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Help with some informal Market Research, please!

SandraPSandraP subscriber Posts: 3
Would you please help me out with some informal marketing research? There is a lot of discussion around SUN forums about DIY vs outsourcing. Most of it is centered on developing websites.


One area I don`t hear much about is outsourcing general office/administrative to a Virtual Assistant. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on that. For example, is it for budget reasons? Is it because you have no idea how to make it work? Or maybe you are scratching your head right now thinking, "What`s a Virtual Assistant?"


There are several independent VA`s here on SUN and I work with a Virtual Staffing Agency, Team Double-Click. Since I don`t see much mention of VA`s I thought I`d toss this out there…


Inquiring minds want to know, thank you!


  • TheQueenOfGreenTheQueenOfGreen subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi Sandra -
    This is a great question! Here`s my $0.02:
    One, I think that because VA services are relatively new, a lot of people don`t know what is involved and what services are available. I encountered this when I started my staging business - no one knew what I was doing! You are smart to be doing some informal research, and I`d encourage you to use what you learn to start educating people.
    Two, if you`re marketing to start-ups, you`re wrangling with a thrifty lot. We all want to save a few bucks by doing it ourselves (as you mentioned). You may want to kick it up a notch by targeting slightly more established businesses who are starting to get overwhelmed by the work.
    :) Jennifer
  • SecurityProfessionalSecurityProfessional subscriber Posts: 2
    I have not used a "virtual assistant" as such, but many times over the years I have tried to leverage my time by using temporary administrative helpers of various types.
    Maybe it`s just me, but in most cases, I find that it takes me almost as much time to communicate with the "assistant" as it would take me to do the job myself. For example, when working with an assistant, I have to define what I want done, explain it to the assistant, answer questions while the work is in progress, review the finished product, and communicate any corrections required back to the assistant. In many cases, the time it takes me to do this, I could have completed the entire task myself. This is particularly true today when so many things can be done quickly and easily on the computer.
    So for me as a small business owner, it is not so much the cost of the assistant`s services as it is the hassle in trying to make the whole thing work. Clearly, when there are large multi-day tasks (such as a mass mailing)  to be performed, the use of outside help can be beneficial - but I have had a hard time making it work for my smaller day-to-day administrative tasks.
    SecurityProfessional10/27/2007 3:16 AM
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