Accomplishing every task within 24 hours is a challenge for most business owners. Thanks to secretaries, they can tick off a bulk of mundane and repetitive tasks such as sending calendar invites and jotting down minutes of a meeting from their daily task list. As a result, they are able to exhaust their limited time on their primary responsibilities. This includes thinking of fresh strategies to spur business growth and staying competitive in this rapidly-evolving world.
With the birth of the Internet in the 1990s and businesses increasing use of it in their daily operations, a new breed of secretary became possible. This type of secretary doesn’t have to grace the office with his or her presence to provide essential support, hence why it is called a virtual assistant.
What Is a Virtual Assistant?
In a nutshell, a virtual assistant is a personal secretary who works for a client from a remote location. This means that all interactions between a virtual assistant and a client are non-physical and enabled through the Internet. Needless to say, effective communication is highly important in their relationship.
Typically, a business owner opts a virtual assistant instead of a full-time, in-house assistant to incur savings from reduced operational expenses. As virtual assistants work offsite, the business will no longer need to worry about the computers, workstations, and office supplies that they shall need. The freelance virtual assistant or the company that provides virtual assistant services will be responsible for these.
What a virtual assistant does
Except for making and handing coffee to you, virtual assistants can pretty much do any administrative work that a typical secretary does. This includes doing research, filtering emails that go into your inbox, and scheduling appointments. They can also take calls on your behalf after your shift or whenever you are unavailable. While they can’t make coffee for you, they can order and have someone deliver it to you.
Nowadays, a virtual assistant is not confined to doing clerical tasks only. There are now virtual assistants who specialize in a particular task for a particular industry. For example, there’s a virtual assistant who can write blogs specific to the BPO Industry. There are also virtual assistants who specialize in graphic design and search engine optimization (SEO).
With the virtual assistant industry becoming robust more than ever, you will definitely find and get the right assistant that would fit your personality and is more than capable to fulfill your requirements. For a list of possible tasks that you may delegate to a virtual assistant, check out this blog.
Virtual Assistant Services Offshore
Getting a virtual assistant means outsourcing an assistant. You may outsource a virtual assistant or any other task in three ways: onshore, nearshore, or offshore. The first means you would get a virtual assistant from your country, while the second means you would get an assistant in a country that is geographically near your country. On the other hand, outsourcing offshore means that you would get virtual assistant services from a country that is far from your home country.
Among the three, the most common way that businesses outsource is offshore because it entails a higher benefit on cost. While getting virtual assistant services already means saving costs as you don’t have to worry about operational expenses, you can double the savings you can incur by outsourcing to offshore countries that have cheaper labor.
On a side note, we are an outsourcing solutions provider here in the Philippines. While we cater to businesses of all sorts, we specialize in helping out startups and SMEs reach their full potential. We provide them with the same opportunities that large corporations enjoy by delivering exemplary back office and contact center services.
Our virtual assistant services include, but are not limited to:
- List Building
- File Management
- Report Preparation
- Email Management
- Contact Management
- Calendar Management
- Voicemail Management
Benefits of Offshoring a Virtual Assistant
When you choose the right outsourcing partner, you can reap the following benefits:
First of all, outsourcing virtual assistant services offshore denote a higher benefit on cost compared to nearshore or onshore locations. Primarily, it is because labor costs are much cheaper in offshoring countries. But lower labor costs don’t mean low-quality workforce. Top offshoring countries like the Philippines can easily provide you with a degree-holder and experienced virtual assistant who can support your business efficiently.
Flexible working hours
When you outsource a virtual assistant to a BPO firm, it can work around with your schedule. The outsourcing firm can provide you with a virtual assistant that is flexible to work whenever you are unavailable.
Access to expert support
A virtual assistant is a professional in doing administrative work. As mentioned, some virtual assistants even specialize in a particular task such as social media management and graphic design.
Greater focus on priorities
As much as you want to go straight into your core responsibilities, there are just inevitable clerical tasks to accomplish first to maintain a smooth-going day. For example, you need to send a calendar invitation first to seal a meeting with a potential business partner. A virtual assistant can take care of this kind of minor tasks so you can focus on the major stuff.
Scale up easily
The great thing about outsourcing companies is that they can be flexible to your need for more staff. In case you need an additional virtual assistant or even an employee for other business functions such as customer service or lead generation, they can provide the talent easily because manpower pooling is a practice common to outsourcing solutions providers.
Less time and money to spend on recruitment
The outsourcing solutions provider will be responsible for finding, hiring, training, and managing your virtual assistant. You don’t need to spend hours creating an awesome job poster or go through a series of interviews anymore. You just have to pick the right outsourcing partner for your business.
Lower business costs
Getting an in-house assistant is more expensive than a virtual assistant because of overhead expenses. When you partner with an offshore company that provides virtual assistant services, it will be responsible for the training and equipment that your virtual assistant shall need. It will be in charge of empowering your virtual assistant with the essential training and tools to provide you with the agreed output on the set deadline.
Industries That Outsource a Virtual Assistant
- Legal Services
- Travel and Tourism
- Entertainment and Recreation
When to Outsource a Virtual Assistant
Secretaries hold a huge role in helping a leader become more efficient and productive. They are responsible for providing efficient support so you can pour your attention to the most crucial aspect of your job. Some business owners, however, refuse to hire a full-time, in-house secretary because of cost. This is where getting virtual assistant services offshore can help. If you hope for the following, then it’s probably time to offshore a virtual assistant today.
- Affordable labor
- Tap expert talent
- Faster turnaround time
- Lower operational expenses
- No need to manage nor train
- Let go of the hassles of recruitment
- Add more staff whenever the need arises
- Utilize limited time on core responsibilities