Craigslist

Several entrepreneurs have discovered an opportunity using Craiglist to find virtual assistants. They simply go to the Craiglist site for where they hope to find a reliable but affordable assistant, and post a help wanted ad detailing their job requirements. Manila in the Philippines is a particularly popular location.

craigslist logoThe benefit of using craigslist to find a virtual assistant is that you can find talented workers for a very low cost, but it is not for the faint of heart. In contrast with the other freelance virtual assistant resources, using Craiglist leaves you no feedback mechanism or avenue for resolution if things don’t go the way you planned. At that point, someone half way around the world has your money and there’s little you can do.

To prevent this worst-case scenario, there are a few steps you can take. First and foremost, you’ll need to interview for the position as if you were hiring an in-house employee. That means reviewing resumes, evaluating both written and oral English language skills, verifying work history, and checking references. It is very possible to find a rock-star virtual assistant on Craigslist, but just be prepared to deal with the unqualified candidates, the spammers, and the scammers.

There are also the issues of data security and tax implications. With someone working from their home in Manila, how secure will your personal and business information be? Also, not being a tax professional, I would be nervous directly hiring someone overseas because I don’t know what kind of paperwork burden that would create for me down the line.

Still, you can’t argue with the allure of Craigslist, and the potential to find great help for as little as $3 an hour. If you’re up for the challenge, you can definitely save some money over other established virtual assistant companies and freelance virtual assistant platforms.

If you’ve had any experience, positive or negative, with a Craigslist virtual assistant, please share it here.

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My Business Assistant

My Business Assistant is an outsourcing company aimed at helping small to medium sized businesses streamline their processes. The theory goes that if business can free up time, money, and resources spent on non-core processes, it usually makes sense to do that. And that’s where My Business Assistant comes in.

my business assistant reviewWhere most virtual assistant and outsourcing companies focus on serving the needs of busy professionals or solo entrepreneurs, My Business Assistant wants to help small companies take their business to the next level.

What’s unique about My Business Assistant vs. other VA companies, is that they have two working locations; one in the United States in Frederick, Maryland, and the other overseas in India. They call this the “Right Shore” approach, and assign tasks to the location best-suited to provide the most effective results.

My Business Assistant co-founder and CEO Gourab Nanda created a video on Tips for Successful Outsourcing. It’s nine minutes long, but definitely worth the time if you are seriously considering investing in a virtual assistant solution.

The services of My Business Assistant may be above and beyond the scope of what a “typical” virtual assistant company provides. Instead, they are a solution for a full-scale virtual workforce, for outsourcing entire aspects of your operation.

For example, if you run a small e-commerce website, you can hire My Business Assistant to manage all your phone orders, customer service, and live chat queries. The rates are higher than what you’ll find at AskSunday and other virtual assistant companies, but the level of service is greater as well. A US-based virtual assistant ranges from $24 to $32 an hour, depending on how many hours you need, and an India-based virtual assistant ranges from $9 to $12 an hour.

As you can imagine, this requires dedicated assistance, training, and customizable service plans, all of which My Business Assistant does. However, all this specialization comes at a price. If you need specific content written, such as an article for a website, it will run between $30 and $40. For the sake of comparison, I have purchased article writing on Fiverr.com for just $5, and have been happy with the results.

That said, plans are flexible, and you don’t have any long-term commitments. My Business Assistant is a BBB accredited business, and offers several customer testimonials on their website. For certain services, a free trial period is available, so it might be worthwhile to give them a test drive.

UPDATE: My Business Assistant has taken to posting spam comments on this site. If you plan to hire them for SEO, my advice would be not to. In the past few months they’ve posted the following generic and irrelevant comments under the names “Phone Customer Support” and “Outsource Customer Support”:

  • I just wanted to take a minute to tell you that you have a great site! Keep up the good work.
  • The theme of your blog is very beautiful and the article is written very well, I will continue to focus on your article.
  • Thanks for sharing these thoughts. This has been very helpful to me. Looking forward to read more informative topic.

These tactics are considered extremely low value and can really hurt your brand!

If you’ve had any experience with My Business Assistant, positive or negative, please share it here.

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