How much is your time really worth? Is it worth £50 an hour or £100 an hour? YOUR time is most valuable because it is your responsibility to generate new revenue for your business. Doing small and often trivial admin chores yourself does not really add value to your business and the sensible solution is to delegate those less profitable tasks by hiring someone more than capable of carrying them out, but who’s hourly rate is somewhat less than your real financial worth. So what’s stopping you?
You may have a multitude of reasons that prevent you from hiring a full time personal assistant. You may not need a full time, or even part time employee but just require someone for occasional or limited hours. Then there are the employers responsibilities, employees are entitled to sick pay, maternity leave and paid holiday and often seek generous benefits packages. It is estimated that the true cost of an employee is over double and often up to triple the cost of their annual salary in terms of benefits and liabilities.
Significant for some potential employers is also the loss of privacy and space – are you working from home or have limited office space? You may not want an employee working from your home or simply not have the room for an additional employee in your office or all the equipment they may need.
Wouldn’t it be perfect if you had an assistant that was always ready to work for you, but only when you need them? Working from their own home or office, using their own equipment? Meet the Virtual Assistant (VA), an invaluable new work force that provides a practical solution for small businesses owners. A VA frees up your valuable time so you can concentrate on the important things that only you can do in your business.
There is no need to share office space or even for your VA to live in the same town or city. Work assignments are communicated through email; telephone, fax or post and Web-based tools such as instant messengers and online calendars and planners are also often used as a means of keeping in touch.
Because your VA is self-employed, and invoices you only for the actual hours worked or by tasks completed, and is dependent on referrals and steady work flow from existing clients, s/he can be the perfect solution for a busy small business or entrepreneur. When you hire a VA you get all the benefits of outsourcing – no employer liabilities, tax and benefits issues, coupled with the loyalty and steadiness of a company employee.
With a VA, you have someone to whom you can delegate. Your VA can return telephone calls, answer e-mails, and draft letters for you. They can take your telephone calls, filter your email, deal with your post, book your doctors appointment and even remind you of your wife’s or mothers birthday and source the perfect gift if necessary! VA’s are already computer trained, and can assist with your specific needs from traditional office support services to highly specialised areas including Web page design. You can also equip your VA to go beyond administrative support to client development and marketing support.
You can easily justify a virtual assistant in terms of your greater productivity and your greater efficiency. You need to be the leader in your business and your VA will insure that you focus on what is important, rather than urgent. Your VA can also lend “size” to your company, which will impress potential clients.
As more and more businesses move their marketing and communications to the Internet, VA’s are becoming the obvious solution to staffing issues. For an hourly fee often less than the cost of temps or the real cost of employees, businesses can take advantage of professional assistance and a variety of skills at the click of a mouse.