As part of the Online International Virtual Assistants Convention (OIVAC), I was honoured to be asked to share my thoughts on outsourcing and how to hire great subcontractors – as part of this, I discussed the different virtual assistant outsourcing models.
Different virtual assistant outsourcing models tend not to be well understood in the Virtual Assistant industry itself (let alone by clients!) as most VAs have only operated one type of VA business. However since I’ve been a VA since 2004, I’ve run lots of different kinds of models within my business and strive to get the best results for clients.
But clients often question:
What’s the difference between a VA charging £15 an hour and one charging £35?
Why shouldn’t I offshore work?
Why can’t I have a dedicated VA who always does my work?
I thought I would explain a few different kinds of VA model and the pros and cons of working with them:
So this is what we use at Virtually Sorted. Day to day all the work comes into one central project manager who:
- splits the task up into component parts
- organises the work amongst several VAs so no one is overloaded
- gets the work done on time.
- The Project Manager also checks the work before it goes back to the client, so you have two pairs of eyes on all tasks.
A single VA working alone. They may have associates which they use in a crisis, but they won’t be used to regularly stepping in and working with the clients, so any cover they offer will need to be briefed as if you are working with a new VA.
UK VAs don’t like it when clients mention offshoring work. Personally (having set up some of the offshore VAs systems as a consultant) and having worked alongside them with clients, they do have their place in the outsourcing ecosystem.
Our experience is that for simple, highly repetitive tasks which are not time sensitive and not confidential, offshoring can be a cost effective and efficient way of getting work done.
Hopefully that gives you some insight into the different kinds of models and charging… Currently there are some really innovative ways of working with clients being developed in the VA industry.
One thing is for sure: Giving the clients great value will always work!