Pricing is, was, and always will be what some people will always base their decisions in life on. I used to be like that myself when every penny counted and I had to watch every dime that came and went. Now I am much more interested in quality, and investing in items that I need rather than getting as much as I can.
There’s no getting away from the fact that in business price is often the deciding factor as well. Events of the past five years have certainly underscored this, as we have seen so many companies forced to downsize due to the fact they cannot make budgets add up.
Yet when you simply focus on cost, you will remain completely nearsighted. This is certainly the case when it comes to choosing a virtual assistant company to help you with your business, as if you simply choose by price alone, it’s unlikely you are going to forge a long-lasting productive relationship.
That’s not to say that all of the more “competitively” priced options are sub-standard. That’s far from the truth. Yet you do have to take into consideration many different factors when making such an important decision as choosing a VA.
Because of the enormous price gap, people often people ask whether it is necessary to ensure that you are dealing with a virtual assistant who is a native English speaker. Some people might say that this is not an important fundamental if you’re only engaging the virtual assistant for tasks other than content creation. You should never underestimate how much of a challenge it might be to communicate with this person. It’s not just the time zone difference that you may have to deal with, but what happens when a crucial direction is misunderstood or misinterpreted?
Moving on from the basic communication aspect that you need from your support team, you should be looking for a lot more in the virtual assistant than just their ability to perform task A, task B or task C. You should be looking for someone who can suggest a better way of doing a particular task (read my post on VA pro-activeness) . You should be looking for someone who can see the pitfalls associated with the direction you may be heading in. You should be looking for someone who is always looking to improve their own skills, knowledge and ability and can demonstrate that they are always on the cutting edge of the game. This is something that you would look for in your own business and inspirational circle, correct?
It has been said many times before that to be really successful in business you need to surround yourself with successful people, or with those who are of a positive nature. Extend this philosophy to your virtual assistant, with whom you will be working very closely for an extended period of time. Are you sure that you will be getting this level of engagement and positivity from the cheapest virtual assistant you’re able to find, somewhere on the other side of the world?
Many of the most successful client/virtual assistant relationships have developed into much more than just a simple business-to-business relationship or connection. The VA has become an integral and important part of the business, due to the characteristics that he or she was able to display and cultivate as time went by. This may simply be an impossible reach if you’re not able to make the correct decision when choosing a virtual assistant in the first place.
On a side note, the VA’s that work with me in my company (and there are only a few as we are not a “VA farm”) are proactive and hard working. They are highly-skilled business owners (most likely just like you) and bring more than just task completing to the table. VA’s working with Realtors are all graduates of REVA Academy Boot Camp as well.
When interviewing VA companies, ask about their workflow processes, who does what for whom, and how long it takes to complete the work. Our lead time is 3 days on most projects except for real estate listings, which we strive to get up in under 24 hours. If the answers you receive from the VA you’re interviewing sound too good to be true, they usually are.
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