Virtual Assistants or VAs in Philippines

Virtual Assistants or VAs in Philippines

There comes a time in every successful startup company where you have to outsource work. As a business owner, you know that your time is valuable, and it should be spent doing the important things you excel at. Don’t get me wrong, every part of running a business is important, no matter how small- but some things are worth paying someone else to do. One of the first things that people outsource is small administrative duties, which a virtual assistant can do.

First, let me ask if what is VA or Virtual Assistants?

       Many of us is surely do not know what is VA or Virtual Assistant or what did a VA do. A virtual assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office. They don’t fix broken businesses, and they can’t make your business for you. VAs are there to assist you in your business, and to help you run things more smoothly so you can have more time to do things that give you more value.
 

 

 

 

What are the things that you need to consider in hiring a Virtual Assistant?

This are the minimal things that candidates must have to be a Virtual Assistant or VAs.

  • A computer with high-speed internet
  • Personal phone line
  • Knowledge of Word, Excel, Powerpoint,
  • Google Suite: Gmail, Calendar, Chrome, Drive, Plus, Hangouts, Voice
  • Microsoft Suite: Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook.
  • Good at English.
  • Tools for Tracking their work at office home.





What can a Virtual Assistant do for you?

This is a very broad answer. Some virtual assistants can do many different things for you. The best way to find a good fit for you, is to determine what tasks you need to outsource, and go from there. Hiring a virtual assistant is a huge undertaking, and you can’t take it lightly. Once you know the tasks that you need to outsource, you can start searching for virtual assistants. Many of them specialize in a certain area, so it would be beneficial for you to find one that has specialties that could benefit your company. Almost every task performed by your assistant in the office, can be picked up by the Virtual Assistant. The only thing the VA can not do is bring you coffee.

Why do a lot of entrepreneurs hire a Filipino Virtual Assistant?

Finding a VA is not hard, just do a Google search and dozens of VA services and portfolios will appear right in front of you. The challenge, however, is in choosing the right VA that suits your needs and the one that your budget can afford, after all, one reason you want to hire a VA is to save money anyway. There are many VA from different countries out there that offer good quality services online. But if you are looking for a loyal, honest, hard working, organize, with initiative (always do the extra mile and smile), can write and speak English well, and of course affordable, then consider hiring Virtual Assistants is from the Philippines.
The Philippines is rich in traditions and cultures blend with most of the western countries especially the US. It had been colonized by the Americans for years, making the Filipinos kind of an extension of the west. The government, the technology, fashion, music and the way of life has been adapted by the Philippine people from the westerners. English is like the second language, it is being taught in school since first grade.
One big advantage of hiring a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines that you should really consider is that `they are loyal. Though there are many entrepreneurs in this side of Asia, most Filipinos prefer to be employed. They love working, and if you are from the west, they will sure love to be hired by you. It kind of give them the pride to say that their bosses are from the US or UK or Canada or Australia, it’s a culture.




Some things to keep in mind to better work with a Virtual Assistant from the PHILIPPINES

  • Filipinos are typically shy. There are those who doesn’t ask questions, so be the first to open a conversation, make them feel comfortable conversing with you. Be generous in using smileys when chatting, this sends a signal to them that you are happy and that you are open to their suggestions. You will be surprised how much they can contribute to you.
  • Filipinos are very good in comprehension, once they understand what you want to be done, it will be done accordingly. In giving instructions, just as giving it to anyone, do it clearly by giving an A, B, C-kind-of guide. Use videos and snapshots whenever possible. Use software like Jing or SnagIt or anything alike.
  • Filipino Virtual Assistants love feedback. As stated above, they will do anything to please their bosses. So send a word or two either through email or chat to let your VA know how you feel about his work. Be blunt when you do not like some results but never ever throw the “F” word or anything offensive. Who wants it anyway.
  • Filipinos love prizes. This is not necessary but if your budget permits, adding a little extra $$ to the negotiated compensation will make your relationship lasts longer. If you had been or planning to work with your Filipino VA in a long term, it will be good to put in your reminder the 13th-month pay. It is a law in the Philippines that basically means paying your employee an extra month of a paycheck at the end of the year. Filipinos are shy, they will probably not tell you about it but they will be expecting it. If you do not have any plan of giving it, tell it to your VA as early as your first meeting.
  • Filipinos are human. Yes obviously they are but not every outsourcer know that. They are not robots or just “cheap labors”. Ask about their life, their families, their worries and cares. Spend a minute or two at least in a month to talk about these things. Vice versa tell them stuff about you as well.
    With these things in mind, you are now ready to hire a VA from the Philippines. You can send me an email or click here if you want to know more about hiring a VA to help you in growing your business.

