The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Services

As we head off toward 2017, the future looks bright for companies that have been outsourcing services. Outsourcing is a process that capitalizes on regions that provide a comparative advantage in cost without affecting revenues or productivity. It functions by providing a hedge against uncertainty and turbulent economic periods.

If you have been keeping track of the news, times have never been more uncertain and turbulent. Equities markets worldwide are unstable. Political regimes are collapsing. Threats of war and conflict appear more imminent. Global warming continues to wreak havoc and destruction in different parts of the world.

All of these events have established conditions that lead to an increased demand for outsourcing services.

But is outsourcing the “be-all” cure for what ails your business?

There are pros and cons of outsourcing services that you have to be aware of before you decide on implementing the process:

Pros:

  • Reduces cost of business – The greatest comparative advantage lies with labor. If you hire virtual assistants or outsource work to home based workers, you only pay for the hours they render service. If you outsource work to remote locations such as the Philippines and India, the rate per hour can be 50% lower.
  • Improves productivity – By outsourcing non-core functions, you can focus more on the core functions of your business. You can also re-purpose cost savings to fund revenue-generating projects.
  • Increases quality of work – Not only do you improve your quality of work but even the non-essential tasks are managed properly. You can even outsource technical skills to people who are more qualified than you.
  • Improves business flexibility – Do you want your business to be managed 24/7? Outsource work to talent from the Philippines and India. Time zone differentials make it possible to have your business supervised even after office hours at no extra cost.
  • Reduce the risks of business expansion – If sales volume did not increase enough to warrant additional manpower, simply terminate the outsourcing agreement. There are less legal issues to be concerned about when you outsource services.

Cons:

  • Cultural and Social Nuances – If you are planning to hire virtual assistants from other countries, you will have to deal with cultural and social nuances that may impact on the working relationship.
  • Language Barrier – Another problem when hiring virtual workers or contracting service providers is language. A difference in perspective in combination with social and cultural nuances will lead to miscommunication.
  • Data Security – Whenever you work across the virtual world, you are at risk of transmitting confidential data or giving access to your business network. There have been cases when a breach of information has lead to the downfall of business.

The answer to whether you should be outsourcing services or not comes down to one question: “Are you managing your business from the position of revenue generation or cost savings?”

If you are focused on generating revenue, then you should outsource services. Although outsourcing reduces business costs, it provides you more options to improve revenue. The risks or “Cons” of outsourcing can easily be managed through smart planning and the implementation of adaptable security protocols.

Three tips on becoming a more successful real estate agent

Three tips on becoming a more successful real estate agent

As a real estate specialist isn’t simply to offer or purchase a home for your customers, however, to likewise give quality information and experience that relates to the business. There are numerous classes that can separate you from your immediate rivalry, as you pick up validity for being the territory’s land master. Execute these three tips to end up a useful real estate operator and expansion your upper hand:

1. Have an abundance of local knowledge

Numerous purchasers and vendors are searching for a real estate virtual assistant that offers more than only a useful reputation. Truth be told, you can emerge from different operators by highlighting your insight about neighbourhoods. At the point when a customer is hoping to purchase or offer their home, they need a land operator that is acquainted with the range to guarantee ideal results. Expand your nearby information, and increase that upper hand.

2. Have strong communication skills

Nobody needs a real estate specialist who’s hard to get tightly to. Continuously decide every customer’s favoured technique for correspondence and also the recurrence they seek – and focus on it. Purchasers and merchants need a land specialist that they can believe, one that will be immediate and let them know the genuine actualities about their circumstance. Impeccable the ability to be straightforward and careful about everything from the deal cost to timing, and advanced entirely through the purchasing procedure.

3. Have connections

All of the top real estate operators have a considerable rundown of associations, whether it’s a review of potential purchasers or other land specialists in the range that they can work with. Begin systems administration to wind up more fruitful inside the business. You additionally need to hone up on your association abilities, which will permit you to be more productive and brief when speaking with your customers.

Turning into a fruitful real estate specialist is as simple as having these three standards. Devote yourself to your clients and to giving astonishing administrations, and the achievement will take after.

how a virtual assistant can help

How a Virtual Assistant Can Help Your Business and Make You Happy

Entrepreneurs are among the hardest working people in the world. Not only because they have to; but they want to. Entrepreneurs can’t help doing everything they can to help their business. After all, they are by definition risk takers. And sometimes that can be the problem. In the end, they’re burnt out, tired with nothing to show for it. If this sounds familiar, you may be interested to know how a Virtual Assistant can help your business and make you happy.

