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Types of Virtual Assistants and The Pros and Cons for Each

There are many different types of virtual assistants, with the most distinct categories being those that are local and those that are based overseas. In this discussion, we'll focus on the pros and cons of each type, assuming that local refers to countries like Australia and New Zealand. 

When working with an overseas virtual assistant, providing clear instructions and a structured process is important. This may involve recording videos, setting due dates, and communicating clearly to ensure that tasks are completed accurately and on time. It's also worth considering any time zone differences that may impact communication and workflow. 

Local virtual assistants are often more proactive and can suggest process improvements without needing detailed instructions. They can also help with delegating tasks. However, their rates are higher due to the higher cost of living in countries like Australia and New Zealand. 

Overseas virtual assistants, on the other hand, are often more affordable, with rates ranging from $3 to $10 an hour. However, they are often more reactive and require clear and specific instructions to complete tasks. There are two types of overseas virtual assistants: those who work from home and those who work for a virtual assistant company. 

When hiring from a company, you can expect to pay a management fee on top of the hourly rate for the virtual assistant, and the company will supply the equipment. However, the benefit of hiring through a company is that they will manage the virtual assistant for you, taking care of recruitment, performance reviews, and any issues that may arise.  

If you hire a home-based overseas virtual assistant, you may not have the same level of management and support, but the hourly rate will likely be lower. It's important to be clear and specific in your instructions and have good communication to ensure that tasks are completed satisfactorily. 

Now, let's move onto local virtual assistants.  

There are three types: solo, contractor, and employee.  

Solo virtual assistants work independently from home and typically offer a lower hourly rate. However, they may not have backup or support if they become unavailable and may have limited skills or training.  

Contractor virtual assistants work from home but contract with a virtual assistant company, providing them with the support of the company and other contractors, as well as necessary equipment. However, their services may be more expensive, and they may have limited availability due to other commitments.  

Employee virtual assistants work either remotely or in an office for a virtual assistant company. They have the support and backup of the company and are typically more reliable and available than solo or contractor virtual assistants. However, their services may be more expensive due to the company's overhead costs. 

Another advantage of working with local virtual assistants is that they can work within your time zone. This can be particularly important if you need to communicate with them in real-time. On the other hand, if you work with an overseas virtual assistant, they may work outside your time zone, which can have its own advantages and disadvantages depending on your work style. 

Ultimately, the decision between hiring a local or overseas virtual assistant, as well as the subcategories under each of these, depends on your specific needs and budget. There's no right or wrong choice, and it's essential to consider factors such as your personality style, how much work you want to do upfront, the level of access to skills you need, and what level you want the work to come back as. 

Hiring a virtual assistant can be an effective way to delegate tasks and free up your time. However, it's crucial to consider the pros and cons of each type of virtual assistant to find the best fit for your needs. 

Want to learn more about choosing the right VA for you? We cover this topic in more detail in:  

Should I hire a local or overseas Virtual Assistant? 

How much does a Virtual Assistant cost? 

How do I choose the right Virtual Assistant for me?  


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