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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador affninja's Avatar
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    December 11th, 2005
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    Anyone Using a Virtual Assistant?
    Hi,

    I find myself doing the same routine tasks most days. It's definitely not rocket science, but part of me doesn't want to let go of that control I have over my operations. I've been researching various Virtual Assistant companies / outsources like elance, timesvr, odesk, etc, and was wondering if anyone here has had any success with a Virtual Assistant or Virtual Employee?

    My thinking is I would have more time to expand the core business, and not have to deal with payroll or much paperwork. Plus if my assistant is working in India or the Philippines, they could potentially finish each task during the nighttime here in the US.

    Any thoughts or best practices in choosing a Virtual Assistant?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    Great question, I would be interested to hear comments.

    My friends joke that I need to hire an intern like Darren (for Seinfeld fans, he worked for "Kramerica"!). But all joking aside, I have daily repetitive tasks that need completion. Not enough work or resources for an employee, it's just difficult to stay on top of everything myself, and still launch new features.

  3. #3
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    Hire a local teen to do some work for you. There has to be tons of teens who need some extra cash who would do some of the work for you.

  4. #4
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    I've made the same recommendation in the past, but haven't found one who has the work ethic required (I've tried a few, through friends & family).

    Not dissing teens today, but the ones I know wouldn't take on daily tasks for more than a few weeks.

    For me, these are system-oriented tasks, someone needs to have an understanding of the process.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    November 9th, 2005
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    Hi Affninja,

    I've used elance with success for small, well defined tasks. e.g. Here is a spreadsheet, fill in the missing cells by following this procedure...

    I bookmarked this blog post because it had some good tips for hiring/managing a virtual assistant.

    http://www.shoemoney.com/2009/04/16/...e-philippines/

    I like the idea of using Camtasia to record tasks that they will have to perform.

    BTW, with elance, I've had issues where you start working with someone in a firm who speaks great English, is competent, etc, but then the quality of work degrades because they outsource the work to someone else who's English language skills aren't that great.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Lanadili's Avatar
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    I hired a virtual assistant before, and even though she was helpful, I found myself going back over her work just to make sure she was doing it right. It still saved me time by hiring her, but it was also not the nitty gritty of doing actual work on my site.

    As far as the routine tasks that need to be done with my site, I've been working on automating the whole process. This alone will not only save me time and money, but I won't have to worry about someone else not doing it right, or trying to steal my ideas for their own site if they ever decide to do something like this. With that in mind, when I do hire people to help me, I give them a specific task, and it never involves anything with my actual site.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador affninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff
    BTW, with elance, I've had issues where you start working with someone in a firm who speaks great English, is competent, etc, but then the quality of work degrades because they outsource the work to someone else who's English language skills aren't that great.
    I love it, the outsourcee outsources himself, becoming a 2nd degree outsourcer!

    Shoemoney (or rather his guest blogger -- "outsourced" content??) recommends going straight to the source and hiring someone directly from the Manila craigslist. Since my tasks would involve updating links and access to our backend and adwords accounts, I think I'd feel better hiring an actual company vs. some guy answering an ad on craigslist. I'm probably naive but I feel like there might be less risk doing it that way. These companies wouldn't last long if they gained a reputation for stealing accounts and passwords and things, right?

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