Outsourcing Advantages and Disadvantages: What You Need to Know Before You Hire a Virtual Assistant
Outsourcing can feel like a double-edged sword. On one hand, virtual assistants, contractors, and other outsourced help can free up your time so you can focus on things that are most important to your business. On the other hand, outsourcing requires trust in someone outside of your company – which is scary! If you’re unsure if hiring a virtual assistant is right for your business and whether or not the pros of outsourcing outweigh the cons, read on to find out everything you need to know before deciding to hire an assistant. From cost and time savings to risks, there are upsides and downsides to consider when working with a virtual assistant.
What is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the practice of hiring a virtual assistant or contractor to take on a portion of your company’s work. You can outsource any type of work that isn’t a core function of your business. Examples include administrative work, data entry, marketing, programming, research, and many other tasks that don’t directly contribute to your core business functions. You can find VAs on sites like TaskBullet, where you can post tasks and have a dedicated virtual assistant complete them. You can also find virtual assistants on sites like BRESS, a virtual real estate business. You can outsource virtually any task as long as it isn’t a core function of your business. For example, you may want to hire a virtual assistant to help with your social media marketing. Though social media is a part of marketing, it doesn’t directly contribute to your bottom line. Outsourcing this work to a virtual assistant allows you to scale back on marketing efforts without hurting the overall health of your business.
Advantages of Outsourcing
- Cost savings - The most obvious advantage of outsourcing is a decrease in costs for your business. Although outsourcing isn’t necessarily cheap, it’s often less expensive than hiring an on-site employee. - Time savings - Time is money, after all! Outsourcing can save you time in terms of program or project management, administrative work, marketing, and more. When you outsource, hiring someone full-time is no longer an option. You’re hiring someone part-time – and it makes sense that you’d need to prioritize what work to outsource. - Expertise - Hiring someone full-time who isn’t a part of your team may make it difficult for that person to feel a part of the business (especially if you’re growing quickly). Outsourcing allows you to bring in expertise without having to hire a full-time employee. - Risk mitigation - Risk is inherent in the business world, but outsourcing helps you mitigate the risk of work that you don’t need to do. Outsourcing administrative tasks, marketing, and more allows you to focus on core functions directly tied to your bottom line. - Focus - One of the most important advantages of outsourcing work is that it allows you to focus on your core functions. It frees up your time when you bring someone on board to handle administrative tasks.
Disadvantages of Outsourcing
- Risk - Risk is inherent in outsourcing work to any employee, in-house or virtual. You’re essentially trusting a third party who isn’t you to do the work you need to be done. - Trusting the right person - It’s essential to trust the right person when outsourcing to anyone, whether it is a VA or an in-house employee. You need to trust that your assistant handles the work you’ve given them. - Getting the work done correctly - It’s challenging to ensure that work is being done correctly when an employee is doing it. Outsourcing work to the wrong person can be disastrous for your business. - Need for flexibility - Outsourcing work to VAs means that you’re hiring someone who can be flexible with their schedule. Like with in-house employees, this isn’t always ideal, particularly if you’re growing quickly and need help at any given moment. - Perspective - One of the most significant disadvantages of outsourcing is that you’re hiring someone who may not have the same understanding of company culture as you and your team. Outsourcing work to give your team a break and reduce stress is one thing; outsourcing work that’s crucial to your business is another.
When is the Right Time to Outsource?
There is no clear-cut time to outsource work. However, it is vital to use common sense when determining the best time to outsource work. When you have an influx of work, and you’re struggling to keep up with the workload, that’s a good sign to outsource work. Likewise, if there are specific tasks that bog you down regularly and eat up a lot of your time, those are good candidates to outsource. Keep in mind that outsourcing shouldn’t be a knee-jerk reaction to increased workload. It’s important to assess the situation and determine what tasks make the most sense to outsource so that you don’t bite off more than you can chew.
How to Find the Right Virtual Assistant?
The first step in finding the right virtual assistant (VA) is determining the type of work you want to outsource. This will help you to create a job description and determine the rate you’re willing to pay for each type of work. It’s essential to research the average pay rates for different types of work, but keep in mind that rates can vary greatly based on experience and location. After determining where you want to look for VAs, creating a profile is next. Make sure to clearly state what type of work you’re looking to outsource, what your timeline is, and what your ideal candidate looks like. This will help you to find candidates who are a good fit for the work you want to outsource.
The Bottom Line
Outsourcing can be a great way to off-load work, scale back on hiring, and free up your time. Outsourcing work isn’t without its challenges, but it’s important to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing before choosing to bring in help outside your company. You need to decide if outsourcing is the right move for your business and if the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks. And remember, outsourcing isn’t right for every business. Assessing your options is essential if you struggle to keep up with your workload.
BUCKET SYSTEM vs. Employee
Sure, you could hire an ordinary employee to help grow your business, but do you really have enough small tasks to fill up 40 hours per week or even 20 hours per week every single week? If not, that employee will be spending downtime on your dime.
TaskBullet has eliminated this problem with what we call the BUCKET SYSTEM. Your remote employee will clock in when you need them and clock out when you don't. (Learn how it works here) With a remote personal assistant, you pay for the hours you need and nothing more. You'll save money on not having to provide employee benefits, office space, office supplies (computer, desk, coffee, etc.); oh, and did I mention downtime?
Your remote personal assistant will come with his or her own supplies, a strong education (TaskBullet virtual assistants have university degrees), and deep professional background. When you hire a virtual sales assistant from TaskBullet, you are also assigned a project manager to ensure that everything runs smoothly. What are you waiting for? Hire a remote personal assistant today and get your time back!