Hiring Archives - Virtual Latinos

5 Problems Real Estate Companies Have and How Virtual Assistants Can Help

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What Are the Top 5 Problems Real Estate Companies Have?

There are few things more frustrating than knowing exactly what it is that you need to get done to achieve the next level in your business and not being able to find an obvious way to execute it. We all know more or less exactly what we need to do in order to make more money as a real estate agent: you have to know the territory, you have to fill out the loans and contracts, you have to get more potential homebuyers in the door, and you have to manage to fit all this into a 24-hour day.

With some good help, you could easily increase your ROI and spend more time closing sales and less time doing paperwork. So, let’s explore how real estate virtual assistants can help you get to that future.

1. Getting People in the Door

Your day-to-day when you’re at your best should be closing deals, showing houses, and making sure that you’re ready to face whatever unexpected challenges the day throws your way. But for that to happen, you have to make sure that you’re getting people in every day and that those people are actually serious about buying a house. It doesn’t do you any good to waste your day talking to people who are just looking when there’s someone around the corner ready and excited to buy what you have.

2. Customer Service and Initial Sales

When it comes to reaching out to customers and addressing their concerns and questions, the well can be truly endless. One particularly needy client or one incommunicado client can eat up hours of your day and cause stress that takes years off your life. By having your virtual assistant fielding your calls, you can save yourself those headaches and those countless hours while also giving your customer the sense that they are always important and that you or someone in your office is always available.

3. Scheduling

Making certain that you get to every single appointment and finding time for every single appointment is an eternal struggle for a realtor. In addition to being able to help you out with all of your marketing and communication, a virtual assistant can help you get to where you need to be when you need to be, managing your calendar to ensure that you’re never over-booked or under-booked.

4. The Eternal Mountain of Administration

If you’re thinking of getting virtual help, administrative duties are probably the first priorities on your mind. The hundreds of little details build up quickly in any business and can clutter your desk and your schedule.

5. Becoming Fully Independent

Perhaps less a problem, and more of an aspiration, many realtors eventually want to open their own business and be fully independent if they are not already at this place in their careers. However, it can be extremely difficult getting to this place with all of the extra day-to-day tasks and costs of running a real estate business. With more traditional modes of business, it can feel like being fully independent is always just out of reach.

To hire a full-time employee, you have to take care of so many additional costs and have on hand a whole additional person’s salary every month. In short, to break out independently, you need to already have the kind of cash you’d make from breaking out independently. It’s a catch-22.

How Can Virtual Assistants Help Solve These Problems?

In real estate, there are so many time-consuming tasks that can eat into your bottom line and your potential to grow. Hiring a real estate virtual assistant can help you deal with all of these extra tasks, so you can focus on the more important parts of your business.

Virtual assistants represent a middle ground between bringing on someone full-time locally at a higher cost and attempting to go it alone and shouldering every bit of labor that would take. Virtual assistants are readily scalable to the amount of work you need and the cost you can afford. They are also less expensive than traditional labor, as you don’t have to pay all the expenses associated with hiring a full-time employee yourself.

What Are Some of the Tasks That Real Estate Virtual Assistants Can Perform?

Real estate virtual assistants can help a business in so many ways. While each business and situation is unique, a real estate virtual assistant can perform any of the following tasks and more.

Marketing Research and Execution

One of the most essential virtual assistant real estate services is marketing. By completing market research, your virtual assistant will help you to get the most relevant leads for your buck. VAs can also take the brunt of following up on these insights by taking over the task of converting them into email and social media marketing campaigns, dramatically increasing your reach.

Graphic Design

A lot of real estate agents also have their virtual assistants take over the management of the graphic design for their materials, which allows you to have timely in-house documents and ads drafted up rapidly by someone who’s integrated with your on-the-ground projects. An assistant with graphic design experience can help give your social media, website, and other documents a polished look.

Social Media and Website Coordination

We’ve all seen those poor, neglected websites that are so out of date that it makes you question whether the business is serious about their work. We’ve also all likely seen those situations where something is shared to Facebook but not Twitter, or the Instagram or YouTube channel but nothing else. A virtual assistant can help to maintain uniformity and coordination across your social media platforms and your website to present a unified front that your customers can trust.

Cold and Warm Calling

A huge amount of time goes into responding to warm leads and cold calling new potential buyers. If you agree on a script and tone with your virtual assistant, that entire set of tasks can vanish overnight for you, changing your practice from hunting down ghosts to only having your time filled by pre-qualified candidates who are ready to move forward with showings and negotiations.

Follow-Ups: One of the Most Powerful Tools

Many business owners find that they have trouble getting around to every follow-up with every client, despite how valuable that call really is. A virtual assistant can take over that responsibility for you, helping you finalize details on an interaction that really takes it to a proper close.

Keeping Timelines Organized

A good VA will ensure that all of your deals are on track from intake to closing, keeping clearly visible calendar dates not just for your meetings and appointments but also the paperwork and contracts that need to be signed and dated at each point in the process. There is no reason to leave these things to chance, and there is nothing worse than missing out on a big deal because of a missed deadline or detail somewhere along the way.

Travel Planning

A virtual assistant can also make sure that travel to and from properties with cushion time is factored into your scheduled appointments. A good VA won’t just plop an appointment across town onto your lap and think that they’re doing a good job. They’ll factor in drive time, lunch, and any refueling or packing that needs to happen to get you from point A to point B. No more speeding to make certain that you get to appointments on time — you can rest easy knowing that someone is looking out for you.

Loan Paperwork

Realtors and clients alike have to very carefully fill out the paperwork to make sure that funding is available in a timely way for closing. Virtual assistants fill this role, clearing out one of the most critical tasks from your schedule and letting you move on to the next client as your VA finishes up the paperwork.

Bookkeeping

Nothing is worse than coming in at tax time to confront your own disarray that has accumulated over the year. A virtual assistant can actively take your accounting documents and receipts and get them organized before you ship them off to the accountant, turning your tax filings into a ship-and-send affair, as opposed to an extended battle between you, a calculator, and a huge raft of receipts.

Filing and Data Entry

Making sure that all of the documents for each of your clients are neatly buttoned up and available is a huge weight off of your shoulders. Nobody wants to have to alphabetize each client, make sure that each attachment finds its way into the appropriate folders, and track things down when they aren’t there. A virtual assistant will not only do this for you but can enter data off of your personal notes and other documents into spreadsheets and programs so that you have access to all your information at the press of a button.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Real Estate Virtual Assistant?

When you hire a virtual assistant for your real estate business, you’re sure to see many benefits. No matter what type or size of real estate business you have, a virtual assistant can free up your schedule. That freedom means you can focus on your clients and the parts of your business that you want to grow.

Having a virtual assistant takes some of the workload off your plate. Less work means that your business can be more successful, you can find more clients more easily, provide better customer service, and you’ll be able to scale your business more quickly and easily, serving more clients and bringing in more profits. And even better, with a virtual assistant handling the day-to-day tasks for you, you can enjoy a better work-life balance. No more feeling overworked or cutting into your family or personal time with the minutiae of running your business.

Are There Any Downsides to Using Virtual Assistants in Your Real Estate Business?

As with any service, you’re going to get what you pay for. Far too many business owners of all kinds expect far too much of their virtual assistants on a low budget. If a business expects cheap help, it will likely get lower-quality work. A cheap virtual assistant for realtors can be more of a headache than a help, so finding the right balance between cost and competence can be a real challenge if you don’t know where to look. Virtual Latinos has found a way to provide high-competence virtual assistants with real estate experience for a price that keeps both parties happy and profitable.

Hire From Virtual Latinos for Your Real Estate Company

Virtual Latinos lets you hire VAs from Latin America, where the cost of living is much lower, so it doesn’t cost as much to keep the people helping you out healthy, whole, and enthusiastically ready to assist with your business. Latin America shares deep cultural understanding and geographic adjacency with the rest of the North American real estate market.

Our virtual assistants also have direct experience working directly with people in the U.S. and Canada and are in the same time zones. This means that, unlike other virtual assistant services that might not be on your work schedule, our agents know how to help you and are awake at the same hours as your clientele.

So, if you’re ready to take the next step towards elevating your real estate business to the next level, reach out to us to schedule a call, and let’s see how we can get you a virtual assistant for real estate success!

What Is A Virtual Assistant? Pros, Benefits, & Salary of Working As a Virtual Assistant

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What It Really Means to Be a Virtual Assistant

Over the past several years, there’s been a growing awareness of virtual assistantship and how it can be the perfect career path for many professionals. But what is a virtual assistant, really?

At its core, virtual assistantship is a pretty simple concept: Individuals are hired to offer professional support services to other business entities—and, as the name would suggest, this all takes place from a remote location.

Given how broad this description is, it’s probably not surprising to hear a wide range of tasks a virtual professional might be hired to tackle. Most commonly, however, these duties tend to fall somewhere under the administration umbrella. Nevertheless, if there’s a duty that a business needs help completing, there’s a strong chance there is a virtual assistant offering that particular service.

Virtual assistantship, as a career option, first gained popularity alongside the rise of the internet. Since then, the profession has continued to grow in prominence, with more and more businesses discovering the wide-reaching benefits of hiring a virtual assistant.

For instance, hiring full-time (or even part-time) staff for in-person office positions isn’t cheap. That’s just one of the reasons many entrepreneurs opt to outsource vital administrative tasks rather than bring in new employees. And, with virtual assistants, it isn’t even like business owners will be sacrificing the quality of the work they receive. All around, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

If you’re not looking to perform clerical work, keep in mind that this is far from the only kind of task a virtual assistant can handle. Maybe you’re an expert in crafting foolproof marketing strategies—it’s entirely possible to be hired as a virtual assistant to handle core aspects of a company’s marketing strategy.

Alternatively, businesses (both large and small) could hire a virtual assistant to help perfect their web design to ensure that it’s both intuitive and up to date, as well as aesthetically pleasing to the target audience. Even essential duties such as bookkeeping can fall into the hands of highly capable virtual assistants.

Simply put, if it’s a task that requires a specific set of skills, it’s entirely possible to make a career out of performing it as a virtual assistant.

The Benefits of Becoming a Virtual Assistant

Of course, businesses aren’t the only ones that can benefit from the rise of virtual assistant services. The assistants themselves can reap several rewards by venturing down this exciting new career path. The benefits virtual assistants can expect to receive are plentiful—here are just a few of the most prominent examples.

Remote Work

One of the core components of virtual assistant jobs inherent to the position is the ability to work remotely—no matter where you’re located. So naturally, this opens a wide array of possible career opportunities to workers, regardless of any professional limitations placed upon them in their location.

If you’re unable to commute to a specific location, no matter how perfect the position is for your career goals, that opportunity simply isn’t available to you. However, by making the switch to remote work, this is no longer a concern you’ll need to face. Even if the company that hired you is in another country—or another continent, even—it’s just as viable for you to take over the virtual assistant position compared to someone who lives just down the street from their headquarters. This allows individuals to explore many career opportunities that might have otherwise been off-limits.

Plus, with remote work, you no longer need to deal with a tedious commute every day. The ability to remove this from your schedule can make your work life just a bit easier to manage—it can also free up time to get work done rather than spend that time stuck in morning traffic. As long as you have access to a Wi-Fi connection, you’re generally good to go when it comes to becoming a VA.

A Flexible Schedule

Another significant benefit of working as a virtual assistant? More often than not, you’ll be granted the ability to set a schedule around your own availability—even if that availability is on the unconventional side, such as only being able to work during the night or early morning. While this could be a difficult situation to work around in a traditional employment scenario, virtual assistantship makes it far easier for professionals to work around their own schedule rather than just the schedule of their employers.

