What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) is a skilled professional who offers business support services online or as the title states…virtually. Virtual means that these contractors are located off site and work remotely. These independent contractors can assist in the fields of administrative, technical, creative and legal support.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant – What to Know
Wearing several different hats when your business is growing can be daunting. The disadvantage of doing this is that there will always be a part of your business that will suffer if the lack of attention since you are spreading yourself too thin. An extra set of hands for the areas that deal with support services would be ideal for you to focus on the more pressing areas of your business. If you resemble this description you should consider hiring a virtual assistant. As a small business owner, hiring virtually is one of the best and cost effective decisions you could make.
Valuable Skill Set
Virtual Assistants (VA’s) have a varied range of experience and could be industry specific or strengths are in a particular niche. These professional online contractors are highly skilled in different fields such as project management, executive management, website development and administration, administrative services and a variety of others.
Saving on Hiring a Full-Time Employee– Controlling your costs is key to small business owners. The cost of employee benefits such as health insurance, employee-related benefits, and tax savings are a few factors which small business owners are apprehensive about when considering hiring additional staff which leads to their “jack of all trades” or micro managing roles. Virtual Assistants (VA’s) are independent contractors and are responsible for their own bookkeeping and taxes etc. All the apprehensions listed above do not need to be considered when taking on a VA. Hiring a VA also means that you save on office expenses as well against hiring a full-time employee. You do not need to purchase a desk, you save on space and hardware (Computer and other office supplies etc.).
Only Pay for Time Spent on Projects- An example, an VA utilized as an Administrative Assistant is hired to manage schedules, communication and phone and email inquiries for a certain promotion/campaign. The virtual assistant shall be paid for hours billed for the specific project only. There are also performance based billing schemes and fixed monthly payment arrangements but the usual and more common cases are based on the hours logged by the VA.
Virtual Assistants are commonly hired for administrative jobs, Social media assistants, Marketing and sales positions and for customer service work. Hiring a Virtual Assistant advantageous for start-ups and small business owners who need the extra hands but are working on a limited budget. There many quality Virtual Assistants around, just make sure that you screen the right one that suits you and your company best.