Hire The Right Virtual Assistant!
At some point, every marketer who wants to have a life asks themselves the question, why should I hire a virtual assistant? It is a good question to ask and one that deserves a deep exploration because finding the right person that can operate as an effective virtual assistant can be a daunting task.
Before you can hire a virtual assistant, you must first determine exactly why you are doing so. In other words, what exactly is the compelling need when it comes to having your own assistant?
Some people simply want to delegate responsibility or wish to free up time so that they can focus more on running your business. Marketing is a big part of any existing operation so having more time to devote to winning customers or clients can be an excellent investment and reason for a virtual assistant.
The good news is that a good virtual assistant has the ability to help you in many ways:
- A VA can utilize their talents to help with your organizational structure.
- A VA will assist with customer and client satisfaction and retention.
- A VA can prepare daily, weekly and monthly schedules ahead of time to maintain smooth operations.
- A VA can contact and deal with difficult clients.
- A VA can help you Increase more personal and leisure time for you and your business employees.
These are just a few of the excellent reasons why you should consider hiring a virtual assistant. Here are more.
As with most business structures, the process of hiring and firing is so expensive and time-consuming that most people prefer to utilize employment agencies. This is because keeping and retaining employees costs significantly more than just their salary.
Hiring a freelancer as a virtual assistant can be an excellent investment in money because they can handle a majority of the difficult tasks in exchange for a set dollar amount which also increases business profitability.
In addition, employees must have a place of operations and work so you must provide this. Yet a good assistant can operate virtually. This is a significant cost that most business owners forget until a new employee is hired.
This can lead to a drastic reduction in profitability and higher operational costs as well as reduced cash flow. Additional related expenses can include office furniture, computers, paper goods, printers, a break area, and a whole host of hidden expenses that come with having someone physically present in the workspace.
Hiring employees does require that you keep them busy and productive which means often creating a negative work environment. Yet a virtual assistant is simply assigned tasks and once they are completed, they are free to do whatever they choose and it will have no impact on your bottom line.
Also, virtual assistants are often required to perform at higher levels and expectations; whereas the typical employee believes simply showing up is most of their job. Are you looking for someone that just shows up, or someone that really cares about their job, and the work they produce?
If you doubt this, I’d like you to consult a recent Pew survey of American workers:
According to the survey, only 49% of American workers feel that they are satisfied with their job and therefore willing to work hard for their employer. This means if you hire the typical worker, you are only 49% likely to hire someone that is willing to actually do the job to its best and complete requirements.
The survey goes on to explain how Americans view employment and how a variety of situations in their daily life can impact their performance and cause issues to the business.
While we may all have sympathy for people when they go through difficult times, our main concern as business owners is accomplishing the job on a timely basis.
Virtual Assistants must deliver their work timely and professional manner or business owners can give them negative reviews at places like Upwork, where they post availability for jobs. This means virtual assistants must be competent for the most part, in the work that they deliver, in order to retain good write-ups and reviews, and to some degree, VAs to a point are considered freelancers as they are doing freelance work.
You should also consider the fact that most employees do not work a full eight hours even though you may be required to pay them for it. The typical employee will take between four and six breaks throughout the course of a day, for at least 10 minutes each! If they are also smokers, you can add an additional 30 minutes to this figure meaning an eight-hour workday suddenly becomes 6.5 hours or less.
Of course, finding the right people for a job can be a real hassle unless you are hiring a virtual assistant. This is because you can log on to a number of site locations where there are literally thousands of virtual assistants to choose from.
By looking at their work history and their performance reviews, you can quickly choose the right person with the right skills for the right job.
This is almost impossible to do in the typical workplace where you must play by an exorbitant amount of rules and regulations when it comes to both hiring and firing people.
You may also have a limited personnel budget which prevents you from having the right people working for you.
Wouldn’t it be better to hire people based solely on their skill set instead of having to follow strict and over-burdensome regulations and requirements?
Full-time physical staffing is a difficult concept that best; this is why so many temporary employment agencies exist to allow employers to scrutinize and determine whether or not an employee is correct for their business.
Because of the myriad of equal opportunity regulations, many of which are well-meaning, unfortunately, hamper a business from being able to function the way it should. This problem goes away when you simply hire someone based on their skill set and pay them a set fee for specific performance-based work.
This leads us to explore even more reasons, some of the best reasons why you should consider hiring a virtual assistant:
- You feel extremely overwhelmed with your workload.
- You want to focus more on building your business.
- You feel extremely stressed and underproductive.
- You know you need help but you can’t afford someone full-time.
- You are afraid of potential lawsuits and litigation.
- You don’t want to deal with hiring and firing.