This flexibility can also come in handy during emergencies. If you find that you need to make a last-second modification to your schedule, it will be far simpler to arrange if you’re working as a virtual assistant than in an in-person office position.

If you ever need to take breaks throughout your day, you won’t be limited to the schedule established by your employer. Again, it’s all up to you and how your professional schedule can best be incorporated into the rest of your life and its many responsibilities.

A Boost in Your Wage

Considering the added convenience of working as a virtual assistant, you might suspect that there’s a catch—for instance, are you going to be sacrificing a good chunk of your paycheck in the process? Fortunately, this is quite far from the case. If anything, new virtual assistants might find that they’re making even more money in this position than in their previous in-person position.

As a virtual professional, you’ll often be granted unlimited earning potential. However, a set wage or salary can be incredibly limiting, and receiving a raise is often out of your personal control. As a virtual assistant, it’s considerably easier to set your own rates and seek clients who are willing to pay what you’re worth for your services.

The longer you work as a virtual assistant, as well, the better you’ll get at streamlining your own work. Seeing as more work means more pay, streamlining duties can allow you to be paid far more per hour than you would in a position with a set wage. As long as you’re capable of working quickly and efficiently, you’ll find that virtual assistantship is one of the most fruitful career paths you can take—without the need for an enormous amount of previous work experience before starting the position.

Vast Opportunities to Grow, Professionally and Personally

Sometimes, in a traditional office position, you might feel like you’re stuck in place—as much as you’d like to move up, you could struggle to break past the position you’re currently occupying. After all, this is typically outside your control if your employment status is entirely in the hands of your boss. As a virtual assistant, however, you’ll finally be able to become your own boss. This means the opportunities for professional growth and development are yours to control, based upon the work you’re putting into the position. The harder you work, the more reward you’ll reap as a professional.

Take back control over your work-life by becoming a virtual assistant today.

The Opportunity to Learn and Meet New Professionals, All Across the World

Seeing as virtual assistantship is an inherently remote position, you’ll be granted the unique opportunity to form professional and personal connections with others abroad. At your previous in-person position, you likely wouldn’t be able to connect with such a large pool of potential business partners—while as a virtual assistant, this pool is practically endless.

For instance, if you once worked as the front-desk receptionist at a busy office building, your interactions were often still limited to those within your region—especially if you weren’t working for a major corporation.

The more individuals and enterprises you’re able to work with, the more opportunities there are to learn about your craft and continue to grow as a professional.

Working for a USD Wage (Or Comparable) From Outside the Country

If you’re a virtual assistant hired by an American company, you’ll have the opportunity to work for a USD wage, regardless of where you’re located. If you’re looking to boost your earning potential, this is a fantastic way to do it.

Essential Virtual Assistant Skills

Although a virtual assistantship is a relatively versatile position, this doesn’t mean certain skills won’t be necessary to thrive as a virtual assistant. However, to succeed, you’ll first need to develop (and then continue to master) the following professional skills:

You’ll Need to Be an Expert Communicator

As with any remote, work-for-yourself-type position, your ability to communicate (regardless of the method of communication) clearly and concisely could be a dealbreaker. If you struggle to be understood over long-distance virtual communications, this will make being a virtual professional a challenging career to succeed in—especially if you’re hoping to get as much work done as possible without needing to pause and sort out miscommunication. In addition, this will make it impossible to truly streamline your workflow and reach your fullest earning potential as a virtual assistant.

You’ll Need to Be Reliable

Before a company takes you on as a virtual assistant, they’ll likely need to be convinced that you’re the most reliable option available. Reliability becomes an even more essential quality whenever we’re discussing remote work, in particular.

You’ll primarily need to be a self-motivated worker; a lack of self-discipline or motivation can make it far too easy to become an unreliable business partner. After all, it’s far easier to pull back from your work if it’s all occurring at a distance rather than in person at your place of work. If you decide to flake on your duties, you’ll have considerably fewer external variables to pull you back in, outside your own volition.

You Should Have Some Professional Experience

While it’s entirely possible to kickstart your virtual assistant career with limited experience, it’s still best to have at least a few years’ worth under your belt. Remember, as a virtual assistant, you’ll often be responsible for managing some of the tasks most fundamental to a company’s overall success. So naturally, this puts a good deal of responsibility onto your shoulders—and this is something that most businesses don’t take lightly.

Generally, as long as you have a minimum of three years of professional experience, a virtual assistant career could be a viable path for you. Otherwise, it will be more challenging to compete with other prospective virtual assistants. Again, professional experience helps you stand out.

You’ll Need to Have Mastered Time-Management

Again, virtual assistant jobs are based on self-discipline and self-motivation, you’ll need to know how to manage your own time. Although a flexible schedule is one of the biggest perks of working as a virtual assistant, it doesn’t come without its stipulations.

If you struggle to create and stick to your work schedule without the reinforcement of a boss or higher-ups, then virtual assistant work might not be the most practical choice.

Further, if you’re working with several clients as a virtual assistant, the ability to manage your own time becomes even more essential. The more multitasking that’s involved in your day-to-day work, the better you’ll need to be at creating a calendar for yourself and prioritizing specific tasks. Disorganization could be detrimental to the efficiency of your workflow, which could also leave you more prone to burning out.

You’ll Need to Be Organized

Finally, if you haven’t worked out a way to stay organized (with little to no oversight), then it’s going to be impossible to tackle all your virtual assistant duties.

Often, virtual assistants will need to keep track of different bits of detailed information to perform their duties. For instance, you might need to stay on top of emails, client information, passwords, appointments, other reminders, and much more. If you fail to keep this essential information well-organized, you’re not going to be an effective worker.

What Is It Like to Work As a Virtual Assistant, Professionally?

But, what does your typical virtual assistant’s professional life actually look like?

Ultimately, depending on who you are and the virtual assistant duties you’re tackling, your average work experience could vary tremendously. However, here are some potential scenarios to give you an idea of what working as a virtual assistant actually looks like in practice.

Many successful virtual assistants are parents of young children, for instance. These individuals often find effective ways to balance parenting with their professional lives, even without the aid of childcare services. As a remote worker, it’s entirely possible to manage all your virtual assistant tasks while remaining at home with your children. This is the standard scenario and is one of the many reasons individuals opt to pursue a career in a virtual assistantship.

More specifically, maybe this lack of childcare will motivate you to care for your children during the day while working exclusively during the evenings. As a virtual assistant, it’s possible to create a schedule around these goals.

One of the core aspects of working as a virtual assistant involves taking stock of your priorities and responsibilities outside of work before tailoring a professional schedule to suit your needs. If you’re hoping to succeed as a virtual assistant, this is something that you’ll need to master; otherwise, it will be impossible to remain efficient and get all your work completed at the best possible quality.

Finding Your Work-Life Balance

As we’ve discussed, while it’s certainly true that working as a virtual assistant provides far more opportunity for time and financial freedom, everyone’s experience will be different. For example, some virtual assistants (especially those who are new to the career) may be expected to work far more frequently than others—possibly around the clock, in some cases.

No two jobs are the same, and that principle certainly applies to the daily lives of virtual assistants. That being said, compared to what’s possible in a traditional full-time career, a virtual assistantship is better suited to flexible scheduling and more expansive earning potential.

What Does a Virtual Assistant Do, Day to Day?

Everyday Tasks Performed by Virtual Assistants

As a virtual assistant, you might also find yourself taking care of the following tasks:

  • Answering phone calls
  • Sales cold-calls or warm-calls
  • Sorting and responding to emails
  • Creating and managing a work schedule
  • Handling bookkeeping
  • Performing data entry
  • Doing professional research
  • Managing client relationships
  • Managing social media profiles
  • Writing content
  • Taking care of customer support
  • Maintaining or designing a website

Depending on the specialized skills you possess, of course, your average day as a virtual assistant could look quite different from another’s.

Virtual assistants can complete either general or specialized tasks, depending on the company’s needs, and that virtual assistant’s own professional ability. For example, general tasks could involve administration and customer support; alternatively, some specialized duties are marketing, setting up and managing pay-per-click campaigns, maximizing search engine optimization, and copywriting.

How Much Does a Virtual Assistant Make Per Hour?

Many factors go into how much a virtual assistant is paid on an hourly basis.

Notably, depending on the virtual assistant’s location, the average pay they receive can vary. For example, if you’re a professional virtual assistant based in the Philippines, you might only receive hourly pay of around $3 to $5—this certainly isn’t a cap on potential earnings, although it is an average.

However, as a Latin American virtual assistant working with Virtual Latinos, you can expect to make $5 per hour at the lowest end. But, through our services, it’s possible to make up to $25 every hour. So, if you’re a Latin American professional considering virtual assistantship, you’re in a great position to get started—and earn an impressive income in the process.

At the end of the day, the amount you make as a virtual assistant is dependent upon your level of expertise, as well as whether the services you’re providing are highly specialized. You’re more likely to take in a larger income with specialized services than a virtual assistant who focuses on general administrative tasks.

How to Become a Virtual Assistant (Even With Little Experience)

Even if your professional experience is limited, it’s still possible to get started working as a virtual assistant. Generally speaking, to start your virtual assistant career, you’ll need to take care of the following steps:

1. Determine the Services You’re Hoping to Provide Potential Clients as a Virtual Assistant

For example, are you hoping to stick to general administrative or clerical duties above all else? Or, do you want to use your specialized skills to handle web design, search engine optimization, or marketing? The possibilities are vast, so make sure you have a clear idea of where you’re headed first. Also, a word of advice: Never feel as if you need to spread yourself thin, especially toward the start of your career.

2. Create a Virtual Assistant Cover Letter

Even if you don’t have any experience working as a virtual assistant, writing a cover letter allows you to discuss any transferable skills you might possess. For instance, were you ever tasked with managing someone else’s email or calendar at your previous employment place? Well, experience with this skill could boost the ease of getting your virtual assistant career off the ground.

3. Decide How You’d Like to Run Your Virtual Assistantship Business

Generally speaking, you’ll have three options here. You can either:

  • Work directly for a particular employer.
  • Work for an agency that provides other companies with administrative services.
  • Provide your own virtual assistant services on a contract-only basis—if you take this route, make sure to create a strong resume and begin networking.

4. Work With Your First Clients as a Virtual Assistant

Depending upon which route you choose, this stage of the process could look different. In any case, it’s time to begin working and building up a strong portfolio and experience.

Interested in getting started with Virtual Latinos, in particular? If that’s the case, we’ve prepared two video guides, taking you through the process from start to finish:

1. “How is our Virtual Assistants recruitment & vetting process?

2. “Virtual Latinos: Our Team & Recruitment Process

Companies With the Best Virtual Assistant Services

Examples of popular companies that provide virtual assistant services are:

  • Upwork
  • Fiverr
  • onlineph

Virtual Latinos: The Top Company for Virtual Assistants in Latin America

Nevertheless, if you’re on the lookout for the best virtual assistant company in Latin America, it’s time to get in touch with Virtual Latinos. If you’re a resident of Latin America, you’re in the prime location to work as a virtual assistant for American companies—and you can accomplish this through Virtual Latinos.

Compared to countries such as the Philippines, Latin America is well-suited to providing virtual assistants for North American businesses. This is true for several reasons, including:

  • Latin American virtual assistants tend to possess greater cultural competency due to the notable similarities between American culture and their own.
  • Latin American virtual assistants often possess stronger English skills compared to virtual assistants from other regions.
  • Latin American virtual assistants are likely to reside in either the same or a similar time zone while working with American companies.

