virtual assistants http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9261/all en-US How to Find a Legit Virtual Assistant Job http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-a-legit-virtual-assistant-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-find-a-legit-virtual-assistant-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_virtual_assistant_45281194.jpg" alt="Woman finding a legit virtual assistant job" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working as a virtual assistant sounds like a dream job. As a remote administrator, serving as a virtual assistant allows you to work from home in your pajamas when it suits your schedule. You get to do more varied work than an at-home customer service representative &mdash; you might manage social media accounts, book travel arrangements, create PowerPoint presentations, or take minutes during online meetings.</p> <p>Moreover, good virtual assistants can make an excellent wage from their homes. Because of how appealing this gig sounds, virtual assistant job listings are rife with scams and fraudulent listings.</p> <p>While some executives will hire virtual assistants on their own, most workers find clients through virtual assistant companies that connect business owners with contractors. The industry is expanding rapidly, and discerning the scams from the real companies is becoming increasingly difficult.</p> <p>Here are some tips to help you find out if a company is a legitimate business.</p> <h2>Check out the Better Business Bureau</h2> <p>While the virtual assistant company&rsquo;s page on the Better Business Bureau site may not be comprehensive, if they do have a presence on the page, that is a good indication that the business is a serious enterprise.</p> <h2>Review Their Website</h2> <p>If the page is littered with typos or broken links, that is a definite sign that the company is not legitimate. Also, pay attention to the company&rsquo;s contact information; if they list a phone number or email address, reach out to them and see if they work.</p> <h2>Do a Google Search</h2> <p>If a company is the real deal, a Google search will reveal other companies who use them, LinkedIn connections, and business profiles. If they are not reputable, you may find people complaining about them on social media or sites like <a href="http://www.ripoffreport.com">Ripoff Report</a>.</p> <h2>Visit GlassDoor</h2> <p><a href="http://www.glassdoor.com">GlassDoor</a> can be a great resource to see what current and past employees experienced at the company. They will share their experiences &mdash; both the good and bad &mdash; such as what to expect regarding salary, working conditions, and whether they got paid.</p> <h2>Understand the Interview Process</h2> <p>Scam gigs will hire just about anyone without much screening, so if you send in a resume and are immediately hired, that is a major red flag.</p> <h2>What to Expect From a Legitimate Company</h2> <p>As a virtual assistant, you will be closely working alongside executives and be privy to sensitive information. Real companies want to make sure you are a person of integrity and have the talent to do the job efficiently to maintain their reputation.</p> <p>A legitimate virtual assistant company is extremely thorough. You will likely have to submit a resume and cover letter, and then undergo an initial phone screening. From there, many companies will have you complete various tests and evaluations to test your speed, accuracy, and professionalism. It is not uncommon to go through second or even third interviews, usually through Skype or GoToMeeting. The entire process can take as long as two months.</p> <p>While the long interview duration can be time consuming, it is a good sign they are doing their due diligence and are an upstanding company.</p> <h2>Where to Find Real Virtual Assistant Jobs</h2> <p>There are a number of virtual assistant firms that are well-known and respected, who hold their virtual assistants to high standards, and pay them decent wages:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.eahelp.com">eaHelp</a>: Virtual assistants mainly work with entrepreneurs, celebrities, and pastors. The pay ranges from $12&ndash;$18 an hour.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.timeetc.com">Time Etc</a>: With Time Etc, you will do everything from book a family&rsquo;s vacation to write blog posts. Pay is usually around $11 an hour.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.zirtual.com">Zirtual</a>: Unlike other companies, Zirtual assistants are full-time employees. While the pay is about $11 an hour, you are eligible for medical and dental benefits.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.fancyhands.com">Fancy Hands</a>: While Fancy Hands is a real company, its structure is very different. They pay per task, with each task paying as little as $2 to $7.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.99dollarsocial.com/content-specialist-position/">99 Dollar Social</a>: Unlike other virtual assistant positions, 99 Dollar Social&rsquo;s representatives solely update social media accounts for clients. The pay is approximately $12 an hour.</li> </ul> <p>For many people, getting a job as a virtual assistant is a great way to earn extra income or even transition to working full-time from home. However, because these roles are so attractive, you need be aware of how many scams there are that will try to steal from you. Carefully research potential employers and check out the established and reputable companies to make sure you get paid for the work you do.</p> <p><em>Have you worked as a VA? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-a-legit-virtual-assistant-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-terrible-work-from-home-jobs-you-should-avoid">8 Terrible Work-From-Home &quot;Jobs&quot; You Should Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-paid-real-money-from-virtual-work">Get Paid Real Money From Virtual Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-great-jobs-for-snowbirds">9 Great Jobs for Snowbirds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stay-productive-while-working-from-home">5 Ways to Stay Productive While Working From Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting flexible schedules job listings scams telecommute virtual assistants work from home Mon, 18 Jul 2016 10:00:18 +0000 Kat Tretina 1753208 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Paid Real Money From Virtual Work http://www.wisebread.com/get-paid-real-money-from-virtual-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-paid-real-money-from-virtual-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_vitrual_assistant_000052964502.jpg" alt="Woman getting paid to work as a virtual assistant" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Internet age has brought a whole new career to the forefront, one that is only gaining in popularity. A virtual assistant, also referred to as a VA, is typically a self-employed person who provides many different virtual services to their clients. A client could be an individual website owner, or possibly even a corporate company. These services include, but are not limited to, ghostwriting, graphic design, e-mail or social media management, and so many other different tasks that business owners have on their plate on a day-to-day basis.