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Virtual assistants (VAs) in Mexico are growing in popularity as more U.S. businesses seek affordable services. Why?
They live in a country where the time zone is almost the same as in the U.S. They are bilingual, speaking English and Spanish. Many areas in the U.S. have a large population that is Spanish-speaking.
In short, VAs in Mexico give remote workers from other parts of the world a run for their money.
Considering hiring this elite group of workers? Continue reading to learn more about the factors affecting Mexico’s virtual assistant costs.
How Much Does a Virtual Assistant Cost?
The cost of hiring VAs depends on various factors, including their skills and experience, the kind of work they offer, where they are based, and the urgency of the projects or tasks they must complete.
The cost of hiring a virtual assistant in Mexico varies depending on whether you need them for a few hours a week or full-time. For instance, a freelance or self-employed VA can charge a client an hourly rate as low as $1 or as high as $100. On the other hand, a company can pay a Mexican VA at least $600 monthly if it hires the individual as a retainer or an employee.
Knowing VA Skills Helps Determine Virtual Assistant Costs
Understanding what Mexican VAs do helps businesses calculate how much to spend on hiring them. Below are VAs’ common skills:
- Basic bookkeeping and accounting. The VA handles common and daily financial tasks. Some examples are preparing and recording receipt transcription and invoices and coordinating with vendors about purchases and supplies.
- Customer support. The third-party contractor answers emails, chats, and phone calls regarding customer questions, requests, and complaints. The VA also generates periodic reports using the company’s customer relationship management (CRM) software to help analyze consumer behavior and preferences and improve services and satisfaction.
- Data entry. The VA handles the company’s data digitization. This task includes entering new products into the online store, updating customer information, and adding listings to the organizational database.
- Digital marketing assistance. The VA helps with digital marketing programs by posting to social media accounts, organizing and curating email records, collaborating with content writers and editors, and publishing content.
- General administrative functions. The Mexican VA schedules meetings or travel arrangements, takes down notes, manages a contact list, organizes managers’ schedules, conducts market research, readies spreadsheets, keeps online records, and generates business presentations.
- Sales support. The third-party worker provides sales-related activities to businesses or entrepreneurs. The VA can book appointments with new leads, generate good quality leads, help with sales reports, follow up on new leads, engage potential customers on social media, and contact past clients or old leads.
Factors That Influence Virtual Assistant Costs
These elements determine the exact cost of a virtual assistant, so it is important to consider them:
- Type of work or assistance offered and performed
- Work location
- Complexity, urgency, and duration of the project or task
- Expertise and experience status of the VA
Let us check the details.
Type of Work or Assistance Offered and Performed
Virtual assistant costs in Mexico largely depend on the services businesses acquire. Getting a general administrative VA who handles basic assignments costs less than hiring an assistant with a niche or specialized skill, such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media management, or graphic design.
Below are the rates for common VA services or skills to give businesses and entrepreneurs an idea of the average virtual assistant costs in the U.S.
|VA Service or Skill
|Average Hourly Rate (in the U.S.)
|Basic bookkeeping and accounting
|$12 – $25
|$11 – $26
|$10 – $26
|Digital marketing assistance
|General administrative functions
|$8 – $12
|$20 – $35
Sources: Payscale (for data entry and customer support); Wishup.com (for basic bookkeeping and accounting and general administrative functions); ZipRecruiter (for digital marketing assistants); and Upwork (for sales support)
The table above references the average hourly rate in the U.S. The exact virtual assistant costs for each VA service or skill in Mexico are unavailable (or difficult to obtain) as of this publication.
However, Mexico’s average hourly rate is lower than in the U.S. due to its more affordable cost of living. One can then estimate that the average VA salary is also lower. The average base salary in Mexico is about $2.22 per hour, while the average federal minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25 per hour.
Virtual assistant costs in Mexico, the Philippines, India, and other outsourcing destinations with emerging economies are more reasonable for clients because of their relatively modest living expenses. A higher cost of living translates to higher salaries.
Low salaries do not mean poor service or work quality. Many Mexican, Filipino, or Indian VAs working remotely excel in their roles, which is why they are in demand worldwide. American small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) seek VAs outside the U.S. to benefit from their cost-effective service fees and competent skills.