Begin Your Virtual Assistant Career With Virtual Latinos

At Virtual Latinos, we provide virtual assistant opportunities to professionals across Latin America, including in Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Venezuela, and many more countries. Do you want a clearer idea of the skills and specialties we’re looking for as we recruit new virtual assistants onto our team? If so, take a look at the Virtual Latinos Online Menu. You can also apply to work as a virtual assistant with Virtual Latinos through our website.

Outsourcing Work to a Call Center vs. Virtual Assistants: Pros & Cons

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The Rise of Virtual Professionals

Over the years, outsourcing has built up quite a bad name in the world of American business. When most of us think of “outsourcing,” we’ll typically envision the archetypal overseas call center — however, is this really the only way a company can outsource work? In reality, call centers aren’t the only (or even the best) means to outsource services. Instead, it’s time to consider virtual assistants as a positive alternative to traditional call centers.

That being said, virtual assistantship has become an increasingly popular method of outsourcing, in recent years. More and more American companies are seeing the many benefits to hiring virtual assistants, over outsourcing to call centers, or simply not outsourcing at all.


Content

What Does Outsourcing Look Like in 2021?

Before we get into the ins and outs of hiring a virtual assistant, let’s take a quick step back. By hiring a VA, you’re outsourcing a portion of your company’s work, bringing in an individual who isn’t a full-time employee of your business.

At its core, outsourcing is a pretty simple concept: Rather than having your internal team tackle a duty or a particular project, you’ll bring in workers from outside the company. As a business grows larger and larger, outsourcing can begin to look like a more favorable tactic. The bigger your operations, the more likely it is that you’ll need to handle a substantial number of highly specific and often very repetitive tasks.

Instead of taking on an overly large volume of internal employees — or even putting excessive pressure on your current employees to get huge quantities of work done — outsourcing offers companies a much more practical alternative.

While outsourcing comes with a myriad of different benefits, a few of them are:

    1. Improved flexibility
    2. Better organizational effectiveness
    3. Lower overheads
    4. Greater efficiency
    5. Better HR management (that’s far more strategic and focused)

In the year 2021, specifically, outsourcing can look like an especially desirable business strategy. After all, well over a year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, work has become increasingly remote. More people than ever are gravitating towards remote positions, over traditional in-person work. Not only does this mean more individuals have been drawn to outsourced work, but it also means that hiring remote workers has been normalized. Outsourcing is no longer a last resort, for all kinds of companies — instead, it’s a logical option worth considering, no matter the nature of your business.


3 Types of Outsourced Work

Of course, outsourcing is a broad descriptor of this type of work. There isn’t just one form of outsourcing — instead, businesses can choose from several prominent forms of outsourced work.

1. Local Outsourcing

When a company locally outsources duties, they’re working with individuals in the same region. Still, these workers aren’t full-time employees, and they typically aren’t obligated to make an in-person appearance.

Whenever work is domestically or locally outsourced, companies can expect to see a few particular benefits. For instance, this way, it’s far more likely that your outsourced team will reside in the same (or a similar) time zone, as well as speak the same language. This can make the communications process far more straightforward, compared to if there was a language barrier or a significant difference in time zone.

For instance, maybe your company provides an outsourced worker (non-local) with simple outlines or instructions before leaving a particular task in their own hands. Then, you step back and allow the worker to tackle the project without intervention. This is easy to do since it’s more difficult to moderate an employee who isn’t physically available.

However, a language barrier can complicate these situations. Even if the worker you’ve hired is competent and an independent worker, it’s far easier to misinterpret instructions if a language barrier is in the way. In the end, the need for revision can slow down the process of completing a project or assignment. With local outsourcing, it’s simple to avoid these kinds of communication issues.

If any issues come up, and your company would like to bring a locally outsourced worker into the office, this is a viable option. It often isn’t necessary, of course — but many companies find it reassuring, knowing that this is on the table.

2. Offshore Outsourcing

Like the name would imply, when companies engage in offshore outsourcing, they’re working with individuals overseas. Typically, this involves bringing in workers from Asian nations, such as India.

When some business owners see the cost of offshore outsourcing, it can quickly seem like a tempting option. More often than not, offshore outsourcing is going to be the cheapest option available, if you’re looking to outsource work.

Nonetheless, before you jump straight into offshore outsourcing, it’s important to take the stipulations into account. When your new team is so far away, it’s much easier for communication issues to come into play. Maybe you give your outsourced workers a project to work on, as well as clear guidelines and expectations — or, at least, what you believe are clear guidelines and expectations. Then, once you receive the finished project, you’re surprised to find that it isn’t what you were looking for — not at all.

When it comes to the world of outsourced work, communication is one of the barest necessities. If this communication is at all strained, the entire relationship is bound to collapse. Not only will you face language and cultural barriers with offshore outsourcing, but the sheer size of the distance is also only going to make the situation worse. If there’s an emergency, and you need to work with your outsourced team, an in-person meeting is rarely an option. Traveling overseas is anything but quick and easy — it’s also expensive, and not every company can handle those kinds of travel costs.

3. Nearshore Professional Outsourcing

If you’re seeking out the middle ground between local and offshore outsourcing, nearshore is generally the way to go. Rather than bringing in workers from faraway regions, nearshore outsourcing allows companies to keep things just a bit closer to home — without actually being at home.

For example, outsourcing work to certain European countries would be considered nearshore outsourcing, if you’re an American company.

Or, you could welcome Latin American workers onto your team — this is another popular form of nearshore professional outsourcing. That’s where Virtual Latinos comes into play. Whenever you work with one of our highly qualified Latin American VAs, you can expect the following perks:

      1. Virtual assistants who have undergone digital marketing certification and training, through U.S.-based courses
      2. The chance to work with a VA who is in either the same or a similar time zone
      3. The knowledge that your Latin American VA is a college graduate
      4. Lower costs than if you hired a domestic virtual assistant
      5. No more language barrier — our VAs are tested in English and are fully bilingual
      6. The option to choose between either direct or assisted hiring
      7. A wide selection of VAs with strong marketing prowess and experience, hand-picked by us

Outsourcing Solutions Come in Different Forms

Not only can the proximity of your outsourced team vary, depending upon the needs and preference of your business — it’s also possible to choose between several forms of outsourcing solutions.

1. Call Centers or Contact Centers

While call centers and contact centers aren’t exactly the same, they’re similar modes of outsourcing.

A call center is exactly what it sounds like: a department tasked with handling inbound and outbound customer or client calls. It’s certainly not unheard of for companies (especially larger corporations) to outsource their call centers. Often, these centers can be found in India, which is a top pick for large-scale, offshore outsourcing.

Traditionally, the individuals you find in a call center are customer service professionals, focused primarily on answering customer inquiries. Still, this isn’t the only kind of call a representative may be faced with. Call center representatives can also handle debt collection, telemarketing, billing, and more — it all depends upon the needs of your business.

While it is possible for call centers to exist internally, it’s often the case that they’re outsourced.

A contact center, on the other hand, has some similarities to call centers — just with some added advantages. Much like a call center, a contact center is tasked with managing both inbound and outbound interactions between customers and your company.

However, contact center workers aren’t limited to phone calls alone. Instead, these centers take advantage of the many modes of digital communication, now available to the wider public. Contact center workers might use channels such as apps, messaging, email, texting, social media, and other forms of online interaction. Of course, they’ll also handle phone calls.

Like a call center, a contact center can be an internal fixture of a business — still, this often isn’t the case. It’s common for contact centers to be outsourced as well.

2. Virtual Assistant Companies

So, we’ve already drawn attention to virtual assistantship — but what does it entail, exactly? What sets virtual assistant companies, such as Virtual Latinos, apart from other outsourcing solutions?

Generally, VAs will assist businesses with routine tasks — duties that are important to a functioning company but can be tedious and time-consuming to perform. Depending on the type of business and its current needs, virtual assistants might handle business development, administrative tasks, marketing, social media management, and more.

The tasks virtual assistants can handle are vast. Maybe you’ve learned that scheduling and coordinating appointments is the bane of your existence — and not only that, but due to your lack of experience or efficiency, these calls end up consuming several hours of work, each and every week. This could all be remedied simply by hiring a virtual assistant, who can handle these phone calls with experience and ease. Just like that, you’ve freed up several hours of your time to focus on other areas of growing your business.

By working with a virtual assistant, it’s easier than ever for your business to focus on what matters most: Providing services or products to your clients. Whenever you’re bogged down by monotonous tasks (such as administrative work or keeping your social media up to date), it’s too easy to lose sight of your strategic goals. Instead, you’re devoting most of your time to these background details, rather than focusing on the actual core of your business. Virtual assistants make it far easier to grow your company, much more quickly.

In fact, it’s even possible for your virtual assistant to directly aid you in growing your business. For example, your assistant might utilize LinkedIn to help you research potential leads. This is especially useful if you’re the owner of a B2B company and need to keep a list of prospective clients. Then, if you’re looking to enhance your proposals, your VA can take care of designing clean, effective presentations.

Small businesses, especially, can benefit from working with a virtual assistant. At this stage, your biggest goal is likely to grow and expand your company — this growth is going to be far more sluggish if you’re distracted by routine tasks. Plus, your small business might not have the funds to hire full-time employees or provide training and a physical workspace. Hiring a VA solves this issue, as it is far less costly than bringing in full-time employees — and although you’re saving money, it’s still possible to receive professional work of the highest caliber. It’s a win-win.

3. Project-Based Outsourcing

Project-based outsourcing has also been steadily gaining popularity, thanks to the internet. Maybe you’ve heard of sites like Fivver and Upwork — both of these services fall into the “project-based outsourcing” category.

When a worker is brought on to tackle project-based outsourcing, they’ll generally only be responsible for a single project. Once this project has been completed, they’ve finished their duties. While virtual assistants manage routine tasks over extended periods of time, the writer you just hired on Fivver will provide you with the specific copy you asked for — generally for a one-time payment.

Sites like Fivver have a variety of other uses, however. If you’re in the process of designing your new company logo, but lack sufficient experience in graphic design, it’s easy to hop on over to a project-based outsourcing service. This is especially useful when you lack someone on your team who has the necessary skill set, but you need the task performed, urgently.

Or, maybe you’re hoping to create a short video to help showcase your company and its services. This is another type of instance where you might turn to a project-based outsourcing service. All you need to do is find a video editor with experience in creating advertisements and other professional videos.

Keep in mind that, rather than handling duties that might be part of a larger project, project-based outsourcing gives workers responsibility for the entire project. From start to finish, the outsourced worker will take care of the project at hand — rather than honing in on specific components or details.

4. Contract Vs. Full-Time Outsourcing

Finally, it’s possible for outsourced workers to work with your company on a full-time basis, or to take the role of contract employees. Sometimes, outsourced workers will be hired based on a project-based contract — much like we described above, with project-based outsourcing.

Still, it’s also possible for workers to become full team members, taking on a long-term role within the company structure. This is often the case for virtual assistants, for instance.

Contract-to-hire is another option, in which the outsourced worker starts out as a contractor, before becoming a full-time team member, later down the road.


How Outsourcing to Call Centers
Can Impact Your Business

Let’s take a look back at call centers. Like we’ve mentioned, call centers have been a popular option for outsourced work — however, in more ways than one, they’re becoming a less favorable system. After all, call centers tend to neglect some of the core duties of modern-day business interactions.

The Pros of Outsourcing to Call Centers, as a Business

1. You’ll Save Money

Typically, call centers are going to be outsourced to regions with a significantly lower cost of living — India is the most common option when corporations are looking to outsource their centers.

