In 2012, Craig Goodliffe needed an assistant to help him run his real estate and consulting businesses in Ogden, Utah. He posted a local ad for the job, but got a reply from a woman, Daphne, in the Philippines. The Southeast Asian nation used to be a hotbed for telemarketers. As spam calls became automated, that infrastructure shifted to virtual assistant services.

Despite a 15-hour time difference, Daphne proved ready to take on any and all of Goodliffe’s tasks, and quickly became his best asset. In fact, so many people in his network expressed interest in finding their own virtual assistant that in 2018, Goodliffe launched a third company, Cyberbacker, to connect entrepreneurs with virtual assistance. Read on for tips on finding your own Daphne.

Use an agency

Stefano Faustini, CEO of Brand of a Leader, and his co-founder, Marina Byezhanova, hired their Philippines-based assistant, Kate, through Outsource ­Access, an Atlanta firm that made Inc.’s inaugural Power Partner Awards list of B2B companies. Taking this route helped them avoid the burden of international payroll. “We don’t have to worry about the tax implications,” Faustini says. “For us, it’s just a charge on our credit card.”

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