Many entrepreneurs and start ups are now choosing to seek the assistance of remote workers. There are a host of reasons for this but essentially, virtual work is widely considered a great advantage in the pursuit of cost cutting; whilst continuing to demonstrate a professional and efficient image of your company to the client. By choosing to outsource to a virtual PA, companies are benefitting from the wider skill set associated with remote workers whilst continuing to enjoy the flexibility of utilising this resource. But what does a virtual PA do and why is this service a benefit to you?
What Is A Virtual PA And What Do They Do?
Generally speaking, a virtual PA is predominantly associated with administrative tasks however the skill set possessed is far more widespread. A virtual PA’s services will support work in areas such as social media, accountancy, marketing and book keeping right though to administrative tasks and SEO. A broad host of industries are now turning to the world of virtual workers including those in property and banking.
From office administration to blogging, there is almost nothing a virtual PA cannot do! Their skill set extends to experience in IT services, database management, photo editing, accountancy/payroll and so much more. Outsourcing these day to day tasks can provide your company with the valuable time and capital required to expand your business.
Reduced Labour Costs
Employing a new member of staff to lighten your workload can be troublesome. Having to pay taxes, insurance, annual leave, sick days and staff benefits, a permanent employee can become a significant cost to a start up or entrepreneur with limited capital. Alongside staff training and development and a potential compromise in productivity, an office based colleague can be a substantial financial pressure. In contrast, a virtual PA is employed as an independent contractor and therefore responsible for paying their owns taxes and expenses.
In a standard eight hour working day, the average UK office worker does less than three hours productive work. Why pay another employee to drink coffee and browse the internet? Virtual PA’s don’t have the typical distractions associated with working in an office environment. Therefore their time can be spend concentrating on getting tasks done and deadlines met.
The use of a virtual PA gives a company the flexibility to be free of typical office working time restraints; 09:00-17:00.
With the ability to work around your schedule, virtual PA’s can adapt to different time zones and develop a professional relationship that maximises output but keeps costs down. In the unlikely event that you are dissatisfied with your virtual PA, you can simply end the contract and hire a new one which is not always so easily implemented with a permanent member of staff.
As with entrepreneurs and start ups, this is the main reason that virtual PA’s work hard and are highly motivated individuals. Client satisfaction is key and essentially if work is not completed and deadlines not met, it it’s unlikely that a company will hire them for further and future work.
Improved Work Quality
As a start up or entrepreneur, how much of your working day is consumed with answering the telephone or responding to emails? With a virtual PA to manage inbound communications, you are free to dedicate your time to growing and marketing your business. Capital is a valuable resource and saving money on training new staff or retraining existing staff on new systems and software is possible as a virtual PA will possess this skill set and more.
Reduced Risk In Scaling Operations
Have you found yourself at a point with your business where you aren’t quite sure what is going to happen next? The numbers are pointing towards growth but you are unsure of when or how quickly that will happen? A virtual PA will help you to effectively manage your workload. If your business expands quickly, you can simply hire another PA to assist you with the transition.
Office Space & Workload
Virtual PA’s often work remotely, most of the time from an office within their home. They use the latest technology to streamline their work and keep in contact with their clients - providing you a further saving in ordering a new desk and computer. Simplifying the workload and clutter on your mind is a task easily actioned by a virtual PA. Why waste time attending to emails and sending files when you’d rather be developing strategies to grow your business? Transfer the responsibility to someone else and enjoy instant relief!
As most virtual PA’s charge an hourly rate or a project management fee, you will only pay for the effective time spent on a project or task. This allows you the ability to control your budget effectively and allocate more resources for projects that are of high importance for your business.
When Should I Hire A Virtual PA?
Well broadly speaking, anytime is a good time to add a skilled and experienced professional to your team. Most start ups and entrepreneurs will seek additional help when overwhelmed by the current workload. If you have more paperwork than you and your existing staff can handle and you want to use your time more productively, it may be time to consider outsourcing. If you simply cannot afford another full time member of staff and you need something done that you don’t possess the skill to do yourself, it might be the right time to hire a virtual PA. In doing so, your stress levels and work place demands will be dramatically reduced instantly.
For further information, consider this article on the rise of virtual assistants and how it can benefit your business;
THRIVE - What We Do
Thrive is a collaboration of entrepreneurs and start up providers offering a host of services. TALENT - supporting HR, training and development. VISION - supporting digital marketing, branding and marketing communications. DIRECTION - a consortium of experienced entrepreneurs across a wide range of industry sectors, providing mentorship and coaching to founders, business leaders and entrepreneurs within the start up, small business and SME market place.