</p> <p>Are you frustrated in your current job and looking to gain more independence? Why not kiss the ol' nine to five goodbye and start earning cold hard cash right from the comfort of your home, on your own terms!</p> <h2>What Exactly Is a Virtual Assistant?</h2> <p>Plainly put, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/9-tips-for-working-with-a-virtual-assistant">a virtual assistant</a> is an administrative assistant who works from a home office. They're highly skilled professionals who business owners are able to trust doing many of the tasks that they either do not have time for, do not like to do, or just aren't able to do. Virtual assistants need to be independent workers, since most of the time their clients will give them a general task that needs to be completed, and it is up to the VA to see that task to completion. No micromanaging here!</p> <p>Depending upon the flexibility, availability, and current workload, virtual assistants don't always work with just one client at a time. Virtual assistants are generally hired on an as-needed basis, so in the time slots that you are available and do not have a pressing task to do, you can always pick up work with another client. It's also possible to work out a monthly retainer agreement, where you offer to provide a set number of hours per month for a flat fee. In either arrangement, it is always a good idea to let your regular clients know if you work with multiple people, especially if it isn't already clear.</p> <p>It's also essential that you keep the details of your tasks confidential. Due to the very private nature of virtual assistant work (it is your client's livelihood, after all!), VAs have to be trustworthy individuals who operate under honesty and integrity. Sometimes they might be required to collaborate with their client on projects and help to solve problems within the business that they do not want divulged. It's also possible that you may be asked to work with competing companies. Decide how you want to handle this in advance and understand that it is usually best to avoid a conflict of interest.</p> <p>You do not need a degree or any special certification to become a VA. While not a lot of experience is required, communication and basic office skills are a must!</p> <h2>How to Get Started</h2> <p>If you're interested in getting started in the VA world, you must realize that you're not going to be successful overnight. It takes a little bit of time to get started, build up your clientele, and allow referrals to come your way. While virtual assisting is a work-at-home job and face-to-face contact with your clients is rare, you must still be good at communicating with your clients, either by e-mail, phone, or services like Skype or Google Chat. Good communication also comes into play when you are trying to sell your services to someone; you have to be able to offer help without sounding spammy.</p> <p>Most VAs start out by &quot;hanging out their shingle&quot; &mdash; or creating a website. This, and a solid social media presence will help clients find you and learn about the various services you are able to provide.</p> <p>Some online professionals choose to purchase domains using their name so they can get their name out there and often it's easier than coming up with something catchy. Other times they wish to operate under a business name and register a domain that way. You can even use a free service such as Blogger. It is also recommended that you create profile on LinkedIn and update it regularly with examples of your work (provided they are not bound by confidentiality agreements).</p> <p>To make your social media footprint larger, sign up for Twitter and create a Facebook business page. Try to keep the same names, or as close to it as possible, across all social media platforms so you can begin to establish your brand and business. Be sure to also follow and engage with people who could become potential clients. For instance &mdash; if you're a content writer, start following blogs that interest you. When you see an article that spurs another article idea, offer to write it for them. This could be the beginning of a great relationship!</p> <h2>How Much Will You Earn?</h2> <p>This is where things can get a bit tricky. With the Internet readily available to people all over the world, there will always be someone willing and able to work for less than you are. While this can be frustrating, it is very important that you do not sell yourself short. Know what you're worth and don't settle for less. This might mean that you lose out on some jobs in the beginning, but your work will start to speak for itself and word will spread at just how quick and detail-oriented you are. This is also why communication is such a key aspect to being a successful virtual assistant.</p> <p>In a survey conducted by VA Networking in 2007, over half of the respondents answered that they charge between <a href="http://www.vanetworking.com/survey/virtual-assistant-statistics.htm">$21&ndash;$40 an hour</a>, with some charging well over that and working full-time hours. You might be thinking that those are seasoned virtual assistants, however the majority of overall respondents have only been in the field for less than a year!</p> <h2>Where to Find VA Jobs</h2> <p>You don't necessarily have to set up accounts for all of these sites, but when you're first getting started, it might help you to get your foot in a few. Once you start receiving a lot of requests for jobs or find the one or two clients that want you regularly, you can always suspend your accounts on the other websites.</p> <p>One thing to note with all of these sites is that it is imperative that you describe your skills and exactly what you're willing to do on a project. In the technology age, with only digital communication, it is easy for things to get murky. Be upfront and honest and it will earn you repeat business in the future.</p> <h3>Fiverr</h3> <p><a href="http://tracking.fiverr.com/aff_c?offer_id=1441&amp;aff_id=4437">Fiverr</a> is a website where virtual assistants can post their gigs, starting out at $5. This is a great place to get started since Fiverr is widely used and popular and it helps you to get more experience under your belt. It also helps you to see what different projects people are hiring for and just how long it will take you to finish various projects, so you know just how much you should charge in the future.