As we head out to celebrate Canada Day and the long weekend, it’s important to take some time to appreciate all that our amazing country has to offer – the mountains, the lakes, hockey, poutine, Tim Horton’s and Ryan Gosling.
At Canadian Virtual Gurus, we like to celebrate our amazing Canadian virtual assistants! Our amazing assistants are located around the world, but the dream? Well, that started right here in Canada.
Making the Choice to Hire a Virtual Assistant
If you’re thinking about hiring a virtual assistant, you’ve probably spent some time online looking at different companies and it’s no secret that offshore virtual assistants can be hired for a fraction of the price of those from Canada.
Though the sky is the limit when it comes to outsourcing corporate practices, many business owners seem to be reluctant. And who can blame them?
Finding and managing talent, communicating across time zones, and overcoming language barriers present very real challenges for any business owner.
So why hire Canadian?
According to the Frugal Entrepreneur, “the cheapest is not always the best – a lot really depends on the kind of tasks that need to be accomplished and not just the budget or them. I’ve personally experienced having to re-do projects with offshore staff. It’s not fun and a very, very big waste of time and money.
Business owners often encounter the following common problems when hiring offshore:
Language and communication barriers
When hiring a virtual assistant, you must consider cultural differences and how much they will come into play for your business.
The best virtual relationships occur when employers treat their VAs as valuable members of their team. If your virtual staff will be interacting with your clients or vendors, it’s important that they emulate the culture of your company so that they can best represent you and your brand.
Will your assistant be answering calls from clients, or making phone calls on your behalf? How secure will you feel not knowing if your assistant is communicating clearly and professionally if English, or French, is not their first language? There are common phrases, terms and references we use on a daily basis that might not be understood or appreciated by a person who living abroad.
Canada is a large country that spans many time zones – when it’s 1:26pm in Newfoundland, it’s only 9:00am in Vancouver. This offers businesses the advantage of having virtual staff work a few hours before or after their normal operating time.
Hiring overseas, on the other hand, often means that your VA is on a completely different time schedule. When the workday is starting at 9:30am in Toronto, it’s already midnight in India. With such vast time differences, it becomes very challenging to effectively communicate with your virtual assistant – and communication is the key to making a virtual arrangement work. If you have to call your assistant, or have them contact your clients, the time difference becomes a huge hurdle.
At Canadian Virtual Gurus, all of our virtual staff is based in Canada. We service businesses in both Canada and the US, and we have staff situated across all North American time zones
Education and Training
When you hire a virtual assistant, you have a vast talent pool at your fingertips of staff from around the world. The online posts for people looking to work for $3 per hour are endless. But can you be secure in knowing what level of staff you are getting at that price? Would you trust them with your personal information or company’s financial data?
In Canada, the situation is different. Most Virtual Assistants are entrepreneurs themselves, either working through a company, such as Virtual Canadian Gurus, or working freelance. They are highly educated with years of business experience, and they understand first hand the importance of customer service, time management, and financial management.
Know What You’re Getting
Hiring a Virtual Assistant for your company is big decision – but the benefits can be significant. It’s important to give thought to the type of assistant you want working for you. An effective virtual assistant is not just a random person across the ocean at a computer terminal – all great working relationships start when a virtual assistant becomes part of your team. Hiring a Canadian Virtual Assistant helps eliminate some of the concerns you might have about starting your virtual relationship.
If you would like more information on hiring a Canadian Virtual Guru, please contact us and we’d be happy to discuss our services.