Do you notice how the hours could fly by without notice and before you know it, the day has ended and you still have a great deal of work that’s yet to be done? If so, you’re definitely not alone. Entrepreneurs can often find themselves feeling overwhelmed while running a small business.
If you can relate to this, then we definitely think you should consider hiring a virtual assistant (VA). As the late Steve Jobs pointed out, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people”. In fact, the most successful CEOs are those that can properly delegate tasks to various members of a company.
You need to be able to outsource some of your routine work to a VA so you can focus on what you do best: run the whole company. But there’s a lot more to it. If you’re wondering whether you should increase manpower, this article aims to plainly inform you of the benefits of having a virtual assistant. Spoiler alert: it won’t break your bank.
Table of Contents
- What does a Virtual Assistant do?
- Benefits of Having a Virtual Assistant
- Is a Virtual Assistant Right for you?
What does a Virtual Assistant do?
Virtual assistants can perform standard administrative work like scheduling appointments, booking meetings, answering phone calls, but a new breed of remote workers can do a myriad of other tasks that can be done online.
Here is a list of other tasks a VA could do in this day and age:
- Admin work
- Article Writing
- Social Media Management
- Digital Marketing
- Graphics/Video editing
- Web Design/Development
- Data Management
Note that this is just a generic list. The things a VA could do are virtually limitless (pun intended!).
Benefits of Having a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant can do all sorts of tasks necessary for your business to thrive and dominate. Truth be told, there are just too many upsides in hiring a VA for any serious small business owner to ignore. Even if you don’t need one today, knowing the solutions they provide will at least give you some insight and help prepare you when the time comes.
Let’s explore the benefits of hiring a VA.
A VA can reduce labor and operational costs
Did you know that you could save over half of your entire business expenditures by simply opting to hire a virtual assistant? The labor costs alone are 2-5 times greater when hiring a standard employee as opposed to a remote one.
According to Salary.com, the average hourly rate for an Executive Assistant in the United States is $34. Meanwhile, you could get the same level of service for merely $11.25/hour from MyTasker and $6/hour from Virtuale Staffing. That’s a remarkable difference no doubt, but remember you also have to pay for a traditional employee’s taxes, sick leaves, holiday leaves, insurance, medical and dental benefits.
Sadly, that’s not the end of it. Hiring a full-time employee also requires you to bear the costs of office space, maintenance, office equipment like desks, computers, telephones, etc.
All of these could add up to extremely high overhead for your business. Virtual assistants, on the other hand, only need to be paid for the work being done since they are basically independent contracts that handle their own expenses, which includes insurance and taxes.
A VA can save you time to do more meaningful things
Running a small business requires a lot of things that need to be done but that doesn’t mean you should personally do them. Some tasks are suited for a CEO, but many aren’t. As the operator, you need to focus your time on the core functions of your business and avoid grunt work as much as possible.
Remember that you are the most important employee of your company, but you can only pay attention to one thing at a time. You better be strategic in how you spend your precious time.
|Tasks you may do yourself||Tasks you should outsource|
|Landing new accounts or clients||Scheduling appointments and managing calendar|
|Evaluating employees and ensuring synergy of operations||Managing and filtering emails|
|Designing and developing products/services||Answering phone calls or live chats|
|Formulating your company’s short- and long-term strategy||Creating basic reports|
|Setting goals and ensuring their measurability||Routine work that can be easily done by anyone|
|Whatever you love doing||Things you don’t like to do|
Meaningful things also extend beyond work. And having a virtual assistant will free up more time for you to spend with your family and do things you enjoy.
I know how busy life can be when starting a small business. I’m no stranger to working 12 hours per day 7 days a week.
When I was running my youtube business, I did everything from research, to writing the script, to recording audio, to adding graphics, to video editing, to uploading on Youtube, to captioning, to marketing. Everything. In retrospect, I should have just focused on the tasks I loved and was most productive at, which is research, writing, and video editing. I should have hired an assistant to do the rest.
What I discovered was that doing menial tasks sucked the life out of me. It led to massive burnouts that eventually made me lose passion for what I did. Do you want proof? Check out my abandoned Youtube channel. Had I outsourced some of the work, maybe that channel would still be active today and grow to like 50,000 subscribers.
