December 29, 2022 by Peter Liston
A managed agency vs a dating agency. Should I get a VA through Upwork and Fiverr or go through a managed agency?
So you want to outsource or get a virtual Assistant (VA) but are unsure about which path to take. Your options are to go the cheapest possible route, the dating agency (Fiverr, UpWorks etc) or a managed agency which is apparently more expensive. What are the strength and weaknesses of both?
The first thing is congratulations for taking the decision to explore outsourcing and Virtual Assistants. The fact you are considering delegation to a cost effective team member is a great step in your journey of elevation. A Virtual Assistant is an amazing asset for you and your business to ensure you are focusing on your highest value activities. Not only are they great value, but there is amazing talent out there.... you just need to find it.
The dating agency.
You can’t deny the success of the big platforms in connecting businesses to offshore support, The biggest strength of these platform is when you have adhoc or once off tasks to perform. A little bit of design work, a logo here or there, some databasing when you need it. A random task you just want done where you have no connection or enduring relationship with the provider.
This model will get you the cheapest VA’s out there, but what happens every time you buy the cheapest item on the shelf. It works once or twice, then the model breaks, you throw it away and don’t use it again.
If you’re a business owner or manager looking for an enduring solution to delegate and elevate then this model is not for you. A couple of things will go wrong
- Your VA will be working (hustling… and that’s ok) for 5 different clients, juggling between all and responding to the one harassing them the most. Your $8/hr is not looking so good.
- Someone will pay them more. The you get ghosted. You’ll never hear from them again. They won’t respond - don’t bother. They’re onto someone paying then 50c per more.
- You won’t prepare for day 1. You’ve got a lot to do, so you’ll prepare later… but you don’t… and now they start tomorrow. You’re rushed, you’re not ready so you give them some throw away task with little direction because you’re not prepared. They then give you a terrible outcome and you use those most dreaded words… ‘I may as well as do it myself’.
The managed agency
There are some businesses out there that truly care about the relationship between a business and their Virtual Assistant. These businesses, like ‘Trust the Process’ understand what it takes to make it work and partner with you to get it right. They won’t be the cheapest, but some of them guarantee to get it right.
Here are the three key things to look for in a managed agency.
- The model is based on a relationship rather that a introduction. EA great managed agency will work with the business to understand what they need and then find the right talent to match. help both the business and the VA prepare. Selecting the best talent to match exactly what the business needs to succeed.
- You’re actually getting something for the premium. You should be receiving a team leader to support training, on boarding and quality checks. You should also have a locally based account manager who is committed to supporting effective delegation.
- The VA is getting at pay and conditions they deserve. At the minimum, your Virtual assistant should he getting healthcare, social security and some form of the 13th month bonus payment. This is standard workplace conditions in countries like the Philippines. If they’re not getting the basics, expect to get ‘ghosted’. Expect them to leave you for a better offer.
Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing!!
If you are considering a managed agency, then make sure they are delivering the value both you and your VA deserve. There are a lot of agencies out there that add no extra value to the VA at all. They simply make the introduction and leave it to you from there. Be sure to ask your managed agency about what they offer the relationship above and beyond finding and introducing the talent to you.
Trust the Process guarantees to get it right. After successfully placing hundreds of Virtual Assistants into small and medium businesses around the world, they know how to get it right. They have a unique three step process which takes the worry and hassle out of the project. They recognise your time is precious so
- Confirmation. Spend a session with a small business virtual assistant expert to make sure a Virtual Assistant is actually right for you business.
- Preparation. Once you have decided to take action, the Trust the Process team commences finding the right talent for your business and helps you prepare for Day 1. This preparation phase is the critical component to getting it right.
- Integration. Now your Virtual Assistant has started in your business, it doesn't end there. The Trust the Process team is your partner on ensuring a successful integration into your business ensuring quality control, training support and further assistance.
In summary, if you're feeling brave and have plenty of time on your hands - dive into the wild west of the online platforms of Fiverr, Upwork and others. If you understand the greatest cost in this project is going to be your time and money if you get it wrong, then talk to a managed agency like Trust the Process. They have the experience and support to guarantee you get it right. Click the button below to speak with an outsourcing expert that can support your business.