I read so many articles written about what a Virtual Assistant (VA) is or what a VA means (to the writer) and how to ‘treat them‘ to get ‘the best‘ out of them. That actually sounds so absurd, it’s demeaning! Last time I checked a VA was not a piece of meat in the market place waiting for the highest bidder regardless of which country they are from. With articles and comments like this out there, it is not hard to see why people think working with a VA should be cheap and inexpensive.
I find these articles are generally written by people who have a vested interest in a VA ‘stable’, they are selling something, (the VA of course), they want your dollar so they need to make it look as attractive as possible and they do that by selling you a VA from an overseas country, generally one where English is not the first language.
What I am saying here is that the value of a cup of coffee in Asia or India is a lot cheaper than in Australia and the dollar amount you pay per hour to a VA is relevant to the country they work in. So while you can hire a VA from offshore and pay as little as $5.00 per hour, you cannot expect to pay a VA the same amount in Australia, England, America or Canada etc.
When I have queries from prospective clients and we get down to talking about money, I am never surprised at some of the responses I get when I tell them my what I charge. Their responses tell me that they would be nightmare clients and not worth my time or effort. In these instances, I am very happy to recommend they look for overseas VA’s who are happy to work for $5.00 per hour.
- Wow really, that’s too expensive.
- I can get help cheaper overseas.
- Will you provide me a few hours free and then I will assess your suitability.
- I’m not going to pay that much for something I can do myself.
Why would anyone working in a country like Australia who is making in excess of 6 figures per annum, expect another business person working in Australia to work for less than a cup of coffee an hour? The answer is simple because they have unrealistic expectations and have not done their homework.
It is pretty much horses for courses. If you want to pay $5.00 per hour or less, go overseas there are VA’s and companies out there that can and will help you. Do not be under any illusion that you are their only client. Why, because you are not their employer (regardless of what you are sold) these VA’s are running a business just like you. So do the math, the more clients the more money for them, it’s business 101.
5 Things a Virtual Assistant is Not!
- An employee
- Cheap Labour
- Verbal punching bag
- Second class citizen
- Working for free
5 Things a Virtual Assistant Is!
- They are independent contractors; specialists in their area(s) of expertise
- They work with multiple clients (and word of mouth is vital to their business)
- Always (always) provides a cost effective solution to in-house staff
- By nature are analytical trouble shooters
- An invaluable resource to any business
5 Ways to Find a Great Virtual Assistant!
- Word of Mouth, if your friends work with a VA, ask them for recommendations
- Conduct a Google search, look for VA’s with professional websites
- Online forums, check out what others have to say about VA’s
- Put out a Tweet or search Twitter for #VA
- Check your local phone directory
In summary, don’t blindly choose your support without doing your homework first. There are incredible VA’s out there, all around the world. You just need to find the right VA business for your business.
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