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Why Outsource virtual assistant & administration

 

As an entrepreneur, you want to grow your business. However, you cannot do everything alone, especially if you are getting more customers than you can handle. You may not want to spend on permanent staff yet. Fortunately, you can have an extra hand to do some of the more repetitive tasks. You can hire an outsourced virtual assistant!

 

What is a virtual assistant?

You are a busy entrepreneur. In fact, you thrive in the business because you are excellent at what you do. But, as you grow your business, you realize that you cannot do it alone. You need to hire help so you can focus on the essential aspects of the company. For example, you are at your best when you negotiate with people. You can close sales for your company because you understand your customers best. Your clients call you when they have a problem with your product. They love talking to you because you make them feel at ease. You can solve their problem.

You are a people-person, and your customers love you for that. Most probably, this is one aspect of the business that you also enjoy doing. Therefore, you must focus on it so your business can keep growing. As you grow your business, you need to delegate other tasks so that you can focus on doing things that you do best, like negotiating and closing sales. You may not have time to clean up your database. If you have a CRM solution, you may have backlogs in updating it. You cannot do it anymore. You may not even have time to market your products and services. It takes time and effort to implement your marketing strategies. With your present schedule, you can no longer do them. You need to delegate the tasks to someone else.

Outsource or do it in-house?

You thrive best in engaging with other people. However, your business also needs to pay taxes. Are you an accountant? Even if you are, can you still do accounting tasks? Are your books in order? If not, you need to find someone to do it for you.

These tasks are essential in your thriving business. Because you cannot do them anymore, you need to outsource some activities to an efficient and experienced virtual assistant. If there are tasks that you can no longer do, do not enjoy, do not have expertise in, or have no time to do them, you can decide to hire a driven, educated, and dedicated person.

Outsourcing a virtual assistant

If you decide to outsource to a virtual assistant, you can increase efficiency and resources. You can have a dedicated offshore staff who will work for your company. The outsourced virtual assistant can also increase your flexibility because he can perform the repetitive and mundane tasks as you negotiate and close more sales.

By hiring a virtual assistant, you can focus on more critical business activities. Because you can delegate the other tasks, you can spend more time and effort on things that need your attention. You can meet your deadlines and reach your business goals because you can focus. In most cases, you can generate savings when you hire a virtual assistant. Instead of hiring a secretary, a bookkeeper, and a marketing expert, you can find an outsourced virtual assistant that can do all three jobs efficiently and expertly. Think of all the money you can save just because you decided to hire a remote assistant.

Virtual assistant & administration software and tools

Outsourcing suppliers utilise the best virtual assistant tools on the market. Below are some of the core administration tools, for the leaders in the field.

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Outsourced virtual assistant & administration jobs and roles

We outline some of the most commonly outsourced digital marketing and content roles.  The Philippines now offers some of the best digital marketing expertise and can be at a fraction of the cost to ‘Western’ equivalents.

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Travel Arrangements

If you are a frequent business traveler, you need to book flights and hotels. It is an easy task, but very time-consuming. If you have an outsourced virtual assistant, you can instruct her to find the best flights and hotels for you. You can check the list first to choose the one you like. Then, you can let your VA make the booking for you. If you have your virtual assistant for some time, you can tell her the essential details of your travel and let her do the rest. You pack your bags and have a great time.
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Bookkeeping

If you need to have your books in order, you hire a virtual assistant with a bookkeeping skill set. Aside from performing other repetitive tasks for you, your virtual assistant can also update your accounting books. This way, you receive your financial reports on time. You can even ask your VA how much money a particular client owes you. You get your answer immediately, and you have an assurance that it is the updated amount. Your outsourced virtual assistant can also perform bank reconciliation tasks.
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Electronic Filing

VA’s can file your documents digitally. She can archive your emails and put them in their respective electronic folder. If you need to know valuable information, she can easily find them because she has a system for filing documents. Even if everyone is going paperless, you still need to keep everything filed. This way, you can easily find information about a particular case. Electronic filing may be another easy task that you can do yourself. However, if you are growing your own business, it is best to delegate it to your virtual assistant.
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Online Research

You may need to research on a topic online. You want to do it yourself, but you do not have the time. You would instead do more critical tasks than spend time on Google. Fortunately, you have your outsourced virtual assistant to do it for you. You can ask her to search for industry news, flight and travel alternatives, or new competitors for the business. You can also ask her to search for information for a speech. Your virtual assistant will perform the research and submit her findings in a summary format.
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Correspondence

Your outsourced virtual assistant can answer your emails and even respond to your phone calls. Although you can do this simple task, you can expect more emails during holidays as more people will send holiday cards. As a form of courtesy, you need to reply to each of these holiday greetings. If you are too busy, you can ask your virtual assistant to respond to these emails on your behalf, send courtesy greeting cards to everyone in your contact list or even create a sweet personalized greeting card to your contacts.
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Spreadsheets and Presentations

