Terms You Must Be Familiar With Before Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Gone are the days when work is limited by proximity and time-zone. Now, work involves a lot of things decades ago were nowhere to be seen. The scoop became broader, involving not just employees, suppliers and partners, but also customers, freelancers and integrated smart devices and systems.

With the advent of technology, proximity and time zone were defied. Most business organizations retained their core business processes, but opted to have outsourcing services for efficiency.

In outsourcing, you will encounter some jargons that may appear confusing to you. It is important for you to understand these terms before going into outsourcing and hire a virtual assistant.

Ask yourself FIRST

#1 Outsourcing

 So you are planning to outsource. But what exactly is outsourcing? Simply put, it is a process by which an organization contracts with another individual or company to get some of its work done.

Basically, when you hire a virtual assistant to do the jobs related to your business without you directly supervising them, it is outsourcing.

If your virtual assistant lives within the same country as yours, it’s on-shore outsourcing.

If she lives not far outside your country, it’s near shore outsourcing. Thus, this kind of outsourcing may involve a less time change and/or cultural differences.

But, if your virtual assistant lives overseas with a significant time change and/or cultural differences, it is called offshore outsourcing.

#2 Business Process Outsourcing

Now, you just hired your virtual assistant for technical support, instead of directly hiring one. That is called BPO.

BPO simply means you transfer internal business processes, such as customer relationship management to an external service provider in accordance with your agreement. In this, a particular task is outsourced.

#3 Knowledge Process Outsourcing

If you hired your virtual assistant for data research and analysis, instead of directly hiring one, it is KPO.

In KPO, high involvement from the worker is required, including advanced analytical skills and business expertise, rather than just process expertise.

#4 Information Technology Outsourcing

But if you need a virtual assistant for computer programming, what you will do is ITO.

ITO is outsourcing of computer or Internet related work, such as programming, to other companies. Typically, it involves higher levels of technical skills.

#5 Efficiency Sourcing Deal

If you hired your virtual assistant because you want to cut costs, what you just did is efficiency sourcing deal.

Outsourcing falls under this deal if your focus is on efficiency of operations like cost reduction or cost control.

#6 Enhancement Sourcing Deal

If you hired your virtual assistant because you want to improve the current state of your business process because you heard that VA in other locations are more skilled, what you just did is enhancement sourcing deal.

Outsourcing falls under this deal if your focus is on improving the current state of your business operations and introduce enhanced operational performance or outcome.

Virtual assistance is not limited to secretarial services. There are a lot of jobs you can outsource like marketing, graphic design, web design, content writing, and even legal services. But if you understand the jargons, outsourcing becomes clearer in your mind. Aside from these terms, there are a lot of others that you need to know. Allot a specific time to learn and you are on the right road.