If you’re going to manage a call center, you’ll pay less money when you opt for offshore outsourcing. Alternatively, internal call centers necessitate that you pay for full- or part-time employees — this will almost always be the pricier option. Outsourced call centers allow companies to save on infrastructure, operational, labor, and overhead costs.

2. Call Volume Will Be Easier to Manage

3.When you experience periods with high call volumes, it’s useful to have an outsourced team to help you out. This way, overflow calls can be more easily answered — this is just one way to begin improving business-customer relations, if that’s a concern for your company. Your internal workers are going to be placed under considerably less pressure, as well — all these phone calls will be taken out of their hands, so that they can concentrate on other duties.

It isn’t unheard of for businesses to experience an unexpected surge in calls, which their current staff might be unable to handle. For instance, maybe you’ve just released a new product or service, and word has spread quicker than you’d anticipated. Missing calls from potential customers can be detrimental since these individuals likely don’t have any existing loyalties to your business. If they can’t get through to you, the potential client might simply give up. In this case, a call center could handle the overflow.

3. You Can Focus Less on Staffing Hassles

With an internal call center comes the need to address all the typical hassles of hiring. You’ll need to handle the hiring process, as well as training, managing, and scheduling.

On the other hand, the external provider you work with will likely take care of all these responsibilities, if you choose to outsource your center.

The Cons of Outsourcing to Call Centers, as a Business

Although benefits do exist, outsourced call centers come with their fair share of flaws. Here are just a few key examples.

1. Limited Company Knowledge

Every company has its own unique culture, as well as values and practices. If your call center is run by individuals within the company, they’re going to be deeply familiar with this culture, and all that it entails — after all, they’re a part of it.

Outsourced agents, however, aren’t going to have this strong connection to your company. When an outsourced call center worker lacks dedication, there’s a fair chance that the customer service they provide will be lacking. Their service might not match the standards set by your company, and it could be an inaccurate representation of the company culture.

2. The Agent Isn’t Focused on Your Business

Issues of divided attention are also common when it comes to offshore call centers. Agents might be responsible for the calls of several clients — not just your own. This can lead call center workers to put less of their attention and effort toward your business’s inbound and outbound calls.

3. You’re Sacrificing Control Over Core Business Functions

By handing over call center operations to someone else, you’re sacrificing much of the responsibility for how the center functions. Some companies may see this is as a benefit — less work for them.

Still, there’s a lot of trust that must be involved for this process to run smoothly. For instance, you could be losing the ability to keep tabs on quality assurance, or the ability to create policies that promote customer satisfaction.

Currently, it could be the case that the call center workers are answering the phone in a way that feels uninviting to callers. If the call center was internal, it would be far simpler for you to directly receive customer complaints, so that adjustments could be made. However, if the call center has been outsourced, these issues are more likely to go unresolved.

4. Cultural or Linguistic Barriers Are Likely

Seeing as many outsourced call centers are offshore, it can result in cultural and linguistic barriers, between the workers and your customers. If the call center agents lack key cultural knowledge, or if they’re not fluent in English, this can make it more difficult for them to clearly communicate with customers.


How Outsourcing to Call Centers Impacts Employees

Businesses aren’t the only ones impacted by outsourcing call centers. Whenever an employer decides to take this leap, they should first consider how their own employees will be affected.

The Pros of Outsourcing to Call Centers, for Employees

1. Improved Scalability

Sometimes, high call volume is an issue your center will be faced with. These instances could be triggered by a number of factors, including (but not limited to):

      1. Bad weather
      2. Holidays
      3. Special promotions

This can put a fair deal of stress on internal workers, and it can be difficult for you to bring in more individuals. However, an outsourced call center can allow you to take some pressure off your employees’ shoulders. If the number of seats needs to be adjusted (due to high volume), your contractor will likely be able to do this.

2. Less of a Burden on HR and Management

Outsourcing your call center can also take some stress away from those in HR and management positions — they won’t need to handle the staffing concerns that come as a result of an internal center.

The Cons of Outsourcing to Call Centers, for Employees

Increased Unemployment

Unfortunately, it’s possible (if not likely) that outsourcing a call center will cut down on internal jobs. With lower costs, it can be tempting for companies to rely entirely on offshore agents, rather than internal employees.


The Effect of Outsourcing to Virtual Assistants
(on Your Business)

Deciding to outsource a call center is definitely a different experience, compared to bringing in a virtual assistant. Sure, both of these are methods of outsourcing work — in practice, however, the impact on your business (both positive and negative) is going to vary.

The Pros of Outsourcing to Virtual Assistants
(as a Business)

Often, the decision to work with a virtual assistant is going to have a highly positive impact on your company — here are just a few reasons why.

1. Unbeatable Productivity

This is actually a primary incentive for many businesses that decide to hire a virtual assistant — it’s a fantastic way to improve productivity by a large margin. Routine tasks can be tackled by your VA, taking mundane duties out of your own hands. Instead, you’ll have more time to focus on the overall objectives and goals of your business — the tasks that only you know how to perform.

Jobs such as speaking with clients and scheduling appointments, on the other hand, can just as easily be handled by a VA. Actually, a VA will likely be able to complete these duties with greater efficiency and ease — this is where their experience lies. You also won’t need to worry about training your virtual assistant, as this will already be taken care of by the VA agency, prior to the assistant joining your team.

2. VAs Are Highly Trained Professionals

In a similar vein, keep in mind that virtual assistants aren’t just anyone — they’re professionals with extensive experience and training. With a VA, you can remain confident that the tasks you assign will be performed exceptionally well.

3. Experience Flexible Services

Virtual assistant services are also highly flexible. Your VA is working from their own home, and you’ll be able to get in touch with them at almost any time. You and your VA can work together and determine which hours of the day are most convenient for both of you. Then, work hours can take place whenever you and your VA have time. This is far less rigid of a schedule than if you were dealing with a full-time, in-person employee.

If you have unconventional hours, for instance, this could be especially beneficial. Maybe you have a busy family life during the day and need to take care of your business in the evening or night. Due to the flexibility of a VA, you can seek out someone able to accommodate this schedule. That way, you can quickly and easily get in touch with your assistant as soon as you need them.

4. It Costs Less Than Hiring Full-Time Employees

Hiring full-time employees is expensive — that’s no secret if you’re a business owner. You’ll need to pay their salary, benefits package, training, and more. With a virtual assistant, you’ll have considerably fewer expenses to cover, in order to receive top-notch work.

The Cons of Outsourcing to Virtual Assistants
(as a Business)

Naturally, virtual assistantships aren’t perfect. So, here are a few variables to keep in mind, before hiring your own VA.

1. Less In-Person Communication, If Any

Some employers might be bothered by the lack of in-person communication, when it comes to hiring and working with a VA. While some companies are comfortable staying in touch through remote methods, others might be prone to miscommunication. Whenever miscommunication does occur, of course, the efficiency and accuracy of your VA’s work are going to suffer.

Technical issues can also be more difficult to troubleshoot, if you’re managing a fully remote worker, such as a virtual assistant.

2. Cultural Considerations

While hiring a nearshore VA can eliminate most of this issue, there’s still a risk of cultural or linguistic barriers. To be fair, this can even be a problem with domestic outsourcing — if someone’s in a different region of the country, there’s a chance that cultural or linguistic norms are going to vary. This could result in miscommunication.


The Effect of Outsourcing to Virtual Assistants
(on Employees)

Your full-time employees will also feel the effects of you bringing a VA onto the team. But how are they actually impacted? Can hiring a virtual assistant truly help out your internal employees?

The Pros of Outsourcing to Virtual Assistants
(as an Employee)

1. Lower Stress Levels

With fewer responsibilities comes lower levels of stress for your full-time workers. They won’t need to devote so much time to routine tasks, which can quickly pile up and become overwhelming.

2. Less Time Spent on Administrative Tasks

Along those same lines, virtual assistants can remove the need for your current employees to tackle administrative tasks, on top of their other work. It isn’t uncommon for admin responsibilities to expand as your business grows, leaving you with more than your workforce can reasonably handle.

The Cons of Outsourcing to Virtual Assistants
(as an Employee)

1. Language or Cultural Barriers Between VAs and Employees

Again, make sure to consider the possibility of language or cultural barriers — not just between you and the VA, but also between the VA and your other workers. Collaboration is going to be considerably more strenuous and prone to miscommunication, whenever these barriers come into play.

2. Lack of Supervision

In a sense, the lack of supervision over your virtual assistant could be seen as a downside. Nonetheless, remember that VAs are typically highly trained professionals — not just anyone can go on to become a VA, without the proper qualifications and experience. Even without constant supervision, there’s a strong chance that your virtual assistant will be able to perform their duties with relative ease.


Determining the Best Outsourcing Solution
for Your Business

So, maybe you’re interested in outsourcing work, but you aren’t sure which road to take. Taking all the information we’ve provided into account, make sure to reflect on the following factors:

    1. The needs and objectives of your company
    2. The current stage of your business, in its journey toward growth
    3. Whether you’d like to prioritize quality services or put more importance on saving money

Why Latin American VAs Are the Best Option for U.S. Companies

Have you decided that a virtual assistant is the outsourcing solution for you? Even then, you’re going to be left with more than a few options. Seeing as it’s a fully remote position, you have the freedom to hire from anywhere in the world. Unsure where to start? Consider getting in touch with a Latin American VA, such as the highly qualified professionals at Virtual Latinos.

An important factor is the cultural compatibility between Latin America and the United States. Certainly, it’s a far narrower rift than with locations that are much further away — for instance, the United States and India. These cultural similarities can work to your company’s advantage, as it will generally be easier to stay on the same page and communicate effectively with your VA. With fewer bouts of miscommunication, comes fewer lags in workflow.


Virtual Latinos is Your Go-To Outsourcing & Virtual Assistant Company

The truth is, not all outsourcing companies are created equal — some services are certainly more reliable than others. Virtual Latinos is proud to be the best option out there, when it comes to virtual assistant services. Need more evidence? We’ll give you the rundown.

1. Highly Personalized Services

If you’re looking for one of the top ways Virtual Latinos stands out from the crowd, it’s our dedication to personalized services. We aren’t going to dish out VAs blindly, without considering the unique needs and objectives of your company. While all our VAs are masters of their field, they might not specialize in exactly what you’re looking for. So, we make sure to tailor our services to each individual client.

Before introducing you to your new virtual assistant, Virtual Latinos takes the time to get to know you, our client. In fact, all our clients are provided a one-on-one consultation, in order for us to get the strongest and most accurate feel for your goals.

Then, we’ll even go on to take care of the hard work for you. Using the knowledge we’ve gathered, Virtual Latinos is prepared to write the job post, as well as find, interview, and select the best VA candidates for your company.

2. Cost Savings

Compared to domestic virtual assistants, you can expect to pay 40% to 75% less — those savings are huge, and they’ll only add up over time. Additionally, we’re 30% to 50% less expensive than internal hires or freelance market professionals.

3. Build Long-Term Relationships

Virtual Latinos values professionalism and strives to build and maintain strong relationships with our clients. We’re not just in this for the short-term — we’re eager to watch your business thrive and grow, throughout a long-term relationship with us.

4. Time Savings

Seeing as Virtual Latinos takes care of the hiring work — and then your VA handles the duties you’ve assigned to them — you’ll find that the time savings will also add up.


The Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

By hiring your company’s own virtual assistant, you’re able to lift some of the work burdens from employees. Whenever you avoid overburdening your own staff, work is going to get done quicker and more efficiently.

If you’re hoping to see your business continue to grow, speed is one of the most valuable assets to have. However, it’s not exactly fair to put this sort of pressure on your staff, as they juggle a variety of important duties. A virtual assistant can take over this side of the job, allowing for a more reasonable balance of duties, between employees and outsourced workers. Plus, virtual assistants are often highly skilled at getting work done quickly, without sacrificing quality in the process.