Your virtual assistant has access to word processing and presentation applications. If you are giving a talk or a lecture, she can create graphs, charts, and reports that you can incorporate in your speech. She can even make a digital slideshow that you can use when you present to a group of prospective clients. Even if you are not a creative person or have no time to do the presentation, you can rely on your outsourced virtual assistant to create nice looking reports, graphs, and charts that you can use to convince your audience.
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Scheduling and Calendar Management

Aside from maintaining your calendar, you can rely on your outsourced virtual assistant to contact concerned individuals for your online meetings and conference calls. She can also be the focal person of communication for meeting attendees, who may need guidance or information. Your virtual assistant will ensure that you do not forget any meeting or event that you need to attend. She can also arrange everything that you need for that meeting. If it is an out of town meeting, she can book your flights and hotels.
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Website Maintenance

If your business has a website, you can delegate website maintenance to your virtual assistant if she has the technical skill. If it is an e-commerce website, your outsourced virtual assistant will ensure that your customers have a great shopping experience. She can update the web pages if you introduce more products or services, and update their prices. She can check your website for errors to ensure there are no broken links. If you have copyright, you can delegate her to ensure that it is up to date.
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Order Processing and Inventory Mgmt.

Your outsourced virtual assistant can process orders for your company. She can enter each order and coordinate shipment. Furthermore, she can prepare the invoice for each request. If there are any returns or exchanges, she can communicate with the concerned customer or supplier and facilitate any refunds, returns, or exchanges. You can delegate inventory management to your virtual assistant who has this skill. She can track stock levels and update your online store to ensure you have no backorders.
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Content Moderation

Content moderation focuses on moderating your own created content as well as user-generated content, such as comments or messages in social media. They are responsible for monitoring and implementing a set of pre-agreed guidelines, making sure that they are being applied for the benefit of your company. The role’s function is important as it protects your genuine supporters and patrons from coming across malicious content when browsing your websites and social media accounts. They also interact with your audience as needed.
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Blog Posting

Bloggers pitch you the ideas, write upon your approval, and promote these posts to your audience. Blogs are valuable not only because they drive traffic to your website, but also because they reach out to your audience on a personal level. Blogs also improve your SEO and bring in more organic traffic, set your brand as an industry leader, and develop stakeholder relationships. Apart from the actual blog post creation and marketing, this role also provides hours of extensive research that is relevant to your niche.
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Product Review

Product review writers provide in-depth review articles and buyer guides. They do extensive research about the features, benefits, and strengths of your products and services in order to compose the most compelling write-up. Much like all of the other writing roles, this role offers excellent spelling and grammar skills and an exceptional feel for your audience’s preferences and interests. The role provides an unbiased evaluation of your products and services, which helps improve customer loyalty and trust.

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Outsourcing services, in a box

Browse the widest range of productised outsourcing services. Easy purchase, best prices, clear deliverables, quality guaranteed, verified suppliers.

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Widest range of outsourcing services

The Source Superstore offers the widest range of productised outsourcing services.  The Superstore offers incredible packages, supplied by some of the best companies in the industry and offer market-beating discounts.

Customer Service Packages

  • Helpdesk support
  • Inbound / outbound calls
  • Email / chat support
  • Account management
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Digital Marketing & Content

  • SEO srategy & delivery
  • PPC management
  • Link building
  • Content writing
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Finance & Accounting Packages

  • Bookkeeping
  • Payroll processing
  • Management accounting
  • Tax preparation
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Virtual Assistant & Administration

  • Inbox management
  • Social media posting
  • Web & info research
  • Calendar management
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Lead Gen. & Sales Packages

  • Outbound calling
  • Telemarketing
  • Data scraping
  • Appointment setting
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Web & Mobile SW Development

  • Mobile app design
  • Web design & build
  • Custom software
  • CRM, ERP, SaaS
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IT Infra., Network & Support

  • Support ticket management
  • Remote network services
  • Desktop & application support
  • System administration
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Consultation & Proff. Services

  • Outsourcing consultation
  • Enterprise outsourcing
  • Build-Operate-Transfer
  • Project management
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Simple pricing

The Source Superstore offers four pricing tiers for easy navigation and comparison. With the Superstore, you get a precise service, delivered within a distinct timeframe, for a clear price.

$199 $599 $1,299 $5,999
Great starter packs Deeper deliverables Done-for-you packages Advanced outsourcing insight
Save up to 30% Save up to 35% Serious savings Comprehensive deliverables
Huge range of services 1 month OA support 1 month OA support 3 months OA support
Shop $199 Shop $599 Shop $1,299 Shop $5,999

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Why outsource to the Philippines?