Understanding Cultural Differences When Working with Filipino Virtual Assistants



Here are some the list of company hiring Virtual Assistant in the Philippines.

  1. Virtual Staff Finder
  2. Task Bullet
  3. Remote Workmate
  4. Virtual Done Well
  5. Pepper Virtual Assistant
  6. Virtual Coworker
  7. 365 Virtual Assistant
  8. www.jobstreet.com.ph
  9. 365 Virtual Assistant
  10. 365 Virtual Assistant

Here are some sites that offers training in Virtual Assistant.

  1. Learn Internet Skills and Work From Home
  2. Virtual Assistants Training Philippines

Let’s talk about what can a Filipino Virtual Assistant do and how much they cost?

We’ve all heard the sales pitch about how Filipino virtual assistants can do anything, but I know some of us have been burned by Filipino virtual assistants who don’t meet expectations. “Filipino VAs are too much of a hassle.” “Any savings you get from outsourcing to a Filipino VA isn’t worth the convenience and quality of having your own staff or outsourcing to local business.” Have you heard any of that before?
What most people don’t realize is that the right Filipino virtual assistant can take your business to a whole new level. The key to finding the right virtual assistant is to first have realistic expectations of what a Filipino virtual assistant can do. Then, from there, you’ll get a better idea of how much they are really worth.

We surveyed experienced Filipino virtual assistants all over the Philippines and asked them about their skills and what their employers and clients ask them to do. We got a list of these tasks and estimates of how long it takes them to do these tasks. What we saw is that almost all of these tasks are recurring jobs that businesses need, requiring at least long-term, part-time assistance. Most business owners might be wary of this because it means long-term, recurring costs. That is why we also did a cost-benefit analysis using Andrea Howson’s cost-benefit analysis table to illustrate how much it would cost to hire Filipino assistants compared to hiring someone in-house or outsourcing the same tasks locally on a full-time basis.

From there, we get a better idea of what Filipino virtual assistants can do, how much time it takes them to do it and, how much it costs to hire a Filipino worker to do these things.

Administrative VA Tasks and Costs

       General VAs/ project managers, real estate, legal and medical VAs all fall under this category because they mainly provide administrative support. This category is common for a Filipino VA, and it is often seen as a starting point for virtual assistants who want to specialize in other fields.

       Below are the tasks most Filipino general VAs can do. The amount of time it takes to complete these tasks depends on the amount of work provided, but on average, most of these tasks can be completed in under an hour.

For a general virtual assistant to do all these tasks for you on a regular basis would require from 20 hours to 40 hours a week.

Administrative VA Costs and Savings – In House vs Local vs Filipino

In House Administrative Assistant Local Virtual Assistant Filipino Virtual Assistant
Wage Per Hour $18 $20 $3
Employee Benefits (35%) $6.30 $1.05
Training Costs (7%) $1.26 $0.21
Overhead Costs (50%) $9
Payroll Taxes (25%) $4.50
Total Hourly $39.06 $20 $4.26
Hours Per Year 2080 2080 2080
Total Paid Out $81,422.80 $41,600 $8,860.80
Savings $39,822.80 (compared to inhouse staff) $72,562 (compared to inhouse staff)
In House Administrative Assistant Local Virtual Assistant Filipino Virtual Assistant

Technical VA Tasks and Costs

Programmers, web developers, and SEO specialists fall under this category. These virtual assistants typically cost more, but those who specialize in these tasks often have years of VA experience under their belts. They can usually handle more responsibility like general VA tasks, writing or design.
Tasks include:

Programming Tasks

Tasks Time to Complete Task
Modify certain page on a website 1-2 days
Create new page for a website 4-5 days
Create brand new website 10-15 days
Design or redesign a database 3-5 days
Fix a bug 2-3 days