</p> <h3>Upwork</h3> <p><a href="https://www.upwork.com/">Upwork</a> is similar to Fiverr, however freelancers are able to charge per hour or by project. The freedom to pick your rates per project makes Upwork a favorite among freelancers. Due to the popularity and surge of freelancers using it in recent years, however, it makes it tough to get started.</p> <h3>VirtualAssistants</h3> <p><a href="http://www.virtualassistants.com/">VirtualAssistants.com</a> has been featured in many well-known publications and is known widely throughout the field. All jobs are prescreened, so you know that you won't be getting into a scam when applying for a potential virtual assistant job.</p> <h3>Virtual Office Temps</h3> <p><a href="http://www.virtualassistantjobs.com/">Virtual Office Temps</a> is a lot like online classified postings, with the ability to post jobs or find them, whether they be part or full-time. It also offers free training, testing, and certification to help you to gain credibility.</p> <h3>Facebook</h3> <p>There are also many Facebook groups dedicated to specific jobs for virtual assistants, and they can be found by doing a quick search using the top toolbar.</p> <p>Are you starting to see your life as a virtual assistant? This flexible job can be perfect for working a part-time schedule, but it also offers the potential for going full-time from home.</p> <p><em>Have you worked as a VA? Please share your experience in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-paid-real-money-from-virtual-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-terrible-work-from-home-jobs-you-should-avoid">8 Terrible Work-From-Home &quot;Jobs&quot; You Should Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-money-as-a-chat-or-forum-moderator">How to Make Money as a Chat or Forum Moderator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-a-legit-virtual-assistant-job">How to Find a Legit Virtual Assistant Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/check-out-these-5-legit-mystery-shopping-gigs">Check Out These 5 Legit Mystery Shopping Gigs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Job Hunting telecommuting va virtual assistants work from home Mon, 11 May 2015 09:00:11 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1414195 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Tips for Working With a Virtual Assistant http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/9-tips-for-working-with-a-virtual-assistant <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/9-tips-for-working-with-a-virtual-assistant-gregory-go" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/9-tips-for-working-with-a...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/9-tips-for-working-with-a-virtual-assistant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-woman-headset-computer-iStock_000007223299XSmall.jpg" alt="business woman on phone and computer" title="Business woman on phone and computer / iStockphoto" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last week, we talked about how to go about <a href="https://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/how-to-find-and-hire-a-virtual-assistant-for-your-small-business-gregory-go">finding, vetting and hiring a virtual assistant</a>. Today, we'll talk about what to do once you've hired a virtual assistant.</p> <p>When people say &quot;virtual assistant,&quot; they might mean different things. For the purpose of this article, we're talking about <strong>remote administrative help</strong>, and assume the following three things:</p> <ol> <li><strong>They work remotely.</strong> Your VA will not be sitting next to you in your office or someplace near. All your communication will be online or on the phone, and you may never meet your VA face-to-face even if you work with them for years. A remote working relationship has its own quirky challenges.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>They're global.</strong> That is, they don't live and work in the same state or country as you. The customs, laws and standard business practices they know may be different from the ones affecting you.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>They're generalists, and not domain experts.</strong> For the purpose of this article, we'll assume your VA is not a domain or industry expert. They provide <em>administrative</em> help, not specific consulting.</li> </ol> <p>Now that we're on the same page about what a VA is and isn't, let's get to work!</p> <h2>9 tips for working with your virtual assistant</h2> <p><strong>1. Establish your workflow early.</strong></p> <p>Do you expect your VA to be available at certain hours of the day, everyday? Or can they mostly work on longer tasks and just give weekly updates? Set expectations for when you want to be online and available to reduce the frustration from not being able to reach your VA when you need them the most.</p> <p>Discuss your potential task list with your VA. Hopefully, you already did this during the vetting and hiring phase, but it helps to go through the list again with your VA after you've hired them. If you're hiring a firm, the VA assigned to you may not be the same person you talked to while interviewing the firm. By giving your VA an idea of the work coming down the pipe, they can better prepare for it. When you're dealing with a firm, that might mean getting sub-VAs that specialize in the tasks on your list.</p> <p>Ask them to send you a weekly (or daily or monthly, depending on the number of hours you've booked) breakdown of tasks they've done and how long it took each task.</p> <p>Preferred communication. Your VA will be able to handle whatever communications medium you prefer. It may be by phone or IM&nbsp;or email. While you're at it, tell them how you prefer to be reached, at what times and for which problems. You don't want to have your VA sending you an email when they should have called about a question on a time-sensitive project, and conversely, you don't want them calling you at all hours of the night for trivial questions.</p> <p><strong>2. Try different tasks in the beginning to gauge your VAs strengths and weaknesses.</strong></p> <p>During the vetting and hiring phase, hopefully you found a VA that specializes in the tasks you will be assigning. However, and this is especially true of microbusinesses that have few people doing a large variety of work, you may have a range of tasks that require different skillsets. For example, sending you email and responding to responses requires people skills, whereas data entry requires being very detail oriented.</p> <p>When you first start working with your VA, don't be afraid to try different tasks. You may find that your VA can accomplish more than you hoped for. If that's the case, you may assign this VA higher level tasks that require some thinking, and choose to hire a lower cost VA to do the data entry work.</p> <p><strong>3. Give very detailed instructions.