You’re tired. You haven’t had a holiday in years. Every waking moment is consumed by your business.
I know that feeling. A couple of years ago, that was me. And like me, you’re probably wondering what you can do – if anything – to get the monkey off your shoulders.
In my case, the solution was to outsource.
Can we guarantee that outsourcing is the right solution to take work off your hands? Not necessarily. However, many small and medium business owners in particular dismiss the idea entirely as a solution to their time problems.
Outsourcing can be a boon to your business (and your personal life). Done right, it can give you back valuable time and save your business a considerable amount of money. If you’re on the fence however about outsourcing by hiring a virtual assistant, we’ve put together this list of points to consider when determining whether a virtual team is the right call for you and your business.
Why outsource: the case for
Outsourcing and hiring virtual staff can be a bit overwhelming at first. Make no mistake however, hiring virtual staff is a cost-effective way of running your business – there’s a reason it’s such a hit among multinationals!
Let’s address the elephant in the room first: yes, outsourcing is much more cost-effective than doing everything in-house… and in many cases, by a considerable margin.
If your business is struggling with its expenses or can’t justify the cost of onboarding more staff, virtual staff members are a considerably cheaper option. VirtualStaff365 employs staff from the Philippines – depending on the role, your business could save up to 80% on wages.
CEO’s, managers and supervisors save on staffing when they hire outsource personnel – not to mention, on overheads! Thanks to computers, many virtual staff essentially telecommute and work in the convenience of their homes.
Tap expert workers
Experts are in high demand. Unfortunately, they tend to demand high salaries. For many businesses, this can put the kibosh on your growth.
Outsourcing gives you the power to recruit experts in their fields. There’s a near-infinite variety of specialist roles your virtual staffing agency can provide… without sending your budget into the red.
You might be worried about the quality of each worker, you needn’t be. Our selection criteria are stringent – we carefully vet each potential employee, and even give you the opportunity to interview them yourselves.
If you need work from experienced and knowledgeable specialists, then taking on a virtual team member might be the best possible way to tap into those talents.
Work efficiently and flexibly
Outsourced staff work remotely. Yet despite that, they bring as much dedication, quality of work and competence your in-house team and work hard to beat deadlines and tick off tasks that are assigned during the day or week.
If you need projects done efficiently, virtual staff can deliver. An outsourced team is able to provide data or updates within a specified time frame – companies can set tasks within a standard time as needed.
It also gives your business unparalleled flexibility. Onboarding staff takes time and money – what if you only need extra hands or a specialist for one project?
It’s all about focus
One of the worst things about being overworked: with so much time being absorbed by routine tasks, you never have enough time to focus on growing your business.
Why should you, the business owner and manager, spend all your time doing admin, customer service and bookings tasks when you could get someone else to do them for you? You just need to choose the right and trusted staff who will do tasks that require confidentiality.
The best thing about outsourcing your staff is that you get to concentrate on the important parts of your business. You can focus on the things only you can do. Instead of carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, you can turn your attention to more productive tasks.
Challenges of outsourcing
If you’re already convinced that outsourcing fits your company, it is also best to set your expectations right so you’re able to meet realistic expectations. A lot of the complications that come with outsourcing and hiring virtual staff members apply to taking on any staff member, really.
That said, there are some unique challenges that come with having part of your team based overseas:
Keeping in touch
One of the biggest problems that comes with outsourcing is the problem of keeping in touch with your virtual team. With a locally-based office, it’s no issue to walk down the corridor and have a discussion with your employees.
But what happens when said team-members are oceans away?
Fortunately, the very same technology that makes virtual staffing possible also makes it relatively easy to keep in touch with your virtual team. Instant messaging and video conferences mean you can be much closer to your virtual team than physical distance would suggest.
Virtualstaff365 in particular recruits virtual assistants from the Philippines – a mere 2 hours behind Melbourne time (3 with daylight savings). That means your virtual staff are within reach for the vast majority of the work day.
When we think of outsourcing, many of our minds drift to low-quality work. And since you’re not even in the same country, you can’t exactly walk down the hall and whip them into shape.
With VirtualStaff365, our rigorous selection criteria means that only the most suitable candidates are chosen for you. And if you feel your virtual team isn’t working out, a mere 24-hours notice is all you need to change your mind.
And it’s not like the outsourcing industry in the Philippines is a fly-by-night operation – over a million Filipinos are employed in the outsourcing industry.
Loss of control
One of the big sticking points we run into when providing virtual staff for clients is the loss of control.
Outsourcing inherently reduces your control over the nitty gritty details in your business. And for many business owners, that makes them feel uncomfortable… after all, you can’t exactly peer over the shoulders of your overseas team.
In these such cases, you need to make your goals and values clear to your outsourcing partner. That way, when a major and minor decision needs to be made, you can trust them to be on the same page.
And if you’re worried about keeping tabs on individual virtual team members, talk to your virtual staff provider about what mechanisms they offer to monitor your outsourced team.
Language and cultural barriers
When you work with anyone from a different culture, misunderstandings are inevitable.
If part of your team hail from a different country and culture, both parties need to prepare themselves for a certain degree of miscommunication. If necessary, adjustments may need to be made ahead of time. This is one factor that needs further consideration before deciding to outsource your staff.
This can be as simple as researching some common misunderstandings between Australian culture and the culture of your virtual staff. Putting together a cheat sheet only takes a couple of minutes, but it pays dividends.
One requirement of all the VAs we source at VirtualStaff365 is a high level of fluency in English. That’s why the vast majority of our virtual staff are sourced from the Philippines – English is one of two official languages, and is widely spoken. In fact, there are more English-speakers in the Philippines than the UK itself!
Get the most out of outsourcing your staff
Many people think that outsourcing is the sole domain of large multinationals – it’s not. In fact, outsourcing your business processes to a virtual team is an affordable course of even small businesses too!
That said, it won’t always be smooth. These are only some of the potential pitfalls businesses with virtual staff face… but with a bit of effort, all of these problems can be overcome.
Whether you are a small or big business, the advantages to your business of outsourcing far outweigh the negatives.
Get started today – call VirtualStaff365 now on 0402 11 66 06 and see how you can save time and money for your business.