1. Busting a Myth: Do Virtual Assistants Take Employee Jobs?

To those who are currently VA skeptics, you might even believe that virtual assistants are going to take away jobs from full-time employees. This is actually one of the most pervasive misconceptions when it comes to how VAs actually fit into the workplace. Rather than steal jobs from existing employees, having a virtual assistant on your team can make it possible to get more projects done — and, again, there’s no need to skimp on quality.

Think of it this way: Like the name would imply, the core purpose of a virtual assistant is to assist your business with some of your most repetitive day-to-day tasks. A VA isn’t intended to replace employees and the integral work that they perform for your company.

Currently, you might not have time to stay on top of your social media profiles. If you’re a small business owner, in particular, this can be detrimental to the success of your company. Even still, it’s an easy duty to neglect — after all, aren’t you busy enough managing the operations of your business, like securing sales and providing services to clients?

If you hire a virtual assistant, this is an issue that could be quickly and easily resolved. Your new VA can ensure that your social media presence is strong, while you pour all your attention into other areas of running your business. No need for any current employees to be replaced. Instead, your VA is simply taking over a routine task that was being neglected.

2. Virtual Assistants Are All Around the World

If you’re hiring for standard business operations, there’s a strong chance that your search is geographically limited. After all, if you’re expecting your employees to come into the office on a regular basis, this isn’t going to be feasible if they live on the other side of the world.

Still, whenever you limit your search like this, you’re probably missing out on a slew of highly skilled workers, who are perfect for the job you’re looking to get done. This is another one of the top benefits of hiring a virtual assistant: You no longer have to work around tight geographical limitations, since the job is performed remotely. Instead, you can focus on finding the individual who’s best suited to the job.

For U.S.-based companies, Latin American VAs are a popular option — and rightfully so. Not only are Latin American virtual assistants growing in numbers, but they’re also some of the most skilled and highly qualified VAs out there.

As a bonus, Latin American VAs are more likely to be within your same time zone. This certainly isn’t the case if you hire an Indian or South Asian assistant, for example. Although it’s possible to work with a VA in a different time zone, it tends to make communications and collaboration far more tedious than they truly need to be. After all, isn’t the point of hiring a VA to make things easier for your company?


Hire a Virtual Assistant Through Virtual Latinos Today

Virtual Latinos is proud to provide our clients with the most skilled and highly qualified virtual professionals available. Our VAs are from all over Latin America, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Cuba, and many others.

Getting in touch with us is easy — all you need to do is fill out the contact form on the Virtual Latinos site, and we’ll make sure to get back to you.

Why Startups Should Use Virtual Assistants to Outdo the Competition

Hiring

How Virtual Latinos Can Help Your Startup Achieve Success

Startups are complicated and often risky. As you embark on a new business journey, there are many unknowns and questions that arise along the way. For example, as you build your foundation and formulate your business plan, you likely need a lot of help but don’t have the funds or the time to hire a full-time, in-person employee to help you. What’s more, your startup may not even have the space for an in-person employee. As a result, a lot of startup work occurs remotely or in a small, rented space where it is difficult to fit more than one or two people.

Though many startups struggle through the first few years, it is essential to know that this is not the only option. There is a comfortable middle ground between doing the process alone and hiring an in-person employee: hiring a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants can help manage a lot of the day-to-day tasks that keep you from being productive without acting as a drain on your limited resources. Virtual assistants don’t need an office, transportation compensation, or even equipment. All they need are tasks from you.

Why Startups Need Virtual Assistants

As mentioned, startups are often running on minimal funds. Until you know whether your product or business will be successful, few people are willing to act as funding for your project. This can be incredibly frustrating, as the process is often expensive.

What’s more, to succeed as a startup, you need to beat the competition early on. This means working hard and putting a lot of effort into your business upfront to ensure that it succeeds and stands out.

The fact is that you cannot do all of this yourself. Though you may have a coworker or two, startups often have more work than they have people. Virtual professionals act as the perfect solution for these situations. They can take tasks off your hands without becoming a drain on resources that you can ill afford.

Types of Virtual Assistants for Startups

Virtual assistant companies offer virtual professionals in a variety of specialties. So, no matter what industry you are in or what your specialty is, there is a virtual assistant who can help you.

Some startups’ virtual assistants that can help include:

  • Admin virtual assistants
  • Marketing virtual assistants
  • Sales virtual assistants
  • Customer support virtual assistants
  • Project manager virtual assistants

These individuals can help manage the projects that often get in the way of specialized startup work. For example, customer support is vital for a startup, but as a startup team member, your time is often better spent elsewhere. Instead, you can focus on your specialty with a virtual assistant while still ensuring that your customer service is covered.

The Pros and Cons of a Virtual Assistant

As mentioned, startups often operate on small staffs because money is tight, and the operation is small. Unfortunately, that leaves the executives with very little free time. Hiring a virtual assistant to help with some of your work ensures that you can focus on what you love and that you have time to see family and friends. Though your work may be your passion, it is important to have a work-life balance from the beginning to set good habits for your future career.

However, virtual assistants are not without their drawbacks. When hiring a virtual assistant, you will not meet them in person, which is how some people prefer to vet employees. Luckily, with modern technology and the 2020/2021 pandemic, virtual meetings have become increasingly effective. There are many platforms an employer can use to communicate, so you can still get to know your assistant without meeting them face to face.

How to Find Virtual Assistant Services for Your Startup

The best way to find a virtual assistant for your startup is through a virtual assistant agency such as Virtual Latinos. There are many such agencies around the world to look at. However, Virtual Latinos is the premier choice for businesses in North America.

Many virtual assistant agencies are based in Asia and Australia. This makes it extremely difficult to work with them, especially when your time is limited, and deadlines occur quickly. Because of the time difference, it can be days before you get a response from your assistant. Therefore, if they have a question during a project, you can quickly get behind schedule in the few emails it takes them to ask and for you to answer.

At Virtual Latinos, we operate in the same time zones that exist in the United States. Therefore, from Mexico to Colombia to Argentina, there is a virtual assistant in a time zone similar to yours. Depending on which virtual assistant you choose, the worst time change you will have to manage is about hours.

What to Expect When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

It is best to be prepared when you begin the process of hiring a virtual assistant. Knowing what to expect can make the process easier and ensures that everyone is on the same page and expects the same results.

You can expect:

  • Reduced costs compared with hiring an in-person assistant or employee
  • Increased productivity for the company
  • A more significant ROI
  • More free time
  • Less busy work
  • Team growth
  • Increased morale and a better company culture

These are excellent benefits of hiring a virtual assistant and some of the main reasons our customers flock to Virtual Latinos.

It is important to note that this is not automatic. You still have to do some training, even though your assistant is not in the office. Though our virtual assistants can meet your general needs, they will need instruction on your specific systems and preferences before they can begin to do their work. Though the training process does take a little bit of time, it ensures that you can personalize your virtual assistant’s skills to your particular needs. As a result, they will be able to perform their tasks in the way you want them to, rather than in a run-of-the-mill manner that is not what you want.

It is beneficial to put some effort into training your virtual assistant because they are not a freelancer or a temp. Your virtual assistant is part of your team and should be integrated into the company culture as such. Though they are not around in person, they can and should be seen as long-term members of your team. Make sure you give them clear instructions and adequately train them to maximize their presence as a member of your staff.

Contact Virtual Latinos

If you are ready to hire a virtual assistant and bring your startup to the next level, we at Virtual Latinos are here for you. With hundreds of small business virtual assistants to choose from and many different hiring options, you can be sure that your virtual professional is waiting for you on our website. Contact us today.

Skills That Can Jumpstart Your Virtual Assistant Career

Hiring

How Virtual Latinos Can Help You Start Your Virtual Assistant Career

In the modern era, it can be challenging to find a rewarding, well-paying job that utilizes your skills. For many people, working from home has become a necessity; our world has become more global, and virtual remote jobs are more popular than ever.

Virtual assistants provide fantastic resources for executives working from home or in the office. Often, behind-the-scenes “busy” work slows down the workday for these individuals, and virtual assistants can help with a lot of those tasks.

Because the pandemic has drastically changed how we do business, having a virtual assistant is necessary to be productive.

How to Get Started and Become a Virtual Assistant

There are many different kinds of virtual assistant jobs available. The jobs’ requirements depend on the type of work you are looking to do.

Some key components you need to consider are:

  • A college or university degree is not always required, but it can help you get better-paying jobs with more rewarding work.
  • No matter what field you go into or what degree you possess, you must speak English.
  • You will need to provide the necessary equipment, such as a computer, working internet, a phone or communications option, etc.
  • What type of virtual assistant job you would like to do. You can tailor your training and supplies based on the unique requirements of the field.

Benefits of Finding a Remote Virtual Job

There is a reason that remote work has become so popular. There are significant benefits to working remotely that cannot be obtained from an in-person job.

Main benefits for virtual professionals include:

  • Flexible hours and schedules
  • Competitive wages
  • Fewer transportation/commute expenses maximize your income
  • Improved work/life balance

It is also worth noting that many virtual assistants acquire jobs outside their home countries. This means they often earn a higher wage from another country but benefit from a lower cost of living in their home area. This results in increased financial stability and higher spending power.

For example, the average wage in your home country might be $2 per hour, while the average wage in the United States is $10. This means you are collecting above-average wages without paying the expensive prices of living in the United States.

What Skills Do You Need to Improve to Be a Virtual Assistant?

It is essential to hone certain skills to become a personal assistant. Employers look for specific virtual assistant skills, and it is best to practice them to be competitive in the industry. If you are interested in becoming a virtual assistant, consider these requirements.

  • VAs should be looking for long-term jobs. Your employer will train you in their specific business and practices, which means they’re looking for individuals who want a long-term employment. If you are looking for employment that lasts less than one to three years, virtual assistant jobs may not be for you.
  • They must be professional, responsible, and accountable. No one expects you to know everything right away, but you need to approach every situation with responsibility and a professional attitude. Owning up to your mistakes and being honest about what you know is important.
  • Virtual assistants must have three years of professional work experience. Virtual assistants play an important role in the businesses they work for. Therefore, you must have experience in professional settings to be competitive.
  • VAs should be personable and easy to talk to. You will undoubtedly have to speak with many employees and customers when you work as a virtual assistant. This means that you must be kind and open to communication. Others should feel comfortable talking to you.
  • They must be bilingual in English and Spanish. This includes both writing and speaking the languages. You may have to deal with complex subjects, new dialects, and colloquialisms. For this reason, you must be confident in your ability to both speak and write in English and Spanish.
  • A virtual assistant must be proficient with computers. You will be doing your work virtually, so you should have a good basic knowledge of computers. You also should be able to learn new computer programs quickly, as you may need to work with new software.
  • They must also be good at managing their time. Because you will be working remotely, you will have to properly manage your own time without constant supervision. You will have timelines, deadlines, and requirements that you must meet without being told what to do and when.
  • A VA needs to be honest and cooperative. Honesty is a must when working remotely because there is no one around to hold you accountable. You must be able to cooperate effectively with your coworkers and supervisors remotely as well.
  • They must hunger for learning. You will likely be learning a lot in your time as a virtual assistant. You will not only learn the basics of your new job, but you will also learn more about yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. You must be open to this kind of essential learning to succeed as a virtual assistant.

Specific physical tools are also needed to begin. To be a virtual assistant, you must have:

  • Reliable, fast internet (over 5 MB)
  • A working computer
  • Software and tools to do your virtual assistant tasks (for example, designers must have proper programming, etc.)
  • The ability to download tools from your employer via smartphone or tablet

When you have the necessary supplies and skills, you are ready to become a virtual assistant.

