When in 1995, Christine Durst wrote the book “The 2 Second Commute” as the founder of the virtual assistant industry she might have not estimated just how important virtual assistants would become in today’s world. She called the blooming profession “a revolutionary way of working from home” and encouraged professionals to use the internet to its fullest and pursue their careers and passions to the maximum. Today, nearly 25 years later, these professionals have now moved on to assist other professionals to make their lives easier.
The Virtual Assistant industry is the Holy Grail of staffing over the internet. It enables small and big businesses alike: to hire capable help by the hour with efficiency competing hiring in-house assistants while simultaneously saving the costs that come with hiring employees. It is even more beneficial for small businesses that are looking to scale down costs as they work towards establishing themselves in the brutal corporate world. Hiring an employee comes with multiple costs such as recruiting, training, salary, and benefits, workplace integration, etc. Even an $8/hour employee can end up costing a company around $3,500 in turnover costs, both direct and indirect. (ERE Media. “The Business Cost and Impact of Employee Turnover.” Accessed April 17, 2020.) According to a recent study by Training Magazine, companies spent an average of $1,286 a year on training per employee in 2019. According to Joe Hadzima, a columnist for the Boston Business Journal and senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the salary plus benefits usually totals “in the 1.25 to 1.4 times base salary range.” Hence, the salary-plus-benefits package for an employee who makes $50,000 a year could equal $62,500 to $70,000. These are all costs that are easily avoidable by one simple solution – hire a virtual assistant whom you only have to pay by the hours they actually invest in working for you.
Who is a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual Assistants are experts who work from remote locations. This means that their office, their lunches, their transport, their internet, and equipment expenses are not your headache. All you have to do is hire a VA, decide whether they are somebody whose services you require full-time or part-time, and then reap the benefits. Assign them tasks, delegate your workload, and focus on the predictable growth of your new business. Virtual assistants are highly advanced individuals who can focus on all those minor tasks that get overshadowed by your jam-packed schedule as a business owner. VAs can also be useful as they can focus on several crucial tasks ranging from market research to data entry to email management to scheduling your calendar to whatever you command. Frankly speaking, for Virtual Assistants, your wish is their command!
What to Outsource
As a business owner or an entrepreneur, the core business functions of your brand are what need your ultimate focus and attention. Simply speaking, there are two things you need to decide:
- Things you do not have the skills to do yourself and
- Things that you should not be doing yourself.
There might be multiple tasks that do not fall under your area of expertise. Just because you a great strategist does not mean you are also great at marketing those strategies! This is when you can decide to hire a virtual assistant, who amongst their many skills also masters the skill of marketing. Similarly, as the boss or someone in-charge, not every task requires your direct attention. You do not have to schedule all your Zoom meetings yourself or make your travel arrangements simply because of the reason that you are too busy building your own Empire! And just like all emperors need to delegate, so do you and your virtual assistant can carry all those delegated tasks on their back expertly, providing you with the luxury of focusing on the work that requires your direct attention.
Off-Business hours support
In this digital era being available to customers, just 9 to 5 can be a deterrent for success. Ensuring that there is customer service 24/7 helps widen your market reach. The question is how can this be achieved? And the answer is simple: hiring a virtual assistant from a different time zone! Simply because Virtual Assistants work remotely, they can be from any place on Earth as long as they have a laptop and a stable internet connection. This was your virtual assistant can deal with the clients in the timings you might be resting and you become accessible to your customers 24/7. Furthermore, this also ensures that your virtual assistant will be available to help you even during times when an in-house assistant might not be, such as public holidays. One man’s public holiday can be another virtual assistant’s working day!
Increase efficiency by outsourcing non-core tasks
As new business owners often wonder what will strengthen the identity of their brand, I am sure you have too! And I think we can all agree that in today’s world the way to go about that is by increasing your frequency of posts on social media and creating your online presence. This is, however, an extremely time-consuming task accompanied by the need for persistence. There are several aspects that require attention such as responding to client queries, creating engaging content, promotional posts, and activities, etc. As a business owner, you might not have time to devote the attention to this essential task that it truly requires. So who has the skill and time needed for this significant job? Your virtual assistant. Tell them what you want and watch them spurn their magic wheel to help make your dreams and ambitions into reality.
Reduce your operational costs
Not only are virtual assistants cost-effective as they are paid hourly for only the time they actually spend working on your tasks but they also help reduce costs as you no longer have to pay for sick days, vacation days, or health insurance. This can save a great deal of money for you while providing you with valuable services to operate your business methodically. You are only required to pay for the time taken by your virtual assistants to do the tasks delegated by you. The point to be noted here is: in the professional virtual assistant world, no work means no money to be paid! It is also worth mentioning (and remembering!) that virtual assistants have an extremely flexible work schedule. What does it mean? It means that they will adjust their schedule according to YOUR needs! With the time zone differences providing you better control over the availability of your services to your clients and an adjustable work schedule that can be tweaked to maximize output, Virtual Assistants are your staircase to the platform of productivity and success.
Hiring a virtual assistant does not mean you can let go and depend on them completely to take over while you enjoy unlimited leisure time. A virtual assistant is simply the lubricant you need to keep oiling the machine you are creating! A VA needs you to assign them tasks and give them clear instructions and in return, they give you the results you require. Think of yourself and your VA as a team. They need you as much as you need them and together you are unbeatable! They will reduce your costs, help you delegate, build relationships with clients, give you the luxury of more leisure time to focus on other business ideas or simply relax, and will earn your trust by showing you that you need them.
So simply put: You would be doing yourself a huge favor by looking into hiring a virtual assistant within your business. It involves no risk and if you find a VA that fails to fulfill all your needs or lacks a certain skill, you can always look for someone else and replace or hire multiple virtual assistants with different skillsets giving yourself a more diverse skill library to make use of. A virtual assistant can be one of the greatest assets of any business and you both can cultivate a relationship in which you learn and grow together as things in business, technology, and the world evolve and change. We can all agree that a team who has each other’s back is a major factor of what makes a business a success – and this is what a virtual assistant can be for you!