1. Manage Your Time Better

As an entrepreneur, a typical day means having a full plate. You have so many things going on and tasks to attend do. When your business is gaining traction, it seems like 24 hours is never enough.

By hiring a Virtual Assistant, you can delegate all non-core or non-essential tasks so you can focus on the main functions of your business. You would probably like to spend more time working on an idea or a project. A Virtual Assistant will make sure you can work in peace.

2. Manage Your Costs Better

When you’re starting out, money will be an issue. Your budget is tight. You don’t have access to funding. You plan to allocate your budget to cover your day-to-day activities until such time business can support itself.

But you need help.

A Virtual Assistant will not break your budget. You will not incur additional costs in monthly expenses other than the Virtual Assistant’s fees which are calculated on a per productive hour basis. This means you only pay for the hours worked.

3. Reduce the Risk of Business Expansion

If the signs point toward an uptrend in sales but you are unsure if this is sustainable, consider hiring a Virtual Assistant.

Remember that you only pay the Virtual Assistant for hours worked. If they are on break or have no shift, you don’t pay him or her. You also don’t pay the Virtual Assistant any type of benefits.

Therefore, the cost of hiring a Virtual Assistant is very low. If the uptrend is not sustainable, you can simply discontinue the services of the Virtual Assistant and maintain operations according to scale.

4. Increase the Level of Productivity

When you are able to focus on the core functions of the business, you will increase the level of productivity.

The cost savings generated from hiring a Virtual Assistant can also be used to fund projects and other departments such as marketing and promotion.

Finally, virtual assistants are paid per productive hour but often work with deadlines. You can be rest assured the Virtual Assistant will meet the deadline without compromising the quality of work!

5. Reduce the Level of Stress

Lastly, but probably the most important benefit of hiring a Virtual Assistant, you can reduce the level of stress.

You can trust that the Virtual Assistant can do his or her job without much supervision. Just like Blogging superstar Tim Ferris, you can check up on your Virtual Assistance once in a while.

With more time for yourself, you can be with your family more frequently, exercise and stay healthy or just relax.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant will certainly take a load of your shoulders. You will see the contribution of the Virtual Assistant not only on the quality of work but on the quality of your life as well.

stay focused as a virtual assistant

3 Tips on How to Stay Focused as a Virtual Assistant

Working as a Virtual Assistant has many privileges. You get to work at home, manage your own time and you do not have to deal with the hassles of the daily commute. But these privileges can be a source of distraction. Here are 3 tips on how to stay focused as a Virtual Assistant.

1. Set Your Schedule for the Week.

Before you set your schedule for the week, you must commit to it and this happens at the end of the previous week’s shift.

Some clients purposely schedule a weekly re-cap with their Virtual Assistant to address unresolved issues, pending concerns and problems that may come up in order to find immediate resolution.

If your client does not schedule weekly re-caps, take it upon yourself to evaluate the work week that was. Review your tasks and see which ones were not completed and determine the underlying conditions.

Next, review the list of upcoming tasks and prioritize these in order. Always double-check deadlines and see if you are falling behind. Finally, plot down next week’s agenda on the calendar.

Once this agenda has been noted, leave some room for adjustment. Deadlines can always change. Most importantly, commit to the schedule.

2. Only Use Work-Approved Technology.

As a Virtual Assistant, your bread and butter are the wonders of technology. You need your PC, your mobile phone and potentially, a laptop or tablet. But it’s not only clients who will consistently contact you on your PC or mobile phone.

Family, friends, prospective clients will try to touch base with you for personal or professional reasons. If you are committed to your schedule, these could only prove to be distractions.

One way to manage this is to use only work approved technology. For example, use a PC that is dedicated only for your work. This means:

  • No access to social media
  • No access to websites that are not related to work
  • PC is only fitted with required software programs

Virtual Assistants use Skype frequently. But so do their family and friends. You should post a message advising people of your schedule and to reach you via e-mail or phone text. Click the “Do Not Disturb”, “Unavailable” or “Offline” features of Skype to get the message across.