Where Can I Find Virtual Assistant Jobs?

Though there are many companies for virtual assistant jobs around the globe, your choice of employer should depend on your region. For example, many virtual assistant companies are based in India and Australia. Unfortunately, this can make it extremely difficult for those who live in North or South America to work with these companies. In addition, because the time zones are so different, communication even within the company can be nearly impossible.

If you live in Latin America, Virtual Latinos is the premier virtual assistant company on the continent. We have employees everywhere, from Bolivia to Peru to Chile, and we can quickly train you into our system no matter where you are.

We vet only high-quality candidates, which allows us to charge premium prices for our services. This means that you will always be compensated in accordance with your experience level, and the pay will always be fair. As a result, we have placed hundreds of Latino virtual assistants with jobs all across the Americas.

We have many clients in the United States and Canada because we can provide virtual assistant services in their time zones. Many professionals in the United States need hands-on virtual assistant services, and the difference in time zones with other virtual assistant companies provides a significant barrier. For this reason, Virtual Latinos is one of the leading choices for virtual professional services for companies in the United States.

Contact Virtual Latinos

If you are ready to become a virtual assistant, Virtual Latinos is here to help. We have assisted hundreds of individuals to achieve their career goals, and we can help you do the same. Our services are well known in the industry, and we provide high-quality jobs for many people in Latin America. With our comprehensive services, you will be on your way to a satisfying career in no time.

For more information on how to begin, you can contact us online here.

10 Signs Your Business Needs to Hire Virtual Professionals (Urgently)

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Why Every Business Should Hire Experienced Virtual Professionals

It’s no secret that our society is increasingly becoming a more virtual place. You can order your groceries through an app, receive packages from drones, and host baby showers over zoom meetings. With new technological advancements being made every day, businesses everywhere are learning how to grow with these changes and provide efficient, virtual services for their customers.

What Are Virtual Professionals?

A virtual professional, or virtual assistant is a self-employed specialist who assists companies and typically works remotely and can be from anywhere around the world. Providing a host of comprehensive virtual services, virtual professionals generally assist with administrative support, bookkeeping, customer service, social media marketing, email management, content creation, and more. Hiring a virtual assistant has never been easier and can benefit your company by providing skilled support for you and all your professional endeavors.

10 Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Virtual Professional

Are you struggling to complete daily tasks and manage projects? Perhaps you’re overwhelmed with administrative work and the never-ending to-do lists of managing several projects all at once. Hiring a virtual assistant can help alleviate the workload and provide you more time for focusing on what you want.

1. Time Is Money

Successful entrepreneurs and corporations recognize that time is a massive asset. When companies are spread too thin, there is less of an opportunity to focus on growth and corporate development. When you employ virtual assistance professionals, you begin to think more strategically. Utilizing a VA (virtual assistant) can provide you more time to forge new business relationships, create interesting and innovative products and content, and help you achieve company milestones.

Delegating administrative and monotonous tasks can help you achieve your goals much faster and make the journey more enjoyable. Successful companies are not run by a single individual, but rather a team, all working together towards a shared goal.

2. Drive Business Growth

Hiring a VA can improve your business growth mostly because it provides you an additional opinion and professional input. Collaboration is a key element for succeeding in any entrepreneurial endeavor. Bringing in job-specific VAs can help produce job structures for company necessities like customer service management, administrative tasks, and content creation. With the right team, virtual professionals can make any company flourish.

3. Reduce the Workload

Not all small business owners can be superheroes – in fact, it’s nearly impossible. Succeeding in running a startup company of any kind requires hours of dedicated work over time, and often there is still a plethora of tasks left to do at the end of each day. VAs come in handy when delegating tasks like:

  • Data entry
  • Content writing
  • Answering calls
  • Email management
  • Online marketing
  • Transcription
  • Social Media Managament
  • SEO optimization and research
  • Scheduling meetings

Having professionals with skillsets in multiple areas optimizes your company’s functions and simultaneously alleviates the workload off of you.

4. Improve Your Online Presence

Having an online presence isn’t just an optional tool anymore for modern-day companies- it’s a requirement since most of the general public utilizes the internet every day. Having a social media presence can establish a company brand and strengthen your following. Creating fun, innovative blog posts, giveaways, and other quality content can additionally provide non-follower interest and create new customers. Virtual professionals who specialize in content and media creation can help optimize your company by singularly focusing on how to build you a distinct, approachable brand.

5. Decreased Operational Expenses

When independently funding a passion project or keeping a small startup company afloat, every expense is thought out and intentional. An easy way to cut production costs is by employing a VA. This helps you save on expenses such as workspaces, taxes, insurance, company equipment, and maintenance costs. Virtual professionals are independent contractors and provide their own equipment. This can positively impact your company’s finances, as you can pay your VAs a competitive hourly wage.

6. Efficient Customer Handling

Speaking with your customers directly not only helps customer rapport, but puts a voice to your brand. Offering a call service for customers to dial is a great tool for communicating directly with your consumers. Getting feedback, tips, and hearing customer experiences altogether help company operations by improving from feedback. With VA jobs predominately being remote work, having employees in different time zones opens up your availability to answer customer calls throughout the day, making your brand easily accessible and helpful.

7. Strengthen Weak Areas

If blogging isn’t your forte, a virtual assistant can help in the areas that you struggle with. The many benefits of VA work include that there are a plethora of job-specific professionals who specialize in different virtual fields. Finding the right VA who can address problem areas in your company can help you focus on the factors you excel in.

8. Making Time for Yourself

Far too often, entrepreneurs are spread thin, resulting in less time to recover emotionally and focus on their own needs. Employing a VA allows time for you to recover and rest throughout your workweek. While time away is important and necessary, a VA can maintain your company’s presence online and continue to be accessible to customers.

9. Work When You Please

A great benefit to hiring a virtual assistance service is that work is managed and completed on the VA’s own time. No need for scheduling and worrying about time-off requests. VA work provides a ‘hands off’ employee schedule where an assignment is posted and completed by your requested due date.

10. Technology Savvy

Virtual professionals offer a wide array of expertise, but familiarity with technology is a prerequisite for any VA position. If you aren’t technologically savvy or know what kind of software to use for your company, finding a VA who specializes in software programming won’t be difficult to come by.

What Are the Top Benefits of Hiring Virtual Professional?

Virtual assistance professionals are an excellent resource for any company’s production and efficiency. While there are many benefits to utilizing a VA in any kind of business, VAs who specialize in bilingual offerings broaden the spectrum for customer possibilities significantly. VAs in Latin American countries are more easily accessible and typically more economical in terms of cost comparisons to VAs from the U.S. and Europe.

Hiring a VA on your team provides:

  • Customer connection and ultimately customer satisfaction
  • Technological and administrative support
  • Streamlined content and brand-specific marketing
  • Assistance in business gray areas
  • Open communication and reliability

How Your Business Can Use Virtual Professionals

Virtual professionals offer a variety of job specialties with varying levels of education. There are virtual administrative assistants, virtual bookkeepers, and real estate and social media marketing virtual assistants, just to name a few. Determining what specific tasks you need can help you in your search for the right VA.

How to Hire the Right VA for You

Virtual assistants can help in any area for you and your business. Property management, law firms, marketing agencies, and healthcare companies are a few examples of the broad variety of businesses we can provide services for. At a glance, the first quick and easy steps to find the right VA for you are:

  • Determine if you need a VA
  • Determine what your VA will do
  • Figure out your budget

Once you understand what supplemental work you need for your business, hiring a VA specifically for your company’s needs will be an easy, exciting step. Latino VAs offer unique services including bilingual communication with customers. This can help diversify your corporate outreach and eliminate language barriers. If you are interested in hiring one of our esteemed virtual professionals, Virtual Latinos prides itself as a top-tier virtual assistant service that hand-selects talented assistants, capable of taking on any job successfully.

For more information on how to register and begin the hiring process, find out how it works – our helpful guide where we walk you through each step. We look forward to carefully selecting an assistant perfect for you and your company. Contact us with any questions.

Everything You Need to Know About Hiring a Virtual Assistant in 2021

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What Is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant provides online support services to businesses and entrepreneurs while working from a remote location. While administrative duties are the most common to outsource to virtual assistants, virtual assistant services encompass a broad range of tasks. Business owners have employed at-home secretaries since the early 1980s, but the advent of the internet a decade later caused this form of employment to soar. These professionals became known as the first virtual assistants.

Virtual assistants continue to serve as one of the most valuable tools for small business owners and entrepreneurs around the world who want to streamline their operations, improve their bottom line, and improve their success rate with prospective customers. Some people mistakenly assume that virtual assistant services are only useful for large businesses, but a small business can also utilize virtual staff members, whether for general administrative duties or specific tasks like digital marketing or management of social media accounts. A virtual assistant can fulfill all of the same responsibilities as an in-person assistant while saving you time, money, and effort.

Types of Virtual Assistants

Here are some of the most common types of virtual assistants, along with their typical work tasks:

General Administrative Assistants

General virtual administrative assistants are responsible for managing emails and phone calls, scheduling appointments, organizing your to-do list, updating your calendar, organizing important business documents, entering data into your company system, preparing reports, and any other tasks an in-person executive assistant would perform.

Digital Marketers

Virtual digital marketers focus on increasing brand recognition and awareness, conducting research into your company to determine the most valuable keywords, optimizing your content to increase your SEO rankings, setting up automated processes to improve customer experience, and generating and overseeing campaigns via paid ads, content marketing, email marketing, social media management, and other types of marketing.

Social Media Marketers

Virtual social media marketers create social media accounts, write content to share on social media platforms, schedule these posts to appear at specific times of the day that are most likely to engage customers, promote your brand, manage interactions with customers, monitor competitors, and analyze performance metrics and analytics to determine which content or website shows the most successful results in engaging and converting customers.

Other Types of Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants can also help small business owners by acting as sales and customer service representatives, executive assistants, business consultants, project and operations managers, advertising specialists, email managers, web designers, graphic designers, branding experts, writers, bloggers, translators, video editors, and much more.

Benefits of Hiring Virtual Staff

Save Time

Hiring a pre-vetted virtual assistant saves you the time it takes to post job advertisements, complete resume screening, organize and conduct interviews, and train staff members. Because virtual assistants are skilled professionals, you do not need to perform lengthy, expensive training to get them started or involve a middleman in the process. After they are hired, you can focus on the high-priority tasks of running your business rather than wasting your valuable time on mundane tasks like scheduling appointments or monitoring your website’s SEO.

Save Money

Outsourcing tasks to a virtual professional at an hourly rate or independent contractor saves you the operation costs, training costs, and many of the other expenses required to maintain a full-time employee. Because a VA works from home, you are not responsible for providing office equipment and other tools they need to perform their tasks. If you’re hiring someone who is already an expert in their field, you’ll be saving the cost of training them. Unlike a salaried employee, you only pay a VA for the time they actually perform work for you. Finally, you avoid additional expenses associated with hiring a full-time employee, such as health care, paid leave, disability, and payroll taxes.

Avoid Hassle

Hiring in-person employees is an incredibly time-consuming and complicated process, made even more challenging if you end up with the wrong employee and are forced to start the hiring process all over again. When you hire a virtual assistant, you know they have the experience, training, and skill to effectively perform the tasks you assign to them. If you have issues with your VA, there is no need to involve Human Resources – you simply report your problem to the virtual assistant services company, and they will either resolve it or provide a new assistant.

