7 Simple Ways Businesses Thrive Using Virtual Assistant Services

Business profitability should have been simple, but it isn’t. Hiring should be obvious, but it rarely is. Running a business should be driven by your passion. Instead, you drive your business by putting out fires everyday. Solo-business owners take a leap of faith when they start their own businesses. Most of them never get to go beyond themselves to duplicate their efforts. Small business owners have it hard already and it’s even harder when it’s time to scale up, hire new employees, and delegate work. Large businesses struggle with attrition and a bleeding cash flow just to manage staff. On the other end of the spectrum, the speed at which some businesses up hiring does more harm than good. Either because hiring happens too fast or the quality of talent they manage to get in is questionable. According to Eric Ries, creator of Lean Methodology, “More people would mean an increase in communications overhead which makes the team itself slightly less productive” Mark Murphy – author of Hiring for Attitude, and other best sellers such as Hundred Percenters and HARD Goals – in an interview with Dan Schawbel who is also the author of Promote Yourself and a contributor at Forbes, says this: “In our research that tracked 20,000 new hires, 46% of them failed within 18 months. Over 89% of the time, the candidates failed due to attitudinal reasons and only 11% of them failed due to lack of skills” In short, hiring is tricky. Plus, you don’t always need full-time staff in addition to the associated overheads for every person you hire. Unless absolutely necessary, you could use virtual assistant services for optimized business support. lisa-2
Here’s how businesses can thrive with virtual assistant services: h2>Full-time help is out. Say hello to the rise of virtual assistants The fun-time for Fortune 500 companies is over. There’s now an army of hungry, elite, educated, English-speaking, and a global spread of talent available to do tasks – from trivial to mundane, from repetitive to crucial, from research to payroll, from accounting to general management – for small businesses and even individuals. Ever since Tim Ferris’s advocacy to start outsourcing work from your penguin-themed pajama bottoms, the rise of virtual assistant services available for everyone globally is unprecedented. Jacqui Walker of Legaler.com  writes that there’s been 95% increase in demand for virtual assistants in the last three years. Globally, in terms of number of jobs posted, there’s been a whopping 156% increase in jobs posted since 2010. Businesses, self-employed professionals, and even individuals are looking to outsource tasks that swallow their time. Meanwhile, there are just that many virtual assistants and virtual assistant services vendors looking to cater to that demand. Where are you?

Hiring is expensive, and often abortive

According to ComScore, the sad plight of small businesses continues in the throws of a mediocre economy. For the next few months, small businesses plan to reduce employment. Ever since 2009, job creation plans have suffered notwithstanding two recessional periods in the economy. Hiring brings a host of problems small businesses are not equipped to handle:
  • An immediate increase in expenses and overheads.
  • A continuous cost accrued to training new employees.
  • The often long – and often uncertain – period of time it takes new employees to fit company culture, perform tasks with accepted efficiency, and perform at scale.
  • The alarming attrition rate
Globally available human cloud provides virtual assistant services, virtual management services, virtual accounting services, and many other services that you could tap into. Mostly, freelancers come with their own equipment, skillset, and self-imposed commitment to work. They train themselves and are often entrepreneurial in nature. Full-fledged virtual assistant service agencies take this to another level: they take it upon themselves to hire, train, and upgrade skillsets to their hired staff or freelancers. They even have SLA’s and dedicated managers for clients. The amount of cash it takes to setup infrastructure and staff for a full-service virtual assistant services agency is almost your actual cost (or maybe more) just to accommodate your new hiring and expansion needs. Think about that: Are you starting an expensive expansion plan when you don’t need to? Who needs full-time staff when there are full-time freelancers or full-time agencies?

Pay When Necessary. Pay when you want

Overheads are like those scary monsters that businesses would love to do without. In fact, for most modern businesses, overheads aren’t even necessary as Jason Fried – founder of 37 Signals and author of Rework – puts it. People – apart from expensive commercial rentals – are the biggest overheads for businesses and this can be axed. Businesses today have the option of hiring freelancers or agencies for: Individuals, teams, and agencies sit anywhere in the world, work remotely, and solve problems for your small business. Who says you can’t work off a laptop and a glass of Pinna Colada?

The Time Zone Advantage

Ever wanted something done when you are off sleeping? How about waking up the next morning to find completed tasks in your inbox? Working with remote teams and subscribing to virtual administration services gives you advantages:
  • Much like the Forex trading scene, work happens around the clock.
  • Scaling up is easier, and is often less expensive than if you were to hire every single team member in San Francisco or Central London.
Michael Hyatt – ex-CEO of Thomas Nelson – thought he could get by without a VA. He was wrong. He needed virtual assistant services ever more, now that he didn’t have a company-sponsored team to do his work for him. His VA now screens his emails, responds to emails, creates and books his travel plans, and more. Ramit Sethi – New York Times Best Seller Author and Founder of IWillTeachYouToBeRich – runs a business with the help of dedicated Virtual assistant services. Then there’s an entire platoon of businesses that look like that they operate round the clock – including services, SaaS businesses, web hosting companies (WPX Hosting) and many others with 24 x 7 support availability. How did you think they manage that kind of service? It’s all thanks to the magic of time zones.

Get more done, and With Better Output

When you can hire the best, regardless of the location, why not? When you can get access to a larger pool of talent, why not? When the salaries or payments can be less than what it’d cost you otherwise, why not? Worldwide, there’s plenty of talent available in often less-inflated, cheaper markets. Given that freelancers and agencies teeming with hungry-to-show-what-we-can-do staff, and with a throw-what-you-have-at-me attitude, it’s hard to resist that kind of an offer. It’s the age of talent mobility. According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, a Chinese company might engage a European team to manage investments in Africa. A U.K company hires an Indian consulting arm of a global conglomerate to work on its client processes.

The Changing face of business

Today, projects or assignments aren’t exactly long trains of work. We now have the rise of short-term assignments and project –based assignments. Add commuting or business travel expenses, technology, infrastructure, cloud computing, reverse transfers, intra-country mobility, and the rise of global nomads. With the need for projects to complete faster, shortage of skilled-staff, and the increasing need to reduce costs, a host of parameters come together to change the face of business. Cloud computing gave rise to tools and apps that drastically reduce the time. Most of the infrastructure and the evolving nature of business obviate the need to travel for business. Availability of labor across the world for less than 1/4th of the cost of onshore talent is exactly what led to super outsourcing hubs such as India and Philippines. lisa-2

You thrive in the future

The new work order is high-tech, high-touch, and high-growth, according to Alex Altman of Time.com. No one knows what’s going to happen in the next ten years. Just as we didn’t know – ten years ago — what Facebook or Google are now. Yet, the basics of business remain the same: save costs. Boost profits. If it costs an average American company $14,000 per year just to provide coverage for an employee and family, and the actual salary, perks, pensions, overheads, can only add up. It’s imperative that drastic measures will be taken. As Alex writes, that drastic measure – which isn’t that drastic anymore – is outsourcing. Businesses will go where skills are high but the cost is low. They’ll go where the infrastructure doesn’t cost as much as it costs in the western world. They’ll – in short – go to Eastern Europe and South East Asia. One of the first batch of skills on demand that’ll come routing to outsourcing destinations are virtual assistant services simply because time is a precious commodity for every individual or business everywhere. The question is this: as a business owner, what choice are you going to hoard on your back? Are you going to step into the future of work? Will you outsource tasks abroad? Would you like to pay less and get more done?

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