Types Of Virtual Assistants And The Pros And Cons For Each

Ever wondered what type of virtual assistant would work best for you? Joy and Jo talk through the different types of virtual assistant, both local and offshore.

Welcome to Savvy Sessions#10. 

This video is going to take you through the types of virtual assistants, and the pros and cons for each.

There are many types of virtual assistants. You've got local ones and you've got overseas ones. We'll run through the different types, and the pros and cons of each.  We're going to assume that we're talking about local being like Australia, New Zealand type countries.

Local are typically more proactive, and overseas are typically more reactive. What that means is that if you provide tasks to a virtual assistant overseas, it means that you're going to have to be really specific in terms of your processes and your requests, recording videos to show them how to do things and having a task list with due dates, having it very, very process driven because your overseas virtual assistant will do exactly what you ask.  And they may not be in the same time zone as well so you've to factor that into it.

A local virtual assistant is going to be a lot more proactive, so they can suggest things to you, like "Hey let's do this differently", you don't have to specifically write out the process necessarily, you know they can write the process and help you with that. They will have the ability to be able to help you with actually delegating. Whereas if you hire someone overseas, you're going to have to be a really good delegator and be really specific and have clear communication. That's one major difference, reactive compared to proactive.

The other one is price. Obviously in your local country, Australia, New Zealand, the price is going to be higher for a local virtual assistant. There is the standard of living, that means the price is going to be higher. Whereas overseas that means that you can get virtual assistants for $3, $4, $5, $6, $10 an hour.

There's going to be that pro of the price, but you're going to have to make sure that you are process driven and to clearly articulate what that task is that you need to do.

Those are the two major differences between local and overseas.

You've also got two kind of types of overseas virtual assistants. You've got the ones that work from home that are set up on their own, or the ones that may work for a virtual assistant company.

There's lots of virtual assistant companies in places like the Philippines and India, where they have a company, they might have hundreds of virtual assistants who all come to that company and work in the office.  There are pros and cons of home based versus company overseas

With a company overseas they will obviously have their management fee on top of the hourly rate that they're charging you for the virtual assistant, and they supply the equipment. The pro of that is that someone else is actually managing that person for you. They help with hiring and recruiting. They manage them, make sure that they're turning up on time. They will have performance review sessions, they'll check with you about how it's working with your virtual assistant, and they'll help with some training, and deal with any performance issues or employee issues. So they take care of all of that, but obviously you pay that higher price for them.

The pros of home based is the price, obviously. And the cons means that you're going to have to be able to manage them from a distance, and the internet in some of those countries is not necessarily great in people's homes. The internet might go down or the power, there's lots of power outages and internet outages overseas. That's something to factor, they might not always be available because of those things.  You have less control, less security.

The companies over in say the Philippines have lots of security measures built into how they run their operation. But home based you're going to have to really find someone who you can trust and have the security, things in place from your end, like clearly using LastPass to make sure you have control over the passwords that you provide to them etc. 

Now we move onto the local virtual assistant. There are three types, you've got the one that works independently from home, the one that works from home but they contract to a virtual assistant company, and then you've got the one that works in an office for a virtual assistant company, like Strictly Savvy.  Let's call them solo, contractor and employee.

Solo: they are going to be working from home, and the pro of having a solo is that their prices, their hourly rate will be lower, slightly reduced. The cons of hiring someone solo from home is that they they don't have any backup, so if they're not available they don't have that support or cover. If they want to take leave then you're going be left in the lurch a little bit. It's just a little bit harder for them to be able to support you and have that full time availability every week. Some of the other cons might be that they don't necessarily have the training or the support from someone else so they're really actually doing it solo and you'll be limited to the skill base that they have.

Contractor: they will be working from home for a virtual assistant company, the pros are that they obviously have the support of whoever owns the company and other contractors, and there could be a back-up system implemented where another contractor steps in, so they have that support, and they have that equipment. The cons might be that the price will increase as you bring them into the company, so the price will increase and they might be working from home trying to do that around kids. So there might be kids in the background or dogs in the background.  They might not be available between nine and five. They'll need to have flexibility and they might be out doing other things and not always sitting at their desks ready to do tasks, they might not be able to answer the phone for you, or things like that. 

Employee: who is an office based virtual assistant, they are coming to the office between certain hours so that's a pro. The con is that yes their rate will be higher. Another pro is that they have the support of the rest of the team, like Strictly Savvy we work really collaboratively so there's lots of team members who can support and help, and it's very quick and easy because we're all in the same office. So there's a lot more communication going on between team members and making sure there's back-up and cover and having an office means that the virtual assistants are able to answer phone lines for clients, that can be a good pro. And they get the support and training and everything from the company, and they can be really proactive. 

Another thing you have to think about too is the time zone, so if you're getting a local virtual assistant they can work within your time zone. If you get an overseas virtual assistant, it's outside of your time zone. That could be a pro or a con. So it could be that you actually like doing all of your work during the day and creating the tasks and then passing the work to your virtual assistant overseas and then they can do that work overnight, and then come back and you've got the work there, all done and completed. So yeah, lots to think about in terms of what suits you best, what your personality style is, are you process driven? How much work do you want to do upfront? What sort of access to skills? What sort of level you want the work to come back as? Lots of things to consider in terms of what type of virtual assistant you're going to hire.

There's no right or wrong, it really does just need to be done with what works for you.

Thanks for watching. That was Savvy Sessions #10.

See you next time!

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