The Cost and Usefulness of a Virtual Assistant
When I say virtual assistant I know you’re thinking…
What is that?
Don’t worry, it’s not a robot butler.
Although that would be fun.
A virtual assistant is a living, breathing person that will do nothing but help you and your company get out of that rut you’ve been stuck in.
(And for a third of the price of hiring a new employee as well.)
If you asked one of our top clients what a virtual assistant was a few months ago, they would have given you the same blank stare I’m sure you gave when you first heard the term.
They were down 48% in sales and desperate for extra help - but couldn’t afford the added expense of hiring a new employee.
So we found them a virtual assistant.
Now business is booming and sales are up 56%
A company that was heading down a road to failure , managed to turn it all around and do better than ever!
(In 6 months by the way.)
All thanks to hiring a virtual assistant.
Now they have more time on their hands to spend on what really matters to them; their customers.
All the complicated and boring (but necessary) work was given to the VA and completed faster, better and cheaper.
At first, they hired the virtual assistant on a short term basis - as a trial.
But after seeing the amazing benefit of having one, they’ve continued to use them almost a year later.
I know what you’re thinking;
How much is it gonna cost me?
Well... less than you think.
Actually, in the long run, hiring a VA will save you money.
Let me explain...
Most VA’s are 30+
The skills they’ve gained over their career help them to apply themselves to various different fields of work.
Right, so you’re thinking about hiring a virtual assistant.
But how much does one cost?
That would depend on what exactly you need doing.
You wouldn’t expect to pay an artist the price of a mural for a painting the size of a postcard, right?
It’s the same for virtual assistants.
They decide their prices.
They’re hired on a task by task basis.
(So, they’re kinda like actors without the ego - and much cheaper.)
Prices can vary due to location, workload, time constraints etc.
If you were to hire a remote virtual assistant, they’re guaranteed to charge you less than an in-house assistant.
Which can be extremely handy.
But we’ll cover more of this later.
Virtual assistants aren’t con-artists , they won’t ask for a ludicrous paycheck for mediocre work.
And likewise, you can’t expect to pay a mediocre rate for a ludicrous amount of work.
Virtual assistants are fair , they’re hard workers and they only want what’s best for your company.
Like any business relationship;
If you look good, they look good.
Read More: What is the cost of a VA?
In short - yes.
But what does a virtual assistant actually do?
Anything you want.
They won’t take your cat to the vet and shave your grandpa’s back.
They can write, edit, schedule meetings, organise your diary and set up meetings - the list is endless.
So what can a VA really do for you?
Read More: Why you need a VA
Spend, spend, spend.
Is that all you seem to do with your companies budget? Do you even know why you're going over budget?
Maybe you need a little bit of help with the company finances, find out which money is going where , how you can make some cuts , how can you spend less on things like office supplies.
You have the time to do that, right?
Use a VA!
A VA can use their time to solely focus on the company's finances and report back to you with some ideas on how the company can save money.
A VA can help keep inside budgets, make necessary purchases and get your expenses to make more sense to you.
Because let's face it...
When numbers are involved we’re all guilty of glazing over after a while.
A VA will make it their priority to make it easier for you and save you money in the process.
And free up even more time for you.
Who can argue with that, right?
A virtual assistant will be able to navigate their way through social media and help you to understand the benefits of it to grow your company.
Social media can be used to advertise your business, but do you really want to spend time researching how to advertise on popular social media sites such as Instagram or Facebook ?
Or maybe you don’t want to spend money on advertising.
Well, a VA can set up a profile for your company on social media and make you more accessible to the ever growing numbers of people using social media.
Gaining a following on social media can also boost the SEO for your company.
Most people use social media to find out about a company before purchasing/investing time in them.
This type of click-through boosts your search engine ranking, bringing more business to the company.
Exposure such as this helps establish your company and makes it recognisable to the general public.
This building of trust with customers is essential in keeping returning, loyal customers and obtaining new ones .
And all of this can be done by one person.
A virtual assistant.
VA’s don’t work typical hours
Their hours will vary depending on what they’re needed for.
Research is an incredibly important aspect of any kind of writing, but we don’t always have the time to do it.
Or at least not enough of it.
Here’s where a VA can help.
If, for instance , you had to write a report on a topic you aren’t the best at.
You could assign it to an in-house employee.
But will they have the time to do the research?
So use a virtual assistant.
You can tell them how much research you want done on the topic, information that they could then relay back to you.
(Or they could even do the research and write the report for you. )
Their entire attention can be focused on one task that would otherwise be amongst a million other, just as important, tasks I’m sure you have to attend to.
So why would you take on another assignment that you know you won’t be able to give your full focus to?
(Even though you know you should.)
Plus, you’d probably complete it at a lower standard than them.
Use a VA and lose the stress.
Before something can be published/printed/distributed it has to be proofread to make sure it’s the best it can possibly be.
It has to make sense grammatically - as well as generally read well. Not everyone has time to check their punctuation on Grammarly.
Proofreading is usually an afterthought - or sometimes skipped completely - but it’s so essential for a well written and well-received piece of information/work.
Proofreading is necessary for any kind of publication, letters and important emails.
It’s the last stage in completing a piece of work - and one of the most important.
But not everyone always has time to do it.
Especially not you.
Allowing a VA to proofread something for you is nothing but beneficial.
If you leave proofreading to an employee who has a million other things to do, then chances are it won't be a very thorough job.
Which, in turn, reflect badly on the company.
Hiring a VA to do the reading for you means that they can dedicate all their time to making sure the document is at its utmost best and that it all makes sense before sending it to the printer.
Most VA’s in the UK live in London/South East
However, as they work remotely from home they can work for anyone, anywhere.
Making them an extremely accessible asset.
