Should you Work with a Virtual Assistant or Individual Service Providers?

Should you work with service providers on a per-project basis, or should you hire a virtual assistant on a monthly basis who can perform all your outsourced tasks for you?

There are pros and cons to each option. Here they are, compared side to side to help you decide which works best for you.

The Benefits of Using One Virtual Assistant

The main benefit of using a single virtual assistant is that you can foster and build a relationship with just one person.

Managing a group of service providers can be a troublesome task in and of itself. Instead of establishing many shallow relationships with service providers, if you can train just one virtual assistant and have a stellar relationship with that VA, you may be better off.

If you hire a virtual assistant that's part of an outsourcing firm, there are a few additional benefits.

First of all is security. You may not want to give out administrator passwords to your website to many outsourcers at the same time. The same applies with shopping carts and payment systems. There are always issues of plagiarism with writers.

If you're working with a VA from a firm, however, they generally implement their own security procedures. That usually means they have a supervisor overseeing their work to ensure your security.

The Benefits of Using Individual Service Providers

The primary benefit of using individual service providers is that each provider is more experienced in their specialty.

Take building back links for example. Yes, you can train a virtual assistant on the process for building links. On the other hand, someone who's been doing it for years can do it much faster and more efficiently.

Wh at might take a professional service provider one hour could take a virtual assistant three hours. It's not that they're less competent, they just have less experience in a particular area.

For this reason, it's often cheaper to work with several individual service providers rather than paying for a virtual assistant.

You're also generally paying on a per-project or per-result basis with a service provider, rather than per hour or per month with a virtual assistant.

For example, for writers you're paying per article, for link builders you're paying per link, for transcriptionists you're paying per word. That makes it a lot easier to measure the return on your investment. 

Should you use individual service providers, or should you hire a virtual assistant? It really depends on your business model, the types of tasks and your personal preferences.

If you prefer to work with one person closely, then hire a virtual assistant. If you'd rather pay a bit less and closely co-ordinate a handful of individual service providers, then that route may work better for you.

What are your experiences with working for either virtual assistants and individual service provider? Please comment below.