual assistant in the Philippines?

You can negotiate rates with any freelance hires. We recommend that you stay within the common ranges, however. If you offer decent rates then lowball candidates during the interview, you’re headed for trouble. They may accept because they’re too shy to say no, but end up underperforming. They will feel slighted and disrespected, and that will not work out well for you. Gaining the trust and respect of hires is always more valuable to you in the long run. You may pay a few bucks more, but loyalty is priceless.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 

Conclusion

We have found that the cost of a virtual assistant in the Philippines is always worth it. Hiring Filipinos always brings in more benefits, both tangible and intangible. We hope that with some hiring guidance, you can reap the same numerous blessings for your business.

Categories
Virtual Assistants

Top 11 Outsourcing Risks & How to Overcome Them

We can talk at length (and have!) about the advantages and benefits of outsourcing. But what about outsourcing risks? 

a happy man and woman high-fiving in front of a laptop

Outsourcing is not without its downsides. We at Outsource School aim to provide honest answers. We also want to give you a complete picture of what your outsourcing journey can look like. So that’s what we are going to do in this post. 

We’re going to get into the most common risks associated with outsourcing. These are barriers that make most people hesitant to go down this road. While these may be very real stumbling blocks, we won’t leave you without hope! 

We’re also going to share some helpful tips and guidelines to mitigate these risks. By the end we hope you’ll have a clearer picture of the track ahead of you and the right routine to help you run through it. 

Risks of Outsourcing

1. Loss of Control

Almost any business owner can relate to this feeling. A business can feel like your baby. It’s hard to give even a little control to someone else. This is especially true if that someone lives in a different state or several miles away from you! 

The procedures and methods used to care for that business task or process might not be to your liking. There may not necessarily even be anything wrong with the way they do things. However, outsourcing means you have less opportunity to keep an eye on every single detail. If you are a meticulous person who wants to be intricately involved, outsourcing may not be an attractive solution. 

2. Communication Barriers

A smiling woman wearing headphones looking at a laptop screen and waving and talking about outsourcing risks

Ever read an email, chat, or text message and completely misread the tone? Ever got a call from a relative but their network connection was choppy and you could only catch a few sentences? 

Or have you ever visited a country where they speak a different native language from yours? Maybe you tried buying something or asking a question and it took a while before you came to an understanding.

Well, these situations are not uncommon to the outsourcing experience. 

Virtual meetings have gotten better, but you can’t always guarantee a stable connection on their end. Sometimes English is their second language, and it’s hard to get the point across clearly. 

Slow response times can be one of the risks of outsourcing that is most frustrating. Sometimes there are communication delays because of the time difference and the project gets held back. You might end up pushing deadlines, losing face, or worse, losing a client.

3. Cultural Differences

Sometimes communication barriers are a cultural thing. This can be cultural literally in terms of the country or region or in terms of company or business culture. 

Some countries are very straightforward in their communication, which may sound rude to those who have a different cultural style. Some may have customs that affect how they interact with those younger or older than them. Others might give short answers without elaborating unless asked specific questions. Some might solve problems from a different angle than you. 

This sort of stuff can lead to frustration even though you are trying to solve the same problem. 

Some outsourcing companies may also have different company cultures than yours. You might value getting work done earlier than the deadline. You might do this to account for any potential errors, improvements, or other changes. However, the outsourcing company might not have that same value and give it to you on the deadline. (Which is late in your books.) 

This can lead to culture shock and adjusting can take time, effort, and other resources.

4. Difficult to Find the Perfect Fit

Two women talking to each other over a video call about outsourcing risks

Outsourcing can sometimes feel like shopping for a pair of pants. You take your measurements and even bring a good fitting pair along with you to compare. When you get there, you may find that they have different sizing mechanics, different materials, or wrong proportions. Maybe everything fits right in terms of size, but the pants don’t have back pockets. (And you REALLY like back pockets!) You may just need to go to a different store or look at a different brand.

The fact of the matter is this. Unless you build it from the ground up, piece by piece, it won’t be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s very rare that an outsourcing solution will meet every requirement or preference without making an effort.

You need to be ready to make a few adjustments here and there. Sometimes it’s your expectations that need adjusting!

5. Privacy and Security Concerns

This is probably one of the most alarming outsourcing risks and why a lot of people remain hesitant. Let’s be frank. The risk for data leakage from within your business is never 0. That number gets higher when you allow third parties access to company information. You must simply take greater care to restrict access. Make sure you can trust people before you give them greater power.

6. Lack of Experience with Remote Teams

Managing a virtual team poses unique challenges. You need to think about:

  • Remote onboarding
  • Communication channels
  • Virtual project management 
  • Performance monitoring
  • Payroll

If you don’t have the experience to manage remote teams well, you could end up with more problems

These can be a lot to think about. To the uninitiated, this could easily overwhelm and discourage them from trying outsourcing.

7. Transition Challenges

When giving the reins over from in-house to third party hands, you need to evaluate the outsourcing benefits and risks. It’s true you might be freeing yourself and your team from that task. However, a change of management is pretty major. 

