July 18, 2017
Hiring a Virtual Assistant is the latest fad among young startups, veterans, professionals and individuals and anyone to everyone who are looking to spend some free time with their family. Plus, who wouldn’t love the option of saving costs on infrastructure, employee tax and hassles to manage an employee? Moreover, the best part is that the productivity and results are still the same, probably better. The billion dollar predicted industry is here to stay. Outsourcing has become one of the core results for individuals and companies to get better growth without investing much.
But then, how many of us actually have been successful while outsourcing a project? Extremely few if numbers are to be believed. Reason? Well, we tangle our thoughts in search of the best virtual assistant company and ultimately end up choosing none or worst, the wrong one.
Alas! A wrong decision leads to the wrong direction, which leads to wrong results, which leads to dropping in business and this ultimately leads to loss, the worst word ever heard by mankind. Also to mention your company’s image will always be at stake in front of your internal and external customers.
What are the ingredients of an ideal Virtual Assistant Company?
A good looking website?
May be, but that does not guarantee one being a good company. Free tools and open source software can give a good looking website to anyone. Hosting costs less than $10/year.
So what’s next?
Social media likes and followers?
Naah. It’s easy to tell people to follow your page or Twitter account. We all have friends, family members, relatives, colleagues who are social media fanatics. Tell them and they will follow you. Not to mention that fact that you can’t even see the identity of profiles who have liked a page on Facebook, all you can see is the number of likes.
The last time I heard about “Buy testimonial” offer on my social media, I was excited. Buy one and get another free from 2 different people. Wow. Testimonials can be purchased.
Let’s try to digest the cruelty of the world of internet. Anything can be purchased to reflect how good business you are from outside. Another sad part – Everyone does this. People (almost everyone) from all industries have “Buy Testimonial” as one of the top agenda on their to-do list before they go live.
Haven’t we all signed up for a Virtual Assistant company based on these criteria? And then we regret, don’t we?
Welcome to the world of solutions to the most asked questions – Which virtual assistant company is ideal for you? A perfect, trustworthy and the one who ultimately gives you what you pay for?
Of Course, there are many of them but the best ones?
Find Yourself. Yes, you can do that yourself. 10 minutes of research, couple of phone calls and bingo you just found an answer to an important question. Moreover, get ready to get some free time and peace of mind. All this for 10 minutes of research and few phone calls.
Who are these organizations? Let’s find out:
INGREDIENTS OF AN IDEAL VIRTUAL ASSISTANT COMPANY:
1) Investment – Remember, we are talking about a Virtual Assistant company and not a Freelancer who refers to a website as a Company. An ideal Virtual Assistant company will always have an investment on infrastructure and ambience. They don’t work from home. They don’t outsource their work to the 3rd party who are working from home or coffee shop or even on the beach with laptop and internet connection. We remember calling a company where 2 Sales Managers were part of the call answered. One – A scripted lady and another a baby crying behind her, distracting our conversation.
Ways to find them:
• Ask for a physical address. Find out whether it’s a commercial virtual address or a commercial property.
• Check if the company is registered or not (LLC in USA, Pvt. Ltd. In India etc.). It costs some money to register a company and most of them avoid it. They might have company registered on different name (like parent company name). That’s fine. Some money is invested. A freelance or a small company wouldn’t bother investing some money on infrastructure and documentation work.
2) Proper Team – An ideal company will always have proper team who will follow the protocol to serve a prospect before they sign up and clients once they are on board. It’s wise to give work to the company who have hired someone senior to monitor your work. This might cost a bit more but be rest assured you work is in safe hands and constantly monitored for accuracy and efficiency. A freelancer would not have that. Neither a small registered company would prefer having a team.
Best way to find them:
• Call the number they have shown on their website. See who is talking. Take the number of another team member like Team Leader, Project Manager to ask few more project related questions and their experiences before you sign up. Multiple voices are the key here. They will surely share if they have one.
• Check their communication skills and overall experience. We are in search of a perfect team not any random employee with bad communication skills or ineffective skillset. This is a reflection of ultra-cheap labor without any experience to handle any tasks. A well-experienced employee with good communication skills is surely a qualified employee as well.
3) Free Trial – An ideal Virtual Assistant company will always offer a free trial to their prospects. They are not worried. Why? Because they have team and people where they have invested. A small company will not go in that direction. Reason? Simply because they don’t have a large team to sustain the prospect’s requirements. They are often bothered by questions like “What if clients don’t sign up after using free trial?” “What if a free trail is for an assignment that I can do it myself?”
It’s easy to take a payment from a client and then hire a “Team Member” however extremely tough to offer a free trial of any given assignment and then wait for the prospect to turn into a client.
An ideal Virtual Assistant company has enough of team members to serve a prospect. In fact, this is one of the keys to getting few clients and they are open to this.
Yes, a virtual assistant business charges their customer in advance like most of the companies, however, they are open to:
“Give before we take” mentality.
Ways to find them:
• Simple, call them and ask for free trail. An industry average is of 2 small assignment or may be 1 hour. Don’t bother them with too many assignments. Remember we are trying to verify the quality of the company not trying to get some free work done without any investment.
o Note: They might need your cooperation to promote their page or write a review after the assignment is done. Please do so if you think they deserve.
o Also, a free trial might take some time so please make sure you are not giving an assignment that are on your priority list.
4) Data Security – Probably the most important point of the article. Would you deal with the company who has not invested in data security systems?
Remember, you might have to share your email password with your assistant. What happens if you give them the most important document of yours without keeping a copy for yourself and they lose it by deleting it accidently?
A company with proper investment module would prefer investing on data security servers before they invest on a coffee machine. Keeping your data safe needs investment and a small company would mind investing on something like this. Again this might cost you a bit more, however, your data is in safe hands. Again costing wise it won’t cost you as much as you pay for a personal assistant in your office. May be 50% or even less.
Ways to find them:
• Discuss the server configuration details with the BDM whom you will call well in detail. They might be ready to share the details.
• Take Team Viewer access if needed.
• Check the website by typing HTTP:// before the site name. If the site still opens then bingo first step is already taken by the company – SSL certificate. This costs money to the company and it’s great that they have invested on the same.
5) Pricing and Plans – The best way to find a small company and unsecured company is to check their pricing plans. They prefer keeping nominal rates simply because they don’t have any investment done on servers and teams. Moreover, they believe that this technique will get them more clients in the competitive world.
Wish if that was true, however not anymore.
A prospect prefers spending few dollars more for security and proper team. Who would pay few dollars more for peace of mind? Does that mean that a company who has costly rates are much secured? May be, maybe not. This completely depends on a ratio that comes out after involving all the above points while making the decision.
Checking pricing plans are the best way to distinguish a small company from medium and large ones. Like said before, they need money and not long term business so cheap rates.
Hiring an ideal company for your work is not a hassle anymore. You know the secret of the same now. Give your best 10 minutes and you will surely come out with an option that will buy you extra hours of peace on a daily basis.
All the best!
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