A large problem that busy business owners face is frequently not having enough hours in the day to get everything done. We sat down with the owner of a company called 2xYou to talk about the world of virtual assistants and how you can find one that helps you take your business to new heights.
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About Our Guest:
Le-an Lai Lacaba
CEO - 2xYou
Le-an Lai Lacaba is the CEO of 2xYou, a company from the Philippines that specializes in outsourcing virtual assistance. Le-an has worked virtually since she was 15, so with the current climate, the only difference was that she went from not just working from home but never being able to leave it.
Since she knows remote work so well and she’s very experienced at getting to know people, she focuses on matching up leaders to the best assistant she can, but she doesn’t stop there. Le-an also stays involved to make sure the relationship develops and cultural barriers can be understood and overcome.
What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant, by definition, is someone who provides professional administrative, technical, and/or creative assistance to clients remotely from a home office. Essentially a virtual assistant is a more efficient version of a “Thing” from The Addams Family. A good virtual assistant will be someone who knows you and your business inside and out and can anticipate your needs in many circumstances.
Of course, like all positions, there’s a learning curve and that sort of trust takes time to build up. There must be a commitment on both sides of the working relationship to make it happen.
Who could use a virtual assistant?
You might think that you don’t need a virtual assistant or that you will never be able to find one who can help you in the ways you need, but you don’t know for sure unless you open up the conversation first.
These assistants are good in that they should not just help to take some of the workload off of your shoulders, especially those tasks that don’t need to be done by you in particular, but they should also be able to scale your current projects without overwhelming yourself or your resources. A virtual assistant sounds extremely desirable and like the “Why wouldn’t you?” type of solution, but here are some things to consider when you looking to hire one:
- Do you have it in your budget to hire someone? Don’t worry if this is something you’re struggling to figure out sure. A good company, like Le-an’s, will help you figure this out immediately during the early process. Also, don’t expect to underpay for a VA in time and money and still get a quality partner. VA’s are people too, not computers.
- When working with an outsourced company to find an assistant, make sure you’re working with a company that prioritizes the relationships and the quality of hire. If you’re trying to grow your business, you want like-minded people along for the ride. You won’t get that if you’re not working for a company that carefully vets and trains its people.
- Working with a Virtual Assistant means that you will have to work on helping that person adapt to their company and you’ll also have to understand where they’re coming from. They’re not going to be a carbon copy of you and that’s a good thing. Diversity increases knowledge and success. Be committed to bridging that gap when you go into the process of finding a VA.
- Outsourcing to a good company is a great option for a company that does not have the knowledge, time, and resources to find a quality hire. Weigh the pros and cons of both routes prior to starting your search.
Le-an’s company, 2xYou, is based out of the Philippines, but that doesn’t mean that their clients are only located in the Philippines. Being an island country, it is easy for them to become isolated and for many, a good-paying job means frequently leaving their family and their home.
Not only does 2xYou work hard to ensure that the virtual assistants match what the business needs but they also work hard to ensure that hard-working Philippinos have a good job and can stay close to home at the same time. This is especially important during the pandemic crisis that is an ongoing concern and which has comprised both health and job security.
They consider both the virtual assistant and the client a valuable part of the company and work hard to ensure that both are well cared for. Le-an’s job doesn’t stop when she’s matched a VA up with a company. She monitors the VA to ensure they’re doing a good job and makes sure they’re settling in. As time goes on her involvement becomes less and less, but she works with both the VA and the client to ensure their relationship strengthens and the value she promised is given.
Don’t be afraid of the word “outsource.”
Since it’s been mentioned multiple times in this blog, we’re going to address the elephant in the room. As a small business owner, outsourcing may be a scary term. This is especially true if you worked for a large company that outsourced some of its workload to be cheaper and it costs you and/or your team members your job security.
Outsourcing is a broad term to reference taking an internal process and having another person or a system do it because it’s more affordable and efficient.
Say, a guy who is great with software starts a company. As it grows he’ll have to hire more people, but not everyone is going to do the same job. That’s a waste of time and generally not going to be very effective. Outsourcing is the same. It’s looking to increase specialization but allowing tasks to be taken by other people or systems when it is not beneficial to keep them internalized.