There’s been a lot of buzz about virtual assistants in the last couple of years. Perhaps you’ve already worked with one, or thought about doing so. But maybe you’re not entirely clear how a virtual assistant (VA) can help your business, or whether you’re at the stage where hiring one would be helpful.
Today, we’re talking about all things VAs!
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is an individual who provides various services to businesses on a remote basis. Many VAs operate on a freelance or self employed basis. However, there are now companies where multiple VAs work under the same umbrella. VA-UK and Virtalent are just two you may have heard of.
What kinds of tasks does a VA do?
Every VA or VA company offers slightly different services, because people have different areas of expertise. Some things VAs might handle for a business include: administrative duties; customer service and support; social media planning, scheduling, and content creation; accounting; record keeping; data entry; answering emails and managing your inbox; and much more besides!
Is it time to hire a VA?
Are you thinking about hiring a VA but not sure if it’s for you? Here are five things you might want to consider as you make the decision:
Are you wasting tonnes of time on tasks that could easily be outsourced?
Are you struggling to keep up with the tasks that actually help your business thrive and grow because you’re so caught up with tedious tasks that suck up loads of time from your week? If so, it’s time to consider handing over those tasks to someone else.
Hate social media marketing? Give it to someone else to do! Bored with bookkeeping? There’s a VA who is great at that! If your time would be better spent elsewhere, it’s time to hand over some of those tasks.
Do you need support on an ad hoc basis?
Perhaps you need loads of support during your busy seasons, but can handle things fine by yourself the rest of the time. If there’s an uneven workload and you need different amounts of help at different times, a VA can be the answer. You can hire them just for the hours you need. This saves you on the cost of hiring and retaining a full time employee, and leaves your assistant free to find other work during the hours they’re not working for you.
Are you looking to scale elements of your business?
Perhaps you have loads of ideas for where you’d like to take your business next, but you don’t have any more time in the day to put all those great ideas into practice. If you’re ready to scale but don’t think you have time to do so, you might want to bring in a VA to help you. They can keep things ticking along while you focus more of your energies on growth.
Are you just not very good at certain tasks?
We all have our strengths and weaknesses! You might be an amazing business coach, but bad at record keeping. You might be a fabulous copywriter, but terrible with numbers (hello, guilty as charged!)
If there are certain tasks that are necessary for your business but you’re just got very good at them, you can free up time and mental energy by hiring a VA. Just do your research and choose someone who specialises in the tasks you hate!
Do you feel like you need to be everywhere all the time?
If the phone’s ringing off the hook, you’re taking tonnes of meetings and calls, or your inbox is full to bursting… well, it’s a nice problem to have but can also feel completely overwhelming. If you feel like everyone wants your time and attention and you just don’t have enough to go around, you can mitigate that problem by hiring someone to help you.
Imagine opening your inbox to find everything answered and filed into the right places. Or having someone else answer the phone so you don’t have to get out of the flow space you’ve finally got into. A VA can make that happen for you!
How much does hiring a VA cost?
It varies. Most of the VAs I’ve seen that are based in the UK charge between £15 and £30 per hour. Some newer VAs charge less, while those with lots of experience or highly specialised skills may charge more.
The trick? Hire the best VA you can afford. That doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive person, but you should choose someone who is experienced in the specific areas of business that you need help with. You can always ask around for recommendations – if someone in your network has worked with an amazing VA, they’ll be only too happy to tell you about it!
Have you worked with a VA?
How did it go? Let us know how your experience was and anything you learned. Or perhaps you are a virtual assistant. If so, we’d love to hear any top tips for prospective clients on knowing when it’s the right time to hire someone.