Due to the rapid progress in computer technology, the practice of outsourcing tasks to virtual assistants has exploded. Worldwide communication, which was problematic in years gone by, is no longer presenting difficulties.
A virtual assistant is a self-employed assistant, personal or administrative, who can work from any location in the world and for different employers.
The cost of employing a full-time administrative assistant in your office can be in excess of $50,000 per year, excluding health and pension benefits. This is a huge expense to justify, as an assistant is normally only needed for certain projects and someone you don’t typically need around all the time.
It is a myth that one good assistant can do everything. Employing remote virtual assistants, who get paid per project or per hour, make more financial sense. You will avoid paying people for updating their Facebook profiles or playing computer games on your time.
While this saves the business owner a lot of money, the virtual assistant is free to accept projects from various employers, thereby, improving his or her income potential exponentially. Employers and virtual assistants, both enjoy a win-win situation.
There are more advantages to be had. A diversified company typically holds an array of projects, spanning over various categories, to be completed. The one assistant in the office may be an expert in one field, but not worth much in any other field. The employer has to compromise on most of the projects because of the assistant’s limited expertise.
Using virtual assistants will make it possible to have scores of assistants at your disposal, one for every project or field of ability. Even with having all these experts, ready to accept projects, it will nevertheless be less expensive than having one full-time assistant in the office. The employer will only pay for real time spent on each task.
By hiring a different virtual assistant for each role, a dynamic team of experts can be built at a reduced cost. A team that works together in different parts of the world, unaware of each other, can enable the business owner to operate his or her business with the utmost productivity.
Having your virtual assistants located across the world is also beneficial. It is of no significance where they are based. The global time differences will work to the employer’s advantage. No longer will your staff be available only from 9 to 5 with an hour for lunch. If an urgent project comes up late in the day and needs to be completed by morning – chances are there will be a virtual assistant available somewhere in the world where it is still only midday. You can allocate the project, have a good night’s rest and receive a completed project before daybreak. It allows you to have assistants, ready to be called upon, 24 hours a day.
The list of services that virtual assistants can offer is endless.
- An expert can be hired to prepare presentations.
- Someone with years of experience can control logistics.
- Managing and monitoring e-mail accounts are typically very time-consuming. You can get an efficient VA to filter your most important e-mails and respond to them, while also setting up email lists, as well as calendar management and arranging appointments.
- Another assistant could be sending out newsletters and uploading blogs, as well as do online research for articles and blogging.
- Social media has become an important factor in marketing any business. Hire someone to manage Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ and create pinnable images for Pinterest.
- How about using the services of a VA who can transcribe voice memos and handle conference calls.
- Due to the importance of press releases, blog posts and newsletter composition, you could make a point of having more than one content writer, each an expert in their own field.
- You no longer need a full-time telephone operator. When you attend important meetings or conferences and need someone to respond to phone calls, take messages, arrange appointments and such, you can have someone on the other side of the world attend to it.
- Does your company process a lot of data that needs organizing into spreadsheets; a virtual assistant will do that for you in no time.
- Then there are all the arrangements that need to be made for your business and private travels – you will have no problem finding a virtual assistant to take care of those.
- A very important part of any modern business is driving traffic to your website. Let a virtual SEO and web marketer handle that for you, and while we are on that topic, you can even have a remote web developer and designer for your websites, marketing materials, logos, banners, etc.
- If a division of your business is operating in the consumer or hospitality industry; a virtual assistant will coördinate with vendors, place orders for new supplies and monitor execution of those orders.
- In fact, just about any repetitive, time-consuming job can be done by a virtual assistant, based anywhere in the world.
While this is all very possible, it can be catastrophic. As an employer, you will have to screen all potential virtual assistants very carefully. Not all applicants are experts in what they do. You have to establish the level of expertise of every assistant and allocate projects accordingly, but once you have your team of expert virtual assistants, you can concentrate on reaching what you are aiming for in life.
It is not uncommon for established VA’s to hire assistants to cope with their work load. As mentioned, one assistant can be employed by multiple businesses and for them to outsource is nothing unusual. They will, however, be aware that they are ultimately responsible for the quality of work submitted.
Over time you can build a working relationship with many virtual assistants, where little communication is necessary. Jobs can be allocated by the touch of a few keys on the keyboard. Thanks to modern technology, it feels the same as if the assistant is in the office next door. Distance has no significance anymore. Outsourcing to virtual assistants has almost become essential in the modern world of business.
A business owner who gathers an efficient team of experts will no longer have to cope with unavoidable intricacies of full-time staff. Maternity, and these days also paternity leave, pregnancies, sick children, annual leave and sick leave come to mind. Annual and holiday bonuses will also be something of the past.
Two jobs the virtual assistant cannot do – you’ll have to fetch your own dry cleaning and make your own coffee.