</strong></p> <p>When writing instructions, assume nothing and be as specific as possible. At least until you know your VA's ability to &quot;read between the lines&quot; and/or &quot;anticipate your needs,&quot; make sure your instructions contain <em>step-by-step</em> explanations. Do not assume that your VA will be able to infer anything. They work on many types of tasks across all industries, so unless you hired a specialized VA, don't assume they can fill in even the smallest holes in your instructions.</p> <p>Show an example of the finished task if possible. Or give them an example to follow. When assigning a task that involves filling in a spreadsheet, I like to give them the spreadsheet with one or two rows already filled out.</p> <p>Marked up screenshots are a great way to explain a task. The Firefox plugin <a href="https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/5648">FireShot</a> makes it really easy to create a screenshot and add annotations to it.</p> <p>If the task is more involved, you can also use a video screencast. Fellow OPEN Forum contributors Mashable has a <a href="http://mashable.com/2008/02/21/screencasting-video-tutorials/">list of great screencasting software</a> (I like <a href="http://camstudio.org/">CamStudio</a>) and a very comprehensive <a href="http://mashable.com/2008/10/22/how-to-master-screencasts/">guide to making video tutorials</a>.</p> <p><strong>4. Communicate using the appropriate tools.</strong></p> <p>A good VA will be able to use your preferred communications medium, whether it's voice calls, instant messanging, video conference, email, or carrier pigeon.</p> <p>Keep in mind that speaking is about 7 times faster than writing, and about 4 times faster than typing.&nbsp; So once you have a good workflow going with your VA, and you're confident they understand your needs so you can have less detailed instructions, try to integrate faster communication methods into your workflow. However, for longer project-like tasks, written instructions are better so your VA can reference it.</p> <p>I like to use email as the primary medium. It's good for giving initial instructions and getting delivery of work. For more immediately communication, we'll use IM and sometimes voice calls (<a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/technology/article/how-to-use-skype-for-business-communications">using Skype</a> makes international calls free). IM is especially good for asking quick questions while doing the task.</p> <p><strong> 5. When you assign the task, ask the VA to verify that they understand the task.</strong></p> <p>For example, you can add one or more of the following into your instructions:</p> <ul> <li>Tell me exactly what you're going to do to accomplish this task. (Basically, ask them to explain the task back to you.)</li> <li>What is your estimate for how long this task will take?</li> <li>Is anything I said unclear at all? Do you have ANY questions?</li> </ul> <p>What you're looking for is verification that your VA understands the goals of the task and your instructions for accomplishing it. By asking for this verification up-front, it lessens the chance your VA will waste the time you've paid for doing the wrong thing.</p> <p>The key: make sure your VA acknowledges and understands the task <em>before</em> they start working on it.</p> <p><strong>6. Check in on the task about 10-20% of the way in.</strong></p> <p>If you expect a task to take 10 hours, ask the VA to come back after 1-2 hours with their progress. This will allow you to:</p> <ol> <li>check their work to make sure their interpretation of the task jives with your expectations,</li> <li>update instructions to streamline the task, or</li> <li>cancel the task if it turns out to be a bad idea.</li> </ol> <p><strong>7. Allocate two to three times more time for the task.</strong></p> <p>If you can do the task in an hour, expect your remote assistant to take 2-3 hours.</p> <p>In the beginning, when you guys are just getting used to each other, it might take 3-4 hours. Once you've gotten into a good working relationship, and have found the perfect assistant for the set of tasks you tend to assign, it may only take the 1-2 hours.</p> <p>But regardless, they will never be as fast as you. Even if you hired locally, the smartest college student you pay minimum wage won't be able to complete your tasks to your specs at your speed. So don't expect miracles.</p> <p><strong>8. Significant savings comes with volume (and trial and error).</strong></p> <p>The first month you work with your virtual assistant, it might actually take you more time to accomplish the task.&nbsp; By the time you write up instructions, vet candidates, get used to working with the remote employee, send back work with more instructions, and spend your time fixing mistakes in the final product, it might take considerably more time than if you had done the task yourself.</p> <p>Some folks will try hiring a VA and give up quickly. Their rationale is &quot;if it takes them as much or more time as me, I'll just do it myself!&quot; But experienced small business owners will take the long-view and realize that even if the VA is not as fast as them, outsourcing low-level work frees them up to accomplish higher-level (higher profit) work.</p> <p>The benefits of outsourcing come once you've found a good remote employee that is well suited to the type of tasks you assign, and when you've learned how to efficiently communicate and work with your virtual assistant.</p> <p>The takeaway: keep the long-term benefits in mind, and don't give up after the first few tasks. The first 100 hours of working with a remote employee is going to feel like an expensive waste. But if you stick it out, you'll see significant cost savings over the next 10,000+ hours.</p> <p><strong>9. Learn from other people's experiences.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/">The Four-Hour Workweek</a> - Tim Ferris' book and site has done more to grow the virtual assistant industry than anymore else in recent memory. Follow Tim's blog to learn about his lifestyle of automating as much work as he can, so he can <a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;218395891;41475468;y?http://www201.americanexpress.com/sbsapp/FMACServlet?request_type=alternateChannels&amp;lpid=300&amp;openeep=17460&amp;ccsgeep=17460">travel</a> the world and live the life he wants. Especially useful links:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2008/01/21/the-holy-grail-how-to-outsource-the-inbox-and-never-check-email-again/">The Holy Grail: How to Outsource the Inbox and Never Check Email Again</a>&nbsp;describes the processes Tim uses to have his VAs be his frontline email corresponder.</li> <li><a href="http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2007/10/25/weapons-of-mass-distractions-and-the-art-of-letting-bad-things-happen/">The Art of Letting Bad Things Happen</a> - When you trust someone else to do the work you know you can do really well, some bad things will happen. As Tim says, &quot;oftentimes, in order to do the big things, you have to let the small bad things happen.