Outsourcing is subcontracting a process, such as product design or manufacturing, to a third-party company. The decision to outsource is often made in the interest of lowering firm or making better use of time and energy costs, redirecting or conserving energy directed at the competencies of a particular business, or to make more efficient use of land, labor, capital, (information) technology and resources. Outsourcing became part of the business lexicon during the 1980s.
With a virtual assistant you don’t pay taxes, benefits, or time off. You also save on office space, office equipment and downtime. You can pay for more or less time as needed. Benefit Median Amount % of Total Base Salary $43,318 68.3% Bonuses $1,080 1.7% Social Security $3,396 5.4% 401k/403b $1,598 2.5% Disability $444 0.7% Healthcare $5,722 9.0% Pension $2,042 3.2% Time off $5,806 9.2% Total $63,406 100% Hourly Rate Total $30.00 x 20 hours $600 weekly For 1 month $2400 month For 12 months $28800 year
Some virtual assistants specialize while others (like Indispensable Assistants) will complete administrative tasks like those of an onsite assistant. In some instances, virtual assistants will come onsite to assist with business errands. This varies with each company.
SOCIAL NETWORKING MANAGEMENT Problem: Consultant Jane is working on a project but needs to add an entry to her blog, update her Twitter, and respond to LinkedIn invites Hi, this is Consultant Jane, my blog topic is balancing a busy career…. Solution: Indispensable Assistants (IA) listens to Consultant Jane’s voicemail on her blog topic, transcribes it and submits it to her blog, accepts her LinkedIn invites, and submits her tweet “working on a great new project!” At the end of the month, she receives a report of everything that has been completed.
OFFICE MANAGEMENT Problem: Entrepreneur Ed owns a small business. He spends his nights creating invoices, updating customer info, and responding to emails. He leaves home early comes home exhausted. Hi, this is entrepreneur Ed, please be sure to mail all monthly invoices by the end of the month and can you help me create a job description for a delivery driver… Solution: IA created a spreadsheet of Ed’s customers, Ed verifies the monthly amount and emails the spreadsheet, IA sends the invoices by the due date. After calling Ed, they create a job description for a delivery driver, post it on job sites, and did preliminary phone interviews based on Ed’s requests.
VIRTUAL CONCIERGE Problem: Attorney Alice is busy so she needs someone to help keep her on track. Her goal for 2009 is to workout every morning at 5:30, she wants to keep her social networking up to date, and her company has just changed insurance companies. Alice sends an email to IA she needs daily phone calls to remind her to workout, her Facebook account updated, and to verify if her PCP is in-network Solution: IA schedules daily 5:00 am phone calls to Alice, updates her Facebook account with pictures from her trip to NY and gets her a list of new PCP’s near her office and her home. For the month, IA has scheduled an appointment with her new PCP, researched a new landscape company, renewed her magazine subscriptions, and scheduled a tune up for her car.
SEMINAR/TRADE SHOW ASSISTANT Problem: Speaker Sam, conducts seminars in Metro Atlanta, he needs to schedule a seminar soon and will need some assistance. Sam submits his request via email, he needs a venue in Atlanta that’s convenient to public transportation, local hotels, and local restaurants. He also needs help creating his presentation and assistance with onsite registration. Solution: IA met with local companies to find a venue for Sam’s seminar. They negotiated special rates for attendees, created an Itinerary and list of nearby places for guests, created name badges, managed the attendee list, and created the seminar binders. Since Sam’s seminar was in metro Atlanta, the assistants did not have to consult outside help and could be onsite to help register attendees, distribute literature, make sure the meeting room was set-up properly, and run last minute errands. At the end of the project, Sam’s attendee list was entered into his Contact Manager system, thank you notes had been sent to the attendees and the hotel manager, and he received a report of all expense incurred for future seminar planning and budgeting.
VIRTUAL SALES SUPPORT Problem: Corporate Carol is the VP of Sales for a major insurance company. The office in Atlanta receives a lot of requests for quotes. At this time their turnaround time is approximately 4 days. Carol needs quotes completed sooner since delays mean lost business. The company can’t hire new employees. Carol contacts IA to complete quote requests. She needs accurate quotes completed same day if possible, or within 48 hours of receipt Solution: Since T. Marie has experience quoting from both the carrier and the broker’s side, she knows how important it is that quotes are accurate and completed timely. Since most quotes are sent via email, the emails can be sent to IA with minimal disruption in the current process. Carol doesn’t have to hire full time staff and her sales representatives can get their quotes sent sooner than their competition giving them more time to follow-up and make the sale.