Virtual Personal Assistant
It’s been over two weeks since I came back from the Philippines which forced me to rediscover myself and grow with our virtual personal assistant team. In the Philippines, I have never had such a LARGE team like we do now at VA Staffer. When I started this company it was really not meant to be a large operation, as a matter of fact, I didn’t even know what a virtual personal assistant was or what is a virtual assistant.
Boy has that changed.
What is a Virtual Personal Assistant ?
Now that I’ve worked with the team truly in sync for those two weeks I learned they all have different styles. I also discovered that even myself, had to come to the terms that I’m not going to be perfect at everything, and I’m SOOO happy to have a Virtual Assistant Team to rely on for the things I just am not good at.
A Virtual Personal Assistant is really someone who makes your life better. This is someone who really does things that you don’t want to do, or don’t have time to do. It could also be someone that does something better than you can. For example, if you hate doing your taxes, or the tax professional can do it better, then why would you want to do it yourself? He / She can assist you doing that personally. It’s really a time-saver to have a virtual personal assistant. That’s what I’ve come to learn, people really have different needs.
Another example of a service people have been asking for is a Linkedin Virtual Assistant. More and more we’re getting requests for us to manage people’s linkedin accounts to help them grow connections, and contacts. We’re getting a lot of Lead Generation and Virtual Sales Assistant requests to find targeted leads / contacts who would be interested in our client’s products and services.
Virtual Personal Assistant Expert? LOL
I’ve been interviewed a few dozen times as an “expert” on virtual assistants now, with a team of 25 virtual assistants and growing. It’s hard to imagine, especially since until this February we were 100% home based virtual assistants. Since getting our Makati City office in Manila Philippines, we have gone from three staff in the office to 14 staffers.
Upon my recent visit to our Makati Virtual Assistant Office, the first thing that stood out to me right away was how eager they were to learn, and how competitive they were amongst each other. Their personalities provided a huge opportunity to grow our team, and also raise productivity by setting the bar higher.
Ironically, I traveled across the world to teach my team and was actually the one who learned from them. They have such a strong faith, a bold work ethic, and they are ALL so much more creative and fun than they give themselves credit for. The personalities in the office are so dynamic – for example, one of our team leaders is very competitive, she’s combative even, the other has a long background in HR and is like the older sister in the office, she hates and avoids all confrontation.
You know that you can work next to someone day in and day out but NEVER really KNOW them. Well, I guess that’s one luxury I have as the business owner, I scheduled an amazing trip for the whole team to venture on at a team building resort in the Philippines.
Virtual Personal Assistant Team Building WORKS
In all reality, we work virtually, so relationships aren’t as close as working with your clients in the same office or down the street even. We had some crazy activities I’ll showcase below, from Sky Bicycling on a zipline 210 meters, using a small zipline to do a relay race that you invented, to going down a hill with 10+ of your virtual assistant staff, holding on for your life (and onto a go-pro of course).
I guess my view of a virtual personal assistant is different because to me they’re not virtual. I fly to personally pick, train and grow our virtual personal assistant team. We really had an experience of togetherness, and family that is just not even imaginable in the USA outside of maybe a church retreat. We learned so much about each other, and really developed so many skills that aren’t really taught in Filipino culture.
Cultural Barriers in Virtual Teams
In the Filipino culture, people are really taught from a young age how to serve their masters / businesses / bosses. They really aren’t taught how to lead, they really aren’t told they can be innovators, just follow instructions – and do what they’re told. Crazy concept coming from America where even the most stupid people are confident – I say that as a joke, but really – we have so much confidence, even in stupid ideas.
When we finished our team retreat it was truly a game changer, you could instantly see the mood in the office change. You could feel people being more confident in themselves, we did a lot of problem solving and creative / critical thinking activities that I think most Filipinos really just don’t do in their childhood. Learning how to think outside the box – something Americans take for granted.
It’s crazy to think that since just June of 2014 we’ve had 2500% growth.
Since then a LOT of things have really taken off – we learned a LOT from our clients. We learned what the most requested services were and adapted to that. We’ve always grown our team based on demand and that is why it was clear that I needed to really re-access what we offer since there’s really a lot of people who want a personal assistant much like you’d have in your own city to help you do calls, or set appoints.
I never had demand like that until our SEO Packages were launched and we walked the talk for ourselves seeing huge gains in our Google rankings.
Our business has been exploding, with anywhere from 5-10 inquiries a day for virtual assistants, and even more than that for job applications. Earlier this year we made sure to define inbound marketing from our perspective since we now are using it in full force and a really powerful marketing tool we now offer to our clients as well.
I could keep going on and on about how awesome this team is, and how we’re constantly evolving to learn new things but I’m sure you can see the value of a virtual personal assistant for most every need.