&quot; And as the owner, you're the only one who can do The Big Things, so it's necessary to let some small things slide.</li> </ul> <p><a href="http://www.productivity501.com/ultimate-virtual-assistant-guide/813/">Ultimate Virtual Assistant Guide</a>&nbsp;(Productivity 501) - A comprehensive look at the author's experiment in hiring a remote virtual assistant. Mark looked at <a href="http://upwork.com">Upwork</a> and other freelance marketplaces, big Indian VA firms (like <a href="http://www.b2kcorp.com/">Brickwork India</a> and <a href="https://getfriday.com/">GetFriday</a>), and eventually settled on a local personal assistant. Great tips and research in this article. Definitely worth a bookmark.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/outsourcing-your-life-and-creating-new-businesses">Outsourcing Your Life</a>&nbsp;(Wise Bread) - This article by <a href="https://www.openforum.com/search/tag/nora%20dunn">OPEN Forum contributor Nora Dunn</a> explains how even a full-time world traveller like her can use VAs to lighten the load and enjoy life more. It's not just for business!</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "platinum"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/greg-go">Greg Go</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/9-tips-for-working-with-a-virtual-assistant">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/outsourcing-your-life-and-creating-new-businesses">Outsourcing Your Life, and Creating New Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ramp-up-your-business-by-specializing">Ramp Up Your Business by Specializing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-freelance-jobs-that-pay-surprisingly-well">11 Freelance Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center outsourcing virtual assistants Thu, 20 Aug 2009 02:32:12 +0000 Greg Go 3487 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Find and Hire a Virtual Assistant for Your Small Business http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-to-find-and-hire-a-virtual-assistant-for-your-small-business <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/how-to-find-and-hire-a-virtual-assistant-for-your-small-business-gregory-go" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/how-to-find-and-hire-a-vi...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/how-to-find-and-hire-a-virtual-assistant-for-your-small-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/virtualassistance.jpg" alt="Virtual Assistance" title="Virtual Assistance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="186" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've read <a href="http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/">Tim Ferriss' 4-Hour Work Week</a> or any number of productivity blogs, you'll get a sense of the excitement small business owners have for hiring Indian virtual assistants. The hope is to hire an entry-level, college-graduate backoffice employee for around $5 per hour. But it's not as easy as putting up a flyer at the local community college. Working with someone remotely (ie., not physically in your office), and in another country, presents some unique challenges.</p> <p>In the end, it'll cost about $10-15 per hour, but you'll have an employee that is a college graduate (sometimes with advanced degrees) at around minimum wage. And if you hire a firm, instead of an individual, you can get multiple expertise in &quot;one employee.&quot;</p> <p>Following are 10 tips for finding, vetting and hiring a virtual assistant.</p> <p><strong>1. Don't expect them to be experts.<br /> </strong></p> <p>A VA is not a super-human who can do every task you have to assign. Don't expect your VA to have specific industry expertise or to be able to accomplish higher level business strategy thinking. For those higher level tasks, you'll need to hire a specialized consultant or firm.</p> <p>For project based work, it might make more sense to contract out that project specifically. The benefits of hiring on a project basis include:</p> <ul> <li>a clear end date, so you're not stuck in a long-term contract with a badly performing employee;</li> <li>greater expertise because presumably, you're hiring a firm or freelancer who specializes in that type of work.</li> </ul> <p>Sometimes you have a need for a mix of project and ongoing work. For example, let's say you need to build a website or ecommerce storefront. It might make more sense to hire a web design firm that specializes in building ecommerce stores (flat project fee), and then sign a retainer contract with them for maintenance work.</p> <p>To clarify, you can hire all kinds of expertise, from IT gurus to business consultants and everything in between, from India and other popular outsourcing nations. But they aren't selling their services as &quot;virtual assistants.&quot; They're specialized service providers, and hiring that group of contractors is not what we're talking about here.</p> <p><strong>2. Think of your VA as an entry-level college grad willing to work for minimum wage.</strong></p> <p>Good tasks to outsource to a VA are ones where the procedure is relatively simple, there aren't a lot of decision points (if any) in the workflow, and is a repetitive process.&nbsp; For example:</p> <ul> <li>data entry: like entering hundreds of products into your ecommerce store;</li> <li>blog or website maintenance: blog posting, comment moderation;</li> <li>research and report: as in doing Internet research and compiling summaries of the data.</li> </ul> <p><strong>3. Make a list of your tasks and categorize them based on the type of work.</strong></p> <p>Before looking for a VA, spend a week or two writing down all the tasks you may want to outsource. Consider both tasks you need to do but don't like doing and tasks that you like to do but haven't found the time. Once you have this list, organize tasks based on the following criteria:</p> <ul> <li>requires domain or industry expertise vs. anyone can do with training;</li> <li>one-off task vs. ongoing tasks.</li> </ul> <p>Tasks that don't require domain expertise are better for outsourcing to an offshore VA. First of all, it's easier to train them to do the task properly. Second, if the task requires specific expertise, you're better off hiring a specialty consultant and/or a full-time, long-term employee who can grow with your company.</p> <p>Tasks that are ongoing are better for assigning to a VA because you'll get a bigger return on the investment of writing up instructions.</p> <p><strong>4. You'll save some money, but it's not going to make or break your business.</strong></p> <p>Speaking very broadly, the minimum hourly rate of an entry-level, college-educated employee in India starts at about $2 per hour. Here in the U.S., the equivalent rate is around $10 per hour (minimum wage plus benefits and perks).