As more businesses start to take advantage of such tools as cloud computing, file sharing, and the range of communications platforms available such as Skype, Zoom and Slack, the ability to seamlessly integrate virtual workers with onsite employees has become so much easier and more the norm. Having a virtual team has also led to an increase in outsourcing of many functions, including such areas as marketing and administration to third parties like freelancers and virtual assistants. But although this is being embraced confusion still reigns between the terms outsourcing and offshoring. Although is some areas an overlap does exist, the two really are distinctly different.
Outsourcing is defined as the act of moving an internal function to a third-party vendor or individual. Whereas offshoring is moving operations to an entirely different geographic location, most often with much lower labour costs, like India or the Philippines.
For certain basic tasks, like pure data entry, offshoring may be the best option. But thinking about outsourcing in this way limits the possibilities and return that a business can make on using a virtual workforce. Instead, businesses should think more outside the square and consider outsourcing complex and operationally important processes. Even at a what can appear to be a higher cost, the returns are greater, making outsourcing truly transformational for business rather than just a time-saving option.
When thinking about what you can outsource, it’s natural that you gravitate towards the routine administration type tasks that seem to take up the most of your time. But you should also be looking at the operationally significant areas of your business that require skills and sound judgement. If you are currently experiencing growth, you may have areas of your business or team members that are drowning in work. Get them help! Examples might include getting your marketing team assistance executing content marketing or email marketing campaigns.
Similarly, you’ll want to outsource those projects for which you don’t have the required skills for in-house. If you have an overstretched CEO moonlighting as the marketing manager bring in extra help to get this under control and allow your in-house staff more time and flexibility to complete the work that is required of them.
Those projects which require specialist knowledge and collaboration can be done by virtual assistants (just not any old virtual assistant or the cheapest VA option).
One advantage of hiring a virtual assistant with specialised knowledge and experience in a field like marketing is that the virtual assistant doesn’t need additional training. Additionally, by outsourcing it allows your business to access a much larger talent pool by not being limited to the smaller, local selection of available skilled workers.
When you’re thinking about outsourcing, it’s a mistake to not consider Australian based virtual assistants. Utilising an Australian based VA provides important advantages over offshoring.
There are many ways outsourcing work can provide extra assistance to your business and whilst it certainly makes sense to outsource basic, administrative work – making the decision to outsource entire areas of operational responsibility can help your business expand and flourish with the right virtual assistant. Australian based outsourcing allows you to collaborate with a skilled professional who can manage significant projects and free up internal resources, allowing you to grow your business and achieve your goals sooner.