Important Things to Consider Before Hiring Your First Virtual Assistant
There’s a common misconception that virtual assistants are some kind of “luxury” only affordable by the big companies to outsource projects that require less management but are considered an overhead. Actually, the other way around seems to be true as more and more freelancers and small companies resort to hiring virtual assistants as a solution to the limited time they have available. By the point where business is stable, small business owners realize that, even though they’re doing well, they don’t have much time to be creative and take their dream further.
Some entrepreneurs think that a physical assistant will get the job done better that a hired virtual assistant would. But, the truth is, having a physical assistant takes up a lot more time and energy than a virtual one. And why should you hire a virtual assistant?
Here are a few reasons why having a virtual assistant trumps having a physical assistant:
- It takes time to find the right person. It needs to be someone who’s qualified and matches your personality, so you can have them around all day.
- In-house employees cost you more than their salary! You have to frequently train them, pay for their insurance and when they’re having a bad day/week/month (which is totally reasonable) your business may suffer.
- You cannot afford someone full-time anyway but you’re overwhelmed with chores, tedious paperwork and a line of projects.
- You are not willing to spend time on interviewing, hiring and training
If you find yourself thinking those things, then you might want to seriously consider hiring a virtual assistant. The niche of virtual assistants for hire is growing rapidly over the last few years, as the Internet has us all interconnected so much, that it’s almost like having an in-house employee. Talented professionals from all over the world can be your call center, your social media manager or your SEO marketing expert.
However, there are things to consider before you hire an online virtual assistant that will determine the efficacy of your choice. The point is to gain profit from this move and carry out more projects than usual, with the best results possible. There is a wide variety of professions you can outsource to a virtual assistant or a virtual assistant company; from simple administrative tasks to accounting or human resources management.
Do you really need to hire a virtual assistant?
The first question you need to ask yourself is: “What I need to hire a virtual assistant for?”. Get your priorities straight first by listing all those pressing issues you need to get out of your way. You need someone to answer emails, support your customers and handle everyday micro-tasks? This could be anything from handling your schedule of appointments to managing your small business’s social media. Or you need someone with whom you can work closely on a project and delegate one of its aspects?
Which kind of virtual assistant mode will address your company’s needs properly?
The two major virtual assistant options available out there are Individual virtual assistants and virtual assistant companies. The first option is suitable for working closely with a certain individual of your choosing. The second option is the best solution when you want to outsource specific tasks that don’t need your attention, like case studies, research or bookkeeping. It’s important to go with the option that best answers your needs and helps your small business grow. Your decision must be based upon factors such as project size, importance, virtual assistant’s monthly cost and the calculated benefits that you’ll enjoy in the long term.
Hire an individual assistant when:
You are a new small business owner, who wants to focus on kickstarting your venture the best way you can. In order to do that, you need to get rid of small, repetitive duties and let an individual virtual assistant take care all of this for you. All those small, daunting tasks that consume your time and interfere with your creativity can be a thing of the past. By hiring a task-based individual virtual assistant you don’t have to micromanage them too.
Hiring an individual VA has one more plus: you get to train them to work for you according to your workflow, style and corporate culture! Who knows? Maybe one day you can incorporate them into your team, provided that you’ve made an asset out of them!
Moreover, a dedicated virtual assistant is the best solution if you want to delegate sensitive financial procedures, like invoicing & billing. If you happen to use an invoicing platform, like Elorus, for your invoicing needs you have to grant access to your virtual assistant in order to do their job. You don’t want your business’s data to be visible by random virtual assistants working for a company.
Finally, one more reason to hire a virtual assistant that works alone is the reasonable pricing which varies from person to person and depends on the task. However, the best virtual assistants usually have a more specific price range, that doesn’t drop below $30 per hour. All you have to do here is literally weigh your options, but never forget that a good virtual assistant is worth every penny!
Hire a virtual assistants company if:
However, individual virtual assistants don’t offer their skillset to you alone. They can cater for the needs of many clients at the same time, and it’s up to them to decide their priorities. This is not true when you choose to go with a virtual assistant company. They are experienced and have a large number of employees with specific skill sets to match youρ needs. You will always have an immediate response to your requests from a well-trained professional, no matter what!
VA companies can help you manage routine tasks, as well as, carry out entire projects for you! Therefore, they can contribute to your business’s productivity, boost its growth and avoid common mistakes that an individual, physical or virtual assistant would make due to lack of experience.
It’s very important to mention that when you hire a virtual assistant company you must to make sure you get a free trial for their services. The best virtual assistant companies out there offer it by default, so if you contact one that doesn’t, there’s something definitely “off” about them.
As you’ve probably already imagined, the top virtual assistant companies can be out of your reach financially (if your business is young), so you might want to calculate your budget well. Good thing is, they have monthly packages so you can try them out and see if it’s feasible. Remember, this is an investment that will pay you back, in the long run, so be patient.
The decision to hire a virtual administrative assistant or company has a binary meaning; your business is growing! But it could grow out of control in the blink of an eye without help. So, why not outsource the burdening tasks to someone who possesses the expertise to keep your books neat, handle your correspondence professionally or do a market research with the most reliable data available?
Hiring a virtual assistant or a virtual assistants company will leave you with more time and energy in your hands to focus on the things that matter most. Developing your business, creating new products/services, enjoying your spare time with loved ones.