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Virtual Assistant

Definition

What is a virtual assistant (VA)?

Virtual Assistants (VA) are professionals that work remotely with your organization in either a full-time or part-time capacity to handle repetitive work, specialized work, or one-off tasks. They can handle any type of work, ranging from simple data-entry type tasks to tasks requiring specialized knowledge and experience.

Virtual assistants can range from fresh graduates looking for a full-time career, to retired industry veterans working a side-job by marketing their professional skills. Hiring a VA is a great option for companies that need expertise for a specific project, or who only need that expertise for a specific part of the day. 

Other times, companies leverage virtual assistants to take the load off their regular employees so they can handle more high-value or critical work.

What is the function of a virtual assistant?

Virtual assistants have grown in popularity as SMEs and startups rely on virtual offices to cut costs. Bigger organizations are also now acquiring VAs to delegate their tedious workloads.

Virtual assistants can be full-time, part-time, or freelance employees. Further, since the virtual assistant works remotely, the company’s office does not need to provide additional desks or other office supplies.

Virtual assistant services

Virtual assistants can do a lot for a business. For one, many of them have primary experiences in customer services and administrative roles. This makes them a great alternative to an in-house secretary without the worries of additional office space and resources needed for their work.

Many VAs are also licensed to do bookkeeping and accounting tasks. They are great at handling books of accounts through online tools such as Quickbooks and Xero. They can also handle marketing and design roles to help in generating leads and growing the audience of a website.

Outsource virtual assistant (VA)

Anyone can become a VA so long as they have a good internet connection and an excellent work ethic. With this, companies and business owners can find virtual assistants with a range of interests and skills. 

Outsource Accelerator provides you access to professional outsourcing companies from the Philippines starting from $6 per hour, where you can save up to 70% on staffing costs. We make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with outsourcing virtual assistants.

Outsource virtual assistant (VA)

Benefits of virtual assistant call center solutions

Here are some benefits of hiring a call center virtual assistant.

Improves efficiency and customer satisfaction

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or a freelancer, you probably have a lot on your plate, including handling all of your company’s administrative, financial, marketing, and sales duties.

A virtual assistant can help you in expanding your organization or just operating more effectively.

Calls, emails, and other forms of communication with your clients, customers, and prospects can be handled by virtual assistants. This way, you won’t miss a single email or phone call.

You’ll have more time to focus on specific duties while your virtual assistant service takes care of things like routing incoming calls to the appropriate person or department and maintaining your calendar.

Cost savings

Hiring employees is a costly, time-consuming, and difficult process. Not only can you save money by using a virtual assistant service, but you can also eliminate the inconvenience of training new employees.

Virtual assistants operate from the comfort of their own homes, companies don’t need to provide them with offices, internet access, or laptops. 

Achieve work-life balance

Entrepreneurs and freelancers are generally able to handle all elements of their business with little downtime. If you will hire a virtual assistant, they can assist you with your tasks, allowing you to take a break.

This enables more time for you to spend doing the activities you have to do first.

Outsourcing FAQ

What is a Freelancer?

What is a freelancer?

A freelancer is often hired for a particular job or fixed project who has the freedom to work flexible hours on these projects. Being self-employed, it is common for freelancers to handle multiple clients at any given time.

A freelancer can specialize in various project-based jobs, such as writing, graphic designing, web developing, digital marketing, and a lot more. Freelancers work remotely with usually flexible working hours, as long as they are able to meet client deadlines. One disadvantage of being a freelancer is having no certain mandatory benefits shouldered by an employer.

Freelancers can be a great addition to an existing workforce for businesses who look for cost-effective service and high-quality work. Freelancers are perfect for small to medium business owners who are looking for excellent outsource partners who can work independently and can be productive under minimum supervision.

 

Freelancing and outsourcing

Outsource Accelerator specializes in helping small & medium sized enterprises (SMEs), with 2-500 employees, typically based in the high-cost English-speaking world. We are the experts in transforming these businesses with outsourcing.

What is Fully Managed Outsourcing?

What is fully managed outsourcing?

