I have just recently come across this article and as I was reading it through, I had the eureka moment of mine. Flat Earth, eh? Are you going to believe it if the NY Times is writing about it?
Well… you must. In the era of digitalization, we are the most resourceful humans ever alive with endless possibilities and with no blurred horizons. But if you have doubts, here is a quick summary: the article gives you a bit of an idea of how outsourcing changed the game in business and flattened the world of (job) opportunities. Geographical limitations are not more than just numbers that can be overcome easily by taking the next plane. Or in our case, giving a call or writing an e-mail.
In 2009 I had to phonecall my bank in Ireland. As a non-native, I was afraid that I wasn’t going to get their Irish accent. But then the agent had picked up a phone and started to speak in an accent that I knew very well at that time. Later I learned that my bank just outsourced their call center to India due to the increased number of their clients. Outsourcing quickly converted to the number one tool to solve issues that comes together with a growing business. Usual practices for big companies. But what about you and your small or middle-sized business?
Outsourcing can save you money, that is very true. But only if you plan it carefully and you have other reasons to outsource apart from the financials. Think about it. You are an entrepreneur and your most precious thing is your time and energy. We all know those „just a 10-minute work”: sending an e-mail, creating an excel sheet, printing and sending documents via airmail. If you are constantly interrupted with small things, it can become harder and harder to focus on the bigger picture. Your expertise and excellence won’t shine long if you stuck with day-to-day tasks that can be either automated or outsourced to a virtual assistant. Yes, I said virtual. Ask yourself this question: does your assistant really needs to sit with you for hours in the same room?
Oh, well. Not exactly. A huge selection of communication platforms nowadays will provide you the proximity that you need. Even though your colleagues live in a diffeent time zone than you. What is crucial in this cooperation is to set up a work frame, to define clear processes that your virtual assistant or coworker can follow and all those small things won’t bother you anymore. It takes a bit from your time in the beginning but this is the kind of investment that worth it.
And speaking about the gold: virtual assistants are effective in terms of cost and time. They are not hired in a regular contract base so you only pay for the job that is actually done. And hiring a skillful virtual assistant is, sorry about the term, but priceless: they can do a wide variety of tasks that normally your HR advisor would hire three different people. So keep up with your competitors and make a list of what tasks that take away your attention from your core work. Save time and money, because having a virtual assistant has been never been easier than it is now.