What In The Heck is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is a self-employed administrative or personal assistant who works remotely (virtually ) for various clients.
Any business owner or start-up knows that time is money, especially when both are running low. In a world where a million things happen every day, certain tedious tasks often get pushed to the side. This can lead to a decrease in productivity and sometimes even business growth.
This is the area where a virtual assistant comes in and can be a life saver!
What Can a Virtual Assistant Do for My Business?
Everything that a virtual assistant can accomplish is impressive. You will have a weight lifted off of your shoulders when you realize the massive workload that can be done by hiring one…..not just in your business, but in your personal life as well. However, in a world of ROI (return of investment), the question becomes; what can a virtual assistant do for my business?
There are a variety of virtual assistants out there and they all have different sets of skills. Included are just a few examples of some more popular tasks:
- Manage your social media accounts
- Manage your emails and email marketing
- Run your calendar and plan your travel
- Manage your online community
- Manage your blog posts or maintain your blog
- Compile data into organized spreadsheets
- Handle forwarded phone calls when you’re unavailable or out of town
- Bill pay and online shopping coordination
- Help you hire other employees by doing preliminary research on candidates
- Write and distribute standard business communications
- Design marketing or business material
- Prepare presentations (Keynote, Powerpoint, Webinars)
- Coordinate with vendors
And soooo much more……………..
Why do people hire virtual assistants?
Many people ask, if you need an assistant, why not just hire someone to work at your business full time? Wel….it’s pretty simple, really. It comes down to money and convenience.
MONEY– A full-time administrative assistant can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 or more per year. That’s not even including benefits and bonuses. That’s a good chunk of change to pay if you don’t need someone around all of the time, or just need a few projects done here and there. Not to mention, that virtual assistants are HIGHLY skilled and trained and offer services that many administrative employees don’t. When is the last time your assistant was also a WordPress designer?
CONVENIENCE– A virtual assistant typically works for multiple people at any given time. So you can hire them to work for only the hours or tasks that you need them for. If you need them to work more hours one week, they can usually accommodate that with a little notice. And….if for some reason you need to save some cash, depending on the kind of contract you have with them, you can usually just discontinue their services until you’ve got the cash to afford it.
How Much Does A Virtual Assistant Cost And Is It Worth It?
Since virtual assistants work in a freelance capacity, it is common for them to often charge an hourly rate or a package retainer rate. That rate is usually determined and negotiated based on the type of work you are having them do, as well as how often you need them. Sometimes they will negotiate a fixed weekly or monthly package if you guarantee them a certain number of hours each month.
While it is true, many virtual assistants charge a higher hourly rate than what you might expect to pay for a part or full-time administrative assistant. However, it is important to keep in mind, that virtual assistants are usually working at a higher skill level, fitting a wider array of needs, which means a better quality of work at a much faster pace.
Additionally, virtual assistants only work for 10-50 hours over the course of an entire month per client, whereas a part-time or full-time punch in, punch out employee may work anywhere from 80 to 160 hours a month and not all of those hours will be productive. Caught your assistant on their phone more than a few time? Exactly.
While it may seem like you’re paying more per hour to get tasks done, the work is getting done faster and at a higher quality, which means you are actually saving money on the long run.
Virtual assistants are efficient by nature, and their whole livelihood depends on them delivering high-quality service, in a reasonable time. As a business owner, you already know that time is money, and quality is what keeps you going.