Recap: #17 - Karl Diffenderfer: VA Business & Social Mission
#17 - Karl Diffenderfer: VA Business & Social Mission

Virtual Assistants Co. aims at facilitating the connection between best fit Offshore virtual assistants and local clients as a facilitator that provides coaching support in bringing both sides together.

Karl points out that being able to support people in less favored countries by giving them the chance to collaborate in needed work in the US (in the present case as VAs) is, in fact, a win-win situation.

Although some people will take advantage of low-income geographies, the conscientious attitude is to look at how much they would make locally and go above

To have a conscientious business perspective means to support the offshore workforce by going above their standard local rates while still making a profit.

How to source for VAs?

The VA may be anywhere in the world as long as the skill set and the price is right for the client and need at hand.

The Philippines VA paradigm is pointed out as a perfect example that derives from very low standard income (ranging from $300 to $800 a month for a local full-time job) combined with the fact that their English is very good, the culture is focused on personal development and growth, they are naturally good communicators and they share their client’s expectations.

Nevertheless offshoring also poses some cultural and geography related challenges which require planning ahead, in the Philippines Internet access is very unstable, so it is common to have full day blackouts.

What should be delegated?

Karl goes about it with the need of starting by defining what one loves and hates to do. Then moving towards assessing if it is possible to create a process about the things that one hates doing which allows someone else accomplishing it, if possible with better results.

Delegating doesn’t come easy. To begin with, business owners find it very hard to take required time off that is mandatory to define and write a process which will allow a 3rd party to step in and start performing a given task. Then they feel not being allowed to let someone else stepping in and messing up a process that is working, sometimes not realizing that there is the need for training and coaching and at the end, most likely the 3rd party will do it better.

Karl’s value proposition comprehends coaching and supporting the Business owners through the delegation process. And the main advice is to properly train, coach and retain a good VA once one has been found.

One major point pertains the awareness of how relevant for success it is to treat others like we would like to be treated ourselves

Choosing a VA to be part of Virtual Assistants Co. portfolio starts by being a “refer a friend” approach based on the existing already team members VAs. This also accounts for easier cross training where the older members will train and coach the new arrivals.

One relevant basic component of such a service is the adopted Toolkit and in this case, Karl mentions Trello for Project Management, Wunderlist, Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive as well as other.

Another important step in the servicing process of Virtual Assistants Co. is to assess if what the client really needs, as an example, sometimes the query may initially be for a VA but the client really needs a Project Manager.

The “vanishing freelancer” and low-quality/ partial delivery are the main pain points

Karl points out that online freelancing platforms are ok, but they demand time and effort as well as a trial and error process to find the right match; plus, one needs to be crystal clear about what is required. If any doubts remain, then one should resort to a “matching” support service.

Not to undergo the risk of poor customer support, Virtual Assistants not taking more than one new client a month, so growth is a goal, but it needs being consistent.

Proper delegation is key for growth and success

I'm an Outsourcerer. I'm a DNN Geek. I help people with their sites @ DeskPal. I'm a #Pomodoro practitioner. I'm a husband and a father of 2 beautiful girls.

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Aderson Oliveira
Aderson Oliveira