3. Use Focus Blocks.

Focus Block are clusters of time periods that you set aside specifically for the task you have to perform. The length of a focus block would depend on your ability to maintain concentration. On average, people can do up to 90 minutes of uninterrupted work. But it would really depend on your personal capacity.

A focus block is followed by a period of rest; usually equivalent to 30% of the time spent on work. So if your focus block is for 60 minutes, you can have a break time of 18 minutes.

Use the 18 minutes to check on your e-mail, phone messages and social media, eat, take a toilet break, nap or get light exercise. Do whatever you need to do to get your mind back at work for the next focus block.

Generally, you should approach your work as a Virtual Assistant as a true professional. You are being paid the second you log in. Thus, your client deserves full and undivided attention. Or if you work on the basis of deadlines, you have to make sure you hit it consistently.

It is not difficult to stay focused working as a Virtual Assistant as long as you remain committed and dedicated to the tasks you need accomplished.

the super virtual assistant

8 Important Skills For The Super Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants are in great demand the world over. Many companies prefer to outsource tasks to virtual assistants, telecommuters or home-based online workers in order to reduce costs, increase productivity, improve quality of work and lower risks of business.

The virtual assistance industry has opened its doors wide open to welcome other skills to its ranks. Today’s Virtual Assistant is no longer just a virtual secretary or personal assistant. He or she is armed with more skills, technical competencies and high level expertise. It doesn’t matter what your business needs; there will be a Virtual Assistant for it.

If you want to be competitive in the industry, you must rise above average and become a Super Virtual Assistant.

Here are 8 important skills you need to set yourself above everyone else:

1. The Essentials

These basic skills provide the foundation for every Virtual Assistant. You must absolutely possess them:

  • Basic Math
  • Grammar
  • English Writing
  • Spelling
  • Listening Skills

2. Basic Office Skills

Just because you are working from home does not mean you are free from utilizing these basic office skills. Your clients require them:

  • Filing
  • Office Management
  • Typing
  • Phone Handling
  • Calendar Management

3. Programming

Having programming skills improves your value proposition to your clients. You become multi-dimensional:

  • HTML
  • Java
  • Cisco
  • Windows
  • Oracle

4. Communication

Writing is a basic skill for everyone but your clients may not have the time to compose or craft documents.

  • Blogging
  • Article Writing
  • Marketing Copy

5. Computer Software

Big companies with highly diversified services are always on the lookout for people who are proficient in various computer software:

  • Power Point
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Excel Spreadsheet
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • AutoCAD

6. Financial

Any business whether corporate or single proprietorship needs to keep track of the money that flows in and out. But this is a time consuming task and requires various studies:

  • QuickBooks
  • Basic Accounting
  • Basic Financial Analysis

7. Project Management

As businesses become more dependent on the Internet and technology, expect more enterprises to set up virtual teams. You should be able to manage a team of virtual assistants:

  • Project Management software
  • File Sharing software
  • Performance Analytics
  • Web-Based Analysis

8. Health Care

Health Care is a serious issue worldwide. In the United States alone the medical transcription industry has been valued at US$12 Billion. Medical Coding has become increasingly important the last few years. If you have these skills, you can expand your practice in this fast-growing industry:

  • Medical Transcription
  • Transcription Editing
  • Medical Billing
  • Medical Coding

It may not be possible to learn all of these skills and manage your clients at the same time. Again, as a Virtual Assistant, time management should be one of your strengths. Try to learn 1 skill at a time. Dedicate a schedule to study and gain competence in a new skill. It will be time and money that will yield great dividends and take your career to the next level.

overcome virtual assistant mistakes

5 Tips To Overcome Virtual Assistant Mistakes

 

Virtual assistants are human too. Yes they are very talented and rich in experience. They have honed their skills in various industries and have contributed to the success of many clients. But they can make mistakes as well.

As a client, you should never assume that virtual assistants are perfect. They are not machines. Virtual assistants are flesh and blood; organisms that are vulnerable to the same pitfalls as you and I. They can and will have their off – days as well.

The idea is to have the mistake identified and rectified before it becomes an issue or a problem.

Here are 5 tips to consider when your Virtual Assistant makes a mistake:

1. Create a Culture of Transparency

You should not be surprised if there are virtual assistants who may wait for the last minute to tell you of the mistake they made. It is human nature to deny a mistake has been made because no one wants to feel inadequate.

