The Truth About “Low-Cost” Outsourcing

Champion Assistants Virtual Assistant TeamYou’ve probably seen the ads yourself, “Quality Virtual Assistants, $3 per Hour.” Wouldn’t it be great if those ads were true? The truth, however, is that in outsourcing as in most other things, you get what you pay for.

Let’s look at the kinds of tasks being outsourced by small business owners and Internet entrepreneurs. They’re finding new freedom to build their businesses by using Virtual Assistants for a variety of needs. They’re trusting “VAs” to do things like responding to client email, keeping their schedules straight, making appointments and travel arrangements, and updating their websites.

A well-trained Virtual Assistant is someone who’s committed to helping a client grow a business by minimizing the owner’s involvement in day-to-day tasks. Not only do these virtual wonders handle tasks with little supervision, they’re also motivated to suggest improvements that save you time and money. They can help you find additional markets for your products, ways to streamline product delivery and better solutions for business automation.

Is it reasonable to expect the same from someone making less than minimum wage? Here’s the reality, based on feedback from frustrated business owners who tried “cheap” first: the time they spent redoing poorly done work and constantly supervising virtual support outweighed their original savings.

Great VAs will look for ways to increase your business while saving you money. But they don’t work for three dollars per hour! They’re highly-trained professionals running their own businesses, and they charge rates appropriate to their expertise.

As you’re looking for someone to help run your business, consider the benefits of outsourcing to a well-trained Virtual Assistant. Why waste valuable time wondering if the work’s being done correctly? Make the investment in a quality VA and spend your time growing your business, instead.

You can learn more about using a VA by listening to a teleseminar Heather Nelson did about outsourcing: Champion Assistants Virtual Assistants teleseminar

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VA’s and the Outsourcing Trend

Many small business owners come to a point where they spend more time on the logistics of doing business than actually doing business. This is a frustrating point and for a long time there were only two options to overcome it. 1.- Ignore it, which basically means ignoring some crucial part of running your. or 2.- Hire someone to do the things you don’t like or want to do. Though the latter is far safer and more effective than the first option, there are still issues with it. When you hire someone, you need to work out details like work site, wages, training, scheduling, and more. Not to mention the expense of having to pay someone whether you have work for them or not.

A Third option has been gaining in popularity in recent years: Outsourcing. The official definition of which is: subcontracting a process to a third-party company. Outsourcing or sub-contracting started becoming popular in the 1980’s as a way to reduce overhead and better utilize emerging technology. This is still true to this day. In fact, more and more business owners are finding that outsourcing is letting them do what they love without worrying about the rest!

Business professionals, in a recent Harris Poll survey, stated resoundingly that they would happily outsource a wide variety of tasks. Also noted in this survey was the growing trend toward Virtual Assistants who take on a lot of the outsourced work. Over 55% of those surveyed felt that virtual assistants have helped them focus on the more important and enjoyable parts of their business and helped them improve job performance.

Outsourcing, just like any other aspect of your business, requires planning and preparation. Both parties will need to know what tasks or projects you want done and the parameters within which to do them. Some of the most popular tasks being outsourced are website updates, blog management, article posting, sales writing, database management, research, and bookkeeping.

If you are considering outsourcing, it is advisable to take some time to work out just what tasks or projects you wish to have completed and then look for a business that can do the work you need done. As with every other aspect of business, it is important to do your research and pick a person or company that has experience with the type of work you want done. Not all VA’s do the same things just as not all teachers teach the same subjects.  The best thing to do is carefully consider what you need, source companies and individuals who provide this, and carefully evaluate their skills and alignment with your business model.

I’d love to hear your feedback about what you have successfully (or not so successfully) outsourced!  What kind of business did you outsource to and what were the results?  Is outsourcing working for you?

Best,

Kristi


Always Pause Before Saying Yes!

We all lead busy lives and these days they just seem to get busier and busier. One of the best ways to stay organized and productive is to schedule downtime. This means that in every day, you set aside time throughout your day to accomplish your goals. It also means setting aside time at the end of each day to prepare for the next. By ending your day on a calm, organized note you are far more likely to get a restful night sleep which will help you be more productive tomorrow. Meggin McIntosh offers some great free productivity tips at her website which I have found useful.

Before you accept an assignment, a meeting request, or anything else take a moment to review your schedule and make sure that it is something only you can do. If you can delegate it, do so. Your time is precious so spend it wisely!

If you need help deciding what to delegate, please contact us so we can help you prioritize and get on a schedule of handing over assignments. We are dedicated to helping our clients achieve their sales and marketing goals, and would be delighted to help you, too!

Best,

Kristi

Join us for a volunteer event!

If you live in the Seattle area, please join us at Treehouse for Kids on December 11th from 4-8pm, as we help foster children get ready for the holidays by organizing gifts and helping out in their warehouse.  Please feel free to extend this invitation to your family, friends and children – all are welcome.  To sign up or for more information, please send an e-mail to hjn@championassistants.com.  The last day to register is Friday, Dec. 7th.  We look forward to seeing you and volunteering for a worthy cause.

Kind regards,

Heather

www.championassistants.com

Is your business ready for 2008?

Champion Assistants would love to help you get ready and really shine next year. From maintaining contact with your clients to increasing internet sales to producing fantastic marketing materials, we are ready to help you reach your goals. Our services are all available on an as-needed basis with no hourly minimums or sign-up fees. We work to understand your immediate needs and objectives, so that we can support you in a way that provides the most value to you. Please send an e-mail to info@championassistants.com to receive our current services list and discuss the possibilities.

Kind regards,

Heather

www.championassistants.com