It’s been a year of growth in the VA industry, with large numbers of PA’s and office workers finding themselves either furloughed or redundant. This has been matched with a marked increase in demand, during these extraordinary times, to support new and existing online entrepreneurs. Arguably, every business owner needs a VA, but what are the most common reasons for taking that next step to hiring a virtual assistant.
1. Time pressure
This must be one of the commonest reasons for businesses to start thinking about hiring a VA. You’re a busy entrepreneur or a small business and you just don’t have time to sort out any of those boring, but necessary jobs. You’ve got plenty to do during the week, looking after your clients. And the evenings and weekends are meant for relaxing, not catching up on admin. So, you start to consider delegating.
2. The admin-overwhelm
It’s easy to let your admin mount up, especially if it’s a task you’re not keen on doing. Suddenly, without noticing, an admin mountain begins to emerge and grow until you reach the point where there’s so much to do, you can’t think straight anymore. The truth is you feel overwhelmed! There are simply hundreds of great VAs poised to break that mountain down, so that you can breathe again and feel liberated to…
3. …focus on your genius!
Jack Canfield et al’s book, “The Power of Focus” tells us, “focus on your strengths and eliminate everything that’s holding you back”. Let’s face it – most people start their own business because they have a “superpower”, but that skill is rarely enough on its own, to run a business and be successful at it. Just imagine if you could outsource all the jobs that are holding you back to a Virtual Assistant, how much stronger your superpower would be.
4. Save on recruitment
Now that you’ve recognised that you need an extra pair of hands, you consider how expensive and time-consuming it is to find and recruit someone. A simpler and arguably more cost-effective option is to find a VA. It may take a little time to find the right one, but there are no recruitment costs, no recruitment agencies, no sifting through CVs, just an agreement and a contract to do the work that you specify.
5. Easy “employee”
Although a VA will cost money – we don’t come for free – you only pay for the time spent on the tasks you have specified in your contract. There are no office overheads, no traditional employee costs (breaks, sick pay, NI, pension contribution). For many businesses, working with a VA makes efficient, financial sense. And, I’m sure this could never happen, but if you’re not happy with your VA, it’s much easier to say goodbye. But let’s not dwell on that
6. You need a wingman/woman
It can be a terribly lonely place working by yourself, for yourself. A VA might be a person who loads your business cards onto a database, or transcribes a meeting for you, but often they are so much more. Most VA’s have a specialism and/or qualification relating to their former career. Choose wisely and you may just find a Virtual Assistant that has the knowledge and experience that you lack. You never know, your admin fairy may just also become a valuable source of wisdom in your business.
7. Short-term projects
There are thousands of businesses that are managing “just fine thank you” and don’t need a VA. That is, until there is a short-term project such as an event, product launch or a training program that takes employees out of the business. Even if you’re not already working with a VA, it’s worth being proactive and researching now. They can then zoom in and take the strain whenever you need them, if they have capacity of course
8. Marketing and communications
As small business owners, we’ve all had to become marketers and learn how to market our business effectively and efficiently both on and offline. A VA can help with:
- CRM support
- email marketing
- social media scheduling
- marketing collateral
- customer service (sometimes in foreign languages too!)
9. Data management
“Without data, you are just another person with an opinion” (W. Edwards Deming). An oft neglected area, particularly of creative businesses, yet regardless of business-type, we all need data to make decisions. Valuable data is well-structured and organised, so there needs to be a robust process for data capture and analysis in your business. VAs can support all these vital tasks in your business, so that you can make decisions, no longer based on a hunch, but on the actual analytics.
10. Cut costs
This one may surprise you. Surely a VA is an extra cost? Well, research suggests that hiring a Virtual Assistant will save you 78% in operating costs per year over a full-time employee (Angelica Sembrano). This creates a win-win scenario for businesses. Not only are they saving costs by not recruiting an employee, they are also adding value by shedding admin tasks and increasing their own productivity.
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