Work towards creating a culture of transparency. Encourage your Virtual Assistant to open up and admit mistakes right away. The way to do it is to inspire them to become leaders. Accountability is the quality that separates leaders from followers.

2. Think Through the Situation

It is also human nature to get angry or frustrated. But at the early stages, becoming emotional will be counter-productive. It will waste your energy.

Instead, think through the situation with your Virtual Assistant. Re-trace the steps and create an outline of the events that led to the mistake. You will not be able to do this with an angry heart. You should always approach problems with a clear mind.

3. Provide Immediate Feedback

Once you have all the inputs from your Virtual Assistant, take some time to process the information then provide immediate feedback.

The purpose is not to “scold” your Virtual Assistant but to find weaknesses and deficiencies in the processes that may have led to the mistake. Once you have identified these weaknesses, take note of them in document form for future reference.

4. Prioritize the Remedy

When you have all the information you need and the courses of action have been identified, direct all energies toward finding potential solutions. Prioritize your options in terms of probability of success.

Your Virtual Assistant can take it from here but check up on his or her progress frequently. The purpose is not to show lack of faith or confidence but to make sure everything that was discussed and plan is being implemented.

It is also to show the Virtual Assistant that he or she is not alone in facing this problem. That despite the mistake you are here for support.

5. Learn From It

Once the problem has abated, you have to take time and discuss the incident with the Virtual Assistant. The purpose is not to “unleash” your anger and disappointment; again, negative emotions have no value. The purpose is for you and the Virtual Assistant to learn from the experience.

It is easy to blame the other party for the mistake without finding accountability to the incident. And that is exactly why many partnerships or engagements fail. The fact is everyone in the agreement is accountable in some way or the other. The attention should never be on who is at greater fault but rather how the situation can be resolved in the best and most expedient way possible.  

dos and donts for the virtual assistant

10 Important Dos And Donts For The Virtual Assistant

Becoming a Virtual Assistant is a great career opportunity to have your own business. As a matter of fact it is the perfect time for a career shift as virtual assistants are in demand the world over. Companies regardless of size, scale and type are hiring more virtual assistants into their workforce in an effort to reduce costs and improve productivity. In the United States alone, it is estimated that by 2020, 50% of all workforces will be composed of virtual assistants.

But in order to become a successful Virtual Assistant you must regularly render excellent service to your client. Here are 10 important “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for the Virtual Assistant:

Do’s:

  1. Be Punctual At Work. Time is money. When you are late for work, you are costing your client opportunities. You are also compromising your earnings and reputation.
  2. Dress Up For Work. Studies show that what you wear influences how you perform. Approach your work like a professional and dress up for it even if you’re based at home.
  3. Be Prepared For Your Shift. Guesswork wastes precious time. When you clock in, you should be off and running. Know what you’re supposed to do well beforehand. Prepare your agenda the night before.
  4. Give Your Best. The famous saying is “Your best should be good enough”. The worst thing you can do to your profession and your client is to under-perform. At the end of your shift, you must feel satisfied and happy with your efforts.
  5. Aspire To Learn Something New. The Japanese believe that if you stop learning, you stop existing. When you learn, you grow. Always have the initiative to become better.

Don’t’s:

  1. Assume. If you are unsure of instructions or directions; never assume and ask the client for clarification. Assuming you understood when you didn’t will open you up to crucial mistakes and more time wasted.
  2. Leave Tasks Unfinished. Keep your mind focused on accomplishing tasks to the best of your ability. You can and should only focus on one thing at a time. Let that be work and not the clock.
  3. Procrastinate. If you can do a task today, get it done. Don’t wait for tomorrow. When you are proactive at work, you keep moving forward. Procrastination will create more problems than solutions.
  4. Burn Yourself Out. It’s great to be your own boss; you have your own time and compensation equates to productivity. But do not burn yourself out. Work to live; do not live to work.
  5. Say “Yes” to Everything. Getting offers to manage clients’ services validates your decision to become a Virtual Assistant. Your income will correspond to how much work you can handle. But don’t accept every offer that comes along. You will eventually spread yourself thin and compromise the quality of work.

As you go further along your career, your experiences will certainly add more tips to this list. Always take note of the lessons you learn as a Virtual Assistant. These lessons will help you become better, more valuable and productive for your clients.