</p> <p>At first glance, it seems like you will be able to shave 80% off your administrative payroll, but working with someone thousands of miles away adds significant transactional costs. It will take you more time to explain a task and train them to do it. And since hiring an employee (especially one in a different country) can be a big risk, you may be more confident working with a firm. The firm will have overhead, and will need to turn a profit themselves.</p> <p>In practice, a capable VA that produces good work will cost around $10-15 an hour.&nbsp; For very simple data entry or data compilation (ie., copy-and-paste work), you can find an individual or small firm off Upwork for $5 per hour. For tasks more involved than copy-and-paste, and for quality you'd trust for engagement beyond one project, expect to pay around $10-15 per hour for a VA.</p> <p><strong>5. A firm is better for most small business needs.</strong></p> <p>VA service providers come in all sizes.&nbsp; Big VA specializing firms include <a href="http://www.b2kcorp.com/">Brickwork India</a> (India), <a href="https://getfriday.com/">Get Friday</a> (India), and <a href="http://www.bpovia.com/">BPOVIA</a> (China). And there are thousands of boutique firms and one-man operations on <a href="https://www.upwork.com/">Upwork</a>.</p> <p>Firms are better if you have diverse tasks. When working with a firm, you'll be assigned one lead VA, who will be your single point of contact. This VA may do the tasks you assign herself, or she could delegate them to a team of other VAs.</p> <p>Firms are also good for slowly scaling up the number of hours you outsource. A freelancing individual will be less able to handle swings in contracted hours from month to month.</p> <p>An individual is good if you're always assigning the same task. For example, if you want help for managing the product pages on your ecommerce store &mdash; and <em>only</em> that specific work &mdash; then it might make sense to hire a freelance expert for that task. Without the overhead of a firm, individuals can have a lower hourly rate <em>if</em> you commit to more hours.</p> <p><strong>6. Interview your potential VA on the phone before hiring them.</strong></p> <p>Whether you're hiring a firm or individual, be sure to talk to them on the phone before you hire them.</p> <p>Have prepared for the interview:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Tasks you want to offload</strong>. When talking to a firm, this information helps them assign a VA to you that is qualified for your type of work.</li> <li><strong>Number of hours you expect to buy</strong>. VAs want to know how many hours a week/month you're committing to so they can plan their own cashflow, client portfolio, and work schedules.</li> <li><strong>Daily expectations of availability</strong>. Do they need to be at work and online at the same time as you?</li> <li><strong>Typical task schedule</strong>. Are you assigning tasks that need immediate resolution or ones that can be worked on at any time over the next few days or weeks?</li> </ul> <p>Ask for this information:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Resume</strong>. Check their educational and work experience.</li> <li><strong>Examples of prior work</strong>. Get actual work product, rather than just descriptions of work done, whenever possible.</li> <li><strong>Non-disclosure agreement</strong>.&nbsp; This contract should be standard with any hire.</li> <li><strong>What are some recent movies they liked? </strong>(See tip #10 regarding cultural considerations.)</li> </ul> <p><strong>7. India isn't your only option.</strong></p> <p>In fact, there are plenty of remote workers right here in the United States. Even if you hire from the U.S. (onshore outsourcing), there may be significant cost savings based on the <a href="http://www.dol.gov/esa/minwage/america.htm">different minimum wages imposed by states</a> and the wide ranging costs of living.</p> <p>Going offshore, India isn't your only option. Europe, Asia (especially the Philippines), and South Africa are becoming big producers of VA providers themselves. The common thread? They all have large English speaking populations and much lower costs of living (compared to the U.S.).</p> <p><strong>8. Don't forget about security.</strong></p> <p>Another reason to go with a big firm -- they tend to have security policies and procedures in place. At a bare minimum, sign a non-disclosure agreement with the service provider. When working with a firm, make sure they also have NDAs with their employees. Also ask the provider what other security measures they take. Some examples:</p> <ul> <li>Do they permanently delete your data once the task or contract is up?</li> <li>Do they have regular backups of data? Do they store these backups offsite?</li> <li>How do they secure physical access to your information? Who can get into the building? Who can get into the data center where the servers are kept?</li> <li>What procedures do they have in place to prevent employees from walking away with sensitive data? (Eg., not allowing USB thumb drives to access work computers, NDA&nbsp;with employees.)</li> </ul> <p><strong>9. Try before you buy.</strong></p> <p>Try hiring freelancers for one-off projects from Upwork first. This will give you some experience in dealing with a remote worker. Plus reading the submitted bids and browsing the providers on Upwork will give you a sense of the quality and expertise available out there.</p> <p>Upwork is like eBay for individual freelancers and boutique firms. It's better than doing a Google search because on Upwork, the service provider has at least articulated their expertise in a concise form and have established a reputation based on reviews from past clients.</p> <p>I've hired people on Upwork for data entry, writing, video editing, and Internet research. Not surprisingly, the lowest cost providers inevitably produce the lowest quality work. And conversely, the providers with the most number of reviews and past jobs provided the best quality work. Just like in real life, (a) you get what you pay for, and (b) nothing beats previous experience and employer references when evaluating a potential new hire.</p> <p>You can also try buying blocks of time from outsourcing firms. Brickwork India and Get Friday offer prepaid blocks of time in 10 hour increments. You'll pay a higher rate (about $15) per hour but it's a good way to fieldtest a firm.</p> <p><strong>10. Consider legal, cultural and language issues when working with offshore help.</strong></p> <p>If you're hiring offshore, remember that your VA lives and works in a different country.</p> <p>If you deal with sensitive <a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;218395891;41475468;y?http://www201.americanexpress.com/sbsapp/FMACServlet?request_type=alternateChannels&amp;lpid=300&amp;openeep=17460&amp;ccsgeep=17460">customer</a> information, consider the legal ramifications before you outsource your entire business to your Indian VA.</p> <p>Although American culture has been exported worldwide in movies and websites, there are still many cultural differences.