Due to the tremendous popularity of this blog post, I decided to republish it.
As an onshore Virtual Assistant and small business owner, I feel obligated to inform small business owners about the disadvantages of outsourcing to offshore virtual assistants (VAs).
When you choose to outsource offshore, you are going to encounter virtual assistants who are not familiar with our culture and language. Although, they speak English, generally, it is not their first language. This causes language barriers, communication gaps, and lack of understanding. Is the frustration worth the money you save? Keep in mind, offshore VAs’ cost of living is much lower than ours. They can afford to work for less money. If you choose to outsource confidential personal data offshore, it may not be protected. Firms in India currently are not equally subject to any extensive legislative or regulatory data-protection controls.
Offshore VAs work for an outsourcing firm and are not business owners. They do not have a vested interest in your business other than getting more projects. Most of us, onshore virtual assistants, are business owners; therefore, we understand the operations of a small business, as well as what is required to develop it. Our goals are to establish an ongoing business relationship with you in order to help you reach your goals. We want you to succeed in your business. Erin Blaskie of Business Services, ETC stated in her blog, “These companies are working day and night going through a wide variety of tasks just to get them back out the door. They aren’t spending the time to strategize and become a partner in your business. They are simply providing cheap labor.”
Another disadvantage is offshore virtual assistants can’t operate without access to the Internet. On January 31, 2008, India had an Internet outage due to snapped cables in the Mediterranean Ocean. You can read the entire article here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,326988,00.html. Onshore virtual assistants’ Internet providers are their phone companies, cable companies or satellite providers. We are not at the mercy of a cable under the ocean.
There are several disadvantages to offshore outsourcing, including drastic differences in time zones. The one main advantage to outsourcing to offshore virtual assistants is saving money. The old adage is true. “You get what you pay for.”
Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’s Word Processing Services
Your Business Success Is Our Success