Independent entrepreneurs, freelancers, and stay-at-home professionals might feel as if they can handle all of their business-related activities without any assistance along the way. However, whether you operate as a self-employed contractor, a remote freelance specialist or as part of a local startup, hiring a virtual assistant to help carry the load can make all the difference.
According to Best of Budgets, virtual assistants can save you up to 78% on operating costs each year, while 59% of them work full time, with 59.2% having a college education to boot.
Virtual assistants can be a welcome addition to your business model regardless of the current scale or niche you work in due to their versatile skillsets and organizational expertise. However, hiring such talent might seem like chasing trends or as an unnecessary expense at first.
After all, you’ve managed to organize your own schedule, projects, and data on your own so far, so why stop now? We’re here to take a look at several of the most noteworthy reasons for using a virtual assistant for the betterment of your business and brand as a whole. With that said, let’s jump right into it.
1. Fully-Remote Assistance
The first notable reason for hiring a virtual assistant today comes in the form of their remote nature. After all, “virtual” is all about providing you with remote assistance in whichever form your business requires at the moment.
While you can hire a virtual assistant from dedicated hiring platforms, you can also write a brief summary of your preferences and requirements using tools such as Evernote. These can then be posted on your website, social media pages or processed by dedicated virtual assistant platforms which will pair you with an optimal candidate.
You can delegate a plethora of tasks to your remote virtual assistant, from client outreach, data processing, and analysis, as well as industry research or business representation.
All of this can be done remotely with an assistant whose skill set matches your specific needs. Best of all, the only limiting factor in hiring a virtual assistant is in the languages they speak and whether or not you can communicate with them efficiently.
Apart from that, no time zones or borders stand between you, your virtual assistant and the remote collaboration you will engage in.
2. Reduced Personal Workload
Depending on the industry you operate in professionally, you may have to dedicate extended work hours toward writing, creativity, programming, etc. These activities will eat into your administrative time, such as paperwork management, taxes, client contract filling and so on.
Hiring a virtual assistant to help you with these secondary tasks will allow you to spend more time doing what you do best without as much downtime.
In turn, a virtual assistant will be able to hand you reports for each day, week or month depending on your arrangement, effectively eliminating your downtime as a result. In case you work as a data analyst, editor or perform activities that can be outsourced to others with some prior training, a virtual assistant can also lend you a hand from time to time.
All in all, you can expect to see significant reductions in your personal workload with a virtual assistant by your side should you choose to hire one.
3. Milestone-Based Payment
If the idea of hiring a full-time contractor to work as a virtual assistant for you sounds like a big commitment, you will be happy to know that their contracts are often-times based on milestones.
Virtual assistants charge as much or as little for their services depending solely on your needs for their expertise. This can be helpful if you work independently and lack significant resources for onboarding additional talent to your business full-time.
Ana Brook, Chief of HR at TopWritersReview spoke on the topic recently: “Like any freelancer or self-employed professional, virtual assistants typically come with their own pricing models. However, they are open to negotiation if the work you require is long-term or ends up covering a large percentage of their skillsets. Make sure to choose your assistant carefully while balancing their resumes and price ranges between one another until you land on the perfect choice.”
4. Improved Client Servicing
Being available for client servicing and customer support is an extremely important part of your brand’s online representation.
However, it goes without saying that you will be unable to stay online 24/7 and remain on stand-by around-the-clock in case anyone reaches out to you. In case of hiring a virtual assistant however, your client servicing coverage will be improved drastically.
Your virtual assistant can be available for several hours a day for any questions, feedback or support tickets that come in while you can see to some of them personally once you are in the office.
While the virtual assistant cannot provide clients with the same level of insight and information as you can personally, they can still cover rudimentary client issues, respond to emails and create a priority list for you to respond to shortly. This will allow for much better client coverage and improve your overall brand reputation as a result of short response times to queries and outreach.
5. Better Data Management
We’ve touched on administrative tasks such as contract management, paperwork, and general data analysis beforehand – but what does this mean in practice? Every project you work on or client you cooperate with will naturally come with its own set of papers, legal documents, and data which will need to be processed and stored for safekeeping.
Naturally, virtual assistants can alleviate much of the downtime which stems from data management, leaving you with a more manageable, easier-to-navigate database.
While you may not need a recently filled contract or tax document right now, someone might ask for it months or years down the line. It’s important that you always have a clear idea of where each document is, how to access it and how to find its physical original at a moment’s notice to avoid unpleasant situations with clients or other companies.
If paperwork and data management is not your strong suit, hiring a virtual assistant can be of utmost benefit to your business’ longevity.
6. Flexible Operational Scalability
Lastly, the best part about working with virtual assistants is that you can hire as many or as few of them as necessary at any given moment. If you come across spikes in workflow and require additional assistance to make ends meet, hiring additional virtual assistants is just a few clicks away.
Alternatively, if you come across a lull in workflow and are able to handle everything yourself, you can opt-out of using a virtual assistant and ask them to come back in a few weeks’ notice.
However, if you “click” with a certain virtual assistant and feel that their help to your business is invaluable, you can offer them a long-term collaborative contract which would be valuable for both parties in the long run.
This can help create a very flexible operational plan for your business which will ensure that you can maximize productivity and minimize costs throughout the year depending on how busy you are personally.
Assistance on Demand (Conclusion)
Even though virtual assistants are not a new addition to the global market, their inclusion in your business model can have transformative effects on the way you conduct day-to-day operations. Make sure that you have enough bottlenecks and administrative needs in-house to justify hiring a virtual assistant before you bring someone on board for a test run.
Once you get a feel for what it means to have remote help available for a plethora of business-related services, you will quickly understand the value behind the idea and role of virtual assistants.
About the Author:
Nicole D. Garrison is a content strategist, writer, and contributor to a number of platforms for marketing specialists. She is a dedicated and experienced author who pays particular attention to quality research. In her free time, Nicole is a passionate runner and a curious beekeeper. Moreover, she runs her own blog LiveInspiredMagazine.
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