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Can I Really Compete With Offshore VA Services?

Virtual assistance is a job that is growing in popularity and demand. Many companies find that they can save a lot of money by outsourcing work to other countries where the cost of living is lower. If a company can pay a virtual assistant in the Philippines just pennies on the dollar, is there really any hope for a VA with first-world expenses?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes. There will always be companies who are satisfied outsourcing their work to foreign countries. As a VA, you want to work for companies who have high standards and there are still more than enough of these opportunities to go around.

There are many tasks that companies can outsource to save money such as computer programming. However, many businesses are happy to pay more for someone in their own country. In particular, a lot of companies want someone who is a native speaker of English. Written communication is an integral part of modern business and companies recognize the value of making a good impression. This means choosing the most tactful and professional-sounding words for every occasion. That’s something that many VAs who speak English as a second language simply cannot offer. Moreover, in some lines of work a deep understanding of the local culture is critical to getting the job done and keeping customers satisfied.

Many American companies prefer to hire VAs from their own country when they will be dealing with sensitive information. For example, VAs who will have access to credit card numbers could potentially do a lot of damage to a company if they are unethical. Prosecuting a worker in a foreign country can be a legal nightmare. A lot of businesses feel more comfortable sharing private data with people in their own country where the legal recourse is clearly defined.

Another issue that comes up a lot with offshore virtual assistants is communication problems. The cheapest virtual assistants live in third world countries. This means they do not have the technological infrastructure that Americans take for granted. A storm can knock out power or internet for months in some parts of the world because the resources to make quick repairs simply aren’t there. This is something that many companies who hire offshore VAs eventually encounter because it occurs more frequently than you might think.

Some clients are looking for virtual assistants who they can reach during normal business hours. The working hours in the U.S. happen to be sleeping hours in common outsourcing countries such as India and the Philippines. If a business person often has issues that crop up during the day that need tending to, they have to hire a VA who works in the same time zone. This gives you a big advantage over your foreign counterparts.

About Stephanie Watson

Mom | Wife | Virtual Assistant | Content Strategist
Stephanie has been working from home for over 20 years as a virtual assistant, template bender, and content writer. She's currently transitioning to business coach. You can learn more about her at her website http://www.barrypublishing.com.

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