A virtual assistant or personal virtual assistant is responsible for providing support services to a business from a remote location. Virtual assistants can perform regular in-house administrative duties such as scheduling appointments, answering and making phone calls and organising travel arrangements, managing email accounts, social media platforms and performing data entry.
In this blog, we take you through how valuable an outsourced virtual assistant (VA) can be for your business and how to identify tasks to send an outsourced VA.
What services does an outsourced virtual assistant offer?
Virtual assistant outsourcing involves sending administrative tasks to an outsourced virtual assistant outside of your business to complete. They can technically be trained to do anything and everything that supports your business in an administrative function remotely.
Virtual assistant duties and tasks can include, but are not limited to:
- General, online and administrative duties
- Clerical and bookkeeping tasks
- Content writing and social media management
- Online file storage and maintenance
- Acting as the first point of contact: dealing with correspondence and phone calls
- Managing diaries and organising meetings and appointments
- Booking and arranging travel, transport and accommodation
- Organising events and conferences
- Reminding the manager of important tasks and deadlines
- Typing, compiling and preparing reports, presentations and correspondence
- Managing databases and filing systems
- Implementing and maintaining procedures and administrative systems
- Liaising with staff, suppliers and clients
- Collating and filing expenses
- Conducting research on behalf of the manager
- Organising the manager’s personal commitments including travel or childcare.
You can even hire more experienced virtual assistants to take on higher-value tasks such as:
- Creating reports for executive presentations
- Developing and organising company databases
- Creating office memos and official company forms or documents
- Handling projects and following up with task owners
- Taking on research activities.
These administrative tasks are particularly well-suited to being outsourced. Businesses free up their local administration teams’ time by sending these tasks to outsourced virtual assistants. This allows your onshore team to focus on performing revenue-generating work.
What is the average cost of an offshore virtual assistant?
This is completely dependent on the outsourcing model you choose to invest in. Some outsourcing providers include a monthly fee which includes overhead and salary costs. Others charge you differently. It’s important to pick the right outsourcing provider for your business that will meet your offshore virtual assistant needs.
Pick the right outsourcing provider by asking the right questions. Our “33 Questions to Ask Your Outsourcing Provider” eBook can get you started.
How can an offshore virtual assistant help your business?
All businesses could benefit from hiring an offshore virtual assistant. The most obvious reason is that employing a virtual assistant can free up more time to work on tasks that are not administration-focused. Nearly 66% of business owners work more than 40 hours a week. Out of that time, an average of 16 hours a week is spent on administrative tasks.
Virtual assistants are ‘organisational magicians’ and take care of all things admin-related. By relieving you of mundane or time-consuming tasks, they give you more time to focus on your most valuable and most profitable work.
Businesses are able to appreciate the added benefits that come from offshoring virtual assistant or virtual personal assistant duties to the Philippines, including:
Hiring skilled virtual assistants could become costly, particularly given the global skills shortage. Not to mention the recruitment and onboarding process of hiring virtual assistants can take up time and money. Hiring outsourced virtual assistants can save you up to 70% on employment costs alone.
Access a broader talent pool
Outsourcing allows you to access a much broader pool of talent than if you were to fill a position locally. Your virtual assistant team can be sourced from anywhere across the globe - increasing the chance of finding staff with the skills and attributes your business needs. This is particularly advantageous for businesses in locations in which there is a lot of competition for talent, or for those outside of large cities, where employees with the necessary skills may be in short supply.
A good outsourced team will also be available to support you 24 hours a day, seven days a week - should that be a requirement for your business. If you outsource overseas, having a team located in a different time zone means they will be operating and contactable outside of the hours an in-house team in your home country would be.
Increase flexibility and scalability
Outsourcing allows you to quickly and easily grow or reduce your team according to your needs. For example, if you have a large business event happening in a few months and require additional virtual assistants to create event programs, coordinate attendees, write speeches for executives and coordinate the event to ensure efficient operations, outsourcing can allow you to add and remove team members depending on which skills your business needs at the time.
How to decide what tasks to send to an offshore virtual assistant?
Understanding what your outsourced virtual assistant can do to help your business will ensure that your new team member is as productive as possible. Have you taken the time to review the administrative processes and tasks within your business that can be successfully completed remotely?
There are plenty of ways you can do this. A popular method is by conducting a process review. This means classifying tasks within the business into two categories: those best suited onshore and those best suited offshore. You can narrow this down further by going through your administrative tasks to come to a conclusion on the tasks you’d rather outsource. This can be done in two simple steps:
- The process review: a list of all of the processes that occur within your administrative function. Here you review your job descriptions and create a staff activity log to observe and highlight the tasks that are time-consuming or repetitive.
- Complete a complexity vs frequency analysis: figuring out which tasks are highly complex and better suited onshore for strategy purposes and which tasks are completed frequently and would be easy to delegate to an offshore virtual assistant.
Learn more on how to identify virtual assistant tasks that are suited to outsourcing in our “The three steps to identify which business processes you need to offshore to maximise growth” eBook.
Why outsource virtual assistants to the Philippines?
Skilled virtual assistants in the Philippines adapt quickly to the changing times and technology; they’re known to be super fast learners. Most virtual assistants are naturally flexible in their tasks and have experience working across a variety of industries. What’s more, Filipinos are naturally easy to work with and are exceptionally customer-focused, proactive and eager to help where they can. This is particularly important because one of the biggest challenges when employing a virtual assistant is finding someone who doesn’t just focus on the direct tasks they’re given, but instead tries to understand your job and workload, and proactively tries to help you in the best possible way.