Further to my previous post, I was pleased to see that Valerie visited here and added comment. She advised that she did research transcription companies before looking further afield. She just hadn’t indicated that in her article and it might have helped those of us who commented on her article to see a more complete picture before commenting.
It is important to note here that transcription companies don’t necessarily mean Virtual Assistants and vice versa, although Valerie had mentioned both in her comment to my post. Virtual Assistants are generally people who provide assistance virtually – originally those who were PAs in the corporate world, but their range of skills and experience far exceed that these days. This means VAs provide a wide variety of support services which includes transcription services and not all VAs provide the same set of services. So, in contacting a transcription company, you may or may not get a VA who provides other services, but if you contact a VA network you will get a variety of services provided by those VAs.
I’d like to say also that I have no problem with VAs in other countries securing work from Australian businesses. That wasn’t my point and my apologies to anyone who may have gotten that idea. My point was that Valerie is writing a column for Australian business and the focus of this particular article tended to give readers the idea that they needed to search overseas for Virtual Assistant support.
Readers of this blog will know that I encourage new VAs to network locally when starting out in business as often this is where their client base will begin. Over time and as they build their confidence they will gain clients further afield, interstate and overseas. I still remember the excitement of my first overseas client.
Equally so I feel that businesses need to do the same thing – shop for products and services in their own backyard, but if they don’t find what they’re looking for, then start looking further afield. Sometimes time constraints mean that you need a job completed overnight and someone on the other side of the world would be the perfect choice.
In fact if you have a VA already they could assist with this search, even to the point of locating a VA in another country if that is your need. Through the various existing VA networks and communities Virtual Assistants get the opportunity to develop good working relationships with VAs in other locations. Sharing jobs, collaborating and sub-contracting to one another becomes a normal practice.
If Valerie had contacted one of the VA networks here in Australia I know she would have received quotes from Australian VAs and overseas VAs, whilst still going through the Australian network. Perhaps her own Australian VA might have been able to do this as well. Just another option when seeking support.