I recently asked the question on LinkedIn, “Why wouldn’t you hire a Virtual Assistant?”
While a few of the answers were typical, there was one comment that really stood out. Maria Marsala provided the following comment;
“Some don’t take themselves seriously as a business owner. They need to create contracts, etc.
I didn’t hire a VA once because her prices were way too low. Since I didn’t know her work, I didn’t know if she was just broke and needed the money or unskilled.”
I found this interesting and the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much this statement and the reality of price actually encompasses.
Think about it, if you are truly running a Virtual Assistant business, then you would be concerned with security (a major focus), reputation, customer service, continuing education (a huge differentiation), proper accounting, confidentiality (another major concern), legal protection, and efficiency.
In comparison, if you are just trying to make a few extra bucks on the side, then you really only care about income and keeping your overhead as low as possible, usually at the expense of building the necessary infrastructure to support and sustain the needs of your customers.
This all comes back to the issue of cost. Someone who is truly running a Virtual Assisting business, and investing both the time and money necessary to ensure the quality and security that their clients can depend on, will generally have to charge a higher price in order to remain in business. Here’s a post about what qualities to look for in a Virtual Assistant.
The next time you are considering outsourcing, think twice before you hire the cheapest person you find, after all it’s often true that “you get what you pay for”.
A rather simple example that comes to mind for me is travel coffee mugs. I bought a travel mug for $5 at a major retailer; it seemed like a good mug, at a great price. However, it didn’t fit in any of the cup holders in my car. I went back and bought a different mug for about the same price. This one didn’t hold a full cup of coffee without leaking. I bought a third, this one didn’t keep my coffee hot for more than 30 minutes. Finally, I broke down and bought a $20 mug from Starbucks. It’s perfect, holds a full medium coffee, without spilling, fits in all of my cup holders, and keeps it hot for hours. Had I done this to begin with, I would have saved $15 and a lot of space in my cabinet. Lesson learned.
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