When I go to networking events, I get asked what I do (naturally), and when I tell people I own a virtual administrative management company they get a glazed look over their face. ‘Oh like a virtual office?’ ‘No.’ ‘So, a virtual assistant?’ ‘No.’ *Sigh.
Since I do do a lot of networking, and get a lot of questions about the difference between VA’s and Business-grade VA’s(of which my company is made up of), I thought I would clear the air, and help you decide which is the best choice for you.
Virtual assistants are great for individuals who need data entry, or just basic trivial things. Chances are you will need to train them, and give them the tools they need to successfully finish the work you need help with. Think of the secretary or receptionist in an office; they answer emails, calls, schedule travel and do basic admin.
Virtual assistants are also broken down to two different categories: Onshore, and Offshore. Onshore is an assistant located in your country. they can be in the same time-zone or region and will communicate with you in your native, regional language, understanding cultural nuance, like work ethic, timeliness, and vernacular.
Offshore assistants are generally located in developing nations, with language skills often around the 75-90% fluency. Although they work well for interoffice communication, they may not b appropriate for answering emails, speaking with clients, and developing company communication for marketing purposes. Yes, these assistants tend to be cheaper than onshore, however, with onshore, you won’t have to worry about break downs in communication.
A business-grade VA handles much more complex functions, like social media, bookkeeping, web design, email marketing, web development, web admin, and much, much more. Business-grade VA’s are generally affiliated with a company (like mine). They possess not only advanced skills, but also experience, maturity and track-records that handle high level responsibilities. Yes, business-grade VA’s generally cost more than a basic VA, but if you require specialized skills, the business-grade VA is worth the extra investment.
If you aren’t sure whether a basic VA or a business-grade VA would fit best with your needs, contact me for a consultation.