Fully Managed Outsourcing is one of the many services offered online by various outsourcing companies. It is a kind of laser-focused management that takes over the business process and tracking of the organization’s KPI metrics, training and development of employees, and quality assurance for the client. When routine tasks and jobs are outsourced, the company will have more time to focus on the more essential aspects of the business.

Fully managed service

Working with a fully managed outsourcing can be beneficial to any specific organization. Despite working offshore, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies can still provide a fully managed service to their clients. They ensure the best operational structure, competitive pricing structure, proven processes, and guaranteed results with their operational overseers. They can build a team and hierarchy; they do well-prepared implementation and alignment; and are also aligned to their high-quality mission, objectives, and culture. This kind of partnership promises a deliverable-based solution that can hit KPIs, targets, and metrics. Lastly, they can ensure continuous improvement as you go along with your business.

Outsource Accelerator provides you access to the best outsourcing companies in the Philippines, where you can save up to 70% on staffing cost. We have over 3,000 articles, 200+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with fully managed outsourcing.

Full-time employee definition

Full-time employee definition

A full-time employee (FTE) is used to describe someone who is exclusively employed by a company. This employee may work for forty hours a week or more, which could be equivalent to day-time business hours. 

A full-time employee (FTE) is also privileged with statutory benefits that are provided by the employer.

The Philippines is one of the countries where the BPO industry flourished greatly. It has since opened many job opportunities for the people, employing about 1 million alone within the outsourcing industry. 

In the outsourcing industry, a full-time employee can have varying working shifts to accommodate the clients’ timezone.

Importance of designating FTE status

Distinguishing employees between “full-time” and “part-time” is important because part-time staffers typically do not receive the following:

Paid time off for holidays or vacations Employee benefits  Employer retirement plans.

Designating full-time and part-time status to your staff can also affect whether your workers are considered as salaried or hourly, and exempt from taxes or not. This can also determine how you pay your workers for their overtime shifts. 

This is why it’s crucial to understand the difference——and how many hours part-time and full-time employees typically work—before hiring employees at your small business. 

However, as a business owner, you have to be careful not to discriminate by making some workers in similar jobs part-time while others in the same job are full-time. 

Denying benefits to part-time employees who work in the same range and hours as your full-time staff can have consequences depending on your local laws.

Outsourcing full-time

Outsource Accelerator provides you access to great full-time dedicated remote staff that you can outsource from the Philippines starting from $6 per hour, where you can save up to 70% on staffing costs. 

We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2500 BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with outsourcing.

What is What is business process outsourcing?

What is Business Process Outsourcing BPO?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the delegation of business processes to an external service provider to a nearby or farther location. BPO uses various technology-enabled services to optimize the delivery of services.

Some of the usual outsourced business functions are the following.

Payroll Accounting Human resources Customer service Sales Marketing

In the case of content providers, these could mean hiring writers, remote editors, or virtual assistants.

BPO speeds up processes and enhances efficiency. Companies that outsource some of their business processes use their time on core services and competencies.

With this shift in focus, companies improve their current processes which may result in improved customer satisfaction. BPO helps companies divert their resources to more critical business strategies.

Often, companies find it impractical to hire a full-time position in-house because of the cost associated with doing so. Outsourcing services can also help them save costs and resources in hiring suitable employees.

How does Business Process Outsourcing work?

Business process outsourcing happens when a business taps a third-party service provider to operate some of its internal processes. Such ‘processes’ include customer service, accounting and finance, or sales.

It is different from hiring an agency to do specific tasks, as the outsourcing provider (BPO) is more concerned with the ongoing production of labour-intensive tasks, instead of the higher-level strategy and guidance.

Now, business process outsourcing has broadened and is more akin to staff augmentation, or staff leasing.

What are the benefits of business process outsourcing?

There are many benefits to outsourcing, as well as some downsides and risks. The common benefits include:

Cost savings

Companies can enjoy savings of up to 70% by leveraging the salaries and costs in countries such as the Philippines and India.

Global market

Businesses get to access a bigger pool of talent that can fit their requirements. They can have better options in hiring employees since they are not limited to what is available in their home countries.

Global presence

At the same time, business process outsourcing opens clients to global trade opportunities. They can establish their global presence and expand more easily to other locations since they already have operations in the area.

