Businesses face so many operational challenges today. Between the increased service demands, cost pressures and just trying to differentiate your business from the competition, resources can get stretched thin to the point where it feels like you can barely keep your head above water.
As a result, instead of focusing on initiatives that make a difference to customers and top-line growth, you’re busy working for the business rather than on it.
Managed services, is one of the many specialized outsourced services that have emerged to address these issues.
But what is managed services and what does it have to do with hiring a virtual assistant or outsourcing administrative services for your business?
More importantly, why should you care?
What is managed services?
Using a managed service provider is a strategic method used by many successful businesses to improve operations and cut expenses by offloading and outsourcing specific operations and functions. These managed service providers then proactively, not retroactively, help with the day to day management of those responsibilities.
Why bother outsourcing?
Why do companies like Dell and Citibank outsource their customer service?
Why do Apple, Cisco, and Nike outsource their manufacturing?
Cost is what people think of most often. But if it was just a matter of cutting costs, companies might simply offshore the manufacturing or customer service without outsourcing to another firm.
Simple! These companies know a thing or two about business and years ago, they decided that in order to be successful and profitable they needed to focus on their core competencies.
In the case of Nike, Cisco, and Apple:
Instead of buying the entire manufacturing infrastructure, hiring all the employees, figuring out the processes and probably a whole lot more, they delegated and outsourced the work to firms who specialized in building products.
These outsourcing companies do far more than find the cheapest labor, they manage supply chains; optimize the sourcing, manufacturing and shipping processes.
Similarly, in the world of knowledge work, Dell and Citibank had the scale to make outsourcing of customer service practical and profitable.
Why should you care?
You don’t need to be a Dell or Nike to take advantage of the benefits of the global market and specialized outsourcing anymore.
Thanks to Elance, Odesk and other online marketplaces, there are a multitude of outsourcing options available to smaller business and individuals that go far beyond manufacturing and customer service.
Here are just a few vertical markets where a company can find managed services for their business.
- Financial services
- Health care
- Administrative tasks and duties
Managed Virtual Assistants: Outsourcing administrative work for executives
Just as Flextronics manages the manufacturing of goods for Apple so that Apple can focus on design and marketing, at Prialto, we offer managed virtual personal assistant services for executives.
Prialto assistants focus on the admin work so that executives can focus on selling their products and building and leading the teams that drive their company forward.
The labor alone involved in handling the work we do is less expensive than if you managed it yourself.
And even if you had our five hundred thousand plus hours of support experience to draw upon, the management time required will cost you much more than the money you’d save.
The problem with small businesses outsourcing
Outsourcing is not without its problems.
A small business outsourcing certain functions and responsibilities to an individual or to another small company faces a lot of challenges; challenges which they may not have the know-how or bandwidth to deal with.
That’s where managed services can help; specifically managed virtual assistant services.
Difficulties of outsourcing administrative tasks and hiring an executive assistant
At Prialto, we know it’s difficult to leverage and get the most out of an outsourced assistant for your business. Our managed virtual assistant services are designed to make it easier and less painful.
Specifically, we help you with the hard parts so that you can keep driving your business forward.
- Delegating and getting started with an assistant is hard – When you’re a busy executive with a lot on your plate, it’s hard to find the time to identify and scope the work that needs to get delegated
- Sourcing talent takes a lot of time – Finding and vetting a good employee is hard enough as it is but finding and vetting an outsourced remote personal assistant is even harder
- Training and managing someone remotely can be extremely challenging: Not only is it time consuming, you have to train the remote personal assistant to understand the context and the nuances involved in helping you at a distance
- Maintaining continuity – Even a great assistant can be difficult to manage. You need to continually motivate and challenge them with development opportunities or you run the risk of eventually losing them to better opportunities. All the time you invested in making that assistant good on the front end will be lost and you’ll have to start all over again
- Dealing with downtime and making sure there is redundancy: If you rely on an employee for key functions on a day to day basis, things break or get complicated when that person is out sick, quits or goes on vacation
Why hire a personal assistant through a managed service?
Not only is Prialto’s managed virtual assistant service designed to shield busy executives from these difficulties, your business will benefit from many of the same advantages from outsourcing once only available to the big companies like Apple, Dell and Citibank.
When you work with a virtual executive assistant from a managed service company like Prialto, you will see a multitude of benefits from increased operational efficiency to reduced operational costs.
Most importantly, you will have time to breath, and you’ll have more time to focus on the things that matter for your business and hopefully life too.