Businesses can access these affordable remote workers to optimize their virtual assistant costs. Thanks to technological advancements such as high-speed internet connections, communication apps, voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP), and mobile phones, acquiring the right VAs is inexpensive and achievable wherever they are.
Mexican VAs’ advantage over their Asian counterparts is their proximity to the U.S. The time zone difference is almost minimal, with the U.S. only one to three hours ahead. So, when the American client begins working at 7 a.m., the Mexican remote worker clocks in at 10 a.m. Both parties work nearly at the same time of day.
Complexity, Urgency, and Duration of the Project or Task
The period wherein the remote worker has to finish an assignment also influences virtual assistant costs in Mexico. Service fees for immediate or short-notice projects are typically higher than those with long due dates. Working on urgent tasks might compel the VA to drop other commitments to meet the short deadline.
Some assignments require more time and planning due to their complexity. These might involve organizing financial records and summarizing them for an upcoming executive meeting or helping the digital marketing team with SEO to improve the company’s page rankings in online searches. Harder and more complicated operations indicate higher pay for the VA.
Other projects might be either one-time or long-term. An example of a one-off deal is an email marketing campaign in which the Mexican VA’s only duty is to gather all contact information and feed it into the marketing tool for product or service promotion. A long-term task involves managing email responses.
Virtual assistant costs for one-off deals are normally higher than long-term ones. Many VAs prefer ongoing work over short-term tasks due to economic reasons. Maintaining a long-term client provides them with job security and a consistent income stream.
Expertise and Experience Status of the VA
The remote worker’s proficiencies, qualifications, and knowledge also determine the virtual assistant costs incurred. Experienced VAs in Mexico will likely charge more than rookies. They are more efficient, possessing the technical know-how and soft skills to complete tasks in a short period.
Hiring remote workers based on experience and skill sets is recommended to optimize virtual assistant costs. For instance, if the tasks involve posting and monitoring messages on social media, an entry-level VA will do it. However, if the work involves curating and designing Facebook messages to attract the target market, an experienced social media VA specialist must do the job.
Do not hire someone mainly because of the cheap service rate. A VA charging lower than its competitors might be inefficient and cost a company more at the end of the day.
For example, VA 1 offers $5 per hour, while VA 2 charges $10. VA 1 finishes the task in 10 hours and bills $50 ($5 x 10 hours). VA 2 completes the same task in three hours and charges $30 ($3 x 10 hours). VA 2 is more economical to hire, saving the business $20. The company should find ways to get the most efficient remote worker to get its money’s worth.
What Are the Forms of Virtual Assistant Services?
In Mexico, veterans can get the help they need in one of three ways. Each channel has a different influence on virtual assistant costs. The three general groups are:
- Virtual assistant agencies
- Freelance or independent virtual assistants
- Managed VA service providers or business process outsourcing (BPO) companies
Let us check the details.
Virtual Assistant Agencies
Virtual assistant agencies are organizations that supply VAs to clients. They train their VA talent to hone their skills for current and future employment opportunities.
Job listing website Indeed shows virtual assistant firms in the U.S. pay a VA an hourly rate between $16 and $44. This amount is only what the remote worker earns, so the actual virtual assistant costs to the client will be higher.
Among the advantages of hiring VAs through agencies are:
- Assured competent assistants. VA firms excel in selecting the appropriate VAs for their customers. They will likely find qualified individuals to work and meet client requirements on short notice.
- Alternative plans. The agency can immediately replace a current VA working for a client with a new one should a situation go wrong. It can provide a substitute if the hired VA falls short of expectations.
- Convenient arrangement. The VA provider handles the processes, from the job posting and hiring to training and contract signing, safeguarding the VA and the client by giving each their due consideration.
Below are the potential issues:
- Higher cost than independent VAs. Companies seeking third-party professionals will find their virtual assistant costs more expensive when relying on agencies. The reason is that VA firms pay for the VAs’ training and other recruitment needs.
- Changing assistants. VA agencies might switch the hired personal assistant over time because of an employee’s resignation, vacation, or illness. This can frustrate a client, particularly if the original VA is a stellar performer. Nonetheless, the agency will provide a replacement soon.
