Do you have plans to start a business? Or are you already running one and wish to expand? Do you manage a big corporation, have the need for more hands yet want to cut cost? Are you running an NGO? This article may just give you ideas on how to sort out your financial stress and also save you some personal time to do other things.
The benefits of using Virtual Assistance for your business is too numerous to mention more importantly, it saves you money and helps you control costs. Whether you have a small business or run a big corporation, virtual assistance will come in handy one way or the other. Many business owners are faced with projects and tasks that come and go depending on the season. Hiring a virtual assistant is beneficial because they can work when you need them to work, eliminating the need to hire full time or even part time staff.
Using Virtual Assistants allows you to delegate the repetitive yet essential tasks that you do but really someone else can do for you, hence enabling you to focus on expanding your business with those business ideas you have been entertaining but due to lack of time and financial costs you have not been able to bring into reality, could be a new product or new service. The new product or service can even be started using VA's.
In this blog, I will enumerate the benefits and advantages of using a virtual assistant, this will include financially as well. We will also look at the comparison between using a virtual assistant and employing either a temp or full staff, and thereafter look into the areas a virtual assistant will come in handy for your business.
ADVANTAGES OF USING A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
· Allows you to delegate essential tasks to experts and high skilled staff who are well trained, saving you the costs of training.
· For a small business owner, it allows you to focus on new business strategies and new services to grow your business while satisfying your existing customers
· The highly trained VA will posses skills that you may not have but need, e g. graphic design, search engine optimization, computer skill proficiency and writing skills.
· The Virtual Assistant will use his own equipment like computers, laptops, printers and other state of the art software that your company may not own thereby saving you the costs of putting this in place.
· For the big corporations, it allows you to 'employ' and save the additional time constraining exercises e g. Recruitment process
· Using Virtual Assistants can help level out seasonal or cyclical fluctuations in your business.
· A VA can help your business gain a competitive edge by providing value-added services.
· Using virtual assistants lets you delegate the myriad of time consuming administrative tasks.
· Never have to pay a 'temp' agency fee; and eliminate the guess work by knowing who is performing the work each time you need assistance.
· You can count on working with a professional who is dedicated to helping their own business grow.
· A virtual office assistant strives to have a long term relationship with their clients; and will always strive to provide them the best quality service.
· You get experienced assistance when you need it. Your assistance is just a call away.
Financial Benefits Of Using Virtual Assistants:
· VA's are independent contractors; eliminating payroll taxes, vacation pay, sick days and employee benefits such as health insurance
· No need to purchase additional office space or equipment
· No expenses or down time for employee training
· Using VA's offers you the ability to keep your projects on schedule without paying overtime
· You only pay for time spent on YOUR project
· Unlike traditional employees, you are NOT paying a virtual assistant for making personal phone calls, surfing the internet, chatting with co-workers or coffee/smoke breaks
· No agency fees as with temporary employees
· Using VA's gives you the ability to take on more work to generate more profits
The cost savings of using virtual assistants, depending on the size of your business, can be quite staggering. When you include payroll taxes and benefit packages for a full-time employee, their “real” cost is over twice the base pay!
THE VA vs THE FULL TIME STAFF
FULL TIME STAFF
· Employer PAYE
· Health and Pension payments
· Holiday and sick pay
· Lunch and coffee breaks
· Performance reviews, grievances
· Training & Termination
· Cost of expensive IT & telephone equipment and maintenance
· Pay only for the hours worked
· No training costs
· No need for extra office space
· No need to purchase or maintain expensive equipment.
Someone would ask what is the difference between a VA and a temporary staff, there is a difference and as a matter of fact, the temp is one of the VA's biggest challenges.
THE VA and THE TEMP
1. AVAILABILITY: Temporary employees are what they are called, temporary. They're here today and may be gone tomorrow. A VA, on the other hand, is available on an ongoing basis or can be called upon, at short notice, when an extra pair of administrative hands is required.
2. WORK INTEREST: VA's take a vested interest in the success of their clients and their businesses because this is their business as an entrepreneur themselves. VA's believe that the absolute best job possible will not only help their own reputation but will also help to build the client's business. The VA tends to see himself as an extension of the company, thus becomes loyal to the client. The more successful the client is, the higher possibility of more work needing to be done by the VA or more referrals. A temp, however, may look at the assignment as just a means of padding their resume or getting a paycheck.
3. TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE: VA's are generally those that have had many, many years of experience out in the workforce. This knowledge, along with any additional training and schooling, allows them to provide a wide gambit of services, all of which they have had many years to perfect. VA's also tend to be more apt to upgrade their skills in order to provide their clients with the most up to date and professional services that they can possibly provide. Temps, on the other hand, may be those that are right out of school with little or no 'on the job' experience, or those who are simply looking for something to fill their time. Not to mention, when a temp is hired, they have to be trained. Now, if that temp is not available when the next assignment crops up, another temp will have to be brought in and thus more time is needed to train that employee. And so on.
4. MANAGEMENT COSTS: The rate paid to a temp is actually split between the temp and the agency that contracts them out. Then it must be taken into consideration the time the client needs to spend training the temp, the space used by him/her, and the equipment that is needed and requires maintenance. A VA's rates, comparatively, help to upgrade equipment, software and skills. This, in turn, allows for more and better services to be available for the client. It also means that the client doesn't need to worry about providing space and maintaining equipment that a temp would need, which can get quite costly when in the hands of an inexperienced employee.
5. PAYMENT/FEES: VA's charge for the actual work they do, hour for hour, whereas a temp is paid for time worked and any time they sit idle, waiting for more work or another project to do.
Outsourcing work to VA's allows you to control capital costs for office furniture, computers & equipment, reduce labor costs, increase efficiency and gives you extra time to focus on your core business and start new projects quickly.
Keeping this information about Virtual Assistants in mind, as a small business owner or even a large corporation manager who wants to cut cost and yet maximize productivity, using a Virtual Assistant may be the way to go.
VA’s can do a lot and the tasks are also expanding and changing with advances in technology, opening up many new niche areas for virtual assistants:
· Secretarial Work, letters, reports, power point presentations, excel sheets etc
· Professional organizer
· Bookkeeping , accounts, invoicing
· Internet research
· Social media marketing VA
· Internet marketing VA
· Customer service
· Travel and Transportation Management
· Website designing , set up, blog and forum creation, hosting, maintenance, architecture, tracking website statistics
· Spread sheeting
· Appointment Setting/Scheduling
· Virtual PA
And so many more
The message here is clear, save money by using a Virtual Assistant.