Do You Need Virtual Assistants for Your Small Business?
The virtual assistant industry is booming. With more and more entrepreneurs claiming that outsourcing tasks or hiring virtual assistants as one of the main reasons for their businesses’ rapid growth and continuing success, more and more business owners are beginning to see the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant or two to help scale their business.
Yes, virtual assistance is taking over the business world by storm, but are they a viable option for smaller businesses? After all, small businesses have a much more limited budget. In most cases, small business owners tend to do as many tasks themselves as possible because hiring even one more employee can have a major impact on their finances.
According to a recent survey by Deloitte, here are the top reasons why companies outsource:
- 59% – Reduce or control costs
- 57% – Focus on core functions
- 47% – Solve capacity issues
- 31% – Improve service
- 28% – Gain access to expert talent and knowledge
- 17% – Manage the business environment
- 17% – Accelerate organizational transformation
What does this mean? For one, it means that instead of bringing about more financial issues, hiring virtual assistant services can actually help resolve your budget concerns. Since reducing or controlling costs is the main reason for outsourcing, it goes to show that relying on a virtual assistant for small business tasks is actually a great way to save money as you scale your business.
Need more reasons to hire a virtual assistant or a virtual staffing team for your small business? Here are some good ones.
Reasons Why Virtual Assistants are Perfect for Small Businesses
As seen in the survey mentioned above, business owners have many different reasons for getting virtual help. Here are some arguments that could convince you how hiring a virtual assistant can help you scale your small business and run it more efficiently.
- Virtual assistants can take any unwanted or boring tasks off your hands.
Admit it, no matter how much you love your company, there are many necessary but annoying or repetitive tasks that you would rather NOT do. You can easily hire a VA to assign these tasks so that you can spend more time doing what you truly enjoy!
- Virtual assistants can save you time and help you focus.
Hiring a VA who specializes in a particular task usually means that they can get the job done faster than you can. This not only helps you save time and money, but it also gives you more time to focus on things that only you can do such as dealing with high-level decision making or improving your business.
- Virtual assistants can help you brainstorm.
Having a virtual team can help you brainstorm because it’s easier to think of ideas when you’re bouncing them off someone else. Plus, your virtual team doesn’t just serve as a sounding board, they can also offer amazing ideas of their own!
- Virtual assistants can help you scale your businesses without hiring full-time staff.
There are many tasks you need to hire help for, but for small business owners, it’s not practical to have a full-time worker for each position. When you hire a virtual team, you can have someone work 40 hours on customer service while someone just works 20 hours for administrative tasks or 10 hours for social media tasks. This can help you allocate your funds more wisely and keep your workforce more flexible.
- Virtual assistants are great for seasonal work.
For some businesses, especially retail stores, there are seasons where there’s so much work to be done while other months are pretty quiet. Hiring virtual staff during peak seasons and offloading them during the quieter months can help you save a lot on labor costs.
- Virtual assistants from abroad cost much cheaper than local talent.
Choose a virtual assistant that comes from a country where the cost of living is cheaper. This means that virtual assistants there can offer you the same level of skill and experience at a lower hourly rate. It’s also important to hire a VA from a country where English is widely spoken or where English is a second language so that communication won’t be an issue.
- Virtual assistants can save you tons on infrastructure and other operational costs.
No more paying for office space, computers, and other common office supplies. There are plenty of expenses involved in running a traditional office, so going the virtual or remote route can help you escape from those costs.
- Virtual assistants can do some tasks more efficiently and produce better results than you can.
You might be an excellent CEO or business owner, but that doesn’t mean that you can do everything in your business better than anyone else. For instance, creating stunning graphics or a beautiful website is best left to expert graphic designers and developers. For quality content, a highly skilled and experienced content writer VA can probably do a better job. Leave these specialized tasks to the experts and focus on what you do best: growing your business.
Which Virtual Assistants Should You Hire?
When you’re just starting out a virtual assistant team, it can be difficult to figure out what position you need a VA most for or what are the most important skills to look for in your first VA. The best way to deal with this is to analyze your business processes and make a list of your priorities and needs.
Businesses of different types have different concerns, and these issues will be very important when you’re fleshing out your virtual staffing team. For instance, if you own an eCommerce business and providing better and faster customer service is your priority, a customer service VA who specializes in providing voice, email, or chat support might be the most important hire for you.
Here are some of the most common types of virtual assistants that you might need for your small business:
Administrative virtual assistants can help you monitor and answer your emails, manage your calendar, organize your files, make travel arrangements, perform basic customer service duties, and do simple social media tasks.
Customer Service VA
A customer service virtual assistant specializes in providing fast responses to your clients’ or customers’ queries and comments. They make sure that your customers are highly satisfied with your service by answering questions and resolving complaints. Many businesses usually hire a customer service VA for each of the different communication channels they offer including phone, chat, or email.
Social Media VA
These days, having an engaging company or brand page on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other popular social media platforms is a must. However, it can be difficult to manage them yourself while you run your business. You can hire a social media VA to create interesting posts, engage with your followers, schedule posts across all your channels, and generally keep your social media pages helpful and pleasing to the customers.
Content Writer VA
If you want a stellar online presence, then you have to have quality content. This goes for your website, your product descriptions, your company profile, your social media pages, your marketing campaigns, and so on and so forth. Good branding needs great content, so it’s helpful to hire an expert content writer VA to help you out.
Bookkeeping and accounting are two tasks that are very time-consuming, sometimes even mind-boggling, but absolutely essential to running a business. To make sure that your books are accurate and your finances are always in great shape.
Need more information about hiring a virtual assistant? This article has Everything You Need to Know When Hiring a Virtual Assistant.
Where and How to Hire a Virtual Assistant
When it comes to hiring a virtual assistant, you need to remember that not all VA hiring venues are created equal. There are certain pros and cons to hiring a VA you found on forums or social media compared to someone you can get from a legitimate virtual staffing company.
To help you decide which course is best for you, here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of DIY virtual assistant hiring versus hiring from a virtual assistant provide.
- You can hire from job boards, forums, or social media platforms where you already have existing accounts.
- You set all the rules.
- You set whatever payment options and schedule you like.
- You take care of the entire process: from hiring to training to payroll.
- You have to screen really carefully or you might end up with an unreliable, or worse untrustworthy VA.
- Your company’s privacy will be at a higher risk since freelancers don’t have to answer to a parent company.
Hiring from a Virtual Staffing Company
- They take care of recruitment, HR, and payroll.
- Most virtual staffing companies pre-assess their VAs to help ensure reliability and skill.
- Most virtual staffing companies have fail-safe procedures in place in case your VA goes AWOL or does something detrimental to your company and privacy.
- Some companies also provide regular training or on-demand training for your VAs.
- Some companies like 20Four7VA offer free re-hiring in case your first VA hire doesn’t work out.
- Most companies already have a set of rules for VA-client contracts.
- Pricing can be a bit higher because you’re paying for both the VA and the company.
If you decide that hiring a VA from a virtual staffing company is the right course of action, you can count on 20Four7VA to help you get started. Just fill out this pre-consultation form, and we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about hiring a VA.