Freelance or Independent Virtual Assistants
A freelance or independent VA is a work-from-home (WFH) professional who completes certain duties or tasks for a client. The person has a direct written contract with the client but is not an employee of a company. Most independent VAs are experienced and do not need the assistance of an agency. They can take on many clients simultaneously.
Freelance platform Upwork lists VA hourly rates ranging from $18 to $35. These are the actual virtual assistant costs that clients pay to get the services.
Some benefits of hiring freelance or independent VAs include:
- Lower service fees. Independent contractors charge less because their operating costs and living expenses are modest. They can continue operations with minimal requirements.
- The same VAs throughout. Companies can expect to work with the same VA for as long as they want. The VA and client relationship becomes stronger in the long run.
- Flexible arrangements. Many freelancers provide flexible setups to clients. They don’t have minimum-hour requirements, so the client’s virtual assistant costs are lower. The sooner the individual completes the task, the lower the fees the client pays.
Below are some possible risks:
- Limited contingency plan. The client’s tasks are left unattended if the VA gets sick, goes on a holiday, or cuts off contact. Most likely, the freelancer does not have a substitute to temporarily handle the assignments. The employer’s next move is to look for a new replacement, which will cost extra time, effort, and money.
- Unfamiliarity with projects. An independent VA might not be acquainted with the client’s tasks. The employer must then train the individual. It means spending time and other resources, which add to the total virtual assistant costs.
Managed VA Service Providers or BPO Companies
Managed VA service providers, or BPO companies, are similar to VA agencies, but their work scope is broader. These organizations hire VAs, train and onboard them, and oversee their daily work. They also provide professionals with secure equipment and facilities to help them fulfill client tasks.
Under these service providers, the VAs are considered full-time staff and obtain health or medical insurance, bonuses, and other benefits. The BPO company pays them a fixed monthly salary. In the U.S., a VA receives an average monthly salary of $5,700. Salaries are much lower in Mexico and other outsourcing hubs.
The service provider’s account manager collaborates with the client regarding the tasks or projects before assigning them to the VA. The manager then delivers instructions and other relevant details to the chosen VA. The manager receives client feedback and works with the VA to improve their service.
Some perks of managed VA service providers or BPO companies include:
- Enhanced performance and speed. The client can optimize virtual assistant costs when hiring a service provider that employs specialists. These types of VAs can raise efficiency, output, and accuracy. For example, a BPO provider has SEO specialists who are experts in increasing the quality and quantity of the client’s website traffic.
- Reduced operating expenses. Clients can experience lower virtual assistant costs as the third-party provider shoulders all the hiring, training, and upskilling expenses. They are not required to buy additional equipment or computer systems or invest in the workspace. Fixed costs tend to decrease with back-office outsourcing.
A drawback for service providers is the hidden expenses that are also part of virtual assistant costs. VA replacement, contract cancellation, and additional services are some examples.
Best Practices for Hiring a Virtual Assistant in Mexico
Getting the right VAs for the least amount of money is one of the business goals. Consider the following methods to optimize virtual assistant costs and get the right VA:
Specify Business Requirements and Goals to Manage Costs
Identify the main objective of hiring a VA in Mexico. Enumerate the reasons for acquiring one instead of letting in-house staff perform the tasks. Doing so will help the business find the right person to meet expectations and deliver services to reach its objectives.
Follow these useful tips to help determine requirements and goals:
- Name the tasks. List the particular tasks or projects the VA will be in charge of. Tasks include data entry services, email and calendar administration, social media management, customer service, content curation, invoicing, and bookkeeping.
- Define the expertise. After listing the tasks or projects, define the specific experience, knowledge, and skill sets needed. Arrange them according to urgency and relevance to know which tasks should be assigned immediately or later. This helps manage virtual assistant costs.
- Assess the work culture. Examine the company’s work approach to help identify the type of remote worker required. The organization should seek a candidate with strong interpersonal skills if it wants a VA who can collaborate regularly. Choose a VA with strong technical skills if you need an independent worker.
- Organize a budget. Based on the tips above, the company should estimate a budget for its virtual assistant costs. Determining the fund ensures the organization can pay for VA services for a certain period. Remember that the service fees of a remote assistant differ widely according to the work type, experience, location, and urgency of the task.
