…. is correct. I use Google Alert to keep me informed of new articles being posted, or if something has been uploaded that might refer to my business.
Tonight two separate articles were posted about Virtual Assistants and both had very different charge rates listed.
The American Chronicle’s ‘Virtual Assistants Offer Economic Advantages To Business Owners’ outlined the advantages of using a VA and listed one set of suggested expected rates to pay.
And on the other hand Paid Surveys Free.com had an article called ‘Stuck in a Work Rut?’ and listed being a Virtual Assistant as a possible easy ‘work at home role’ to set up. Their suggested rates started as low as $5.00.
Neither article indicated which currency they were referring to but I’m assuming they mean USD. I say this because most articles written in other countries usually list the currency they’re talking about.
If you’re someone shopping for a suitable assistant to help you with your business, then finding out about the Virtual Assistant industry is probably an answer to prayer. But beware. As the latter article indicates, almost anyone could decide to set themselves up as a ‘Virtual Assistant’ and there would be many an unsuspecting client decide to take up the $5.00 an hour offer, only finding that the standard of work they were expecting, just doesn’t exist – they’ll most likely be engaging someone who doesn’t have the skills or know-how to handle the job. Although, to be fair, this article did mention up to $50 as a possible rate.
The former article which suggested a higher starting rate charge also suggests that VAs are already computer trained, can work in highly specialised areas, and trained to go beyond administrative support to client development and marketing support.
This is not to say that VAs charging at the lower end of the market may not have the skills required, but I am encouraging you to consider a number of factors: where do they live and work (cost of living), what is the currency being quoted (again, cost of living), what is their background experience; how many years of experience do they have? Are they affiliated with any of the VA networks (which often give support, advice and in some cases training for the VA industry), and do they have any qualifications, accreditations, certifications, etc relating to the type of service they are providing?
Not everything that is published online (or in the newspaper) can be taken as gospel, but it should at least set you on a search for facts about that particular topic. Make sure you read a few articles, not just one, before deciding you have all the facts. KMT