The Philippines is considered the ‘Swiss banking of outsourcing’.  The country has been outsourcing longer than any other nation, so it has incredible expertise in the area, plus it has incredible cultural alignment with the ‘West’, a very young and well educated population, and English is a native language.

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Cheap Labor Costs

The number one reason why you should outsource to the Philippines is to save on cost. Cost of labor in the country is normally half of that in developed nations. Additionally, you get to avoid payments for office space, work equipment, human resource costs, legal costs, and some taxes. Despite all the savings, the quality of work remains high. An explanation for this is that the cost of living in the Philippines is lower than in developed countries. Save more than 70 percent of your total labor costs by outsourcing to the Philippines.
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English Language Proficiency

Along with Filipino, English is one of the most-spoken languages in the Philippines. Filipino workers naturally have high English language proficiency, whether it be through written or verbal communications. Some have even developed natural-sounding American accents, while others have neutral accents, which make it almost impossible for customers to notice that they are talking to a foreigner. It is the primary competitive edge of the country over its neighboring nations and one of the reasons why you should outsource in the Philippines.
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Excellent Education System

The Philippines has an excellent education system, giving the country a literacy rate of 95 percent. According to the ASEAN Briefing, around 450,000 Filipinos graduate from college each year. Scholarship grants provide access to higher education for less privileged Filipinos, allowing the country to produce highly skilled and knowledgeable workers. Some universities have even included BPO work preparation in their curriculum. Postgraduate education programs allow older employees who want to change careers to gain basic BPO skills.
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New Generation Workers

The average age of Filipino workers is 23 years old. It means that most of them have grown up amidst the advent of the new technology. This is a great advantage for companies that rely mostly on modern technology. There are some workers who receive BPO training while they were still students, making them well-prepared to join the industry. This new generation of workers understands that the BPO industry is one of the best employment options right now. They accept every opportunity to do so, which resulted in a massive BPO talent pool.
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Cultural Flexibility

Unlike in their competitor nations, the culture of the Philippines adapts well to Western countries. Hundreds of years of colonization by the Spaniards and Americans have made the country embrace Western culture naturally. English is one of the primary languages in the Philippines, while the political setup is very much alike with that of the West. It resulted in a government that fully supports the business process outsourcing industry. Indeed, outsourcing in the Philippines will not be too much of a trouble for any Western company.
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Familiarity with Western Lifestyle

Filipinos are quite familiar with the Western culture and lifestyle. Not only are they fluent in speaking English, but Filipinos could also talk to anyone about the latest on politics, sports, movies, TV shows, and other pop-culture topics currently happening in the West. Filipinos are also avid user of western applications such as YouTube, Google and Facebook. This type of awareness to the current events in the West has become an advantage for outsourcers to the Philippines as there is an immediate rapport with a service provider.
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Customer Service Oriented

One of the innate traits of Filipinos is being hospitable. They bring this attitude even to work, which makes them one of the most courteous and welcoming service providers in the world. They are respectful not only to customers but also to their superiors and colleagues. Filipinos are also cheerful by nature. They easily find the positive in any negative circumstance and can handle pressure situations with much poise. Filipino workers also have an excellent work ethic that makes them the ideal employees in the outsourcing industry.
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Strong Government Support

The Philippine government has always been supportive of the BPO industry. One recent law that has been passed to reinforce the outsourcing industry is the Data Privacy Act of 2012, which improved the country’s security policies up to international standards. One of the main reasons why Western businesses have hesitated about outsourcing abroad is the involvement of sharing confidential data with third party service providers. The Data Privacy law managed to fix that uncertainty, making the Philippines a reliable outsourcing destination.
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Improving Philippine Economy

Before the introduction of outsourcing in the Philippines, most Filipinos work as OFWs. At that time, the Philippine economy was highly reliant on OFW remittances. Many Filipinos still work abroad today, but the trend has slowed down because of the option the BPO industry had presented. It resulted in a huge improvement in the Philippine economy as outsourcing provides millions of jobs in the country. With more Filipinos opting to stay, the local economy has flourished, and Philippine small and medium-sized businesses reaped the benefits.
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Reduction of Potential Legal Issues

A lot of corporations and their executives in developed nations have to take care of unnecessary lawsuits or complaints from their existing in-house employees. Some of these charges were even silly in nature. By outsourcing to the Philippines, these companies will be able to reduce these potential legal issues, as this would be totally on the shoulders of the service provider. Through outsourcing, you will no longer have to worry about in-house politics between employees as the BPO firm will already take care of their own workers.
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Established Infrastructure

Because outsourcing in the Philippines came a little late, the country was able to learn from what did not work with the outsourcing models of the other nations that tried it first. This resulted in a more established and organized BPO infrastructure in the Philippines. The industry leaders had prepared topnotch BPO centers, facilities, utilities, and transportation setups for outsourcing even before the practice boomed. The Philippines has the capacity to provide better infrastructure options as compared to their global competitors.
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Access to Latest Technology

The country’s BPO industry has made huge technological advances in the last few years. Philippine telecommunication and internet service firms, along with healthcare and airline services, have upgraded their infrastructures to accommodate the growing industry in the country. Outside support from global companies has also been coming in, providing access to the latest technology. As a result, BPO firms in the country have become Omni channel service providers that can offer email, social media, live vide and chat with their clients.

