If you’re planning to outsource some of your personal or business tasks, we happen to believe you’ll get no better value from virtual assistant services anywhere than those offered by Filipino outsourcing professionals.
However, if you’re thinking about visiting some online job boards to search for freelance VAs from the Philippines, there are some undeniable truths to be aware of.
Here’s the skinny on a few of those truths—which relate primarily to geography and national infrastructure—and why you should be aware of them before hiring freelance VAs from the Philippines.
Brownouts: The Filipino Homeworker’s Nemesis
Planned and unplanned electrical power cuts are part and parcel of Filipino life. Sections of the electrical grid can be starved of power on a regular basis, sometimes for extended periods of time. Now if you don’t plan to delegate time-critical tasks to VAs from the Philippines, this will be no issue.
In many cases though, virtual assistants are expected to be on duty during clients’ office hours, and to be available for clients’ customers.
If this is true in your business, be sure to ask prospective VAs how they plan to ensure their availability during power outages (or “brownouts” as they are locally known).
Guaranteeing availability can sometimes be a challenge for freelance VAs, as they typically work from their homes and rarely have access to secondary power sources. Remember, no electricity usually means no connectivity, possibly leaving you and your customers cut off from virtual assistance until power is restored.
Home Internet Reliability is Not a Given
Most freelance VAs from the Philippines will be using home, rather than business Internet services. Home Internet in the Philippines is way behind that of most countries (even other Asian countries) in terms of speed and reliability.
Like the power supply, it’s not uncommon for home Internet services in the Philippines to go down for hours at a time.
The situation is improving slowly, but it’s worth asking VA candidates for some assurances that they can stay connected when you need them, perhaps by way of a backup Internet service provider.
Philippines Weather is Your Weather
When hiring freelance VAs from the Philippines, you will certainly need to keep your weather eye open—not for local conditions, but for those in your VAs’ homeland. While your business is unlikely to be affected by the many hours of tropical sunshine, weather in the Philippines can turn very wild indeed.
So the question to ask yourself is “what measures can I put in place to ensure business continuity if my VA service is shut down for an indefinite period?”
With up to 20 typhoons per year battering our island nation, and heavy rain and thunderstorms occurring frequently in the rainy season, Filipinos’ homes and the national infrastructure are often sorely tested by Mother Nature.
If a storm takes out the power supply and/or telecommunications cables, repairs can take a long time to effect. If your freelance virtual assistant is in an area impacted by severe weather, he or she may be left without power, connectivity, or even a place to work from.
No Challenge is Insurmountable
Electricity, connectivity, and weather-related issues are all realities of working with freelance VAs from the Philippines. Like all challenges though, these concerns can be prepared for (and avoided) if you know about them.
Remember to discuss these points when interviewing a prospective virtual assistant and to consider whether they pose any outsourcing risks for your business.
Ask candidates whereabouts they live in the Philippines, as that can make a big difference to things like infrastructure and utility-service reliability. Virtual assistants working out of Metro Manila and other larger cities are less likely to be affected by power and Internet outages, for example.
Another way to avoid these potential outsourcing hurdles is to let a company like Virtual Done Well source and manage your VAs from the Philippines, as an alternative to searching in the freelance marketplace.
Outsourcing Peace of Mind at Virtual Done Well
While you might find the services of freelance VAs from the Philippines to be a little cheaper than ours, our monthly rates are well within the range of small-business affordability. Perhaps more importantly, they buy you the following advantages in comparison with the freelance virtual assistant market.
- No Cultural Hurdles to Overcome: With a team of VAs based in our Davao facility, we’re able to provide local management, supervision, and guidance, helping our clients and VAs to get past cultural differences and form rewarding business relationships.
- No Service Downtime: High quality, business-grade Internet connectivity, redundancy and emergency power supplies ensure your service is always switched on, regardless of local infrastructure or weather problems. Not only that but in the event of unplanned VA sickness/work absence, we’ll have a replacement on hand to keep your outsourced tasks covered.
- Effortless Recruitment and Hiring: To make your life even easier, we take care of finding, hiring, and onboarding virtual assistants in accordance with your specific business needs.
The virtual assistant market is growing all the time, with plenty of space for freelance workers and VA companies alike. If your virtual assistance needs extend beyond basic personal/general task outsourcing though, there’s a lot to be said for the peace of mind offered by our team and facilities at Virtual Done Well.
To find out more (and there is lots more to discover), contact us today and speak with one of our friendly, professional VA team leaders.