I’m sure you’ve heard of Virtual Assistants and know roughly what they do, but why hire a Virtual Assistant?
Indeed the pandemic caused havoc to a lot of small businesses resulting in staff redundancies. Now that things are getting back to some sort of normality, these business owners are wanting to start up again. As a result, they are reluctant to hire permanent members of staff again and they are looking at alternative options.
So what are the alternatives to hiring a Virtual Assistant?
One option is to hire a temp. Having temped myself I know the advantages and disadvantages of using a temp and list them below.
Hire a Virtual Assistant vs a Temp
|VIRTUAL ASSISTANT||TEMPORARY EMPLOYEE|
No Repetitive Training: A Virtual Assistant will provide you with a consultation to establish your requirements. You will only need to explain your methods once and the details will be recorded for the next time you use the services.
Repetitive training: Generally when you hire a temp on an adhoc basis it will be a different temp each time (a good temp will be on other assignments). When you hire a temp they will need to be trained, introduced to the staff etc. This can take half a day.
No Time Wastage: Only time that is actually worked on a project is recorded and charged for.
Time Wastage: You will pay a temp for coffee breaks, chats by the photocopier, and time spent using the facilities!
No Minimum Hire: If required, a Virtual Assistant can be hired for one hour only.
Minimum Hire: A temp cannot be hired for one hour only and most temps want long term assignments.
Professionalism: Virtual Assistants are self-employed professionals. It is important to exceed the client’s expectations so that their services are used again.
Professionalism: It is very rare that a temp will return to the same company, so there will be no need to make an impression. A temp is less likely to be proactive.
Cost: Initial cost may be more but in the long run there will be cost savings to using a Virtual Assistant.
Lower Cost: The initial cost would be lower. However, taking into consideration the above, a temp would cost more over a period of time.
Another option is to hire a permanent employee and we look at the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a permanent member of staff.
Hire a Virtual Assistant vs a Permanent Employee
|VIRTUAL ASSISTANT||PERMANENT EMPLOYEE|
|Workload: You can utilise the services of a Virtual Assistant as and when required or on a retainer basis.||Constant Workload: You will need to find constant work for a permanent employee. Otherwise, there will be times when they are sitting around doing nothing. Inevitably, this will cost you money.|
|No Space Required: No additional space is required for a Virtual Assistant as they work from their own home office.||
Space: An office desk and space is required for a permanent employee.
|No Employee Overheads: An employer does not have to pay a VA for any overheads such as holiday pay, sickness, maternity leave etc.||Employee Overheads: There are a number of employee overheads that you will need to pay. These include holidays, sickness, maternity leave and a pension.|
|Equipment: A VA will have their own equipment. An employer would only need to purchase specialised software they need a VA to use.||Equipment: Equipment such as a computer is required for a permanent employee.|
If you are still not convinced to hire a virtual assistant then we shall examine the most important aspect and that is cost savings.
Cost Savings of Hiring a Virtual Assistant
Want to SAVE over £45,000 in business expenses this year?
If you answered yes, read on …
|Hourly Rate of Pay||£15.00||£25.00|
|Fringe Benefits @ 35%
|Overhead Rate @ 50%
(Office Space, Equipment and Office Supply expense, Insurance, Compensation, Overtime Pay, Administration Costs)
|Total Effective Rate of Pay||£27.50||£25.00|
|**Hours Per Year||2,080 hrs||480 hrs|
|TOTAL Annual Labour Cost||£57,200.00||£12,000.00|
Difference = £45,200.00 per year
By hiring a Virtual Assistant…
You SAVE over £45,000.00 per year!
Although the Virtual Assistant’s hourly rate is more than the employee’s rate, you save the cost of benefits and overheads that would have to be applied to the new employee’s wage.
Virtual Assistants are usually more experienced, more efficient, and better connected than the employee. You will need to devote far less time to the project to get the same results, only 480 hours a year versus 2,080 for the new employee.
Remember, with a Virtual Assistant, you only pay for the time on task by the minute! You don’t pay for socialising, hour long lunches, frequent trips to the bathroom or cigarette breaks.
Your employee’s 8 hour day can be crunched into 3-4 hours with a Virtual Assistant.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant is more cost-effective. Plus, a good Virtual Assistant will go above and beyond the normal assistant’s duties to impact your own productivity. No task is too big or small for a Virtual Assistant to handle. Even if you only have 1 hour of work a month. You wouldn’t be able to hire a temp for just 1 hour but you can hire a Virtual Assistant for 1 hour.
*Source: Virtual Assistant Networking Association Cost Comparison (Converted from $ to £)
The Largest Global Network Online for Successful and Aspiring Virtual Assistants
As a small business owner you will struggle with juggling all the tasks that you need to do to grow your business. And as a business owner myself I know this only too well and have used the services of other VAs to do certain tasks.
Now, let’s look at the many benefits of hiring a virtual assistant.
What are the outsourcing advantages?
The benefits of outsourcing to a business are vast. These include:
- Only pay for the time that you use. For example, you could use a VA for a one off project or just one hour if needed.
- You don’t have to pay any employee benefits such as holiday pay, sick pay, and pensions which can really add up.
- Will not have to buy or lease new equipment. Indeed, a VA has the equipment needed to work remotely.
- Has no employee responsibility.
- There are no training costs. In fact, you will have a highly specialised person without all the training costs.
- Can gain access to expertise you may not have in your business.
- Utilise the time saved to generate more sales and nurture your clients.
- You will have total flexibility.
- Will not need to find desk space etc.
- So all in all a VA will save you money again and again and again.
How to Outsource Tasks to a Virtual Assistant
The majority of VAs work from home. Hence, all their work is delivered online.
Unfortunately, the idea of working remotely can be difficult for some people to grasp. Hence, a VA will need to talk to their clients on how they will work together.
For others, the concept is easy. My services are used by clients on an ad-hoc basis. One client I work for lives in Bermuda and I perform website maintenance and Google form creation for her childcare nursery.
A Virtual Assistant will use a number of tools depending on the delegated task. Here is a full list of software a Virtual Assistant can use.
As an example, you could decide to outsource tasks such as HR transcription of disciplinaries and grievances. This is a service I provide and my clients can easily upload files via my website.
Why Would a Business Outsource Tasks to a Virtual Assistant?
Well, the most obvious reason is that Virtual Assistants save businesses money. This is because it’s much cheaper to use a VA than to employ a person as is outlined above.
Who Can Virtual Assistants Work With?
A Virtual Assistant is ideal for small and growing businesses, entrepreneurs, online marketers and consultants. Over the last 15 years I have provided virtual secretarial services to a wide variety of clients including:
- Sofware consultant
- NHS consultant
- Dog walking/boarding company
- Professional golfer
- Web designer
- Personal Coach
- Social club
- Property management company
- Author of children’s books
- Leadership development consultant
- Online children’s guide website
- Large supermarket
- Estate agents
- Local authors
Hire a Virtual Assistant now to save money and gain more time.