Aussie vs. Offshore VAs: what’s the difference and why should you care?
There’s no topic more hotly debated in the VA world than, ‘hiring Aussie VAs vs. offshore VAs’. And it’s a debate I try and steer well clear of, as I don’t like getting caught in a tropical storm – it’s not in my nature.
But lately, as I become better known in many circles, I find myself getting thrown into the middle of these awkward conversations. ‘Leanne, as an Aussie VA, what’s your opinion?’…
Honestly, I usually become a blubbering idiot – looking at them all wide eyed and not wanting to offend anyone.
Now I’ve decided I need to put on my big girl panties and give you my opinion once and for all. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and this is mine – agree or disagree, that’s fine – but it’s my opinion all the same.
Here goes nothing.
My personal beliefs as an Aussie Virtual Assistant
I’ll get onto the real, tried and tested pros and cons shortly, but I want to make my feelings clear from the outset.
I 100% back Aussie VAs wholeheartedly, and it’s not just because I am an award-winning Aussie VA.
To grow our local industry, it’s a no-brainer that we all must support each other. You’d have to agree with that?
When I’m looking for someone to outsource to, I will ask for recommendations in my Facebook groups. Within hours, I’ll be inundated with amazing Australian businesses to contact. Personally, I’m inclined to choose local businesses, and to date, not one of them have let me down.
And although I may be paying a premium for their services, I sleep well at night knowing I’m supporting local industry, and businesses who honestly are in the same position as me – working hard every day to provide for their families. Our cost of living is high, so it’s understandable that our business rates must reflect this.
And in case you’re thinking, ‘Yeah right, I bet you don’t even outsource’, here’s a list of the local companies I support by outsourcing to them:
- Minuteman Press Dandenong for my printing
- Ideas Ministry for my design
- Harper Group for my accounting
- PSE Supplies for my toner and printer purchases
- A Virtual Copywriting Monstar for my copywriting
- Triple T for my insurance
- EK Financial for financial advice
- Sandown Mechanical Repairs for my vehicle repairs and roadworthys
Yes, I know I could do it all cheaper, but you’ll never see VistaPrint, Fiverr, or cheap eBay suppliers on my list. I love supporting Australian businesses, and that’s my right.
Now let’s look at the hard and fast differences between VAs
With the differences being self-explanatory (and you’ve heard it all before), here they are as both PROs and CONs
A real-life Virtual Assistant outsourcing story to share
I was chatting to a VA buddy about this issue the other day, and she told me how her client has both her (an Aussie VA who’s been around for years) and an offshore VA. Both my VA buddy and her client love the offshore VA for her warmth and for how hard she tries.
You see the client has a 5 hour a month contract. Regardless of whether the hours are used or not, the offshore VA gets her payment. This overseas VA genuinely loves working with them and will send reminders that they have hours remaining to be used. And they adore her for that, and for her persistence.
So why aren’t they using up the hours?
Initially, simple tasks such as typing up documents, internet research, transcription and creating an Excel spreadsheet from business cards gathered at an event was given to her.
The results would come back less than satisfactory. The transcriptions were being used to help write a book, so when things were transcribed incorrectly, it made it very hard to use the information.
Not to mention how useless it is when business card details, such as email addresses are entered wrong into a spreadsheet. This was a simple copy typing job that was returned with over 10 errors for only 12 business cards. The Aussie VA had to end up fixing the job.
When more cards came through, the Aussie VA received an email from her client, ‘Can you please just do this – you’re faster and more accurate’.
Speaks volumes to me.
Sure, they may need to find another VA, but she’s been with them for years and if she hasn’t gotten up to speed yet, will she ever? And yes, they have shown her how things should be done too – but again, it’s not their responsibility to continually train her, is it?
The Aussie VA trains and up skills herself.
What do you think about outsourcing?
I’m pretty sure I’m going to regret opening this up for discussion, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on outsourcing. Do you stick with an Aussie VA who yes, may cost more, but ensures they are highly skilled and can do what you need them to do?
At the end of the day, I live by the saying, ‘You get what you pay for’
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