There are a lot of virtual workers out there from many different countries. If you’re a US business, you’ll find that your in-country VAs can charge anywhere from minimum wage up to $25 per hour or more. The “offshore” worker will charge you $1-$3 per hour. If it was all a numbers game, you know who you’d choose. But I’m here to tell you there’s a lot more than numbers at stake.
I bought a roll of plastic wrap while out grocery shopping. I had a million different choices in wrap, but I decided to buy the cheap one that happened to also be on sale. As soon as that roll made it to my kitchen, I knew I had made the wrong choice.
My husband opened the box…which didn’t really open. It bent. It tore. And then he struggled getting the plastic out to pull. And it never really pulled. It stuck together. And when you finally got a decent length to cover up some leftover food, it would become bound and mangled on the cheap metal teeth (that were bent along with the box). So you had a stretched out wad of plastic instead of a nice sheet. The worst part was that you had to tear the plastic up toward you, instead of down, like I was always used to.
Day after day, we’d grumble each time we’d have to wrap something up. I got the idea to take the plastic roll out and put it in another box (my wax paper no longer has a home). That sort of worked, but it never really fit well into the box, and it doesn’t pull out the way it should.
So the last time I was in the kitchen fighting with this plastic wrap, it occurred to me that plastic wrap and virtual workers are a lot alike. (I make some of the weirdest connections of things!) There are a lot of choices out there when you’re shopping around. And it’s easy to go with the cheapest offer, because who doesn’t want to save money? But what happens when you do? You get stuck with something that’s not quite up to par. It’s not what you wanted. It’s not what you expected. But you’ve already bought it, so you’ll struggle through to try and make it work.
And then eventually, you’ll just go out and buy the expensive plastic wrap that does exactly what you need it to do. Which means you’ve paid twice for something you just needed once.
You need someone that will understand your language, your business nuances (business functions differently in different parts of the world) and will “get” all the little idiosyncrasies that make up you and your business.
It doesn’t necessarily pay to be cheap. I’m not talking about a couple of leftover chicken legs. I’m talking about your business.
It’s that time of year again. We buy a new jogging outfit, upload plenty of uplifting tunes to our mp3 players, buy a few gallons of skim milk, and pledge a lifetime of fitness. But what about pledging some business fitness as well?
Sure, I’ll be working harder this year to make friends with my treadmill, but I’m really in the mood to bulk up my business muscle. Therefore, I’m posting my business resolutions for 2013. (Because everyone tells me it makes you more accountable if you let people know your resolutions!)
2013 Your Gal Friday Business Resolutions
Acquire a new workspace
Working from home can make you lax. It’s so easy to be mobile and eventually you find yourself curled up on the couch rather than sitting at a desk or table with your laptop. I’ve been having shoulder issues, so sitting upright at the right spot seems to be the answer. I jumped ahead and filled this resolution. Here’s my new focus point where you’ll find me working throughout the day. (Thanks Craigslist!)
Make a Schedule
Businesses online always have high hopes for blogging more, tweeting more and just generally “getting the word out” more. I’m now on a schedule. We’ll, let’s say I have a schedule, and I’ve followed it for the past four days.
Reach out More
How many networking events did you go to last year? How much advertising did you buy? How much time did you spend volunteering under the name of your business? It’s time to get out there and meet people, shake hands, say hello, and see what’s going on in the world away from my new desk!
Don’t worry – I’m always reading your emails. I’m talking about those that I sign up for. Newsletters, business tips, etc. Why do I sign up for them if I’m not going to read them? I’m making it a point to read, to learn and maybe even comment!
Business can’t be so serious all the time. And we can’t be all business all the time either. Remember to take a step back, go out to eat, meet friends and play games.
What business resolutions do you have?
25+ years of business experience. 12+ years of virtual experience.