Grow Your Business

A virtual assistant can help you streamline business operations, maximize revenue, and facilitate growth. By allowing you to delegate tasks like answering emails or monitoring marketing campaigns to virtual assistants, you can focus your attention on the aspects of your business that only you can handle, such as overseeing financial matters and building relationships with new clients. This not only provides an immediate return on investment but also helps you prepare for the future by building a solid foundation to support the long-term, efficient operation of your business.

How Do I Hire a Virtual Assistant?

Step 1: Determine If You Need Help

If any of the following situations apply to you, you should consider hiring a virtual assistant:

  • You work longer hours than you would like but you still often feel as if you are not getting enough done.
  • You feel stressed out and overwhelmed with the size of your workload.
  • You find yourself dedicating a large portion of your time to administrative work or other monotonous tasks that could be delegated to someone else.
  • You believe you could use your time more productively and experience less stress by focusing on the most high-priority tasks.
  • You want to avoid the time commitment, cost, and hassle of recruiting, hiring, and training an in-person employee.
  • You know that you need help, but your budget constraints mean you cannot afford to add another full-time employee to your staff.

Step 2: Select Tasks for Your Virtual Assistant

Professional virtual assistants can perform a wide range of tasks, so it is important that you select specific tasks that allow them to provide the most value for your business. Deciding on which tasks you will delegate in advance is essential for ensuring you choose the right person to fill this role, especially if you work in a field requiring specialized knowledge. Virtual assistants most often help with:

  • Administrative tasks. Scheduling meetings, organizing files, communicating with clients
  • Marketing tasks. SEO strategies, email marketing, social media marketing
  • Budgeting tasks. Bookkeeping, writing invoices, creating financial reports
  • Personal tasks. Organizing to-do lists, booking travel arrangements, making purchases
  • Content creation. Conducting research, writing content, uploading it online

If you are unsure about which responsibilities to delegate, spend a minimum of three workdays keeping a detailed inventory of every task you complete as part of your regular business duties. Then make a list that includes the following sections:

  • Tasks you do not want to perform
  • Tasks you do not have time to perform
  • Tasks you do not have the skills or knowledge to perform
  • Tasks that could be performed better or more efficiently by someone else
  • Repetitive tasks that consume a large portion of your time

Ideally, you should hire a virtual assistant to handle the above work so you can focus on fulfilling the responsibilities that only you can do. Prioritize these tasks to decide which ones can be accomplished by a virtual administrative assistant and which ones may require a VA with specialized knowledge or training.

If you run a law firm, health care facility, real estate company, or property management office, Virtual Latinos has virtual assistants with extensive experience in providing general support, sales assistance, customer service and support, marketing, and other tasks specific to that particular industry.

Step 3: Establish Your Budget

The next step is to establish your budget. Calculating the value of the tasks you want to delegate to a virtual assistant allows you to estimate how much you can expect to spend to hire a virtual assistant, as well as how much you can save in the long term with this service.

Several factors can influence the cost of your VA, primarily the type of service you need, the number of years of experience you would like your VA to have, the country they are located in, and the number of hours you want to hire them for. More experienced virtual assistants with specialized knowledge will generally charge more than professionals who are newer to the industry or offer only general services. Typically, virtual assistant services cost $3-$75 per hour.

We suggest creating a benchmark value and hiring a virtual assistant for any recurring tasks that can be outsourced for less than this amount. Generally, most tasks that can be completed for less than $30 an hour are best suited for virtual assistants.

Step 4: Find Virtual Assistants

Now you are ready to find a virtual assistant. Virtual Latinos offers a comprehensive comparison chart that provides vital information on the differences between our virtual assistant services, and your other main options – a U.S.-based, in-person assistant, a U.S.-based virtual assistant, and a virtual assistant from the Philippines. This comparison chart reviews the following details:

  • The amount of time it takes to hire an assistant
  • Recruitment fees
  • Whether they offer pre-vetted talent
  • Average price per hour of services
  • Whether they offer a quality guarantee
  • The flexibility of their VAs’ schedules
  • Whether their VAs are certified professionals
  • Their availability in your time zone
  • The turnover rate of the company
  • The success rate of the virtual assistants

Step 5: Create a Job Posting

Create a job posting on a reputable virtual assistant services website that describes what you are looking for. You must clearly explain the role you want them to fill, define the tasks you need them to perform, and outline your expectations for them as an employee.

Step 6: Interview Virtual Assistants

The last step is to interview these candidates individually to determine who best fits your needs, has the qualities you are looking for, and can accommodate your budget.

How We Help You Hire a Virtual Assistant

Our Clients’ Recruitment Process

To find a virtual assistant from Virtual Latinos, you will complete the following recruitment process:

  1. Register your business in our website, and select a monthly hours package that covers your needs.
  2. Fill out a short questionnaire to provide information about yourself, your company, and the services or products you offer. Explain the job or tasks you need help with and share what virtual assistant skills you are looking for, such as location, hourly rate, experience, or specific skills.
  3. Our team reviews these requirements to find the perfect assistant for you. We select the most promising three or four virtual assistants for you so you can avoid a lengthy selection process, then introduce you to them so you can choose the right fit for your business.
  4. Interview the pre-selected candidates, select your virtual assistant, and sign our agreement.
  5. Your virtual assistant will begin working with you based on the hourly package you chose and receive payment on a bi-weekly basis after completing their tasks. You will manage your assistant, but our team will supervise their performance while providing ongoing support. We guarantee the quality of our virtual assistants, but if you decide you want to replace them with someone else, we offer replacements at no additional cost.

Behind the Scenes: Virtual Latinos Recruitment Process

Our Assistant Application process directs candidates along a funnel to narrow down the absolute best virtual assistants for our company. We attract top performers throughout Latin America, perform an initial qualification round to determine their suitability for our company, carefully review every application, interview each candidate, and invite those who qualify to perform a test task to ensure they can successfully complete what will be expected of them. At the end of this process, only 7.5% of the candidates from the original pool are accepted into our community.

Why Hire From Virtual Latinos?

At Virtual Latinos, every one of our staff members has extensive work experience, demonstrates written and verbal proficiency in English and Spanish, and was hand-picked from a large pool of applicants to ensure you always receive the highest quality services. 90% of our professional virtual assistants have earned college degrees in their field, and they all work in your time zone, meaning you never have to worry about a delay affecting your customers and damaging your business. We offer all-inclusive virtual assistant services without charging access fees, setup fees, or other additional expenses required by many other virtual assistant companies.

Tips for Managing Your Virtual Assistant

  • Make the training process as easy, simple, and transparent as possible.
  • Establish a written agreement outlining job responsibilities and expectations.
  • Use a project management system to assign specific tasks and track progress without needing to keep up with endless emails and messages.
  • Maintain communication to build trust and establish a positive working relationship.
  • Schedule regular meetings to ensure you are on the same page and provide an opportunity for your VA to ask questions or request additional clarification.
  • Utilize tools to track performance and productivity.
  • Promptly address issues with constructive criticism.
  • Familiarize yourself with cultural differences so you can most effectively communicate with your VA.

Top Tools for Outsourcing and Managing Virtual Staff

Communication

Our clients primarily use Telegram for instant messaging and Zoom for video calls.

Document Sharing

The best document sharing tools are DropBox, Mega, and Google Drive.

Project Management

Our team uses Infinity, TeamWork, ActiveCollab, and Trello for project management.

SEO and Analytics

Our favorite SEO and analytics tools are Google Analytics, AccuRanker, SE Ranking, Capturly, Oviond, and BrandMentions.

For a complete list of our favorites, visit our webpage on recommended tools and software.

Improve Your Business Today by Hiring a Virtual Assistant

If you are ready to elevate your business to the next level, contact Virtual Latinos today to hire a virtual assistant. We are consistently regarded as one of the best virtual assistant companies in the nation and our expert staff has helped thousands of clients with businesses of all sizes and industries. Hiring a virtual assistant gives you the ultimate freedom and flexibility to most effectively manage your business by delegating responsibilities to skilled, experienced, and dedicated professionals in Latin America.

At Virtual Latinos, our professional virtual assistants work throughout Latin America, including Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Colombia, Ecuador, and Argentina. A virtual assistant can save you time, money, and hassle, allowing you to prioritize your efforts toward growing your business. To learn more about how you can hire a virtual assistant to transform your business, contact Virtual Latinos today.

5 Security Best Practices When Managing Remote Teams

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What Is Cybersecurity and Why Is It So Important for Remote Work?

There is so much use of technology in our lives right now from email to smartphones and tablets, entertainment, shopping, transportation, and even medicine in the form of electronic charting and medical records. All of this makes cybersecurity more important than ever before. Cybersecurity refers to the process of keeping information confidential while protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized use or criminal access.

With the overwhelming amount of daily technology used for those of us who own a small business or remote working, as well as those who just simply store personal information on their phones, computers, tablets, etc., the risks of having poor cybersecurity puts everyone in some level of danger. These risks include things such as having your entire system erased, files altered, identity stolen, and unlawful access to your financial accounts. The cost of a cybersecurity breach is huge and can cause stress beyond just general annoyance. This is especially true when your small business is at stake. Cybersecurity efforts should not be taken lightly and luckily, there are ways to prevent cyber-attacks from occurring.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to completely avoid having these things happen to you, however, being aware of the most common threats and how to protect yourself from the dangers associated with them is a good start towards risk prevention.

What Are the Most Common Network Security Threats?

The most common network security threats are those that are often overlooked. Take a look at these 3 most common security threats that are out there and be aware that there are always others emerging:

  1. Computer VirusesComputer viruses are the most common cybersecurity threats and can affect everyday internet users. This type of threat is called a virus because it is a piece of software that does damage by spreading from one computer to another. Be cautious of unknown e-mail senders and suspicious email attachments that often contain the virus. Computer viruses can send spam, steal data from your computer, negatively affect your security settings, and even delete everything from your hard drive.
  2. Adware and SpywareAdware tracks and collects data without your consent. Everything you search for, your browsing habits, and purchase transactions can be monitored and used to flood you with pop-up ads. Adware is often hidden deep within user agreement documents and can go unnoticed until it interferes with your internet connection speed. Spyware is similar to adware and is just as dangerous, if not more. Once installed on your computer, it is able to track and record your personal information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and email addresses. Thus, posing the potential for identity theft.
  3. PhishingPhishing is another way a hacker can obtain our personal information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and usernames to steal your identity. Phishing attacks often appear legitimate at first, as they come across via instant messages or emails. Once you are tricked into opening the attachment, the malware is installed on your device, and security is breached.

Four Best Practices for a Secure Remote Team Management

  1. Set Up VPN Access to Remote WorkersA VPN is a virtual private network that allows small business owners to empower their employees to work virtually in a secure manner. VPNs provide the remote worker with access to the company’s resources by connecting their computers to a secure network. It is important to encrypt your company’s data and prevent an outsider from intercepting it.
  2. Establish Good Password Management for Yourself and Your Virtual TeamIt is important to use a different password for every account you have. Make sure it is at least 10 characters and is a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters. Use a password manager and avoid using your personal information such as your birthdate or anniversary. These types of passwords are easily guessed. It is also not good practice to use common dictionary words. Change your password often and be careful not to write it down where it can be found by someone other than yourself. Make sure your whole remote workforce knows how to create safe passwords and encourage them to change them regularly.
  3. Update Your Security Software RegularlyUpdate your security software daily, if possible. Whenever a new update is available, it is often because new malware has been detected and the update will protect your devices against it. Encourage your team to also check regularly for updates on their own devices.One of the best and easiest ways to ensure your cybersecurity software stays up to date is to use the automatic updates for the operating system you use. Using reputable web browsers such as Firefox and Chrome means security updates will be performed regularly and will be ongoing.Updating software regularly can fix and repair computer bugs and more importantly, fix or identify security holes that could put you at risk. Lastly, it is important to keep your browser plug-ins up to date as well. Common browser plug-ins include Flash, Java, Acrobat, and QuickTime. Always make sure your operating system is running the latest version of the software for optimum protection.
  4. Avoid Using Public Wi-FiUsing public Wi-Fi is risky behavior. There are definitely some privacy and security risks when you jump on the free services found in airports, restaurants, hotels, and coffee shops. Most times, your online activities are not encrypted, even when a password is used to access their Wi-Fi.This leaves your information and data vulnerable to predators who are looking to hack your accounts. In some cases, you may even be logged into a “fake Wi-Fi” created by a scammer to steal your personal information. Look out for things such as “free wi-fi” hotspots that predators wait for you to join and then come between you and your computer’s broadband request.With virtual teams, it’s important to stress Wi-Fi security, as many remote workers may utilize Wi-Fi outside of the home. Your whole remote workforce should understand the risks and what to look for.

