Whether you work from home, run a side business, or if you are a businessman or startup founder, there is definitely a reason for you to hire a virtual assistant to outsource tasks to. After all, by delegating work out to freelancers or consultants, you save a tremendous amount of time that you usually spend on menial (and often mundane) tasks.
Making the decision to hire someone off-site to take up your task is easy. Got something tough to handle? Outsource need? Need to fill a talent gap but can’t afford a full-time staff? A virtual assistant is your answer.
But are companies always ready to hire a VA?
As much as we at VA-SG would like to say yes, we make it a point to have one-to-one chats with prospective clients before closing any contracts. What we’ve identified over the years is that there are some companies that think they need to outsource tasks to get stuff done - but they’re not in the position to do so at the point of talking just yet.
Some of the instances we feel companies should not consider outsourcing include:
1. Not having a corporate culture in place
Early-stage businesses often make the mistake of jumping onto projects way before they set up a corporate culture. There must be a clear definition between the job scopes of full-time employees and assistants you outsource work to. Your culture and policies should explain how decision makers should vet the people they intend to hire for a specific duty. A company should establish basic ground rules on language competencies, technical skills, qualifications, compensation and payment methods. There’s no long-term benefit in picking any Tom, Dick or Harry to carry out work just because they are cheap labour. Go the extra mile to ensure the safety and integrity of your company is set up and adhered to. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where someone releases highly confidential documents that are not meant to be seen by eyes outside of your office’s four walls. Set rules and standard operation procedures in place for everyone’s benefit.
2. Too many employees with core competencies
If you already have a team that consists of a marketing executive, a salesperson, a designer, an accountant, a writer, a secretary, you probably have all it takes to run a company’s operations smoothly already. In fact, you might have so many employees that you probably don’t remember all their names or may even forget if they have enough work or not. Revisit your team’s to-do list to identify if they have space to take on more tasks instead of wasting key resources and finances by outsourcing.
3. Facing tough times
Cashflow issues? Losing out to competitors? Difficulty closing deals? Then don’t outsource. The key to outsourcing is to delegate important work that you can’t afford to spend time on because you need to focus on making your business survive. However, if it has come to the point where your business is losing its edge, make use of your current strengths to carry out the work. The last thing you need to go through is hiring someone from the outside only to realise you cannot even make ends meet to pay your own staff first. Make the people who are already on a regular salary do the work (provide them with some additional compensation if it exceeds their regular workload).
When you think that you have the above items in place, then you might want to consider outsourcing again. Remember that when hiring a virtual assistant, you are building a long-term relationship with someone who you and your team can rely on.
Virtual assistants are not the lifeline of your business: but we are a helpline. We are here to help keep your business afloat alongside your core team.
Are you all fired up to get a virtual assistant to outsource your work to? Give us a buzz!