Four reasons to hire virtual assistants to help you grow

Four reasons to hire virtual assistants to help you grow

The thought is that, regardless of the fact that you are a decent, or even fabulous land specialist, there is a point where you realize that you should contract some extra capability.

In all actuality, you can’t be your particular collaborator, and until you get one, you are one. There a few advantages to utilizing a land virtual partner.

1. They are less costly

Since they’re not a piece of your onboard staff, you aren’t in charge of their expenses and protection. Additionally, in the following condition of work end, you won’t need to manage the unemployment protection strategy.

2. Administrative work

This is the typical stuff. Organizing exchanges, dealing with the printed material, embeddings data into the Multiple Listing Service and causing with the agreement to close system. This additionally incorporates database administration, information stockpiling, information look, alongside point by point provides details regarding the work done.

3. Advertising support

A virtual colleague can help you with overhauling your online networking circles, making flyers, recordings, different layouts, whatever you have to advance your work. Whatever it is that constitutes were conveying another regard for your sites, a virtual right hand can do it. Regardless of how tedious the work is, they can deal with it. This likewise incorporates telemarketing. Most land specialists are moderately hesitant with regards to reaching their leads. A virtual colleague can help you by making the initial few calls, permitting you to take part in later when the ground is not all that icy.

4. Sales support

This is the dubious part. Making a framework that will keep customers educated and agreeable with a specific end goal to bring home the bacon is the hardest part of the occupation. A not too wrong specialist can oversee three or 4 contacts, yet that is insufficient. A few years back, the National Association of Realtors distributed a measurement which expressed that 80 percent of all deals are made between the fifth and the twelfth contact. Utilizing a supposed inside deals right hand can help you transform your leads into settled negotiations.

While hiring, you ought to partition the assigned work to numerous virtual colleagues, in situations when the workload could be a lot for only one virtual associate. Along these lines you can better adjust the work, they’re doing with the rate you’re paying.

why hire virtual assistants

How to increase your earnings without selling more homes

How to increase your earnings without selling more homes?

Some may assert that the present subsidence is behind such small numbers, yet as a general rule, they’re not that different today than they were five, 10, or 15 years prior. Tragically, the pay levels as depicted above have dependably been around.

Here are four tips for expanding your yearly pay throughout the following 12 months:

Plan Ahead

plan earnings increase

Tragically, numerous land geniuses enter the business with no arrangement. Most exceedingly dangerous yet, most experienced specialists I know have no arrangement! In the wake of contributing hundreds (and here and there thousands) of dollars, significant time, and a tiring examination, numerous newcomers wind up with a land firm that has no arrangement for the following 30, 60, or 90 days.

A strategy for success is vital in the real estate. Without a stable arrangement, you’ll likely wind up wasting your time.

Take Action

take actions for better earnings

At the point when fabricating your activity arrangement, utilize a layout and run down every one of the things that you plan to accomplish for each new posting you take. One great approach to fabricate activity arrangements is to duplicate or print out three or four schedule pages and decide when and how frequently you might want to speak with your customers. What promoting tries do you have to execute through the span of the assertion? Pretty much as you need a “marketable strategy” for your business, each new posting and each new purchaser you go up against necessities a different commercial strategy.

Work Your Sphere

work your sphere

As per a few pieces of information, according to For Sale By Owner, 57 percent of first-time home purchasers discovered their land operator through the proposal of a companion, relative, or collaborator. Thirty-nine percent of all shoppers and vendors said they found their specialist through this procedure.

If this information does not fortify the way that you require loved one’s individuals prescribing your administrations, then please rehash those insights above. Working your authoritative reach is one of the best things a land ace can do consistently. Send cards and letters every month, make telephone calls, and, if the open door emerges, make a trip and make an individual visit.

Prospect

prospect homes

Prospecting is the soul of a striking deals vocation: Without new business, you’ll, in the end, leave the business. Make it a point to set objectives on what sorts of prospecting you’ll accomplish for the day, week, or month. Monitor your calendar and figure out where you’re squandering time, and roll out any essential improvements to achieve your prospecting objectives. Likewise, make sure to record your prospecting goals where you can see them and be helped to remember your jobs needing to be done.

The way to expanding your wage as a land proficient is to stay industrious and do the right things. When you have a firm composed strategy for success, set objectives, prospect day by day, and have a decent state of mind, you’re sure to succeed.