If you are considering outsourcing as a way to save time and money for your business, one of the most important things to keep in mind is how you plan to calculate the cost and the value of the services on offer. As outsourcers charge by the hour you might naturally assume that your assistants should be able to complete a task in the same amount of time that it would take you, and if they failed you would be disappointed. However, this is a false economy; if they are being paid less than half the cost of what you would otherwise pay to complete the task, then it doesn’t matter if they take twice as long. Within reason, time doesn’t matter here, but cost and value do.
Instead of focusing on time, estimate what you are willing to spend on a task, and then factor that into how long you are prepared to allow your assistant to work on it. Make a point of setting tight parameters around the job, request a detailed confirmation to ensure that your assistant will complete the task as intended and give them a strict time limit. This ensures that they both understand what they should be doing but also if they start to do something wrong they will quickly be brought to a halt before any problems escalate. By building processes like these into your relationship you can ensure that you stay on track and have a positive and efficient working relationship. Making judgments like this will give you a better understanding of how you place value around your business as well as what is essential, and what is not.
Ultimately, you can save yourself time, money and hassle on outsourcing by paying per task rather than simply by the hour.
Properly arranging and preparing a business meeting is an essential task, but it can be a time consuming process. It is important to make sure that every detail has been examined, which can be a tiresome job when working alone. Here are three tips on how a virtual assistant can help arrange a meeting.
Your virtual assistant can schedule the meeting, ensuring that participants are available and can confirm their attendance. Email reminders and voice confirmations can help ensure that everyone will be in attendance – especially if travel arrangements are necessary. Ordering a light brunch, coffee service, or other refreshments can be done with the virtual assistant’s help. Calling around to find the best rates or recommended service can also be done by your assistant.
Once the meeting is scheduled your assistant can begin to create the material that will be discussed, writing up records and producing documentation that can then be used as the basis for briefing notes and handouts. They can visualise data for you, creating spreadsheets, charts and graphs from your information, or even create a slide show for your presentation. Any information required before the meeting can be distributed by email.
During the course of the meeting itself, your assistant could take a record of the discussion or could back you could you by launching software and videos – allowing you to plan a more fluid, engaging program.
Many virtual assistants have a great deal of experience completing administrative tasks and have a tact for handling phone calls. Leveraging time by having an assistant complete these simple tasks can add allow you to prepare for other, more specialised tasks, while smoothing out your day.
Being able to communicate in a foreign language can be a hugely valuable skill for anyone in business – and the learning process can be a very satisfying personal experience. Being able to communicate with clients and partners in their own language can push you ahead of the competition and ensure that you succeed. If you want to pursue a flexible course of learning you could always consider using a virtual assistant to help you. All you will need is an internet connection and perhaps a telephone.
Outsourcing firms can be found all over the world and nearly all of them will have bilingual staff able to communicate in their native tongue as well as in English – making them perfect language tutors. They may even be able to speak, and work, in more than two languages, should you decide to diversify your studies.
Working with your virtual assistant, you can follow tutorials via voice, video and email. The assistant could provide you with lists of practical vocabulary to learn, alongside the English equivalents, so you can practice, before they assist you with your pronunciation. Having helped you pick up basic vocabulary your assistant can then help you develop your conversational skills, while learning grammar. Reading materials can be provided as well, putting your skills to real life use, so you can become proficient in reading and writing in the new language. Your assistant could even direct you towards other media such as videos allowing you to view interactions between native speakers, also helping you to learn about the culture where the language is spoken.
Learning a foreign language can be difficult, but with the help of a virtual assistant, the learning process can be made easier. Virtual assistants can be available at all times of day, and can quickly respond to messages at other times. Learning a foreign language does not have to interfere with your work or other obligations. It can be done in your spare time or in your working hours. This means you will be able to optimize your work time and balance learning a foreign language with other responsibilities and your social life.
Having a personal tutor means that, with some practice, you can quickly pick up the essentials and immediately correct your mistakes. Being able to communicate effectively is an invaluable skill that you really can perfect with an outsourced tutor.
Image: Horia Varlan
With improvements in online business technology, outsourcing work is becoming more and more common for both small and large businesses alike. Outsourced employees are like freelancers in that they don’t require benefits, they don’t require office space or equipment and they don’t consume the same benefits. In addition, outsourced employees can be paid lower salaries for the same work. Finally, when you consider outsourced employees, a greatly wider talent pool opens up.
Many outsourcing teams take care of multiple businesses at once. They work with such efficiency that they can perform the work of a full-time individual office employee for a fraction of the cost of that employee’s pay. Additionally, having a team of individuals managing a task means that it can be done seven days a week, without holidays or sick days. For managers and business owners looking to save money without sacrificing on quality, this deal is too good to pass up.
Business professionals who want to optimize their company’s efficiency can consider outsourcing teams for a wide variety of tasks including IT work, marketing, social media management or sales work. Practically any position that can be filled by an individual office employee can be filled by an outsourcing team for less money and less time. Whether you’re just starting a business and can’t afford to have many people on payroll; whether you are in charge of a medium-sized company and want to expand your IT network; or whether you manage a large corporate enterprise and need to cut costs, hiring an outsourcing team could be an excellent choice.
Image: Kevin Zollman
There are limitless potential customers for any salesman, but finding those customers can be difficult. There’s tremendous pressure to locate new leads, but there’s seems never to be quite enough time.
A virtual assistant can actually make the process much simpler for you. Finding new leads is perfect work for virtual assistants; they can do the time consuming research to ascertain whether corporate clients are right for you and precisely what they need – or they can compile lists of individual consumers who might be interested in your product. Furthermore, they can work from anywhere and can always be available to answer queries and provide routine feedback for potential clients, ensuring that sales don’t slip through your fingers.
Training a virtual assistant to find leads for you doesn’t have to take long, either. Many of the processes of hunting for leads are somewhat repetitive, involving searching online and communicating by email. Once you train your assistant and perhaps provide a few templates for emails, you can move on to other things while the leads come in – allowing you to focus on delivering a perfect pitch and completing the sale. All those parts of the job that tied your hands are still being done, and you’re available to focus on other matters.
Whether it’s answering email inquiries, entering data or doing research, a virtual assistant can be a very significant aid. A qualified assistant could be exactly what you need to move your business forward.