&nbsp; Even if the tasks you assign don't need your VA to deal with customers or other people, it's still important to consider cultural and language familiarity. This is one reason why a voice interview is so critical before hiring offshore help. It's an important test for whether or not you'll be able to communicate (and work with) your VA.</p> <p><em>Next week, I'll have <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/9-tips-for-working-with-a-virtual-assistant-gregory-go">9 tips for working with your newfound virtual assistant</a>.</em></p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "platinum"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/greg-go">Greg Go</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-to-find-and-hire-a-virtual-assistant-for-your-small-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/outsourcing-your-life-and-creating-new-businesses">Outsourcing Your Life, and Creating New Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ramp-up-your-business-by-specializing">Ramp Up Your Business by Specializing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center virtual assistants Wed, 12 Aug 2009 16:00:03 +0000 Greg Go 3485 at http://www.wisebread.com Outsourcing Your Life, and Creating New Businesses http://www.wisebread.com/outsourcing-your-life-and-creating-new-businesses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/outsourcing-your-life-and-creating-new-businesses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Nora working hard - cropped and compressed.jpg" alt="outsourcing" title="outsourcing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="374" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText">How much is your time worth? If you get paid $25/hour for example, you work long hard hours on a salary (<em>read: no overtime pay</em>), and you have a family that is starting to forget what you look like, then how much is your time worth?</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">In order to gain an hour or two of family time, get out of the office at a decent hour, and save your health, is it worth $12/hour to hire landscapers? $15/hour to organize a terrific birthday party for your child? Or $10/hour to have somebody apply for visas for your next big vacation?</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">If you own a business and are doing nothing but running around putting out fires, how much more money could that business make if there were no fires to put out? Or rather, if somebody else could put them out for you and free you up to start averaging $50, $75, or $200/hour?</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Welcome to the wonderful world of outsourcing.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Tim Ferriss describes this concept beautifully in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/4-Hour-Workweek-Escape-Live-Anywhere/dp/0307353133?tag=wisbre09-20" target="_blank">The 4-Hour Workweek</a>.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">In fact, you can read a <a href="http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/outsourcing-life/" target="_blank">clip from the book here</a>; a humorous and compelling case study for outsourcing your life.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I have read about this concept before. This is not news. I have hired cleaners, delegated taxes to experts (who can complete them in a fraction of the time it takes me and still manage to save me more money), and hired help whenever I could find a way to do so.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">But when I read <a href="http://www.amazon.com/4-Hour-Workweek-Escape-Live-Anywhere/dp/0307353133?tag=wisbre09-20" target="_blank">the book</a>, and more specifically the passage above, I began to realize that it doesn't matter what you do for a living; there is always a way to outsource, make a profit in the end, and have more time to live life.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">You can outsource your life to enjoy a fuller existence and more profitable career. But you can also create new businesses using outsourcing as the platform. Let's explore both.</p> <h2>Outsourcing Your Life</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">When I sold my business to travel full-time and write for a living, I figured I was in it on my own. Shy of sending my taxes to an accountant, what can I possibly outsource? And why on earth should I need to? For goodness sake, I travel full-time; how taxing can that be?!</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Shortly thereafter, I learned that it doesn't matter what you do, or where you do it. There is always a way to find yourself too busy if you aren't careful. Time that was previously filled with client meetings, drafting financial plans, and driving all over the city became filled with visa applications, press work, destination research for articles, actually writing and editing, working part-time in trade for accommodation, internet research and posting&hellip; you get the point.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I am traveling, yet I seem to spend more time at WiFi hotspots than I do actually <strong>seeing</strong> the world.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">So I started to look at how I could outsource my life. Here are just a few ways:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Article Research:</strong> Some articles I wish to write require a lot of research. Since it costs me (in both time and money) to do internet research on the road, I tend to shy away from these projects. If I can get a stack of research done for a small fee, and turn that research into one or many paying articles, I will have a healthy profit and somebody else to have done the grunt work which normally slows me down &mdash; or rather, stops me from starting. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Website design:</strong> I don't have the patience or time to learn how to design and maintain a website, but if I get somebody else on the task&hellip;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Blog postings:</strong> I regularly contribute to a number of blogs. And sometimes, it takes me almost as long to post the articles (especially if I'm in a place with a pitiful connection) as it does to write them. My virtual assistant can post it, take care of the html code, and attach reasonable tags. In fact, they can probably do it considerably more efficiently and effectively than I. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Travel Research:</strong> Instead of buying a travel guide and sifting through information I don't need, or searching on the internet for what I do need, I can have a tidy little report sent to me by my assistant on exactly the things I want to know about my next destination. And there's a potential cost savings in not having to purchase the guidebook too.