Why use a UK Virtual Assistant rather than a cheaper one from the Philippines?
When I first set up my business as a UK Virtual Assistant, I had very little idea of how to charge for my services. So I checked out my fellow VAs’ rates and priced myself accordingly. I took into account my years of experience in the Corporate world, my level of expertise, high standards and the cost of living in my area.
Since then I’ve found out that you can hire a Virtual Assistant based in the Philippines for as little as $3 an hour. So why then would a potential client hire me?
I work in the UK, on UK time zones and am available during normal office hours. Working with a VA in the Philippines means working with someone who is 7 hours ahead in summer and 8 hours ahead in winter. So if you’ve asked someone in the Philippines to organise a travel schedule, and you need to cancel at the last minute, chances are your VA will be unavailable.
I, and the majority of UK based Virtual Assistants, make sure we have up to date Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance for our businesses and are able to provide proof to our clients should they wish to see it. You can’t be 100% sure a VA in the Philippines would hold the same level or any insurance. So what happens if they make a mistake? And that mistake costs your company dearly? Your company name is at stake and without insurance to cover errors, you could end up with a very bad reputation. Is your business really worth the risk?
No matter how good their English is, it’s unlikely that a Philippine VA would have the same level of competence as someone who’s first language is English. This is particularly important if the work is copy writing, blogs, newsletters, social media updates or proof reading. You may end up having to spend hours correcting spelling, grammar and punctuation in order to get the desired result. And let’s face it, you hired a VA to do this for you, so why do it again yourself?
Many UK Virtual Assistants come from Corporate backgrounds and with that comes years of experience. I worked in the Corporate world for 16 years and got used to handling heavy workloads, multiple managers, and complex arrangements. For just $3 an hour, it’s unlikely you’d receive that level of competence and expertise. Nor would you get the flexibility that goes hand in hand with hiring a UK Virtual Assistant. We understand the necessity to put our clients’ needs first. If that means sometimes working at weekends or evenings, we will do it.
If you hire a UK Virtual Assistant, you are essentially hiring a contractor. That means you don’t need to pay holiday or sick pay. There’s no National Insurance or PAYE. You don’t need to find a space in the office or buy a computer. You pay for the hours we work and can be assured of high quality work delivered on time. Once you’ve found a VA you know, like and trust, you can forge an excellent working relationship together, leaving you free to manage your business. And that, my friends, is worth it’s weight in gold.
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