Outsourcing can be taboo for small businesses. The topic is filled with many myths, misconceptions, and vast exaggerations. Many business owners believe that outsourcing will eliminate their entire office staff (myth), be difficult to manage (myth), and produce poor-quality of work (big myth). Many believe these myths because they have only heard about outsourcing from secondary sources, never experiencing it themselves.
When many small businesses start their business optimization journey with outsourcing, they usually have a very different experience from what they have heard from media and other sources. That’s what we experience at Global Hola where we help businesses navigate to see where outsourcing and virtual talents can move their business forward.
To clear the air a bit and to help small businesses decide on whether or not to hire a virtual assistant, I’ve compiled 6 common myths we at our virtual assistant outsourcing company hear when it comes to hiring virtual assistants. I try to be open and honest about the myth and feedback, and we want to make sure that each myth is thoroughly discussed.
Myth 1: Virtual Assistants are Too Expensive
Many small business owners erroneously believe that hiring a VA is a luxury they cannot afford. In reality, VAs can be a very cost-effective choice, especially when hiring in talented markets like the Philippines and Costa Rica. Let’s compare some stats on a general office support staff role sourced from the US vs. outsourced in the Philippines.
US Rate: $25–32 / Hour (NYC Based)
Outsourcing Agency: $13–18 / hour
Another strong point to dispel this myth is about benefits and general business costs. Unlike regular FTE employees, you only pay VAs for the hours they work, avoiding costs like health insurance, vacation pay, and office space. Plus, you have the flexibility to scale up or down their hours based on your business needs, making this option particularly financially sensible for those without large staffing budgets.
However, I must note that some outsourcing companies provide US-based virtual assistants, and their hourly rates will be more expensive than those who source their talent from other markets. Those companies focus on providing great quality of talent and US-based business hours, but outsourcing with companies based in the Philippines also provides amazing quality and US-business hours support.
Want to learn more about pricing? Use our outsourcing pricing calculator to see how much hiring a virtual assistant would cost.
Myth 2: Virtual Assistants Are Only Good for Admin Tasks
While administrative support is the most common task for VAs, limiting them to this role is underselling their potential. Many VAs bring a range of skills to the table, from digital marketing and social media management to customer service and project management. By understanding your VA’s skillset, you can leverage their expertise for tasks beyond basic administration.
Virtual talents as a whole can also provide a lot of other services from accounting, website development, and data analytics. Although those roles are more specialized and have higher costs associated with them, the point here is that virtual assistants and talents can have a variety of responsibilities.
Many outsourcing companies allow you to indicate what mix of skills and tasks you’re looking to combine into a single role. Many times companies find the perfect match for your business, bringing on talents that combine great hard and soft skills. These are the talents that we love to find at our company to make the perfect match for many small businesses!
Myth 3: Virtual Assistants Can’t Understand My Business
There is a prevalent belief that virtual assistants, working remotely and possibly from a different culture, may not grasp your business’s nuances as well as an in-house employee would. However, virtual assistants are adaptable professionals and can be quite fast at picking up on institutional knowledge for any organization. Even if they haven’t worked in the same industry, small VA’s are usually able to pick up many skills and talents on the go that you might think they might not be able to.
Given proper guidance and communication, they can also understand your business culture and ethos, and they can quickly contribute once they get fully onboarded to your role. After all, a VA’s success hinges on their ability to immerse themselves in diverse industries and settings, and many have already great experience working for many different business types and setups.
Myth 4: Virtual Assistants Can’t Do Quality Work
A common fear is that VAs, because of their remote location and potentially cheaper hourly rate, may deliver substandard work. This myth arises from a lack of trust in remote working and other cultures, but as many businesses have become more comfortable with remote work and offshoring services during the pandemic, this fear has somewhat dissipated as the world was forced to become more global. If your virtual assistant company is doing their job, all their talents will be thoroughly vetted and will provide quality work for your business.
Virtual assistants are skilled professionals who pride themselves on their expertise and ability to deliver high-quality work no matter where they’re from. Additionally just like any employee, most VAs understand that their reputation and further opportunities hinge on the quality of the work they deliver. In short, virtual talents when thoroughly vetted and adequately placed in the right role can do amazing work to drive your business forward.
Myth 5: Virtual Assistants Have Poor English & Don’t Communicate Well
The idea that a VA’s don’t speak English will is a big myth as English is the language that most virtual assistants are quite fluent in, especially those from the Philippines. All of our virtual assistants at Global Hola are fully fluent in English, have excellent accents and pronunciation, and are clear communicators.
Some business owners might also fear that communicating with global talents might be troublesome given the distance and timezones. However, with numerous communication and collaboration tools available in the online marketplace, keeping in touch with remote team members has never been easier. However, this is not to say it won’t be without any hiccups.
To reduce communication errors for any remote worker, businesses need to use clear expectations, regular check-ins, and the right tech stack. With all of these in place, communication with your VA can be as seamless as with your on-site team.
Myth 6: Virtual Assistant Pose a Security Risk
While it’s true that online work has inherent security risks, this shouldn’t deter small businesses from hiring a VA. There are plenty of measures and processes that businesses can implement to secure sensitive information, such as secure cloud services, virtual private networks (VPN), two-factor authentication, and confidentiality agreements. It’s essential to recognize that data breaches can occur even with in-house employees, so security is a concern that needs to be managed regardless of staff location.
Our talents at Global Hola are trained in data security and standard industry security measures to reduce the possibility of phishing, social engineering, and other malicious hacking strategies. When we onboard talents with businesses, we ask and recommend security tools and practices to help keep your sensitive business data safe and not at risk. Virtual talents can use password managers, only communicate on secure channels, and always stay in compliance with your business security protocols.
Deciphering fact from myth when deciding to hire a virtual assistant can be daunting for small businesses. But by bringing to light these myths and misconceptions, it’s clear that hiring a VA can provide a plethora of benefits while offering financial savings, flexibility, and access to a vast talent pool. We at Global Hola are true believers in bringing amazing virtual assistants to the global talent stage, and we know they can shine and dispel these myths even more once they work with your business!
Like any other business decision, hiring a virtual assistant is about making informed choices, ensuring communication, and establishing clear expectations. The right VA could well be the secret weapon your small business needs to soar to new heights. If you’re looking to get started with hiring your first virtual assistant, visit us at Global Hola. Get started today with a no-hard-sale discovery call where we will honestly discuss if outsourcing is right for your business.