Not only do you have to consider onboarding, but also the rate at which you hand tasks over. For instance, say you’re moving personnel over to another area of operation. That transition can be difficult to manage, especially if you aren’t sure the third party will deliver. 

8. Failure to Deliver or Constant Delays

A woman holding her head in her hands while looking at a laptop screen thinking about outsourcing risks

That brings us to this point. While this is one of the easier outsourcing risks to mitigate, it’s still a fear that holds people back.

We already talked about communication delays. However, there are other possible factors that could delay delivery including:

  • Equipment malfunction or breakdown 
  • Natural disasters
  • New regulations in the country of the outsourcing company

Other possibilities could simply be a lack of professionalism or an overstatement of their ability to deliver. 

9. Quality of the Outsourced Product

Quality control measures are much harder to implement, maintain, and monitor when you outsource. This is doubly true if you outsource internationally. Unless you have a trial run or they have sample work output to show, all you have is their word. Of course, you can set up a trial period and see how it goes. You would have to do a probation period anyway for anyone you hire, overseas or not.

10. Geolocation Issues

This refers to problems related to a person’s physical location. For instance, the freelancer could live in an area prone to flooding and landslides. This can cause frequent power outages or network connectivity issues. The time zone itself might be an issue if you don’t  talk about what time of day you expect them to be available. Make sure you know the conditions before you commit to working together.

11. Intellectual Property Concerns

This is similar to our point on privacy and security. Your patents might be protected, but other processes and trade secrets might not be. Companies and individuals alike could create copies and sell your ideas. They can do shady things that fall in the gap between what is infringement and fair use. To be fair, this can happen with anyone you hire, from anywhere. Hiring overseas just means it’s harder for you to catch them and take steps to prosecute.

How to Manage Risks When Outsourcing

A woman working on a laptop and thinking.

All these risks may seem intimidating, but don’t worry! Below are some practical ways you can mitigate these risks. Most of them are really simple adjustments, too. You just need to get used to the new environments that outsourcing opens you up to. Then you can take the steps to stay insulated.

1. Thorough Selection

Do. Your. Research. Better yet, only hire from reputable agencies and platforms. Then do your due diligence among the candidates there. This way, you have a hiring partner who can guarantee a safer experience.

You can avoid staring in the next outsourcing horror story by simply taking the time to explore your options. Check the candidates’ reputations. Take advantage of social proof like ratings, reviews, and comments. 

2. Setting Clear Expectations

When you’ve done screenings before you get into the interviews, make sure the job description is clear. List your roles, responsibilities, goals, objectives and everything related to the tasks and process. It’s better to over explain than to under explain. When you know exactly what you need, you’ll get a better idea of what you want out of a hire.

3. Spotting Red Flags

While researching and interviewing, check to see if there are any alarming reviews or behaviors. Check to see if their answers are consistent with what they say on other channels like their website or socials.

4. Regular Communication

Check in with your remote team regularly. Make sure to set up clear communication channels and guidelines. From as early as the interview, ensure that your expectations are understood.

5. Performance Monitoring

These check-ins can serve as your progress checks also. You can also use project tracking and management software. You can use this software to communicate with your team, assign tasks, monitor deadlines, and make sure everything is running smoothly. 

6. Data Security Measures

Have them sign legal documents that protect your data, such as an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). Keep sensitive data close to the chest. Operate on a “need-to-know” basis. Do this and you’ll more likely avoid outsourcing risks related to data leaking or other related fraudulent behavior.

7. Building Relationships

This is an important step that many can overlook. This includes building relationships with other businesses and your outsourcing partner. 

With business partners, you can ask their advice and recommendations on outsourcing companies. 

With the outsourcing company, it’s all about trying to find partners and not just workers. When you treat outsourced staff like your own, they are more likely to treat your business the same. 

Don’t forget to conduct temperature checks even with outsourced staff. An unhappy worker will not be putting their best foot forward.

8. Building Your Company Culture and Values They Share

It’s so crucial to build a healthy, collaborative culture between in-house and outsourced staff. This is one of the best ways to mitigate outsourcing risks. 

One helpful tip is to look at their mission and vision statements, values, and objectives. This gives you an initial idea if you would work well together based on what you deem to be important. 

9. Proper Management

This is true both on your end and on the end of the third-party service provider. Your experience with outsourcing benefits and risks really depends on how well project managers handle relationships and projects as a whole. 

If you don’t have experience managing an outsourced project, you have options:

  • ask people who have experience for advice
  • hire a manager
  • train someone
  • rely on your outsourcing partner to help you out

Outsourcing Strategies

The three main outsourcing strategies are onshoring, nearshoring, and offshoring. You can learn more about them by clicking that link. Basically, onshoring is hiring a company from the same country as your business. Nearshoring and offshoring involve hiring from outside your locale and internationally.

What Is Outsource School?

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This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 

Conclusion

And that’s our outsourcing risk list! 

Our goal for this article was to help give you the routines and practices you need to outsource successfully. We hope we helped give you the legs you need to jump these hurdles with ease. Now, onwards toward crossing that finish line to business success!