Using a BPO company vs. agency vs. Freelancer vs. Upwork

 

There are several different ways to get outsourced work done, and hiring a BPO company is just one of them. Another way to do it is to employ freelancers through an agency or directly hire an individual freelancer via his personal online site. These routes can be hard because you have to do a lot of research to find the best outsourcing websites and freelancers available.

However, there are also websites that make the search easier. Websites, such as Upwork, cater these individual and agency freelancers. These websites act as a marketplace that sign up individual and group freelancers all over the world. Companies who need to outsource portions of their operations can visit them and look for third-party service providers that could accomplish their requirements. Some of the most common outsourced jobs for individual freelancers are content writing, creative writing, product description and reviews, virtual assistance, and encoding.

If you want to work with an individual freelancer, then you can choose to do that. Working with an individual lets you have direct contact with the person when it comes to project development, project timeline, and payments. Workflow is easy with straightforward communications.

You can also choose to hire someone from an agency. Going this route means that you are given a contact person from the agency, and they will provide you with the staff that you need. Payments and complaints, if any, are coursed through the agency’s point person assigned to you.

The BPO company route may be slightly expensive than the other options, but you make up for those expenses with guaranteed returns. In BPO firms, you can be sure that you are working with highly-skilled professionals in their fields of expertise. Meanwhile, you are not certain about the skill level of your service provider when you hire a freelancer directly or via an agency.

Each outsourcing route has its own pros and cons, and so choosing the best option for your business depends entirely on the risk you are willing to take. The table below shows a comparison of these different outsourcing routes and some of their features.

  BPO Company Agency Freelancer Upwork
Verified Outsourcing Partner
Pricing Structure fixed varies varies varies
Redundancy yes varies none none
Quality Control yes varies none varies
Backup and Security yes varies none minimal
Trained and Skilled Professionals guaranteed varies uncertain uncertain
Equipment Reliability high moderate low low
Reasonable ROI guaranteed varies uncertain uncertain

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Comprehensive outsourcing vs. seat leasing vs. staff leasing

 

Seat leasing and staff leasing are two other forms of outsourcing. However, they are quite different from the comprehensive outsourcing offered by BPO companies.

Seat leasing means renting a workspace or “seat” for a fixed sum each month where your employee can work on his tasks. The best seat leasing providers can offer you warm seat leasing or cold seat leasing options. Warm seat means that the space lender will also provide you with the staff that will fulfill your requirements. In cold seat, you have to find your own employee and rent the space only. Seat leasing would be ideal for startup companies that do not have that much capital to hire regular employees. It is a cost-effective way of getting some of your operational tasks done while you focus on running or promoting your business. The temporary nature of seat leasing is also an advantage since you get to further grow the business before investing in actual office space and equipment.

On the other hand, staff leasing means that the outsourcing company will provide you a set number of employees for an agreed number of days. Basically, it is almost the same as BPO outsourcing, but the length of outsourcing time or contract is quite short.

Staff leasing allows you to gain the benefits of having skilled employees anytime you need them without going through the hassle of recruitment, payroll, benefits, and other human resource concerns. The best staff leasing companies already have a talent pool where they can pluck out the specific skilled worker that you need. You only need to approach the leasing company, inform them of your requirements, and they provide you with the right staff to accomplish your goals.

Comprehensive outsourcing, also called complete outsourcing, is much more all-encompassing in nature as compared to the previous two. The BPO company is hired to manage all of the processes and activities for a certain operational task you hired them for. All aspects of that specific task will be managed on your behalf, virtually eliminating your need to allot time and resources to it.

There is only a thin line differentiating comprehensive outsourcing from staff leasing. In simple terms, staff leasing companies provide you with manpower primarily while BPO firms help with operational processes and other tasks as well.

The table below shows the difference between comprehensive outsourcing, seat leasing, and staff leasing.

  Comprehensive Outsourcing Staff Leasing Seat Leasing
Manpower Guarantee yes yes n/a
Skilled and Experienced Workers Provision yes yes n/a
Recruitment and Training yes varies n/a
Payroll and Benefits Duties none varies n/a
Hiring or Contract Duration varies varies transient
Operational Support yes none none

Business roles to outsource

Outsourcing can be integrated into almost any business, in any business sector.  Virtually any business function that can be done from in front of a computer monitor, can be outsourced.  There are some more commonly outsourced roles though, and it might be wise to start with these roles first.  We outline some of those here:

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