Whether you realize it or not some of the best relationships are essentially “virtual” already, as most of us conduct business via the telephone, internet and e-mail.
Having a virtual assistant also gives you a touch of class and professionalism. Having clientele first deal with your virtual assistant will give them a degree of respect that you are a true professional that has a staff.
Nobody knows or even cares where the business phone is located. All that your clients realize is that you have a responsive, sharp and professional that handles your phone calls and clientele.
Another reason to consider hiring a virtual assistant is that the market is growing exponentially and more and more professionals are looking for this kind of position. The quality of VA’s continues to improve.
Being a virtual assistant allows people to work from almost any location and yet still earn a reasonable amount of income. This is a great selling point for intelligent and professional people that may need to stay home to take care of their family.
It also allows people a chance to have self-employment and earning income while providing exactly what a business needs at a reasonable cost, a real win/win.
At this point, you’re probably sold on the concept of a virtual assistant but there are also some caveats or things to consider before you hire someone:
- You must know exactly what you’re hiring the virtual assistant to do.
- You must know exactly how many hours it will take for completion of the tasks you will assign them.
- You must answer the question, what do I need to hire a virtual assistant for and answer it exactly.
- You must know what is the minimum pay expectation is and will the productivity of the virtual assistant match the minimum pay structure.
- You need to understand what metrics or benchmarks you would use to determine completion of tasks.
- You need to determine the exact projects that the virtual assistant can handle.
Therefore it’s best to hire a virtual assistant when you are either a new small business owner or existing business that wishes to expand without all the additional costs. You also have an absolute understanding of what projects need to be accomplished and how the majority of this work can be done virtually.
For example, Steve runs a survey business and utilizes many man-hours of research at the local county records office which is often done on the computer. He decides to look for a virtual assistant and instead of paying two of his survey team members to do research; ‘Janice’ is awarded the job.
This is an excellent way to project and utilize a virtual assistant because Janice can simply log on to many of the online county records and do the research necessary for Steve survey business.
Now Steve can take on more work and keep his men out in the field doing survey work while Janice locates and transmits all of the necessary records to allow them to do so. Neat, huh?
What about internet marketers, should they consider hiring a virtual assistant?
This is a question I commonly get from blog comments so I wanted to cover this because there are many good opportunities for growth with the virtual assistant but not all situations require one.
Most internet marketers are simply scraping by financially but perceive that they are making enough money to hire someone to handle the daily tasks.
You should use the same understanding and questions that we have already discussed to determine whether or not any small business really needs a virtual assistant.
While it would be nice to free up the majority of your time, a VA would eat significantly into your profit margin, The answer is you should simply tighten your belt and do even more of work yourself.
However, if you find yourself extremely stressed and that your business is experiencing growing pains and you are earning a significant amount of money, hiring a virtual assistant may be the answer for you.
Keep in mind there is also a learning curve with any virtual assistant, especially those that work for internet marketers. Most internet marketers that are successful are that way because they have their own unique style of product and/or service that they deliver.
While there are many similarities to the kinds of work that virtual assistants do, there will be the necessity of training you will need to provide in order to have an effective VA.
Keep in mind a virtual assistant can do almost anything a regular employee can do and typically better. As most jobs are evolving to mostly computer work, it just makes sense to hire virtual assistants as they can accomplish a variety of tasks like:
- Screening all of your e-mail and responding to clientele on your behalf.
- Scheduling and confirming all of your appointments.
- Contact in handle clientele on a variety of subjects.
- Do searches, online research and virtual paperwork.
- Manage projects that you do not have the time for.
- Manage projects you simply do not want to do.
- Create invoices, payments and do bookkeeping.
- Do repetitive functions that you find tedious.
In essence, the first month should be considered a training month and you should be prepared to eat that cost before the productivity will rise. Factor this into your budget.
As your relationship grows with your virtual assistant, you will find it easier to delegate tasks with the goal being that they handle the majority of the repetitive tasks so that you can focus on your marketing.
Keep in mind the better the virtual assistant, the larger the price tag will be. Prices range between $10 and $30 an hour but it is also possible to negotiate a set salary.
The bottom line with any virtual assistant is how much time and money they can save you. If having someone ‘manning a phone line’ for you for at least eight hours a day means that you’ll be making hundreds of dollars more each day, then the virtual assistant will pay for themselves.
This is the kind of thinking that you have to engage in prior to hire someone. How can you utilize their talents to double or even triple your income so that an hourly cost of on average $20 an hour is well worth the investment?
In conclusion, keep in mind that the best virtual assistant is only as good as the kind of work that you will have them do. That’s why you must answer the question, why should I hire a virtual assistant, first and foremost so that both money and time are on your side.
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