You’ve undoubtedly heard of Virtual Assistants and perhaps are curious about whether it would be worth hiring one?
The dream situation being that you’ll instantly find yourself with a beautifully streamlined operation; as opposed to the nightmare that it’ll mean hours of your time spent explaining the business and checking their work!
Here we’ll explain the most crucial advantages and disadvantages of a Virtual Assistant to give you some solid facts that will help you make a good call for your business.
What Tasks Can a Virtual Assistant Do?
Like many trending freelance roles, Virtual Assistants are talked about a lot; but they don’t do the same thing for all businesses!
Great VA’s combine the best of all worlds, acting as your PA, administrator, receptionist, team manager (and maybe a life coach when you’re having an off day!).
BUT you need to put together an outline of the tasks involved before even thinking about posting a job vacancy or organizing interviews.
Possible Tasks for a Virtual Assistant
Some of the assignments you might need to be covered could include:
- Managing emails and correspondence.
- Dealing with social media accounts and messages.
- Posting blogs and creating business content.
- Managing projects, scheduling, and calendars.
- General business admin.
Not all VA’s will have all of these skills, some many more, and others are accomplished in niche sectors, so it’s not a universal job spec.
Take the time to find a Virtual Assistant who will meet the needs of your business.
Benefits of Having a Great Virtual Assistant
So, why do so many small businesses and entrepreneurs rely on a Virtual Assistant to keep things going?
Here are some of the top benefits of having a Virtual Assistant on your team!
Virtual Assistants Take Over the Routine Tasks
We’ve all been there – you have a business crisis, a super high stakes pitch to write, and you find yourself bogged down with endless emails.
A Virtual Assistant can step in and deal with all the smaller tasks, freeing up your time to run your business.
Given that they’re virtual, most VA’s are adept at managing the digital side of things. They’ll sweep up email management, social media, website inquiries, and all the other tasks that eat into your day.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant to Cut Down on Costs
Now, the beauty of a virtual hire is that you can say what you need and when you need it.
There’s no set structure here, so perhaps you need an assistant full-time from 9 am to 5 pm, just on Friday afternoons, or on an ad hoc basis when you require an extra pair of hands. You get to set the schedule.
As workforce costs go, that’s a decent way to stay on top of your budget and avoid falling behind when the admin pile starts resembling Mount Everest!
Scaling Your Business With Virtual Assistant Support
The right Virtual Assistant for you is, of course, dependent on your business market, niche and audience – but find the perfect match, and you’re onto a winner.
Think about this:
- You want to develop your client base in a new country but can’t work 24/7 (no, REALLY, you can’t). Your VA can take over communications in another time zone when you’re off the clock.
- You’ve got a fantastic opportunity to expand but don’t have the hours in the day to fit another bid into your calendar. Again, turn to your VA to fill the gap.
We’ve made the point – there are some serious advantages to finding a great Virtual Assistant, and they’ll make the stresses of running a business a bit more manageable.
Disadvantages of Hiring a Virtual Assistant
There aren’t many disadvantages to having a great Virtual Assistant. Still, like any astute business owner, we know what you’re thinking – what goes up must come down!
And you’re correct that it’s prudent to go into any new business hire with your eyes wide open.
There are some potential pitfalls to consider:
- Not all Virtual Assistants are skilled in every industry, not all will be digital experts, and not all will be right for you – the same goes for any vacancy, but it’s a point worth acknowledging.
- Remote assistants are virtual by nature, so it’s often impossible to meet in person (and you’ll want to check on the reliability of their power supply and internet connection if in another state or country).
- If you’re hiring an international VA, check out their language fluency and any potential issues that might need addressing if they’re sending correspondence for you.
- You need a VA you can trust because you’re not going to be looking over their shoulder, following up on tasks, and overseeing every piece of work.
Most of those considerations are all down to conducting solid interviews and reference checks – so we’d advise researching the best questions to ask a virtual assistant before hiring them to ensure you make the right decisions!
Is Hiring a Virtual Assistant the Right Solution for My Business?
We’d love to give you a clear answer – but it’s all down to your business needs whether a Virtual Assistant will help you.
- Budget: How many hours can you afford to hire someone? Is it enough?
- Time: Do you feel that time pressures are becoming too much or damaging your work/life balance?
- Tasks: Are there too many or not enough administrative tasks for a VA to manage in the hours you’re expecting? Do you need a specific skill set to complement your business?
All told, a brilliant Virtual Assistant is worth their weight in gold many times over – and a lifesaver to growing businesses.
But, it is critical to find a professional with whom you have a great rapport, aligns with your business goals, and will work beside you to achieve those goals.