Best Website to Find Virtual Assistants

Right now the champion is www.HireMyMom.com.

Why I like Hire My Mom so much…

Professional Workforce

The majority of Moms who are seeking work through HireMyMom are past professionals from some part of corporate America.

I found my current, #1 assistant through HireMyMom and she’s a former legal assistant, so from Day #1 she was really smooth with basic office software like Word, Excel, and Mac equivalents too.

I also know I can put her in professional communication situations such as dealing with customers and/or booking appointments for me.  She’s worked extensively with lawyers before, so dealing with my clients is easy for her.

Usually Stable, Predictable Lives

For whatever reason, Moms I’ve dealt with from Hire My Mom are in really stable living situations.

They typically have a second income in the house (usually from their husband), and have set down roots in a particular city and living situation.

This makes is much easier to plan my own business’ growth when I can count a teammate being a part of my business for at least the next 6 months.

Money Isn’t Their #1 Motivation

Sometimes when I’d deal with contractors in India, Pakistan, the Phillipines, it felt kind of like a cash grab.

They’d be demanding – even threatening – about payment.

Maybe it was a cultural or language miscommunication, but if often felt like they were running a million miles per hour (necessary when all Indian firms are trying to under-cut each other on price), who’d turn into a hard-edged collections agency anytime we’d reach a milestone.

Moms from Hire My Mom are motivated in far different ways.  I’ve been surprised to discover money is actually, like, 4th on their list of priorities.

Understanding What Makes Your VA “Mom” Tick

Usually Moms want, in no particular order:

1) Flexibility to work when they want (i.e. when baby is sleeping)

2) Flexibility to work where they want (e.g. from a laptop on the deck while child plays in yard)

3) No gap in their professional resume; they may want to return to a traditional job in 10 years from now, but don’t want a 10-yr gap in their resume, so working for you keeps their skills and CV strong and continuous.

4) Feeling of contribution to their household finances.

What’s fascinating is the specific amount of money seems to be less important.

I’ve had VAs invoice me up to 14 days after the month is over – they usually aren’t dying for the money, they just want to know it’s coming in, and they’re contributing to family finances one way or another, sooner or later in the month.

For the same reasons, VAs from Hire My Mom seem to be content with a wide range of wages / fees.  They value the working conditions so much they’re happy to work for $10 / hr – $15 / hr.  Personally, I pay the upper end of that.  Bunch of reasons for that, which I’ll explain in some other article.

Security and Safety

Every entrepreneur who’s ever hired anyone – online, offline, in-person, VA, etc – has faced the question: “What if this person rips me off?”.  And in the internet-age, possibly an even bigger concern, “What if this person de-frauds me or my customers?”

By hiring staff from CAN or USA (which is all that’s on HireMyMom), you can run Police Criminal Record checks with incredible ease.  I shutter to think what that would look like dealing with PAkistani authorities.  Not saying it’s impossible, but the language barrier alone would make it tough for me.

And what if things go badly and I thikn a VA has ripped me off?  Good luck tracking down a criminal VA in Bangalore.  Never gonna happen.

But if I have staff in Michigan, Indiana, or Ontario?  Local authorities are setup in such a way where there’s at least the possibility of recourse, or at least scaring a criminal VA into never repeating their fraudulent or criminal activity.

I’m not trying to scare you here; most VAs, including on HireMyMom, are squeaky-clean people just wanting to contribute to their family and to your business.

Fraud and crime is in the back of my mind, though, so that’s why I bring it up.

The Real Cost of Hiring Overseas

Paying like $5/hr or $10/hr to overseas VAs and contractors is pretty damn attractive!

I think there are a few specific tasks where hiring overseas makes a lot of sense.

Or when you’ve got a solid filter in place, like what 99 Designs has done for graphic design.  Poor designers, and/or those who have trouble with English get filtered out naturally and quickly.

But most of the time, the low, low cost of hiring an Indian VA gets washed away by expensive errors and delays.

You need to carefully consider your hourly income / value to your business.  Fully embrace how every hour you spend managing your team is a double-cost.  An hour on Skype is actually an hour at their rate PLUS an hour at your rate.

The math on a small task works out like this:

– Indian VA from Elance: 5 hours of their time @ $10/hr, PLUS 2 hours of your time training and fixing @ $100+/hr = $250

– US / CAN-based VA from HireMyMom: 3 hours of their time @ $15/hr, PLUS 1 hour of your time @ $100+/hr = $145

What’s more cost-effective?

Plus, when I’m focused on my tasks, I’m often negotiating bigger deals, establishing new clients, all the big-dollar-value stuff.  The size of opportunities I miss when I’m babysitting (especially overseas) staff can quickly cost me thousands, maybe even tens-of-thousands in sales.

HireMyMom is the Answer

In closing, with HireMyMom you’ve got a unique situation where you’ve got business-skilled workers who are experts in English and Western Culture, yet flexible on pay as long as you can give them their working conditions.

Plus you can track them down in-person (relatively easily) if anything truly terrible ever happens.  That’s a nice degree of comfort.

To Your Success,

Tim