Saving Time and Money with Virtual Assistants

The most important element to living the dot com lifestyle is having the freedom of time. It’s not necessarily about making the most money or getting the most page views on your blog; it’s about using time as your most valuable currency, spending it however you’d like. This way of living sure beats slaving away at a 9-to-5, Monday to Friday gig.

Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in the day and you are just one person. If you want to start your own business, online or offline, there is only so much that you can do in one day. You’ll want help and the BPOVIA Virtual Assistant Service, which serves as the subject of this review, sounds like it could be a viable solution.

Outsourcing All of Your Professional Needs

Conventional thought would lead you to believe that you should get yourself a brick-and-mortar office and populate it with full-time employees. That may be well and good for certain kinds of businesses, but it may not be the most cost-effective solution. The single greatest selling point that BPOVIA uses in selling its virtual assistant service is that you are able to save a lot of money by taking the virtual route rather than the in-person route.

When BPOVIA quotes you a rate for a virtual assistant, that rate is all-inclusive. Contrast that to a regular in-house full-time employee. With the latter, you need to deal with benefits, vacation time, payroll taxes, administrative costs, equipment maintenance, and so on. I’m not exactly sure where they got these figures (how did admin come out to exactly $2,856?), but they’re not that far-fetched.

What Can They Do?

Another vital advantage to using virtual assistants, particularly those from BPOVIA, is that they are able to accommodate a wide-range of tasks. BPOVIA markets itself as a one stop solution, offering you a number of different virtual assistant services. They’ve got staff that specialize in everything from web design to data entry, accounting to customer service. You can read up on their software and hardware skills as well. Yes, they know how to play with an Xbox 360, but we’re not sure if they’ll pwn you in Halo 3.

Instead of dealing with a web designer, an accountant, and a marketing specialist separately, you can order all of these services through BPOVIA. Bear in mind that because BPOVIA is based in Nanjing (the second largest commercial centre in the East China region after Shanghai), they operate under regular Beijing business hours. This works out to 9:00pm to 6:30am Eastern Standard Time.

How Much Does It Cost?

Generally speaking, there are three ways for you to order virtual assistant services from BPOVIA. The three kinds of rates are pay-as-you-go, full time, and project-based.

As you can see, you get a bulk discount for order more hours at a time. A full-time virtual assistant, with 160 hours in a month, comes in at $900. This works out to $5.625 per hour. Even with the most expensive pay-as-you-go plan, you only pay $10 an hour. Strangely, the rate page says that the hourly rate ranges from $6 to $12. Neither one of those figures appears to be true.

Not Quite English, But Not Engrish Either

One of the concerns that people have with hiring virtual assistants is the one that deals with language. When you hire a virtual assistant from India, Pakistan, China, or any number of other countries, communication in English may be a little problematic. However, BPOVIA promises that all of its associates are proficient in English. The web copy is understandable, but you can tell that it was not written by a native English speaker.

I’m still trying to figure out what that graph is trying to represent. Am I to believe that they only have level 2 “flexible employees” but level 4 “able to manage Change processes”? Even on the about page where they try to emphasize their professionalism and proficiency, you get some odd (and incorrect) sentences.

All BPOVIA associates are experienced professionals, proficient in English, with very extensive business experience, some of them educated at top schools in the United States.

I’m a bit of a stickler for grammar, so these kinds of errors jump out at me. I wouldn’t hire BPOVIA for any writing, but your communication with them shouldn’t be a problem.

Sign Up for a Free Trial with BPOVIA

Getting a virtual assistant from BPOVIA can potentially free you from a lot of tasks that may otherwise occupy a fair bit of your time. It sounds like a cost-effective solution and their professionalism is admirable. If you’re not prepared to fork out $900 a month just yet, you can go ahead and sign up for a free trial. You only get one hour, but it’ll give you a sense of what to expect.

CLICK HERE TO HIRE A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT FROM BPOVIA


46 thoughts on “Saving Time and Money with Virtual Assistants”

  1. Pavan Kumar says:

    Everything is getting virtual these days. With advent of virtual computer, we can access to our resources in any part of world.

    Definitely this virtual assistant would improve our time saving and help us when we use efficiently. If we stick on, we will not be interested to leave them anyway…..

    1. I’ve been looking into getting some hired help lately… this may be something I’ll have to look into.

      1. Remember the 4 hr work week. Streamline and only handle the hugh, hugh stuff…everything else let everyone else handle … well at least under 100.00. Hiring help makes life easier and gives you time to do what you do best….whatever that is. but you have to be careful because they are your representatives and you want the branding to be as you intended it to be.

      2. Between my full time job and my blogging activities sometimes I feel i like I do need some help with my biz.
        Thanks for the timely review. I will definitely check those out.

  2. Seem like a great plan… if you’ve got the money to spend on it. Or your to lazy to do it yourself.

  3. Deepak Raj says:

    VAs are great. You look at only the results. Many communication barriers are emotions are cut off when we work with VAs.

