If you consider hiring a virtual assistant, you carefully have to weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing.
The Video that inspired this page
With Outsourcing Expert Tyrone Shum
Like many things in life, there are
- arguments that support outsourcing
- and others that make outsourcing look much less attractive.
The Pros of Outsourcing
This website is about learning how to efficiently hire and work with a virtual assistant. We obviously strongly believe in the process of personal outsourcing.
This doesn’t stop us from thinking and being open to critical opinions, too.
But first, let’s list what positive aspects outsourcing can bring to your life.
Outsourcing Your Work – Free up Your Time
Time is of infinite value:
The main reason you would invest effort and money into outsourcing your work to a virtual assistant is to save precious time.
Every one of us has a limited amount of time. That is the one thing you can never get more of.
So, everything that frees up your time that is affordable to you is good game.
Personally, I discovered outsourcing when I was in a really busy time in college. I was interested in doing many projects but just didn’t have the time.
To get more free time I got started with outsourcing.
Until now, outsourcing has saved me about at least 2000 hours. Or – in other words – let’s just say it saved me a year.
How much would you pay to get an extra year in your life?
Another positive aspect of saving time with outsourcing:
If you re-invest the saved time into the same project your virtual assistant is working on – you double your working speed.
How much is working at double speed worth to you?
An Advantage of Outsourcing: Your Projects and Businesses Can Grow That Much Faster
A direct consequence of saving time with outsourcing is to leverage that time to accelerate or make possible a new project in your life.
It doesn’t have to be to start an online business. You can just as well use the saved time to:
- Spend quality time with your family
- Start a new hobby
- Regenerate your body
- Take care of your health
- Or to take up new sports
The list is endless. How would you profit from more free time?
Making good use of your additional free time is one of the biggest lessons you can take away from these pros and cons of outsourcing.
Hiring an Assistant Gives You Access to Skills You Might Not Have
- If you hire a programmer, you get programming work done, even if you don’t know how to program even one line of code yourself.
- If you hire a professional designer, he can create something beautiful that you’d never been able to do.
Let me tell you an example from my past.
When I outsourced some complex data entry job to an assistant in India called Shailesh, he surprised me not only by his great perseverance and concentration, but also with the skill set of extreme knowledge of Microsoft Office.
In general, most virtual assistants that I worked with, especially from the area of India, were real Microsoft office wizards…!
They used functions I’ve even seen before.
So, even if you are not a professional website creator, you still will profit from the PowerPoint, Excel and data analysis skills most VAs have.
Thinking about the Cons of Outsourcing
If you’ve watched the video at the start of this post, you are also aware of some disadvantages of outsourcing.
But even if done privately, there are disadvantages with outsourcing.
It can be Expensive
Hiring a virtual assistant from a country where the cost of living is much lower than your own can be affordable, on the short term.
However, if you hire a person full-time over several months, the money will add up.
Personally, I estimate that I have spent about $4000 at least into doing outsourcing.
If you follow modern opinion in the media or the newspaper, then there is a heated discussions going on about American jobs being outsourced.
This is not what I am going to talk about.
What I am talking about is personal outsourcing with private projects
- that you want to do
- but don’t have the time to do,
- and can afford to outsource to a VA for yourself.
This does not mean you have to expect spending that amount of money.
I got involved into many projects and hired a multitude of different assistants over the years. Still, this is money that I’ve spent and there is no talking around it.
The good news:
You don’t have to spend as much money.
Hopefully, you will follow along my tips, tricks and details about how I work with my virtual assistant.
I am being completely open on this website. Just by following along you can learn a lot and avoid a lot of costly mistakes that I made in the past.
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Outsourcing Can Take a Lot of Time
Now this is a concept that is difficult to understand, but think about it.
You start outsourcing and you are very new about it. You already have an assistant hired and ready to work for you.
But you cannot just expect him to take over your work without of any instructions. So you need to give your virtual assistant some training.
Luckily, there are tools that can make your life easier.
Video instructions especially are a tool that in my opinion saves a lot of time. But even then you will have time losses by managing your virtual assistant.
Personally, I take either
- about 10 minutes a day
- or on the weekend a chunk of one or two hours a week
to manage my virtual assistant.
Managing can also mean giving him new work. So it is not so much time lost than time invested.
Not Every One Will Understand It If You Get Involved in Private Outsourcing
There are strong opinions about the topic of outsourcing. People will not be understanding and might even criticize you for it.
I’ve had discussions where others tried to convince me how bad it was of me to hire someone from a country poorer than mine.
One especially intense debate let to the creation of a whole sub-section of this website about ethical outsourcing.
But even if you apply all the lessons there, you might make yourself not popular with all of your friends if you tell them you have a virtual assistant.
This is something you have to be prepared for.
On the other hand, working with a virtual assistant might not be compatible with your own style. I think of myself as a relatively flexible and innovative thinker that likes to think outside of the box.
If the concept of giving a person that you cannot even meet face-to-face is giving you a headache, then perhaps outsourcing is not the right thing for you.
But you will never know until unless you try it.
Bottom Line – Make It a Win-Win Situation for Everyone
There are many pros and cons of outsourcing. Everyone has to make a personal choice about what is right for them.
Personally, I’ve made the choice for myself. My virtual assistant has also made the choice for himself and stuck around with me for over two years now.
We both try our best to keep the business partner happy on a long term basis.
And that’s how you should think about your virtual assistant:
- He is not your “slave”.
- He is your business partner… your equal.
You need the work of your virtual assistant. And your virtual assistant enjoys the money he gets for that.
Think of the situation as a win-win situation for everyone.
That’s what you should aim for. Then you can make outsourcing work for you.
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