Flexible workforce

BPO reduces internal local compliance obligations including providing additional office spaces to employees. Instead, organizations can hold their business operations on a remote setup, most usually having their teams in an office provided by the BPO firm.

Leverage skill

Companies cannot always do everything on their own. BPO enables them to leverage the skills of other specialist companies on more complex tasks such as accounting and IT.

Focus

Lastly, BPO enables organizations to focus on their core business functions. This is since most of their non-core business operations are done with the help of a reliable service provider.

Business process outsourcing examples

The business process outsourcing sector is a vast industry, generating over $200bn annually, and employing millions of people worldwide.

BPO can be seen in different forms and contexts, from hiring single staff to getting an offshore team. Some examples of BPO include:

Big enterprise

Facebook and Uber outsource many of their operational functions, including content moderation for Facebook, and customer service for Uber

Medium-size businesses

A medium business with 50-500 staff might outsource the labour-intensive accounting and finance functions to a team in the Philippines.

Small business and entrepreneur

It is common for small business owners to have a Virtual Assistant (VA) working for them full time and remotely from the Philippines.

What are the different types of BPO?

The type of business process outsourcing can be characterised by their specialisation, location, and size.

Generalist or specialist BPOs

Business process outsourcing is in the human resources and professional services sector. However, their services extend across all industries. The majority of BPOs are generalists, in that they offer a full range of professional services.

Meanwhile, some specialise in certain verticals such as the following.

Legal process outsourcing

Legal process outsourcing deals more with delegating legal processes and compliances to legal firms in another area.

Knowledge process outsourcing

Meanwhile, knowledge process outsourcing enables companies to outsource knowledge-related work including research and development, innovation, and creatives.

Location

Business process outsourcing typically operates from developing nations such as the Philippines, India, and Colombia. They typically have cheaper cost-of-living and bigger populations. Different locations offer different advantages.

Size of BPO

The bigger BPOs employ more than 250,000 people. They are huge, global operations. Medium-sized BPOs range from 500-5,000 staff and offer a full range of services. The smaller BPOs might have 1-500 people.

Functions of business process outsourcing

Collectively, business process outsourcing provides any kind of staffing solution. Common functions of BPO include:

Finance and accounting

Outsourced finance and accounting services help businesses manage their books, monitor cash flow, and keep up with corporate income tax compliances without fuss.

Healthcare

Healthcare outsourcing, meanwhile, organizes various back- and front-end functions done for the healthcare and insurance industries.

Creative and content

Creative services outsourcing covers everything from post-production of Hollywood movies to newspaper and website content.

Tech, IT and development

IT outsourcing involves delegating network management, web and app development, and cybersecurity protection to IT firms in different countries.

Sales & customer support

Some BPO providers specialize in sales and customer support for pre- and post-sales transactions. This helps companies meet the expectations and demands of their customers, keeping them satisfied even after their purchase.

Marketing

BPOs and marketing firms can help in ongoing marketing, communication and branding activities for their clients. This helps them attract more suitable leads in a cost-efficient way.

Talent and HR

Businesses can delegate HR, recruitment and compliance to professional employer organizations to maximize recruitment and workforce management.

Administration

Generalist BPOs help organizations accomplish general business administration and operational activities. This includes data entry, appointment setting, and other related functions.

Supply chain management

Lastly, e-commerce stores benefit from outsourcing supply chain management to manage warehouse and delivery processes.

Top BPO companies in the world’s top outsourcing hubs

A wide range of business process outsourcing companies in different parts of the world provide utmost services to their Western and local clients. Many of them even earned recognition by award-giving bodies due to their performance in both their roles and their level of care for the employees.

Check out the top BPO companies in several outsourcing destinations below.

Top BPO companies in the Philippines Top Indian BPO companies Top South African BPO companies Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services

With the rise of new offshore outsourcing locations, companies can have better options in terms of location and services they can delegate. However, finding a suitable BPO company can be a daunting task to be done on their own.

Good thing advisory services such as Outsource Accelerator is there to help them.

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,500+ BPOs from different locations.

Outsource Accelerator's offerings make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, business process outsourcing companies worldwide.

Want to learn more about outsourcing? Check out the Inside Outsourcing book as well as the Inside Outsourcing book review today!

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About OA

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,000+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.