What exactly is Virtual Assistance?
Well, in a nutshell I have heard people refer to it as a PA, Secretary or Office Manager who is virtual. Virtual meaning that they work from their office, while you work from yours.
A Virtual Assistant can specialise in a business area or have a speciality in an admin area.
For example, a business owner may only need someone to assist them with arranging an event or perhaps that they need their social media created and updated on a regular basis. There are Virtual Assistants available who only work within these areas.
Another example. Imagine you are a woman in small business who works in the beauty area and only feel that you can and want to work with a Virtual Assistant who has this as their niche, (a) because they only want to work with women in small business; and (b) that specific VA has an affinity with anything related to beauty. This is available as well to suit the individual business owner needs.
What sort of items can you outsource to a VA?
Every business is different, but the following are the main areas which business owners outsource to Virtual Assistants (or VAs):
- social media creation and updates
- website updates
- bookkeeping data entry
- data entry to databases
- document formatting
- office structures and systems
The list for businesses is endless and totally dependent on what you can see a need for in your business.
Costs of a VA
It may sound extravagent to outsource work to a VA, but imagine this scenario.
You are a lawyer working for yourself and you earn say $350.00 per hour.
You employ a VA to assist with a variety of services so that you do not have to employ a permanent secretary. The VA costs you say $40.00 per hour. You employ the VA to work for you say 10 hours per week.
If you do the maths, you can see that in just one hour of your time you can easily cover the cost of a VA assisting you.
Now a VA’s rate will vary depending a wide range of factors – from experience through to location and expertise in a specific area. Although a VA may charge a business on an hourly basis, packages and retainer arrangements are also available to suit both the business needs and the VA ‘s individual situation.
Whatever the cost to a business however, a VA’s cost is always going to be lower than going the employment steps of hiring a part time secretary. A VA pays their own tax, they are responsible for their own equipment and insurance and as they work from their own offices, a business owner does not need to obtain new equipment, more stationery etc.
How do you locate a VA for you?
Well this can happen in a variety of ways.
- Ask around – find out who has used a VA and if they have a recommendation. Remember though, the VA they recommend may not suit your individual business or needs. Use the lead but check that they are the right fit for you.
- Google your requirements – be specific in the needs you have.
- Locate networks where Virtual Assistants are listed – these can be a great way given that you may be seeking someone with a specific experience.
Once you have located a VA you feel may work well with you and your business, make sure you, as the business owner, know exactly what you need. If you are not sure, then sit down with the VA and go through what you think is the most important aspects of your business to outsource and work through them together.
Make sure that a contract is set up with the VA so that both parties know exactly what is required of each of them.
Sit back and enjoy having the support of a professional assisting you with the admin in your business.
It sounded difficult at the beginning, but is it? The answer is clearly ‘no’.
Interested in finding out more about how to start with a Virtual Assistant in your business – EMAIL US today and use the code ExpertVA_MustHave to obtain a voucher for $25.00 towards your first invoice.
Hazel Theocharous, an Expert VA in the areas of startup and small business for women. Hazel has been operating her VA business now for over 5 years and has assisted in the build up of several small businesses from start up phase. She has started from the basics, creating the structure, systems and procedures which have enabled businesses to grow.