A virtual assistant is an independent contractor that caters to his/her clients’ specific needs and tasks. Virtual assistants work online from a remote location and handle specific jobs within their expertise and experience. Best not to take the word “assistant” at face value. There professionals are knowledgeable and have specialized skills which can only be acquired from a certain degree of education and experience.
If you are in need of someone to help with handling daily scheduling, mundane administrative tasks, or perform non-core business activities, having a virtual assistant might be the perfect solution for you. A virtual assistant will save you precious time that you would, otherwise, have to spend on repetitive tasks. This allows you to deal with the more important matters involving your business.
Perhaps you need someone with specific skill sets, including for example in transcription, translation, database management, marketing, IT services, graphic design, photo and video editing, SEO services, website design, blogging, and social media marketing. There is a virtual assistant that can provide one or more of these service. VAs (as they are known) are, therefore, vital sources of productivity and can fulfill various needs that are crucial for the success of your business.
Advantages of Hiring a Virtual Assistant
- We have already covered the first one: Delegating non-core tasks to a virtual assistant reduces your workload, allowing you to increase your productivity in other areas that are more critical to your business.
- As mentioned earlier, virtual assistants are classified as independent contractors–which also means there are some monetary saving when engaging their services. When you hire a full-time employee, there are expenses that go beyond a fixed salary such as health insurance, pension, and other employee benefits. Over time, these expenses can really add up, taking away from your business profit margins. Independent contractor are responsible for managing their own taxes, insurance coverage, and other expenses including their own equipment. You simply pay them for their time, and expertise, with no other obligations.
- A virtual assistant is unaffected by typical workplace distractions. Statistics show that in a standard 8-hour work day, a full-time employee does less than 3 hours of actual “productive” work. It is generally known that workspaces are notorious for stoking gossip and politics. Since virtual assistants work remotely, this completely cuts the gossip at the water cooler or office politics that may create discord and impede productivity.
- Virtual assistants, as they are remote workers, can work from anywhere and anytime. Having someone who lives in a different time zone could potentially work to your advantage. You have the ability to create a schedule that works for both parties, and you will have the benefit of the job being completed over night, and ready for your next workday.
Things to consider before Hiring a Virtual Assistant
- Know the qualities you are looking for. A highly recommended quality is superior communication skills. This is important when establishing a great professional relationship. Communication is key to minimizing errors, confusion, and increases efficiency in scheduling, deadlines and desired final outcomes.
- Have clarity of your expectations. Take the time to figure out what your specific needs are in terms of tasks and projects. Will the virtual assistant need experience and skill in sales, customer service, technology, creative writing, or social media?
Where can I Find a Virtual Assistant?
- The best way to find a virtual assistant is to ask for referrals from your own network. Vas recommended by your associates are more likely to be a match for your needs.
- There are also many platforms and services that make finding a well-qualified Virtual Assistant easier than ever like Upwork, Fiverr, etc.
- Use a virtual assistant service. Virtual assistant services are basically online agencies for virtual assistants.
- Virtual Assistant job postings.
It is recommended that you offer fair compensation to assure both parties are satisfied, this will incentivize high productivity and excellent work quality. Because at the end of the day, “you get what you pay for”. Since virtual assistants are self-employed, their number one goal is client satisfaction. Their job security is directly correlated to the quality of their work and productivity. If the client is not satisfied, clients will simply not hire them for future work or even not get paid for the current job. This gives virtual assistants a huge incentive to be productive and come up with quality work. Virtual assistants focus on the task at hand, and their priority is to get the job done.
Whether you are just starting in business or already have a well-established company, you can’t always rely on your employees or yourself to have every skill set needed to run your company. This is what makes a virtual assistant such a valuable resource. In terms of specialized skill sets and very technical tasks, it’s vital to have the right person on the job. And with today’s many different demands for different areas of the business, you can find a highly-qualified virtual assistant that can fill the specific role you need in order to be successful in your ventures. Virtual assistants are definitely additional assets to your company, business, freelance and entrepreneurial projects or even your personal life.