Even new businesses can experience an unexpected growth spurt, but adding a full-time employee to take some of the load off isn’t easy. Hiring a virtual assistant (a VA) rather than a permanent employee may be a good option.
Today, we will look at what a VA is, the jobs they can do, and see if hiring a virtual assistant is the right choice for your business.
What is a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants complete tasks and services for, or on behalf of, entrepreneurs or companies. They help out remotely, performing their assigned tasks virtually. Despite this, virtual assistants are like other employees in your business and can become an integral part of your company’s productivity.
Here are a few services most VAs can provide:
- Social media coordination and digital marketing
- Scheduling and calendar organization (i.e., events, emails, bookings)
- Preparing presentations, graphics, reports, and other documents
- Accounting and bookkeeping
- Data entry
- Office Administration
- Customer and sales support
- Research for customer satisfaction
- Data organization
- To-Do lists
- Following up
Reasons to Hire a Virtual Assistant
Below are some benefits you can expect should you hire a virtual assistant.
- It’s budget-friendly. Instead of hiring a full-time employee to do a small job or a bunch of random tasks, you can hire a cost-effective virtual assistant to do it for you. VAs only get paid for work they’ve done, as they usually charge an hourly rate or on a task basis.
- Additionally, as they work remotely, you won’t have to pay for overheads like their internet connection, workspace, computers, insurance, or other office space expenses. You also don’t need to provide much concerning employee benefits.
- Since VAs only work on tasks they are good at, you won’t need to spend valuable time and money training them.
- Boost your efficiency by outsourcing non-essential tasks. For example, if you can delegate non-core but still essential tasks such as sending emails, following up with clients, and posting on social media, it can be given to the VA to free up time for things you, the owner, must do.
- Your hiring potential for specialized services is unlimited when seeking virtual assistants, as you can bring talented people in from anywhere and with focused talents to boot, which increases your access to experts with skills like social media and digital management, advanced spreadsheet skills, visual and digital editing, marketing, and advertising.
- Many virtual assistants have special training and certificates to offer the best services, so hiring them for specific tasks ensures you’re getting the best fit for the job.
- The virtual world provides many opportunities for business owners to expand their companies and teams. The options are unlimited and virtual assistants are easy to find online.
- If your VA needs to take time off, finding and hiring a new one will be easy. In addition, finding a replacement for a virtual assistant is far less troublesome than finding in-house replacements for the same position since you can hire from any corner of the world.
- Hiring a virtual assistant will massively reduce your workload and help free up your time and energy for other things. Repetitive tasks like scheduling meetings, taking phone calls, answering emails, and managing the calendar take longer than people realize. A virtual assistant can do all these tasks and more. You can focus on important things like family, relaxation, or self-care.
Things to consider when choosing a Virtual Assistant
- Find the payment options your contracted VA offers to ensure this aligns with your budget and is also an excellent fit for your project.
- Negotiate deadlines for talks, project milestones, and a payment schedule.
- Consider the skillset you’re looking for and be detailed when posting the job. It’s also good to include skills you may need in the future. For example, you may want to hire employees soon but are not ready yet and may require a payroll person for when you hire new staff. You could employ the same person and save time and resources searching for a VA with this skill set and the needed expertise.
- Since you will not be training the candidate, setting up an interactive interviewing process is a good idea. Test the skills they need for the job to see if they can complete the tasks.
- Dealing with a virtual assistant is worlds away from engaging with full-time employees. It would help to have communication channels and procedures for work assignments, briefings, check-ins, etc. Use video calls, messaging, etc., to contact your assistant. This assures them of your support and allows them to monitor task progress.
Still not sure you should hire a virtual assistant?
That’s okay. Another option could be to start with a great software program for your business. Programs like ServiceWorks can replace a full-time employee by managing all the back-office operations of a field service business. For example, serviceWorks can help with customer satisfaction by auto-sending customer surveys. It can also do invoicing, payroll, scheduling maintenance updates, and route optimization. It also works as an electronic filing system keeping all client information nice, tidy, and easily accessible. Even better, ServiceWorks offers a free 14-day trial.