Posted tagged ‘web’

In defense of my CHEAP Virtual Assitant

February 6, 2009

My last post about my VA search got me lots of comments and a few trackbacks. Laurie and Kimberly, who both run web based businesses, wrote about it on their blog, and with some other people, are telling me you get what you pay for.

True. You always get what you pay for.

Except when you globalize and send labor to a cheap country.

I’d never work for 3 dollars an hour but in India, that is a decent wage. And, my guy in india (not affiliated with the actual service called “myguyinindia” – cool name huh?), works for 3 dollars an hour.

I can say that with cheap labor you do have some problems but with expensive labor you can too. After thinking about it more, I thought I was being a bit unfair. When I was an assistant, it took me some time to get used to my boss and him to me. So my VA has to get used to what I want and expect. That takes more than a week over e-mail.

This week was much better. As he learns what I want on a number of task, I don’t really have any problems. and the research he has come up with is great. Very detailed. I’ve decided to keep him.

Three dollars an hour is great for the tasks I have him do right now- automated, easy, simple. Is he going to be writing me articles and spin articles or sending out link requests? Nope! Laurie and Kimberly are right about that. For that, you need better help. And I plan on getting it. All this article writing for SEO is boring me so I’m going to have someone else do it. That will cost me more than 3 dollars but I’m ok with that. It’s a business expense.

But to the reality of the situation- You get what you pay for doesn’t really apply when the 3 dollars goes a long way in the person’s home country. I work for Asian wages (well top end asian wages) because I’m currently chilling out in Asia. Plus it’s easy and simple work I have to do. But why pay someone an American/Western wage when I get that same task down for a fraction of the price.

That is why businesses offshore. Save money. Cut costs. Welcome to a globalized world. Don’t believe me? Check out a site like elance! You’ll find people from all over the world selling their services and competing against each other.

For higher end stuff, I want some one with more skills. My article writer will probably be western, my VA is indian, my flash designer is Korean, my business partner (Christine from Almost Fearless and I are partnering) is American, and my social marketer (who I’ll hire when I get these new sites up and running) lives in Romania. Welcome the 21st century.

The internet allows me to get the best people all around the world and it is in that market that VAs compete.

Why pay more for something I can get cheap? My VA does what I need cheap. For 3 dollars an hour, I’ll type a more detailed explanation.

In Search of a Virtual Assistant

January 31, 2009

Running multiple websites is very time consuming, especially when I want to launch three more this month.  To help manage all the work and research, I have decided to hire a virtual assitant. Why not outsource all the grunt work and concentrate on the high value money making stuff.

VAs can range from 3 dollars to like 20 dollars an hour depending on what country you hire them in.  I went for the three dollars an hour b/c I have simple tasks and a tiny budget.

So far no luck.  I’m on my third VA.  The first one never did the work, the second one never did it on time or told me of problems, and this one is a mixed bag.  The current VA gives me excellent work but doesn’t do all of the work.  I’ve sent him a few annoyed/angry e-mail about it. I hope he explains himself. But if he doesn’t give a good explanation, it is off to find VA #4.

I mean how hard is it to submit my articles? I give them everything they need, they just need to cute and paste. Same with directory submission and social media submission.  Yet apprently that is too hard.  I might have to move up the value chain and pay someone more money, which means I am going to have to use them less which means I’ll have to do more work myself…

Why is it so hard to find good help?  Why!

I’m hoping this current one does work out because the work he does do is excellent and amazing and I want to keep him!