When you run a business you need help, you can’t possibly do it on your own and be successful. If you have a tangible bricks and mortar business, you will no doubt have employee(s). If you run a home based business, then you will more than likely have a Virtual Assistant, who helps you get all your tasks completed.

There seems to be a preconception that choosing a VA in your country will be too costly. And, that by going overseas you can contract a VA for as little as $4.00 per hour. It sounds too good to be true and in a lot of cases it is.  I’ve worked with VA’s in India, Asia, Indonesia, UAE, USA, and Australia. It doesn’t matter where your VA comes from, you will find VAs who can and cannot provide the support you need for whatever reason.

I currently have two clients as a result of their offshore VA not working out. The language barrier, time zone issues all played a big part in their decisions to come to me for help. I might add, I have been working with one of these clients for almost four years, and the other for 2.5 years.

There are many VA recruiters out there that have built up businesses on the back of offshore VAs. You can have individual VAs who work from their homes, who constantly have internet connection issues and, as a result, can be offline for days. This leaves your business in limbo while you wait for things to be done. It is very frustrating, to say the least.

Outsourcing offshore – is it right for you?

If you think going offshore is only going to cost you $4.00 AUD an hour think again.  The currency is in USD and with the value of the dollar against the USD not favourable at the moment.  Depending on the work you want to be done, you can pay more than $4.00 per hour for a part-time or full-time VA. So what else can it cost you?

  • If you use a recruiter, you can pay upwards of $500 just to get three CVs.
  • You can pay holiday pay.
  • You can pay sick pay.
  • You can pay bonuses.
  • You can pay a thirteenth month.

You also need to factor in the following issues that I, and some of my clients have encountered over the years:

  • The VA becomes uncontactable due to internet issues.
  • Your part-time VA who is contracted to work 20 hours a week for you is only available for 8 hours.
  • There can be issues with language and time zone. So while you think something is being taken care of while you sleep it isn’t.
  • You have lost time in your business and had to undertake the tasks yourself, only to find you’re not very good at it.
  • Your business strategy has been impacted due to the delays.
  • You’ve spent way more of your hours working in your business rather than on it.

Your $4.00 investment has now turned into a significant cost because of problems outside of your control.

When you choose a VA who works in your country wherever that may be you can have far better stability and reliability, and this is why:

  • Their first language is generally the language of your country.
  • They will work on a similar time zone.
  • They understand the legal requirements of your countries business.
  • They understand any legal implications in what you do.
  • They will work from their home office (in most cases).
  • They don’t require holiday, sick, bonuses or a thirteenth month.
  • They require you to acknowledge an agreement that holds you both accountable.
  • You know the internet issues aren’t likely to happen.
  • The VA is far more accessible for you to contact via phone and SMS.

So before you go overseas for help, check out what resources that are available to you in your country first. Where ever you decide to seek help make sure you do your homework first. Ask the right questions for your business and be diligent in your research. If it doesn’t work out, you can always contact me at JMJ – EA for a Day to take care of your business requirements from personal EA service, to web design and social media. I’ve got your back.