    Eben Pagan runs a 20 Million $ company with 80 full time employees and all are VAs.

    VAs are the future.

    9-5 is DEAD!

    1. damnsmiley1 says:

      holy smokes are u serious?

    2. Wait, what? Where did you get this information?

  4. DamnSmiley1 says:

    Sitepal used to be the talk of the day 2007 and early this month but no one is hearing from them no more…..

    1. I actually found Sitepal to be quite annoying. I remember one of the employees there got in touch with me two years ago or so about it & I had to decline.

    2. Tushar Dhoot says:

      In my opinion there is absolutely no comparison between SitePal and an actual VA or live support.

  5. I’ve had good luck with the few VA’s I’ve had. Communication can sometimes be a challenge as they are sometimes not native English speakers, and there can be time zone issues (your VA could be 1/2 way around the world from you)…but challenges aside I have always received high quality work from them in a timely fashion.

    Matt

    1. This is good to know, I have considered using VA’s but was always hesitant, I think I will give it a try. God knows that as John said, one person with all we have to do it can get pretty crazy, I wish many times that human cloning was legal!
      Thanks,
      JR

  6. Thats a great tool.
    Thanks for a nice review. 😎

  7. Clog Money says:

    At this moment in time I think there wont be that much demand for this service. I admire them for being one of the first and I’m positive that in five years time services like this will be common place.

    1. MF says:

      depends on who you talk to… i know the some of the big name bloggers use VAs. also, i know of many small (physical) businesses who use VAs too within my geographical area. it benefits the person that needs help but can’t afford to hire someone permanently.

    2. Lara says:

      I do VA work for Darren Rowse, ProBlogger.net. It’s primarily admin stuff, but I also organized a meetup in NYC from about 4 hours away (while he’s in Australia), and ran a week-long, 24/7 giveaway on his site about a year ago.

      Virtual Assistants are not “new”, and BPOVIA isn’t ahead of their time. In fact, if I may be honest, outsourcing stuff like this to a country like China, India, Pakistan, whatever… while the US economy tanks? Not cool. I’m not saying this purely for my own sake – I just think that right now, Americans who can do these tasks deserve the jobs from other Americans, at least. Especially for the “native tongue” factor if nothing else.

      I know many VA’s here in the States… and I can pretty much guarantee that the quality of their work would far exceed that of BPOVIA’s or any other offshore company. Sorry, but quality is worth the cost if you ask me.

  8. Josten says:

    why would i need to hire a va when i only spend about 2 hours blogging daily.

  9. Great tools for busy Bees

  10. I’m sure this company’s service warrants the $900, but VA’s can be found much cheaper.The key is finding one willing to learn and training that individual to perform tasks the way you’d like it done. Some other points when choosing a VA..

    – get a non disclosure / non compete signed
    – make sure they are required to give you “x” weeks notice if they have to quit.
    – whatever you train your VA to do, make it into a doc. In the event the first one you hire does not work out, you’ll have a training doc that the next one you hire can follow along. This means you don’t have to train the 2nd choice from scratch.
    – reporting, make sure you decide on a reporting schedule (when what was done)
    – don’t treat your VA as an employee, but as part of your team. If you make them feel as if they’re part of something they usually work much harder for you.
    – ask them for their advice… in most cases they;re in the front line and will notice things before you do.

  11. 100kjob says:

    Outsourcing is a growing market place, huge potential there. I’m sure there will be a few CEOs or future CEOs interested in their services. Good luck to them.

    1. Outsourcing does have some issues however. You are dealing with people from a different culture and different laws. Do not forget that. If they steal your intellectual product, you might have a hard time proceeding with legal action against them..

  12. MF says:

    not tried VAs yet but am planning to in the future … they do save a lot. i do however prefer to talk to VAs that are local than someone in another country. this one looks like it is from china. i have looked around and i’ve found American VAs that you can hire for less. it also gives the assurance that their english is proficient enough to at least understand/ carry out your tasks.

    One other comment … what in the world is in the name? i think they could have chosen a better company name rather that BPOVIA!

  13. I wonder how good they really are at English? interesting.

    1. Tushar Dhoot says:

      I think “Signup our free account” really sums it up.

  14. egruve.com says:

    great idea to keep in mind if you ever need the service.
    thanks,

    cheers, http://www.eGruve.com

  15. Ecko says:

    It sounds interesting. But for newbie like me, I think I don’t need this one yet. At least for the moment. Anyway, it’s a great review. Good luck, John.

  16. Virtual Assistants are the way to go these days. But, remember you have to hire a very good one or to be honest it turns out to be more work for you in the long run. I have heard some real great success stories and than I have heard some really bad stories. Where you have pretty much come back and clean up all the virtual assistants mistakes and messes. So make sure you fully know what your getting into before you sign a virtual assistant even for the simplest tasks!

    1. Vagabondette says:

      VAs are definitely a service where you get what you pay for. if your services are very low level and easy to understand, offshore VAs can be great. I’ve outsourced my own work to them. But if you require someone who can be proactive and think on their feet it’s best to look a little closer to home.