Conduct Thorough Candidate Screening to Get the Best VA Candidates
Finding the ideal VA with the proper skills, experience, and knowledge helps the business maximize virtual assistant costs. But getting one who is also trainable, enthusiastic, a team player, disciplined, and motivated is better.
Below are some pointers for examining and vetting VA candidates:
- Post detailed information about the role. Include in the job advertisement all the specifics, including the type of tasks to delegate, the allotted time to finish the work, the knowledge/skills needed, the work schedule to report, and the necessary equipment and software (e.g., laptop, high-speed internet connection, Skype) to have.
- Implement a systematic procedure. To handle virtual assistant costs better, carry out an organized screening policy to help find the person best fit for the position. The procedure must include a resume and background review (e.g., social media and Google search), preliminary interview, hard and soft skills test, and behavioral exam.
- Obtain references. Ask for personal or character references of remote VAs. This is a standard operating procedure (SOP), especially for potential WFH contractors. Ensure the candidate is trustworthy by verifying their previous employers or clients. The future VA will deal with company information and data that will likely be private and sensitive.
- Conduct video interviews. Video calls are recommended for first-time interviews to see the candidate’s expression or reaction and to know the person’s verbal skills. During the interview, ask basic but relevant questions to learn more about the applicant. Inquire about their skills, experience, work preferences, interests, and goals.
- Offer a paid test task. This process does not directly affect the company’s virtual assistant costs but will show an applicant’s actual skills. Give the short-listed candidates the same task and instruct them to complete it within a deadline.
Prioritize Attitude and Hone Skills to Avoid High Virtual Assistant Costs
A VA’s favorable disposition, amiable personality traits, and strong discipline are more important than skills, credentials, and certifications. The type of work attitude determines how the individual deals with tasks and situations, communicates with co-workers, and respects (or disrespects) management and the company.
If the remote worker has the technical qualifications and basic competencies, prioritize behavior when choosing a VA. Training and experience can help hone one’s abilities. The company needs a VA to help achieve its business goals and meet requirements in the long run, not someone who will likely slow operations down later.
Additionally, offer the new VA a warm welcome during onboarding to help them settle in quickly. Be sure to include the VA in meetings and other online sessions, if necessary. Doing so makes the worker realize the importance of the VA role and be more motivated to add value to the company.
Lastly, give the newly hired VA a small or easy project at the start. Assign more and bigger ones along the way. Considering these tips will enable the organization to handle virtual assistant costs better.
Get VAs from a Reliable Service Provider to Save Time and Effort
BPO companies are involved in customer service, sales support, technical support outsourcing, and VA operations. When businesses lack time to screen and hire VAs, the next viable option is to partner with a service provider.
However, clients might not get the lowest virtual assistant costs with this approach. One reason is that a third-party provider invests in VA hiring, training, and upskilling to deliver high-quality service with excellent client satisfaction and experience.
Check out these six steps to help find the ideal BPO partner:
- List and evaluate potential service providers. Investigate each prospect on the list. Look into their accomplishments, experience, and expertise. Prioritize those with dedicated VAs to work exclusively on the outsourced tasks.
- Get complete information on fees. To manage virtual assistant costs better, ask each potential partner about their complete rates, unexpected fees, and other billings.
- Develop a request for proposal (RFP). Limit the list of prospects. Draft an RFP and send it to each short-listed provider. The document must outline the task scope, deadline, proposed budget, and needed solutions.
- Pick the service provider that offers the best value. The company must draft a service-level agreement (SLA) with the BPO provider, detailing the types of services the provider will deliver, including the key performance indicators (KPIs) it must meet.
- Monitor the VA tasks. Track the third-party team’s performance through KPIs. Ensure the business requirements, objectives, and virtual assistant costs are within target.
- Maintain interaction. The chances for success of outsourcing virtual assistance, contact center as a service (CCaaS), and other back-end functions increase with established, constant communication between the client and BPO partner.
The Bottom Line
In a nutshell, the cost of hiring a VA in Mexico depends on a combination of factors, including the VA’s skills, the type of work or service offered, the location of the remote workers, the task’s complexity and urgency, and the VA’s expertise and experience level.
VA costs depend on how and where the client will get the services (e.g., through a virtual assistant agency, a freelancer or independent contractor, a managed VA service provider, or a BPO company).
Let’s connect if you want to learn more about virtual assistant costs in Mexico!