Virtual assistants are only there to help you.
All you have to do is tell them how they can do that.
It’s actually amazing how much a VA can and will do for you and your company.
By saving you and your employees (if you have them) time.
Hiring a virtual assistant to do all the time-consuming jobs, you can focus on more important matters and put your energy in company growth and consumer relations.
(And they don’t require a monthly salary.)
A VA only wants to make your job easier.
Whatever you need doing, they’ll do it.
So at this point, you’re probably thinking…
Well I may as well hire an in-house assistant, right?
And an in-house assistant might be exactly what you need.
I get it - you like to have assistant available to you at the drop of a hat.
It’s nice to have someone in the office you know is always there to be called upon when needed.
A remote VA is only at the other end of a phone anyway!
(And they don’t have a clocking out time)
If they’re so similar, then what’s the difference?
To hire an in-house assistant would mean further expanding your work team and thus taking more money from your (ever-tightening) budget.
Whereas a remote VA would work as and when you need them.
And they don’t require a monthly salary.
Or training costs.
Or sick pay.
You get it.
But would a VA have time for me?
Well, depending on how much work you want them to do and how much you’re willing to pay them - yes.
You can also just tell them the times you’ll need them for.
Of course, virtual assistants have other clients they’ll be working for.
Being a VA is their job, you can’t expect them to drop everything they’re working on to focus on you.
Unless you pay them to.
But they won’t let this affect the work they do for you.
As long as you remain logical, then the work will be done.
You can’t ask them to respond to five hundred emails in five minutes.
But the work they will do for you will always be exceptional and the work they can do for you is a never-ending list of organisational and administrative skills that you can utilise whenever you want.
Even at weekends.
Ok - by now you know how a virtual assistant can benefit your company.
Work will get done faster.
The cost to you is vastly less than hiring a new employee.
They can do pretty much anything.
But what does this mean for you?
Well it means...
More free time for you.
What’s that, right?
I know - it’s impossible to believe you’d have time for a social life now that work has spilled into your personal time.
We’ve all done it;
Missed a birthday.
Forgot an anniversary.
Fell asleep on the commute home.
If you hire a VA, they can fish through the spam taking up your inbox or maybe edit a photograph or an essay.
Anything that you know is unnecessarily taking up your precious time can be a job delegated to a VA.
It gives you more opportunities to time manage, and make these important social and life events that you would otherwise miss.
You can cut down your workweek and daily hours by such a significant amount just by outsourcing help.
Less mundane work for you.
Everyone knows it - work can be boring.
But it doesn’t have to be.
No one wants to have to drag themselves to work with coffee in an I.V. connected to their veins.
So don’t feel like you have to live like this.
Getting a VA to help you get through the ever-growing pile of papers on your desk or emails in your inbox has a huge impact on work-load.
Extra time to spend on more important work.
It’s a horrible feeling when it’s as though you’re in a race and you’re always coming last.
But pass the baton, take a breather, let someone else do the running while you walk.
No one works their best in a rush and that’s all you’re feeling, right?
If you rush it affects everyone and everything, including your customers.
So stop stressing about the amount you have to do and give the slow, time-consuming tasks to a VA.
They’ll do it ten times faster and better than you’ll be able to because they aren’t spreading themselves as thin as you.
And you can use that extra energy in more important tasks.
Not every VA is perfect for every role
It’s important to research different people to make sure they’re the right fit for you and vice versa.
So maybe you’ve decided to get yourself one of these virtual assistants.
Perhaps you’re wondering what you can do to make their (and your) life easier.
Well look no further, here’s a handy list of to-dos before getting a VA.
Be clear with time frames
Give a deadline to your VA and let them know what you’re expecting.
Don’t say something along the lines of “can you sort out my emails by the end of the day.”
Instead, you’d say something like “I’d like all the spam removed from my inbox by 5 pm”
Give clear instructions for what you want.
Set up a direct line for work with your VA
Using something like GoogleDrive or DropBox can really benefit both you and your VA.
There is no need for emails back and forth with attachments getting lost and responses taking too long.
If everything is in a safe place, accessible for both parties then the working relationship can work smoothly and the work will get done quicker.
Talk to them
Duh - I know.
But seriously, try to touch base with your VA at least once or twice a week via video/voice call.
It’s all good to email and check on the work, but make sure you’re speaking with the actual person doing this work for you.
It gives you peace of mind knowing this work is getting done and it gives both parties a chance to communicate any pressing concerns or questions either of you may have.
Read their work
With freelance work, there is obviously a possibility of under-qualified people to apply for jobs they may not be suitable for.
So interview them.
Whether this is over the phone, over video call or even in person, make sure you actually speak to the person who you’re going to trust to take on the work.
Treat this interview process the same way you would interview a new employee.
Because technically that’s what they are.
Always ask for an example of some work they have done or experiences they’ve had that they can apply to working for you.
VA’s are their own boss
They decide their fees, they run their own business
So that’s it.
That’s all you need to know about the cost and effectiveness of hiring a virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant is more than just a handy helper.
They can be a saviour for a dying company.
They can free up time for your friends and family life.
By saving costs and getting a VA to do all the odd jobs that would otherwise be time-consuming, it saves you from the danger of neglecting other, more important things.
It's the little things like that, that really make a difference when it comes to running a company.
It’s time to get back to waking up and not doing that signature, tired groan.
It’s time to get back in the driver's seat.
Take charge of your work life.
Hire a virtual assistant.
Get back to the days where you could look forward to the workday.
Get a quote from us today and start organising your life!
Read More: Looking to hire a VA?
Contributor & Virtual Assistant Expert
I’m the Virtual Assistant Expert here at QuoteGrab, covering everything you need to know about remote assistants from all over the world.
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