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The Dangers of VA Farms

When you are looking for work as a virtual assistant, it is important that you look closely at some of the opportunities out there. Several virtual assistant “farms” exist. These are companies that offer to pair virtual assistants with clients looking for their services but in reality the virtual assistant works for the company itself. This is essentially a staffing agency trying to pass itself off as something else. This is a bad arrangement for several reasons.

First of all, this goes against the very essence of what a virtual assistant is. A virtual assistant is an independent contractor who works as partner, not an employee. When a company sits in between you and your client, you are actually working as an employee. Even worse, many of these VA farms classify you as a freelancer despite actually being an employee. This means you don’t receive the benefits associated with being an employee such as social security and medicare contributions.

Another problem with these virtual assistant farms is low pay. Virtual assistants set their own rates. The rates offered by these companies is considerably lower than the current going rate for a virtual assistant. This is due in part to the fact that the company standing in between you and your client take a hefty share of money for themselves. These companies usually force their employees to sign contracts which state they will not attempt to contact any client they worked for through the company on their own. This means you can’t find private clients using these services. They can also terminate you at their own discretion, which means you could lose a good client and not be permitted to talk to the client ever again.

Most virtual assistants feel that VA farms give their profession a very bad name. These companies are nothing more than virtual staffing agencies trying to avoid the tax implications of having real employees. Virtual assistants who work for these agencies work under bad conditions for low pay. They are at the mercy of the company and have no control over their client relations. If you are looking for work as a VA, it is best to avoid these places altogether and find your own clients. That way you can set your own rates and manage your own dealings.

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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