Recently I became aware of a promotion for a chapter of a business networking group, promoting the 4 hour work week and using $5 an hour VAs. Whilst I know this book has held the interest of a lot of people who want to work less hours and still make the same or more amount of money, I really do get disturbed about the promotion of $5 an hour VAs. The reality is that a lot of the people doing these promotions know little if anything of the VA industry and they’ve picked up on something that Timothy Ferriss wrote, without really thinking it through or investigating it properly.
True, there are people out there who will do your typing, or data entry for $5 an hour. Generally these people are not trained typists with a background from the corporate world or as admin support people – they’re usually people at home with a computer and internet connection, looking to earn some extra money. They should, in no way, be considered a VA or Virtual Assistant.
I contacted the President of the organisation because of my concern and some of my team did as well. This is my email to that organisation:
I pioneered the Virtual Assistant industry in Australia and have been running this network since April 1996. We pride ourselves in our professionalism and abilities and have had articles in most major newspapers around Australia, in Reader’s Digest and several business magazines and in the Lawyers Weekly.
Outsourcing to people who only charge $5 an hour is encouraging business people to seek cheap support often from people who are not equipped through experience and knowledge to provide the kind of support they need and deserve. We’ve seen these type of promotions before and it really does a disservice to our industry and many of us take exception to it. Sourcing ‘VAs’ through Craigs list and similar will only end up attracting the attention of people who are trying to earn some extra income at home using the computer and internet connection they have, but frequently they don’t have the corporate skills and experience behind them. Virtual Assistants should be sourced via the 20+ VA Networks available out there and they all show up in Google searches. And there are many VAs going it alone who aren’t with the networks but still able to be found via Google.
The network I manage has members in 16 countries so I can provide VA support from other countries with different currency rates but certainly not at $5 an hour.
Some of the following articles might help you, or the people who want to know about our industry understand it a bit more.
Virtual Assistant or Virtual Worker?
Seeking a VA – price and where to search?
Can A Virtual Assistant Be An Employee?
Virtual Assistant Needed
When Is An Hour Not An Hour?
Speed and Efficiency = Cheaper Job!
I did receive a response fairly quickly and was pleased to hear that they were going to present the other (our) side as well and show the above articles to the attendees to make them aware of the services available here in Australia and via VA networks in general. A good outcome.