The primary benefit of having a virtual assistant is that this person can help you do your job or to run your business at a fraction of the cost of hiring someone part time or full time. However, for many different reasons, this benefit isn't enough to convince people to have a virtual assistant. There are still reasons people give as to why a virtual assistant isn't a good idea. These are barriers, and here are four barriers in the way of you having a virtual assistant and in the way of you getting the help and the quality work you need.
You Don't Want to Outsource Outside the Country
When we think of terms like, "outsourcing", and "virtual assistants", we often think of people in Asia, Mexico, or South America that are doing odd jobs here and there and trying to make money. There's nothing wrong with those people, but we do understand that some business owners or managers don't want to outsource work or jobs outside of the country. That's fine, but also understand that not everyone who is a virtual receptionist or who does outsourced work is based outside of the United States. Our virtual assistants, for example, are all based in the United States. If you're worried about outsourcing work to someone who isn't American, then keep in mind that not all virtual assistants or receptionists are cheap labor in developing nations.
You Don't Like the Idea of Outsourcing
This is particularly a barrier for entrepreneurs and sole proprietors, where they may feel that they need to do everything themselves. If they don't, the quality won't be there or time will have to be spent training someone and managing other people. Although there's a little bit of truth to that, what you can do to avoid this hassle is to choose a virtual assistant who can do the tasks that you would like to outsource. For example, if you're no good at accounting, or managing your social media, or in keeping up with your calendar, find someone who can do that and do that well. This gives you more time to do what you actually do well, while possibly improving your business because the accounting is actually getting done.
You're Not Sure How You're Going to Manage the Work and/or the Quality
This is similar to the second barrier, where quality and management are the big worries. It is much easier to handle those things with an in-house employee. However, the best way to go about this with a virtual receptionist or secretary is to provide clear instructions and examples of the work and the quality you are looking for. If you don't the time to set the standard from the beginning, and be willing on the first one or two projects, to let the person know what was done wrong and what was done right, then having a virtual assistant will be a hassle. Be detailed from the start, and take the time to answer questions before embarking on any work or outsourcing anything. You need to be able to trust this person to do a good job and not need any hand holding if you want a virtual assistant to work out for you and your business.
You Don't Think a Virtual Assistant Can Handle the Work
This is an understandable barrier if you work in a very specialized industry or if the work that needs to be done requires a very specific skill set. Although finding a virtual assistant to do the work may be tougher, it's not impossible. Consider the fact that anyone who works for you virtually, even if it's just for a one-time project, could count as a virtual assistant. Therefore, if you need help with engineering design, then ask for someone who's skilled in engineering design instead of plain asking for a virtual assistant. You'll have a better chance of finding someone remote who can handle the work.