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Travel Visas:</strong> If you have ever applied for a visa in certain countries with rigorous visa processes, you'll understand why this may be worth outsourcing. It saves both time and headaches. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Income Optimization:</strong> My virtual assistant can consolidate all my online income sources and report some of the specific activities I monitor on a regular basis through avenues like Feedburner, Analytics, and even other avenues I have a desire but no time to monitor.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Increase Traffic:</strong> Anybody who makes money online knows there is but one golden rule to making money &mdash; thou shalt increase traffic. If my assistant can spend the time required to drive traffic to certain portals, my income can increase exponentially. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Personal Tasks:</strong> It's a bit of a stretch past my comfort zone, but I could even outsource the monthly payment of my bills (online), and accounting. I do, however, draw the line at having them correspond with my family and friends for me!</li> </ul> <p class="MsoPlainText">There are a number of dos and don'ts to outsourcing your life and working with <a href="http://www.productivity501.com/ultimate-virtual-assistant-guide/813/">virtual assistants</a>, so I will leave it to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/4-Hour-Workweek-Escape-Live-Anywhere/dp/0307353133?tag=wisbre09-20" target="_blank">The 4-Hour Workweek</a> to explain them, as the author does a bang-up job.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Let's start to think even bigger.</p> <h2>Creating New Businesses</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">I just managed to find ways outsource most of the things that hold me down and keep me from traveling with a clear mind and lighter pack.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">But what about outsourcing as a business?</p> <h3><em><strong>It&rsquo;s pure art in the making.</strong></em></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText">Artists by nature are rarely business-minded people. Entrepreneurial talent and artistic talent utilize different parts of the brain. I wonder if it is one of the reasons you see talented artists (be they visual artists, musicians, or &mdash; ahem &mdash; writers) who aren't "making it big" like you believe they should.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">What if you could pave the way for these artists? To develop a team of virtual assistants, versed in everything it takes to market that mural, or book that gig? And what if you could connect those artists with your talented virtual assistants? The artists become your clients. You then manage their marketing activity via your virtual assistants.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">What's in it for the artist? A well-organized marketing plan, and possibly the big career break they could otherwise spend a life searching for.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">What's in it for you? A cut of the profits for finding the artist, taking them on as a client, and outsourcing the marketing management. It's not cheating; there's still work involved in bringing a team of virtual assistants up to speed (an initial research task which you would be out of pocket for up front), and in soliciting and managing your artistic clients. But once you get even a few clients on board, what a wonderful form of relatively passive income this could be. Heck &mdash; you could even outsource the research on how to find potential clients, and get your virtual assistant to make the prospecting calls and book meetings for you. This leaves you free to work on another outsourcing business. Or drink pina coladas. Your choice.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">This is just one business idea on how to maximize the power of outsourcing. If you take a look at your own profession with fresh eyes, you may find a few ways to do something similar yourself. Heck &mdash; you may even want to outsource your own job.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">So&hellip; how much is your time worth?</p> <h3><strong>Here are some outsourcing resources to get you started:</strong></h3> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.ivaa.org/" target="_blank">International Virtual Assistants Association</a> &mdash; use them to find virtual assistants all over the world. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.yourmaninindia.com/" target="_blank">Your Man In India</a> &mdash; a tool mentioned in <a href="/%3Ca%20mce_thref=%22http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&amp;location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2F4-Hour-Workweek-Escape-Live-Anywhere%2Fdp%2F0307353133%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1211779134%26sr%3D8-1&amp;tag=wisbre09-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325%22%3EThe%204-Hour%20Workweek%3C/a%3E%3Cimg%20mce_tsrc=%22http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wisbre09-20&amp;amp;l=ur2&amp;amp;o=1%22%20width=%221%22%20height=%221%22%20border=%220%22%20alt=%22%22%20style=%22border:none%20%21important;%20margin:0px%20%21important;%22%20/%3E" target="_blank">The 4-Hour Workweek</a>. Poking around there will lead you to <a href="http://www.getfriday.com" target="_blank">Get Friday</a>, where you can hire a virtual assistant to take care of any number of tasks. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.upwork.com/">Upwork</a> &mdash; another portal for outsourcing and locating virtual assistants who can help you simplify your life. You can search for appropriate companies by the task you wish them to complete.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/outsourcing-your-life-and-creating-new-businesses">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-outsourcing-chores-can-save-you-time-and-money">4 Ways Outsourcing Chores Can Save You Time and Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-that-improve-your-health-in-your-home-office">10 Things That Improve Your Health in Your Home Office</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/starting-your-dream-business-is-easier-than-you-think-heres-how">Starting Your Dream Business Is Easier Than You Think — Here&#039;s How</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-deal-what-to-expect-when-starting-your-own-business">The Real Deal: What to Expect When Starting Your Own Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cant-get-a-bank-loan-8-other-ways-to-finance-your-business">Can&#039;t Get A Bank Loan? 8 Other Ways To Finance Your Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Productivity entrepreneurship new business ideas outsourcing The 4-Hour Workweek tim ferriss virtual assistants Tue, 27 May 2008 11:56:24 +0000 Nora Dunn 2129 at http://www.wisebread.com