SEO Tasks

Tasks Time to Complete Task
Setting up Google analytics and webmaster tools and monitor the data generated by these tools 2 – 3 days per site
Checking site’s authority and metrics using seo tools like MOZ, majestic SEO and ahrefs 4 hours per day or less depending on site performance
Checking web pages’ meta title tags 15 minutes per page
Removing duplicate content 15 minutes per content
Making sure that content is in best quality, not over optimized and not spammy 1 – 4 hours with revisions
Get links from other related and high quality websites varies

Technical VA Costs and Savings – In House vs Local vs Filipino

In House Developer/SEO Local Programmer/SEO Filipino Programmer/SEO
Wage Per Hour $35 $50 $5
Employee Benefits (35%) $12.25 $1.75
Training Costs (7%) $2.45 $0.35
Overhead Costs (50%) $17.50
Payroll Taxes (25%) $8.75
Total Hourly $75.95 $50 $7.10
Hours Per Year 2080 2080 2080
Total Paid Out $157,976 $104,000 $14,768
Savings $53,976 (compared to inhouse staff) $143,208 (compared to inhouse staff)

Creative Virtual Assistant Tasks and Costs

You can’t have a website for your business without fresh content on a regular basis. To get regular content, hiring a full-time writer/designer is often the best option. Most Filipinos are proficient in written and spoken English, which makes writing tasks easier for them than their Asian counterparts.
Businesses who outsource often call on Filipino VAs do to these tasks:

Writing Tasks

Tasks Time to Complete Task
Articles (700-1k words) Depending on the amount of research needed or if a video needs to be transcribed to create the article. It would take anywhere between 3 to 5 hours
Blog posts (500-1k words) For most topics, 1 to 2 hours including research; highly technical or detailed posts would take 5 hours or more
Newsletters (300-500 words) 1 hour
Ebooks 1 month
Sales pages/landing pages 2 days including revision time

Writer VA Costs and Savings – In House vs Local vs Filipino

In House Writer Local Writer Filipino Writer
Wage Per Hour $25 $30 $3.75
Employee Benefits (35%) $12.25 $1.75
Training Costs (7%) $8.75 $1.31
Overhead Costs (50%) $12.5
Payroll Taxes (25%) $6.25
Total Hourly $54.25 $30 $5.32
Hours Per Year 2080 2080 2080
Total Paid Out $112,840 $62,400 $11,065.60
Savings $50,440 (compared to inhouse staff) $101,774.40 (compared to inhouse staff)

Design Tasks

Tasks Time to Complete Task
Create the layout/framework of a website website 3-5 hours for a template, 8 hours total including revisions
Layout of the banners and some other graphics 1-3 hours, plus 2 for revisions
Logo and banners 1-3 hours, plus 1-3 hours for revisions
PSD to HTML/Wordpress 2-7 hours depending on complexity
Create Slideshare Presentations 1 – 4 hours depending on complexity

Graphic Designer VA Costs and Savings – In House vs Local vs Filipino

In House Graphic Designer Local Graphic Designer Filipino Graphic Designer
Wage Per Hour $21 $25 $4
Employee Benefits (35%) $7.35 $1.40
Training Costs (7%) $1.47 $0.28
Overhead Costs (50%) $10.50
Payroll Taxes (25%) $5.25
Total Hourly $45.57 $25 $5.68
Hours Per Year 2080 2080 2080
Total Paid Out $94,785.60 $52,000 $11,814.40
Savings $42,785.60 (compared to inhouse staff) $82,971.20 (compared to inhouse staff)

Social Virtual Assistant Tasks and Costs

Social media is a great way for businesses to engage with their market. It can turn customers into advocates and can give small businesses a chance to reach a bigger market.
Most social media tasks can be done by a general VA in less than an hour, and with social media tools, it can even be done even faster. Social media specialists are capable of setting up social media campaigns and tracking the progress of these campaigns through analytics to make sure that your business is being noticed.
Most Filipino VAs can be called upon to do the following tasks:

Tasks Time to Complete Task
Creating/Managing Facebook Fan Pages / Groups 30 minutes – 1 hour
Promoting Facebook Pages 15 – 30 minutes
Collating and Interpreting Facebook Insights 30 minutes – 1 hour
Creating/Managing Twitter Accounts 15 – 30 minutes
Schedule Tweets and Track Mentions and Hashtags 15 – 30 minutes
Create and Manage LinkedIn Account / Profile 15 – 30 minutes
Creating and Managing Pinterest 15 – 30 minutes
Scheduling and Tracking Pins 15 – 30 minutes
Create and Manage YouTube Account 15 – 30 minutes
Uploading and Moderating Videos on YouTube 15 – 30 minutes
Moderating YouTube Comments 15 – 30 minutes
Respond to comments, messages,and reach out to other users across different accounts 15 – 30 minutes

Social Media VA Costs and Savings – In House vs Local vs Filipino

Tasks Time to Complete Task
Create the layout/framework of a website website 3-5 hours for a template, 8 hours total including revisions
Layout of the banners and some other graphics 1-3 hours, plus 2 for revisions
Logo and banners 1-3 hours, plus 1-3 hours for revisions
PSD to HTML/Wordpress 2-7 hours depending on complexity
Create Slideshare Presentations 1 – 4 hours depending on complexity

Graphic Designer VA Costs and Savings – In House vs Local vs Filipino

In House Social Media Manager Local Social Media Manager Filipino Social Media Manager
Wage Per Hour $18 $20 $3
Employee Benefits (35%) $6.30 $1.05
Training Costs (7%) $1.05 $0.21
Overhead Costs (50%) $9
Payroll Taxes (25%) $4.50
Total Hourly $39.06 $20 $4.26
Hours Per Year 2080 2080 2080
Total Paid Out $81,422.80 $41,600 $8,860.80
Savings $39,822.80 (compared to inhouse staff) $72,562 (compared to inhouse staff)

Can You Afford To Hire a Filipino VA?

Below, we’ve put together how much it would cost to have all this done in a year, assuming that you would hire one person specialized in these different categories.

Cost Per Year In House Staff Local Outsourcing Philippines Outsourcing
Administrative tasks $81,422.80 $41,600 $8,860.80
Programming and SEO $157,976 $104,000 $14,768
Writing Tasks $112,840 $62,400 $11,065.60
Graphic Design $94,785.60 $52,000 $11,814.40
Social Media $81,422.80 $41,600 $8,860.80
Total Costs per year $528,447.20 $301,600 $55,369.60
Savings $226,847.20 (compared to in house staff) $473,077.60 (compared to in house staff)

Let’s say you would rather outsource locally to a VA that costs $20/hour and only hire that VA to work for 52 hours a year (or 4 hours a month). That would only cost you $1040/year. But how much work would that VA get done? What about tasks that require special skills like programming or SEO? You would have to hire another freelancer at a higher hourly rate, which would make your costs go up. A lot of you may say that these figures seem exaggerated, but taking a close look at figures, you’ll see that the cost of hiring 5 Filipino virtual assistants full-time, with benefits, actually costs less than hiring one full-time, in house employee for a year. Hiring an entire team would only cost businesses $55,369.60, while a full-time, in-house employee would cost you at least $81,422.80.
Think about it. You could hire 5 Filipino VAs with all of their skill-sets for less than what it would cost you to hire one full-time employee. If you had some of your VAs doing multiple tasks (a general VA to do social media, your SEO VA to also do writing), this would bring down your costs further. Even if you were to raise their hourly rates and give them more benefits, it would still be cheaper.
Do you still think hiring a Filipino VA is not worth it? Is taking the time to hire, train, and manage a Filipino worker so much of a hassle that you would be willing to lose almost a hundred grand just to avoid outsourcing? In the end, the real question isn’t how much a Filipino VA would cost but rather, can you afford NOT to hire a Filipino VA for your business today?
Salary information obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics http://data.bls.gov/search/query/results?q=writer

Virtual Assistants from Philippines VS Other countries (such as India and China)

Ideally, you will want to hire virtual assistants who speak English as their first language compared to those who speak English but it’s not their main language. This causes language barriers, poor comprehension, accents and communication gaps.

Philippine is known in the outsourcing industry as the “go to” country for one of the best talent pools to meet the ever growing outsourcing needs of entrepreneurs globally. In fact, there are US based companies who have opted to build an institution in the Philippines and have chosen Filipinos to run their business. Filipinos are more fluent in English compared to other countries like India and China. The Philippines is known for having people who value work, can easily comprehend instructions, can work lengthy hours at an affordable price and deliver results.

That’s all. Hope to help you a lot.

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