  17. Mario Chase says:

    Wow.. that is a cool service. I don’t know if it will of much demand now.. but they will get great brand name, for beign one of the first.. thinking in this way. Awesome.

    1. Vagabondette says:

      They are far from being the first. VAs have been around for year and there are dozens of companies and thousands of individual VAs out there.

  18. Stacy Brice says:

    While the profession is still in its infancy, I wanted to let anyone who didn’t know, that Virtual Assistance is a 12-year old profession, formalized in the United States.

    Contrary to what you may have heard, the real power in working with a VA *isn’t* that you can get tasks handled on the cheap, but that you have an ongoing and collaborative relationship with an assistant who works as your right hand. That assistant will do or get handled *everything* that you need done that takes your time and focus away from what you love, or do best.

    And although clients of VAs pay only for 100% productive time (meaning no paying for personal call time, or potty breaks), and only for what they need (meaning that if you only need ten hours of work/month, you only have to pay for ten hours of work/month), Virtual Assistance was never conceived to be the cheap alternative to hiring employees, but the convenient and efficient one for people (especially home-based) who don’t want to share space, or deal with all the hassle, liability, and expense that goes hand-in-hand on a daily basis, with having employees.

    If you or your target market(s) live anywhere other than the same countries where low-cost virtuals (like BPVOIA) hail from, take heed: they *may* be good for specific, focused, left-brained, low impact tasks, but you really don’t want them representing your business to the world–even if “proficient” in English, they culturally speak different languages (which is why you can’t understand them, or they you). So you don’t want them speaking for you, doing customer care for you, writing for you, suggesting marketing tactics, or doing anything really creative or communicative. Coding? Simple graphics? Maybe so.

    If you’re interested in working with a truly top-notch Virtual Assistant who can climb into your business, and truly make a difference for you, consider getting a referral from my company AssistU.com, or the Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce (http://www.virtualassistantnetworking.com/). You’ll pay a whole lot more, but you’ll very likely get a whole lot more, too, with a whole lot less hassle.

  19. Thats a cool tool. Now if only I could afford it…

  20. It does seem like a great tool, but it’s not for me. I very much prefer to handle things myself & have gotten by greatly doing so.

  21. izu mou says:

    You have a very nice review here.think I may need their help.

  22. Holly says:

    I got my start working from home as a virtual assistant and it was great; a truly enjoyable overall experience with the people I worked for and also learning more and more as time went by catering to the needs of my clients. Virtual assistants are great to implement into your business, especially if they are an independent freelancer and not part of an outsourcing company of some sort; plus, they’re more than willing to work harder for what you want them to accomplish.

  23. You have a point.

    I am now actually believing in creating a team or something like that.
    It will help me a lot with my work and content writing. Also I will be able to do more work and concentrate on other things.

    It seems like a great tool to me.And I think they are great to implement into your business and help us.

  24. Tushar Dhoot says:

    Did anyone take advantage of their 1 hour free trial? Do you have a review of it posted somewhere?

    Thanks.

  25. paulette says:

    In my opinion it is a dual relationship. Both should earn without prejudice to the other. Let say the va should also earn what it is due for him.

  26. charles says:

    China is really an emerging income source for the online community. Specially this one.

  27. Jitendra says:

    I am also new in this blogging world, I used to learn a lot from various other sources and this is really what, a blogger should know before jumping in to blogging world.

    Thanks 🙂

  28. I tested free 1 hour service and I request to create 2 articles…communication is great..content wise it is just so so..not 100% unique but it is usable. I guess there is no such thing as low price, quality product..

  29. I might try to for my $500 a month site. I wonder if they know WordPress…..

  30. Great article, however, the complaints I’ve heard over and over again from those who have “outsourced” VA duties are the problems with language. In fact, some companies who have outsourced to countries outside of the U.S. have found it necessary to hire U.S.-based proofreaders to edit the documents.

    Test out a new VA service with some of your smaller projects and develop the trust from there. It’s a relationship that, if developed correctly, will lift some of the more burdensome duties from you.

    Anyway, I believe the old adage, “You get what you pay for” is absolutely true in this regard.

  31. I have used VA’s from India and other countries and have found them highly educated and very proficient for coding work.

    Well said Stacy!

    Yes, language can be a barrier when dealing with many VA’s from non English speaking countries but like hiring anyone…you don’t just hire the first person that applies.

    You must do your due diligence and from my experience asking other marketers that use VA’s for a referral is a great way to find someone to do VA work for you. And you’ll be getting someone that has already been through the “job interview process” with your referrer.

    There are many great VA companies in North America as Stacy has mentioned.

    Personally I don’t mind the difference in time from myself to the VA because I can have them working when I am sleeping and upon arising in the morning = have a job completed and I feel like I was productive even in my sleep 🙂

    @MitchBaldwin

  32. I would definitely want to find my own personal virtual assistant. that way I could mold and shape that person to be the kind of assistant I need.

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