Remember, running a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint. Perhaps it’s time to take that day off or much needed you time. Work on what you do best and outsource what can appropriately be outsourced.
A VA can drive business growth
There will come a time when the turnaround time for your products/services gets hindered or slowed down. And if you’re a startup, this happens more often than you’d realize. It is an indication that your business needs to scale up.
Additional manpower is needed to handle an increase in workload well.
Hiring VAs will enable you to scale your business without facing too much risk since they typically cost less and require no long-term commitments. If you’re feeling indecisive or if you think the spike in work volume is temporary, you can try out virtual assistant on-demand services as some of them allow you to pay by the hour.
Whether you’re seeking a temp to handle seasonal demand or are taking the initial steps towards expanding your company, you cannot go wrong with hiring a virtual assistant in most cases.
A VA can increase the flexibility of your business schedule
When hiring locally, you are limited to employees seeking the typical 9-5 office schedule. But in today’s world, being available for 9-10 business hours a day is not gonna cut it. If you want a wide market reach, it would be best to serve your customers 24/7. In line with that, you can hire a virtual assistant that has no time constraints and can work in any time zone.
A VA will allow you to create a schedule that produces the best results while keeping costs low. For instance, if you conduct most of your core operations during the day but want at least one person to be available to answer customer queries at night you could employ a chat support VA or a customer support specialist.
And if you hire someone from a different cultural background, like say, someone from the Philippines, you can take advantage of the fact that some of your holidays are not celebrated in their areas. For example, Thanksgiving is mostly a North American holiday. Hence, you can legally allow VAs from Asia and other regions to work during this period.
A VA can improve work quality
In the beginning, most startup and small business founders often have to wear different hats and juggle various tasks alone or with a very small team. But no matter how smart and talented you are, you can’t be good at everything. And even if you are proficient in most of today’s business requirements, some tasks are best suited for specialists.
For instance, let’s say you’ve heard from a former colleague that Facebook ads have proven to be cost-effective in driving sales in your particular industry and you want to try it out. But then reality sets in when you realize that when it comes to Facebook advertising, you can’t just “wing it”. It’s quite complex and could burn a lot of your profits as you try to figure out what parameters work best.
The same goes for search engine marketing (SEM), SEO, programming, copywriting, etc. If you don’t lose money, you lose time. We’re not saying you should outsource everything either. If you are capable of doing many of these tasks yourself, by all means, continue.
Just have enough self-awareness to determine whether or not a job is better suited for an expert in the field.
Lastly, most experienced VAs have wide skill sets under their belts. Someone can be proficient in SEO, graphic design, and digital marketing all at the same time.
The VA industry gives you access to the best global talent
When hiring locally, you’re limited to the available applicants in your area. One of the biggest advantages of hiring virtual is that you have free access to world-class talent at a global scale. Your options widen, allowing you to find not only experts in specific roles but also the most reasonably priced ones.
You may not have the budget to hire a team of US developers to build your app but you may be able to afford 4 Indian Java experts. If there’s a will there’s a way.
Is a Virtual Assistant Right for you?
If you are someone who needs an extra pair of hands to help run your business, then a virtual assistant will definitely be beneficial to you. Why settle with your local market when the Internet has technically enabled you to bypass geographical restrictions? Your competitors are likely outsourcing to VAs so you better not miss out on their benefits.
This doesn’t mean VAs are for everybody. Some job positions require employees to be present physically.
There may also be cases when the timing isn’t right for you to acquire a VA. Before you hire, be sure that you have a clear goal in mind for your remote worker. In fact, it would be best if you actually have a pre-determined workflow for them to follow. This is especially true for general admin work.
But it varies depending on the type of VA and what your requirements are. You might be able to successfully utilize an SEO expert to increase your website’s visibility despite having very little knowledge about SEO.
If you’re still starting out and are unsure, or if you’ve hired a few VAs in the past that didn’t pan out, we recommend that you give us a try. We can match you with the best available VA for a role at the most favorable rates you’ll ever get!