Conclusion CTA

As you can see, cybersecurity is dangerous, and the risks affect almost everyone in one way or another. Here at Virtual Latinos, we take cybersecurity very seriously and are committed to only the safest hiring processes when looking for a virtual assistant to represent our company and yours. If you are a small business owner and are looking to hire a virtual assistant, contact us today, and let’s discuss the process of finding a virtual assistant from Latin America that is trustworthy and professional.

Consider Hiring a Virtual Assistant from Ecuador

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All About Ecuador

Ecuador is by far the greatest when it comes to being an environmentally diverse country. This beautiful country is situated in the northwestern part of South America and holds a rich, storied history. The first scientific expedition that took place to determine the circumference of the earth was based in Ecuador, in an expedition led by a Frenchman named Charles-Marie de la Condamine. Ecuador also possesses a rich cultural heritage, as evidenced by its relationship with the Inca Empire.

Exports of Ecuador

Early on, Ecuador was identified as a major exporter of Panama hats. These hats are well known as the hats that were worn on the Panama Canal by work crews. They were made of straw and were a popular purchase by traveling gold seekers. Ecuador was also a major exporter of agricultural products such as cocoa, certain types of flowers, petroleum, and bananas.

The Population of Ecuador

The current population of Ecuador is 17,847,533. This makes up 0.23% of the total world population. We rank as the 67th largest country by total population.

History of Ecuador

Throughout Ecuador’s history, it has been faced with different challenges, including political and economic problems. There have been periods of long-lasting military rule, economic ups and downs, and unequal distribution of wealth.

Ecuador of Today

However, today Ecuador is still a hot spot among world travelers. Its tourist industry is extremely important to the financial success of the country. Two major cities bring in travelers from all over the world. The first of these is Quito – the capital city, located in the gorgeous Andean Highlands in the northern part of the country. The other famous city is Guayaquil, which is a vibrant port city that attracts visitors partly due to its location on the west bank of the Guayas River.

Ecuadorian Values

As Ecuadorians, we value ourselves as good, righteous, and civilized people, and we refer to ourselves as Ecuatorianos (-as). The cultures of the native people of Ecuador go deep and vary across the country. The similarities fall within the spoken language and societies.

Ecuadorians take pride in their food customs and celebrations. We use fresh ingredients to prepare soups and dinners consisting of fish, grains, and local vegetables. Alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine are used to celebrate special occasions.

Ecuadorian Work Ethic

Have you ever visited Ecuador? The vibrant and beautiful country is a very diverse area. Ecuadorians are quite lively, and have an incredibly strong work ethic. Their strong community values make them excellent workers, at an affordable wage. They value others, are very honest, detail-oriented, and give everything 100% of their efforts. Their professionalism is bar none; Ecuadorians make exceptional workers.

In addition to their professionalism and skills, hiring a remote worker from Ecuador helps more than your business. Hiring a virtual assistant or remote worker from Ecuador can be life changing for an individual or family. The economy in Ecuador is not as giving as that in the United States. There are many low income areas, and many families struggle to make ends meet. Hiring an Ecuadorian means you will not only meet your business needs at a very affordable price, but also provide a remote opportunity for workers who need it. This gives Ecuadorian workers an opportunity to earn a higher salary, while enjoying a flexible, remote work environment.

Virtual Assistant Highlight: Jen

Meet Jen – a dedicated Virtual Assistant in Ecuador. Her favorite part of being a successful VA is that she can work independently, which allows her to manage her time to include spending time with her family and being physically active. When asked to describe her most rewarding experience since working as a VA, she states, “The amazing family that I’ve come to be part of is the most rewarding experience I have since I started working here at Virtual Latinos. Everyone is always helping each other, and even though we are working from our homes, it feels like we’re actually there when we talk and chat.”

Jen’s experience with working with Virtual Latinos has been a positive one as well. She feels deeply respected and welcomes their constructive feedback as a way to gain more experience and improve herself.

A Review From Jaime

“Hello, I am Jaime Nacach, founder of Virtual Latinos. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jen, one of our most dedicated VAs from Ecuador. It only took a minute to realize that I was dealing with a diamond in the rough. Jen is brilliant and an amazing addition to our team. She began her career without a lot of business experience, but her eagerness to learn new things and challenge herself to do things that may have once been out of her comfort zone makes her a valuable VA. She is warm and personable in nature which is contagious among everyone she meets and works with. Jen is just one of our many gems within Virtual Latinos. If you allow Virtual Latinos to help you find a VA, we can promise you will be connected with someone just as lovely as Jen. Reach out today and see for yourself.”

Benefits of Hiring a VA From Latin America

Let Virtual Latinos help you find the perfect VA from Latin America. Virtual Latinos can help provide support at an affordable rate to small businesses. There are many benefits to working with a Virtual Assistant from Ecuador:

  • Hiring a Virtual Assistant will save you money
  • Hiring a VA will save you time
  • Virtual Latinos have experts in many fields
  • Hiring a Virtual Personal Assistant can help promote the growth of your business
  • Hiring a Virtual Assistant will keep your clients happy
  • Virtual Latinos can connect you with both English- & Spanish-speaking VAs

Work With Virtual Latinos

If you are considering hiring a virtual assistant from Latin America for your personal use or small business, let Virtual Latinos connect you with an experienced, professional assistant. Our database consists of the most talented, hardworking, motivated freelancers who are looking to expand their client base. Reach out today to grow your business with a virtual assistant from Latin America.

Tax Season 2021: Why You Need a Bookkeeping Virtual Assistant More Than Ever

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Tax Season 2021: How a Virtual Assistant Can Help You Prepare

The 2021 tax season is in full swing, meaning that we’re all gathering documents, meeting with tax advisors, reviewing the best tax software, and trying not to panic. Though tax season can be stressful for anyone, it can be especially daunting for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Many people open businesses with a great idea and a plan, but without so much background knowledge on business tax law or accounting. Even if you do know how your business’s taxes run, it can be a scramble to assemble the right documents, find all of your receipts, and get everything entered by April 15th.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still a present threat, it can be hard to find the help you need with your documents, and it’s likely that your business had a rare situation or two that will need to be reflected on this year’s taxes. Now, more than ever, it is time to consider looking for help with tax prep. Though many normal sources of assistance are booked up or unavailable, bookkeeping virtual assistants are ready to help with your 2020 taxes.

Common Tax Preparation Roadblocks

For businesses, there are strict rules about what needs to be done during tax season. All deductions and expenses need to be accounted for, and the tax documents themselves can be confusing. Whether it’s your first tax season as a small business owner or your 30th, try to avoid these common tax season roadblocks:

  • Forgetting to budget time to assemble documents. Personal taxes may only take a few hours to complete, but business taxes are much more intricate. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is waiting until the last minute to begin your taxes. Assemble all of your paperwork as early as you have it, as this process often takes longer than you think.
  • Waiting to call a CPA. A Certified Public Attorney, or CPA, is one of the main sources of help during tax season. Because CPAs help with taxes, their schedules are often busy from the beginning of February until Tax Day. If you wait to call one, their services may be more expensive or unavailable altogether, and you will have to tackle your taxes alone.
  • Assuming your CPA will do everything. Many people think that hiring a CPA is all they have to do for tax season, but this is absolutely not the case. A CPA cannot search through your files to find appropriate documents. If you do not have the necessary documents and receipts ready for your appointment, your CPA will be unable to help you. Remember, assembling these documents takes longer than you think, so give yourself sufficient time before your appointment to collect them.

Avoiding these simple mistakes is only part of the battle of tax season. Now is the time to look for help with your taxes.

How Can a Bookkeeping Virtual Assistant Help?

Virtual assistance services can help you with a wide range of tasks and issues. Our trained bookkeeping personal assistants have experience and knowledge in taxes and online bookkeeping. They can be a great help during tax season. Here are some of the tasks that a bookkeeping virtual assistant can help you with during tax season:

  • Organizing accounts. Your bookkeeping virtual assistant can make sure all of your financial accounts are in order and ready for your accountant.
  • Pulling and organizing documents. Your virtual assistant can go through your online files to pull the pertinent tax documents and make sure they are ready for your CPA. If you have an online system for receipt records, your VA can assemble those as well.
  • Working with a CPA directly. If you’d like, you can have your virtual assistant be the main point of contact with your accountant. Our bookkeeping virtual assistants have extensive experience with tax season and can easily work with a certified accountant to finish your taxes. In these situations, you would only be contacted if there is an issue or missing information, making your tax season stress-free.

Bookkeeping virtual assistants can only be as efficient as allowed. If you have not retained the correct documents or do not have an efficient filing system for information and monthly expenses, they are limited in how they can help. If you are intimidated by finances or don’t have accounting software for bookkeeping, consider hiring a bookkeeping virtual assistant for year-round services. Some of the services a year-round bookkeeper can provide are:

  • Send and receive client invoices and organize them appropriately
  • Follow up with accounts that are not balanced and get appropriate payment
  • Create and send client receipts
  • Maintain receipts, including copies of client receipts for your records
  • Categorize expenses for easy access during tax season

If you don’t have a bookkeeper on hand, it’s in your best interest to hire a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant may or may not have previous experience in bookkeeping. At Virtual Latinos, some virtual assistants are experienced at bookkeeping, which includes the use of accounting software like Quickbooks Online. Although some of our virtual assistants don’t have specific bookkeeping experience, they are usually able to quickly learn the skill of bookkeeping. The process typically involves our clients either: a) Teach it to the virtual assistants themselves, or b) Clients give them access to online resources so the Virtual assistants learn on their own.

A virtual bookkeeping assistant can create invaluable financial filing and storage systems for your company that will benefit you year-round. Virtual assistants are significantly more cost-effective than an in-house bookkeeper and can provide other administrative assistant services as well.

Why Hire Virtual Latinos?

Virtual Latinos is one of the best virtual assistant companies in the world. Our assistants are all highly trained and vetted, and many are college-educated and ready to work. Most virtual assistant companies operate out of Asia or Australia. Though these companies provide low prices, it is nearly impossible to work efficiently with someone who is on the other side of the world. The time difference makes things incredibly frustrating. With Virtual Latinos, you get the best of both worlds. We provide quality assistants who can meet your needs at affordable prices, all in a time zone that operates with your schedule. When it comes to virtual assistant companies, no one can better serve the businesses of North America than Virtual Latinos.

Contact Virtual Latinos

Whether you are looking for a year-round bookkeeper or a virtual bookkeeping assistant to help you this tax season, Virtual Latinos has a match for you. Contact us today to get started.

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