Well, seeing as it’s a new month, I thought what better way to return to my blogging than with a nice post full of negative things? In all seriousness, my post about the benefits of freelance work was constructed with the caveat that there are…
I’m sure many people who work freelance or otherwise are familiar with the concept of impostor syndrome. Instead of confidently asserting oneself at work, or another important life situation, the fear sets in. The fear that actually, you’re no good at this and it’s only…
Working with a virtual assistant might seem like a foreign concept to many business owners. For those of us who spend a lot of time on the internet, blogging and browsing Pinterest, it’s a fairly common term. If you’ve got better things to do, however, it’s likely that the term ‘virtual assistant’ or ‘business assistant’ has passed you by entirely.
In short, a virtual assistant or business assistant can help you with a range of tasks as and when you need, rather than having to hire temporary or even permanent in-house employees. You get the help you need ticking off that to-do list or getting through a particularly busy month without paying extra for agency or recruitment relationships.
It’s estimated that there are around 2,500 virtual assistants operating in the UK at the moment. That seems like a fairly small percentage of the workforce. It’s a growing industry, certainly, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss it altogether. In the US, there are around four million virtual assistants operating in the workforce. Of course, it’s a much bigger population and workforce, but it seems the idea of working with remote administrative employees has taken off Stateside.
Considering the rise in self-employed virtual administrative or business assistants, it seems prudent to offer some insight into what a VA can do for you. It’s all well and good flashing the term around, but what does it mean in reality?
Time, one of the most precious currencies a business owner works with. Virtual assistants can help anyone, but if you’ve got your own business it’s likely there are a significant number of smaller tasks you’d be thrilled to get off your shoulders.
Hiring a self-employed virtual assistant is time-efficient in many ways. First, it cuts out the recruitment middle man entirely. You don’t have to wait for job posts to go live, to get the requisite number of applications, to deal with recruiters or agencies. You don’t have to arrange interviews, although of course you can if you like.
Instead, you can search for virtual assistants on LinkedIn or Google, and find someone directly who can help with your specific workload. You’re negotiating and communicating with the person who’ll be helping you, getting a feel for their personality and skills a lot quicker.
You can get someone in to do the work faster, meaning you can get the work underway faster, too. A virtual assistant is a dedicated resource. Rather than stretching your current workforce too thin you’ve got someone who can take a task on, focus on it, and get it back to you in half the time. It leaves your current staff to focus on what they need to do when they need to do it.
Keeping costs down
Taking agencies and recruiters out of the equation to fill your resources immediately takes costs down. Going straight to a virtual assistant cuts out middle man expenses, and is likely to be cheaper overall. You aren’t paying for someone to provide you with resource, you’re just paying for the work hours.
The money you spend goes directly to the virtual assistant, and that’s that. Cutting out the in-between saves you money straight away. Similarly, you aren’t going to be paying staff to sit there twiddling their thumbs on a quiet day or week. You work with your VA as and when you need, only paying, usually by hour, for work that’s actively being done.
Hiring a new employee requires training to get them up to speed, which can be costly. If you work with a virtual assistant who’s skilled in particular tasks, you eliminate that cost. Delegating the work remotely leaves your team free to do what you need them to, keeping their productivity in line with expectations and allowing you to keep making money.
Reducing your admin
Working with a self-employed virtual assistant saves you time by getting a variety of tasks done when you need them doing. Going directly to the source of work eliminates recruitment costs and administration, as well as HR administration.
If you work with a self-employed VA, they sort out their own taxes and expenses. You don’t have to lift a finger! You simple delegate, communicate, pay the invoices, and that’s that. The idea of hiring a virtual assistant is to reduce the tasks that are still awaiting your attention. The bonus is not having to worry about filling in forms, meetings, or other time-consuming administrative tasks that come with hiring a new employee.
Peace of mind
If you hire a virtual assistant, you delegate them a workload and wait for it to be done. Of course, you need clear, open, and respectful communication to ensure your expectations will be met. Once this is done, you know that the work will be completed to a high standard when you need it.
It’s absolutely not in a VA’s interests to half-heartedly complete something, or plough through without understanding the task. Time is precious to us, too, and we’re our own business. It makes no sense for us to do a lacklustre job and not get hired again. Repeat business is key, so we want to do a good job first time.
The entire point of our services is to provide a dedicated resource to you. We manage our time so our attention is devoted to the task in hand. Often, this means a quicker turnaround for you. Instead of tasks hanging over you, you can rest easy knowing things are done quickly and efficiently.
The benefits of working with a virtual assistant are numerous, and I could probably carry on listing them all day. I put this post together as a quick guide to the immediate positives of hiring and working with a VA. The longer your working relationship, the better the benefits will be. There are personal benefits too, such as the ability to get tasks done whilst you’re away, or simply saving yourself and team from working overtime.
If you’ve got a seemingly never-ending list of tasks that need to be caught up on, hire a virtual assistant to help you on your way. My business assistance services are listed on this website. If it sounds as though I can help you out then why hesitate?
Whilst I’m sure this blog will host many a vitriolic, anxious complaint, there are definitely some virtues to the uncertain world of freelance work. For the past few months, I’ve primarily been working on transcription. It’s the money maker, although you wouldn’t know were you…