Outsourcing and Virtual Assistants

When you hear the word “outsourcing,” what thoughts come to mind?  Does it imply a cost-effective solution that promotes business growth, or a cheap alternative to the labor and production costs of running a business?  Do you think about the stack of papers next to your computer and wish someone else could enter that data or make those copies? 

 

I have known “outsourcing” to have negative connotations in the context of outsourcing manufacturing to locations where labor is cheap and profit margins are high.  Conversely, I have read articles and blogs where “outsourcing” is used to describe the process of hiring subcontractors for the purpose of reducing the overhead costs associated with hiring a full-time or part-time in-house employee. 

 

What does outsourcing have to do with a being virtual assistant?  I have been wondering what readers think when they see the word “outsourcing” applied to virtual assistants and home-based businesses.  Virtual assistance seemingly fits the description of outsourcing.  After all, a virtual assistant (VA) works as a subcontractor to a person or company, not as an employee; he/she works from a home office (not at the location of their client) and may even subcontract to another VA.  I’ve seen VA’s and VA agencies promote their own business as outsourcing secretarial tasks, bookkeeping, web design, etc.  What does it mean for a VA to be classified as “outsourcing?”  Does it reflect negatively on the professional, reliable, quality services that a VA offers?  Or does your impression of a VA depend on how they present themselves and complete the tasks assigned to them?  Would you be more or less likely to inquire about or request the services that are advertised as “outsourcing?”

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About invisiblebusinesssolutions

Gina Cozza is a talented administrative professional with a love for learning. These talents along with her desire to help people succeed are the reasons she created Invisible Business Solutions. With over 20 years experience in the engineering industry, serving both government and small business sectors, Gina has proven her success time and again. In 1989, Gina started working for the US Bureau of Mines as an intern. She worked her way through high school and college gaining many different skills along the way. In 1993, she transitioned to the small business sector working for a geologist. While working in a small office, she learned many different aspects of the business including accounting and field work. When the business closed in 1998, Gina began working for another small engineering firm in Spokane, WA. Gina quickly worked her way up from office assistant to office manager within the small engineering firm. During her 12 years as office manager, Gina took on many responsibilities within the organization including but not limited to client relations, document review, collections, accounts receivable, accounts payable, environmental field work, as well as many other administrative tasks. Gina learned quickly that working for small business requires you to “wear many different hats.” She found that she loved the diversity of the job. In 2009, Gina opened Invisible Business Solutions. The primary focus of Invisible Business Solutions is assisting businesses with their administrative needs. This includes a variety of services, such as document review, transcription, collections, or contact management. Gina has extensive experience with all aspects of Microsoft Office Suite, dealing with many administrative areas any small business may have. Gina realizes that technology is advancing daily and businesses need to keep up with social media in order to prosper. She tries to educate herself in order to understand this ever evolving technology in order to help her clients stay on top of the social media market.
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